How To

Philips Hue is doing it, here’s how to do natural light with most existing smart bulbs

Philips Hue, a smart lighting manufacturer, is rolling out a Natural Light mode which mimicks outdoor lighting conditions based on where the sun is. If you’ve already got some smart bulbs and a smart house, you can be smart and do this yourself. Or you can buy a whole bunch of Philips Hue bulbs, no skin off my back.

TL;DR – this is the logic for how to do that with Google Assistant (free,) you can use Tasker, IFTTT, I’m betting several other methods with differing price points and results. This is just the how-to logic, not a step by step guide, although it almost is.

For the Hue implementation that’s rolling out, it appears that the color temperature and light intensity are changed throughout the day based on this 9to5Google article.

It does not appear that it factors in local weather conditions, so copying the idea is pretty simple using Google Home routines (if you’ve got it) – the two commands you’re looking at are

“turn lightname on”
“change lightname to 2700 kelvin” (or whatever you want it to)

Or you’ll notice some options for changing the lights to certain temperatures on most bulbs. You will need to decide for yourself what it needs to be at any given time. I suggest just mucking around throughout a day and finding what looks best. Some bulbs can’t match the color temperature they claim so you might need to control that one or two in their own routines.

Make a few of these routines for a bulb or a group of bulbs. Add a few routines in Google Home that change based on time of day, or more usefully: at sunrise. Add sunrise + however many hours you want this to trigger.

I’d personally create a short series of incremental light intensity updates until you’re at your max with the lighting. Be aware jumping a large number will be noticeable, but you might want to just for starters and then go back in and fill in incremental light temperature jumps.

As the earth tends to tilt and days change length, I would set your wind-down routines based on…. drumroll… sunset.

This way if you’ve got 13 hours of sunlight in a day or 7, the peak will stay on through the peak, and start ramping back down to reach sunset.

It’s not a smooth incremental unless you do the work of programming a few of them (5 minutes I’m guessing, phew,) you’ll need to play with it a bit, but it’s a quick and easy way to repurpose existing multi-manufacturer bulbs using Google Home Routines, or whatever other smart routine trigger you’ve got going on.

Pocketables does not accept targeted advertising, phony guest posts, paid reviews, etc. Help us keep this way with support on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

Avatar of Paul E King