If you have smart lights in your home, you probably already know how convenient and fun they can be, not to mention handy when you’re already in bed and forgot to turn out some of the lights. Why not take the next step with your Phillips Hue smart lights and add voice control so you don’t even need your phone to shut out all the lights when you’re already tucked in.
In this blog, we will explore how to add voice control to Phillips Hue smart lights. It’s worth pointing out, that voice control can be added to both the regular Phillips Hue lineup of lightbulbs, or to the new bridge-free Philips Hue Bluetooth Hue lights.
We’ll take a look at the steps for adding both Google Assistant and Alexa functions to Hue lights. You can even enable both Google and Alexa to control your lights.
You will, of course, need not only your Philips Hue lights, but also a Google Home-enabled device such as the Google Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, or Google Nest Mini, or an Amazon device like the Amazon Echo Plus or new Echo Studio to listen for and respond to your voice commands.
The process for linking to the different digital assistants is pretty much the same story; with Google you need a Google Home device and the Google Home App. With Alexa you need an Alexa enabled smart speaker/digital assistant and the Alexa App.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume that you have your Google or Alexa smart speaker device set up, as well as your Hue lights.
How to set up voice controlled lights
There are a couple extra steps to get your lights connected to Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
How to set up Philips Hue voice control with Google Home
To use Google Home, go to the Google Home App and choose Add, then select “Have something already set up.” Though this may seem counter-intuitive, it’s a faster way. (If you choose set up a new device, you’ll need to add lights individually; doing it my way adds the entire grouping.)
You’ll get a list of compatible brands, so scroll down until you see Philips Hue, then you’ll need to sign into your Hue account. Then you’ll need to link your bridge by going to it and pressing the button on top. Once that’s done, say ‘OK Google, sync my lights’.
From there, you can use the names as you set them up in the Hue App to ask Google to control them.
How to set up Philips Hue voice control with Amazon Alexa
Alexa setup is similar. Go to the Alexa App and choose Skills & Games. Search Philips Hue and click Enable to Use. Again, you’ll need to sign into your Philips Hue account to connect it. The Alexa App will ask if it can Discover Devices, so click to allow it. The Alexa App will round up all the lights you’ve got, and you should have voice control. You might get a message that Alexa couldn’t find any devices, but try to control one of the lights and you’ll probably see that she now knows them.
Controlling Philips Hue lights with Google & Alexa
You need to issue commands in a certain way to get your Philips Hue lights to work with Google Home and Alexa. Some examples of commands:
Ok Google/Alexa, lights (on/off)
Hey Google, let there be light!
Hey Google, lights out
Ok Google, turn “couch/lamp/hallway” on
Ok Google, set kitchen lights to 60% brightness
Ok Google, change the lights to blue
You’ll learn quickly how to best interact with your lights. If you want your lights to communicate with you, you can check out my article, ‘how to get your lights to turn blue when there’s snow in the forecast‘, here.