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How to control Philips Hue lights from your Mac



The Colors for Hue menu on macOS.

Do you want to easily control your Hue lamps? You do not have to pick up your phone or shout across the room on Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. Here are some simple ways to control your Hue lights directly from your Mac.

We will cover some solutions here: The built-in smarthome features of macOS and a convenient third-party tool to control Hue lights from your Mac̵

7;s menu bar.

Option 1: Use the home app

Your Mac has a version of the same “Home” app that you can use on iPhone and iPad. It can control all your HomeKit-enabled smarthome devices.

To open it, press Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight search, type “Home” and launch the home app. Your Hue lights appear here if you have already configured the integration to control them with Siri on your iPhone or iPad.

Click on the tiles to turn Hue lights on and off. For more options, right-click or Ctrl-click one of the tiles here and select “Show Controls.”

Control Hue lights in the Home app on a Mac.

This window is an easy way to turn lights on and off, select brightness and change color. However, it is not as fully equipped as the Hue app itself.

(If you have not yet configured the Hue integration, open the Hue app on your iPhone or iPad and go to Settings> HomeKit & Siri.)

Option 2: Talk to Siri

Provided you have already configured the HomeKit integration, you do not even need to open the Home app. You can control your Hue lights from your Mac with Siri just like from an iPhone or iPad.

To use this, either click the SIri icon at the top right of your Mac’s menu bar or hold down Command + Space. Speak into your Mac’s microphone and say a command like “Turn off the lights” or “Turn on.” [a specific light]- any Siri command to turn lights on and off, adjust brightness or change colors works on your Mac just like they do on an iPhone or iPad.

You can also print Siri commands on a Mac.

Turns on a shade light with Siri on a Mac.

RELATED: How to print voice commands for Siri

Option 3: Install shades for hue

Okay, the built-in features of a Mac are great, but they are certainly not perfect. Wouldn’t it be great to control your Hue lights from your Mac’s menu bar with just the mouse and have access to all the color options Hue offers?

Colors for Hue, a free app available in the Mac App Store, offers all of these features. The app has in-app purchases, but only for donations if you feel like supporting the developer – you can use everything in the app for free without ads.

Once installed, launch the Colors for Hue app. The first time you use it, you need to connect to your Hue Bridge. Use the “Connect” tab in the app’s settings window to search for Hue Bridge on your network.

You can also enter your Hue Bridge IP address manually. (You can find this information from the Hue app. Go to Settings> Hue Bridge and press “i” to the right of the bridge name.)

Do not see the “Scan by IP” box? We encountered an odd error with it – to reveal it, click on the “Support Us” icon at the top of the window and then click on the “Connect” icon again.

Enter an Hue Bridge IP address in the Colors for Hue app.

Press the button on your Hue Bridge when prompted to end the connection process.

Press the Hue button to connect Colors for Hue.

Now you have a light bulb on your Mac’s menu bar. Click on it for easy access to your Hue lamps: You can turn them on, turn them off, adjust the brightness, change colors and even use the “Delayed Off” function to turn off a lamp automatically after a certain period of time.

Controls light and colors with colors for hue.

You can use the Shade Colors window (click “Settings” in the menu) to rearrange the list of lights and set groups. Click on the “Lighting” tab to find these options.

That’s it – you still have to use the Hue app for many features like adding new lights and setting up routines, but Colors for Hue gives you quick access to the standard controls you need.




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