Philips Hue with HomeKit

Philips recently opened up it’s three accessory control products from their Hue line of products for use with Apple’s Homekit. This satisfies one of the great complaints users have had relating to the companies massively popular line of smart lighting products. So how do the Philips Hue work now that they are a part of the HomeKit ecosystem? Check out below for answers to Philips Hue Motion with HomeKit and Philips Hue Dimmer with Homekit information.

Philips Hue Motion

If you are an existing Philips Hue Motion user and an avid HomeKit user much of the needed understanding of set up and control will come second nature to you. HomeKit comes to your existing Hue Motion device via a firmware update that can be downloaded via the Philips Hue application. One the updated has completed you will be able to create an automation within the native Home application on your iOS device.

So whats the benefit?

Opening up Philips Hue motion to Apple’s HomeKit platform allows users to control a vast array of products that already work within the HomeKit Platform. Before the firmware update, Philips Hue Motion could only control other Hue devices like strip lights and bulbs.

HomeKit Limitation

IMB_oaVEZZ.GIFOne of the great benefits the Hue Motion sensor provides is the ability to limit the
triggers based on the ambient light within the room. For example, on a cloudy day the motion sensor might trigger my lights anytime I walk into a room. In contrast, on a day with lots of natural light penetrating a room, the motion sensor would not activate a trigger because the lighting would not be needed. This option is customizable and the control interface is very user-friendly. Philips Hue accomplished this by not having the user input numbers at all to limit the light but by providing a slider bar that provides instant feedback to the user as to indicating if the sensor would or would not activate a trigger with the current ambient light reading. So what is the limitation? The control while still available within the Hue application cannot be controlled from within Apple’s Home application.

Philips Hue Dimmer

046677473372-IMS-en_USBy Philips opening up it’s dimmer switch to the HomeKit platform it essentially creates an entirely new and different device. Most existing HomeKit users will not be familiar with the process, benefits or control of the switch from within the Apple Home application. Previously, the Hue Dimmer Switch could control five different scenes by tapping the “On” button the number of times corresponding to the user configurable selected scenes. In addition, the second two buttons could be used to dim or brighten the assigned lights. Lastly, the bottom (or “Off”) button on the switch would simply power off the assigned lights.

HomeKit Benefits

IMB_DTRdPL.GIFAdding the Hue Dimmer switch to your HomeKit set-up, first and foremost, allows users to control other devices within the HomeKit ecosystem. The control is a bit different though. Set up in HomeKit allows users to assigned a different task to each of the four buttons on the dimmer switch. Doing so in HomeKit opens all of your devices to control. For instance, I could assign my “goodnight” scene to the bottom (or “Off”) button. Doing so would turn off all my first-floor lights, close my garage door (if not already closed), and lock my doors (if not already locked). Opening up the dimmer switch to HomeKit adds some vast control and flexibility options. Before the HomeKit update users could only control Philips Hue products that were assigned to specific rooms. With HomeKit users could essentially set up each button to control different rooms/areas of their home.

HomeKit Limitations

As with all great things there most always is opportunity costs. In this case, setting up the switch in HomeKit voids the ability to utilize the dimmer controls. You also lose one of your preset options. If you remember in the Philips Hue set up you could tape through 5 different scenes using multiple presses on the “On” button. In HomeKit you can only assign a scene to each of the four buttons.

The Future is Looking Bright

With Philips Hue removing some of the limitations that it had in place before on its accessory products the future truly is looking bright for the relationship between HomeKit and Philips Hue’s product line. The move has added one more option for motion detection in the HomeKit platform and category that previously had been limited to two product offerings and the Dimmer/Switch control adds another great addition to a lacking product category in HomeKit. In addition, both these options offer an arguably superior product and a significantly discounted price when compared to the competing products on the market. Stay tuned for a full review on the Philips Hue Tap (also upgraded to HomeKit support), and check out our How-to/Tips and Tricks section for step by step processes of how to do all things smart home.





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