Philips Hue lights let you do all sorts of cool things like set alarms and automatically turn on your lights when you get home, but a service called IFTTT provides even more functionality. Here’s how to use Philips Hue lights with IFTTT.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That and is an online service that can connect to tons of different services like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Evernote and Tumblr, and smart home products like Belkin WeMo, Wink and Philips Hue. .
You can link all these services together to create “recipes”. For example, when you are tagged in a Facebook photo, you can have IFTTT automatically save that photo to your Dropbox folder. The options are almost limitless.
With Philips Hue and IFTTT you can do all kinds of things you wouldn’t normally do with smart connected light bulbs; so if you’re interested in taking things to the next level with your Hue lights, here’s how to use Philips Hue lights with IFTTT.
How to Set Up Philips Hue on IFTTT
I wrote a quick how-to about automatically turning on your Philips Hue lights at a certain time of day using IFTTT. This gives you an overview of how IFTTT works and how you can set up a Philips Hue recipe with the service.
Essentially, you simply set an action to turn your Philips Hue lights on (or off) when that action occurs. So, you can set your Hue lights to flash when you receive an email from a certain person, or to turn your Hue lights blue when it starts to rain outside.
To get started, go to: IFTTT’s website and create an account or sign in to your existing account. Then click at the top of the home page and then choose when to go to the next page.
Next, click on it (highlighted in blue) and then find a service (called a “channel” in IFTTT) by searching in the search box or browsing the long list. Once you find the one you want, click on it.
You will then select a trigger, an action that will trigger your Philips Hue lights each time it occurs. Depending on the service, you may have a bunch of triggers to choose from or just a few, but you will go through the process of setting up the trigger. Don’t worry, IFTTT makes going through the process really easy.
After installing your trigger, you will click on (highlighted in blue) and then select Philips Hue from the list.
On the next screen, you will have lots of options to choose from such as Turn on the Lights, Turn off the Lights, Dim the Lights, change the colors, Trim the Lights and more.
After selecting an action, you can specify which Hue light you want that action to be applied to. You can choose all your Hue lights or choose a single Hue bulb. Unfortunately, you can’t choose more than one bulb, and if you want to go that route you’ll have to create the same IFTTT recipe for a second bulb instead.
After that, it’s just a matter of naming your new recipe and then creating it.
IFTTT Recipes to Get You Started with Philips Hue
If you’re not sure where to start creating recipes that work with your Philips Hue lights, there are loads of pre-made recipes you can check out.
Personally, I think the best IFTTT recipe to start with is to have your lights turn on automatically at a set time.
However, if you want to take it to the next level, IFTTT has a full section. Dedicated to Philips Hue recipesas your lights flash when you’re tagged in a Facebook phototurn the color blue if it starts to rainand even have your lights turn on automatically when you get home using your phone’s GPS (the native Philips Hue app can do this too).
You can even make a recipe like this. adds Siri functionality to legacy Hue Bridgethough definitely a workaround.
There are also recipes that let you be as specific as you want, like flashing your lights when you receive an email from a certain person, and you can even connect your Nest thermostat to your Hue bulbs.