How to Make Philips Hue Lights Change Colors Automatically?

It’s exciting to use a smart RGB (color) bulb for the first time. When I first bought a smart bulb, I didn’t know how to use it well. But one of my ideas is to make my smart bulbs change color automatically.

I consulted some of my friends and did some research online. I also did some tests to make my Philips Hue bulbs and light strips change their color automatically without a voice command and an app. Finally, I came to some conclusions below.

Yes, by using third-party apps or some formulas, your Philips Hue lights can change their color automatically.

Philips Hue RGB (color) Lights Information

Whether you are actually wanting to create a “smart home”, or you just want to make a simple upgrade to your living space, having Philips Hue products from smart bulbs to fixed smart light fixtures and smart light strips that can be controlled with the phone, or your voice, are a worthy investment. 

You also can buy their white bulbs that can just be dimmed. The Hue lights offer 16 million colors and shades of white light that can be controlled from anywhere with your phone.

Philips Hue LightStrip
Philips Hue LightStrip

If you want to cycle can change your color automatically, you should buy full RGB color bulbs like “White And Color Ambiance”. If you just have “White” or “White Ambiance” bulbs or light strips, you can’t use them to do color changes automatically.

By emitting various intensities of lights from your Hue lights, your eye can perceive a wide variety of colors, including multiple shades of pink, yellow, purple, and blue. This is because the Hue bulbs and light strips feature some diodes.

  • A green diode.
  • A red diode.
  • A blue diode.
  • A warm white diode.
  • A cool white diode.

However, you usually can’t see three separate diodes there, instead of being a single RGB diode. RGB LEDs have three internal LEDs (Red, Green, and Blue) that can be combined to produce almost any color output.

It also needs separate white diodes to deliver certain colors (mostly white lights) for diverse color ranges. With RGB and white diodes, the Hue lights can change color and yield a great honest white.

When paired with your Hue Bridge and Hue app, you can control up to 50 lights throughout your entire home, set timers and automated routines, and enable away-from-home control to manage your LED lights from anywhere, and much more. However, you can’t say to your LED lights “change color rapidly” simply by the Hue app. LIFX can help you.

You can set your Hue lights to match your mood by changing color automatically, so whether you are sad or happy, your home can feel like it complements what you are feeling. 

And beyond that, you also want to use your Hue lights to cycle color in various rooms for different activities such as a date night, a relaxing bubble bath, family game night, or movie hosting a dinner party. With some methods below, you can achieve your ideas now.

10 Methods that Your Philips Hue lights can change colors automatically

Method 1 – ColorLoop Lab formula

Do you know the Hue ColorLoop lab formula? You can use it to look through various colors for your activities and matching your mood. I recommend it to you.

You can access it by following steps:

  1. Explore
  2. Hue Labs
  3. Formulas
  4. Search for “colorloop
  5. Click “Try it”
Hue ColorLoop Lab formula Setup
Hue ColorLoop Lab formula Setup

After completing the above steps, now you can set up the lab formula for your Hue lightstrips or bulbs. 

  1. Click on “Hue Labs Controls”
  2. Click the toggle button to activate your formula
Hue app Hue Lab Controls
Hue app Hue Lab Controls

Method 2 – LivingScenes Lab formula

You also can access the LivingScenes formula through the Explore -> Labs route on the Hue app, however, you only can loop between a little more cohesive set of colors.

For example, you have two pre-set color choices such as “dinner party” vibe colors or “evening sunset” colors, the LivingScenes Lab formula allows you to slowly switch between them at an interval of fifteen seconds to two hours.

Living Scenes Lab Formula Setup in Hue App
Living Scenes Lab Formula Setup within Hue App

When stopping the Formula the Hue lights will revert to the light state before activating the Formula. With Amazon Alexa, you also can activate it simply by saying “Alexa, turn on Living scenes”

You will also like the specific color pallete that can provide you whatever from pink to bright orange and white colors, and the Christmas and Autumn Living Scenes are very great to use.

Method 3 – the OnSwitch app

OnSwitch App Sceenshot on Play For Philips Hue Lights
OnSwitch App Sceenshot on Play For Philips Hue Lights

There are many excellent third party apps you can choose besides Hue Lab formulas for dynamic scenes. The OnSwitch app is one of them you will like.

In many ways, OnSwitch is the app that Philips Hue should have built. Compatible with Lifx and Hue smart bulbs, OnSwitch provides you all of the basic control you’d expect.

Some people or companies have created some Apps to customize the Hue lighting by writing programming code with their API. These Apps such as OnSwitch are available on both Apple and Play stores you can download from there.

Whether you want to simulate disco lighting, candle light, fireworks, and much more, OnSwitch has everything you want. 

A large range of scenes are free, however, some are in-app purchases. Some are as much as $9.99, some cost only $0.99. Because there are so many free scenes to use, I believe you will get what you want for your moon lighting.

Method 4 – hueDynamics app

hueDynamics is a great app, you really can take the place of the other apps you have. You will find the “experiences” are very cool (sound and color effects) and the “ambiances” are really cool as well. It has a photo matcher, a sunrise program to simulate that.

Their features are:

  • Dynamic lighting experiences
  • Advanced Hue Disco and Party Modes
  • Advanced Hue Dimmer and Tap Programming
  • Custom Photo Ambiances
  • Online Searchable Scene gallery

With hueDynamic, it can really boost your Philips Hue experience to the next level and it can bring you great dynamic lighting and stereo sound. It can give you fully immersive experiences from a range of RGB colors automatically.

The fully dynamic, hueDynamic experiences I prefer are as follows:

  1. Mountain Chill
  2. Calm Sea
  3. Sunrise
  4. Beach
  5. Fireplace
  6. Sunlight Simulator (based on your location)
  7. Volcano
  8. Aurora
  9. Silky Waterfall
  10. Gas Flame
  11. Lightning Storm
  12. Doctor Hue (for the time travelling sci-fi fans!)
  13. Red Summer Sky
  14. Candlelight
  15. Tibet Temple
  16. Cloud Rays

More here

With hueDynamic, you just need to buy once and enjoy it forever

Method 5 – Thorlight (app store)

Thorlight is a great app to control your Philips Hue lights. They have great features that can know the positions of your smart lights within an environment and play more than 50 meticulously crafted animations, which can precisely synchronize your Hue lights for overwhelming effects.

You also play music to synchronize your Hue bulbs, which makes your smart light system a bit more incredible.

Some animations you should buy:

  • Party mode – $3.99
  • Lounge – $3.99
  • Flow – $3.99
  • Sky – $2.99
  • Ambiance – $3.99

Method 6 – Match sunset and sunrise

Waking up to the sound of a blaring alarm will be jarring, especially if you have to wake up in pitch black. You also can turn to devices that mimic the arrival of daylight as a gentler way to wake up. It typically starts out with a dim light and then slowly brighten to full brightness to match your body’s circadian rhythms.

There are some smart lights on the market, which have sunrise and sunset features that can help you get to sleep in the first place. The Hue Labs formula “Sunset to sunrise” can help you do it, however, it’s more about brightness adjustment.

You also can find a dynamic wakeup alarm called “Perfect Sunrise” in the Hue Lights app. There are thousands of colors to mimic a natural sunrise for you. For example, you can cycle thru various shades of orange to a soft white.

It is truly a great way of changing the Hue light colors automatically for your life.

Method 7 – Sync to music with iLightShow and Hue Disco

If you want your lightbulbs to automatically sync up with whatever music you have played, changing color and flashing along with the best, you would need the free iLightShow app. It connects to Apple Music and Spotify and syncs with your Philips Hue bulbs to set the mood for your party.

It is great to listen to music on your smartphone microphone with some apps such as LIFX. However if you want to create your own ambiance from party to chill, you can use iLightShow to connect Spotify streaming services and Apple Music with your Philips Hue to create your home parties very amazing.

Hue Disco is an app specially designed for Philips Hue lights that provides ambiance lighting in your room. It can adjust the light in your room automatically by detecting music and sounds in the environment.

There is also the mood tab that can change your Hue light after certain, usually longer intervals. You also can turn on the strobe if you need staring a party.

Method 8 – Sync to TV/movies

Do you want your movies to fill your room when you are at the movies? It will be awesome to enjoy immediate and immersive light effects that match what’s happening on your screen.

With Philips Hue HDMI Sync box, Hue Gradient lightstrips, and Hue Play Bars, you can easy to blend your TV, movie, or gaming session with your Hue lights for an immersive real-world experience that is hard to beat.

However, it is really expensive to achieve what you want. If you can’t afford it, you can use third party apps to do the same thing.

Hue Matcher is great and cheap. You can easily sync your movies and videogames to Hue lights on a tablet by just pointing the camera at the TV and done. You can place four lights that one in each corner of the room. TV centered. It is really quick to change color automatically and it just costs a dollar.

Hue TV works like Hue Matcher. It is also convenient and faster to manage your Hue lights just with your smartphone.

ScreenBloom is a free PC/Mac application that is worth trying if you don’t like to use your smartphone. You can use it to grab the average color of your screen and send its value to your Philips Hue lights for color changing automatically. Note: it just works for computer-based media TVs.

Some users have reported that its response time is pretty bad. Taking pretty much a full second to change color between scene lighting. You can try it yourself.

Method 9 – have a lightsaber battle!

Have you tried the Hue Lab formula “Battle of light and dark”? I didn’t try it but It seems good for budding Star Wars fans.

If you use red lights and blue lights, you will mimic a lightsaber battle. It seems great but I don’t give specific suggestions for it.

Method 10 – sync to the outside weather

There are many benefits of white-only smart bulbs. Their light emulates natural lighting from the outdoors and has a lot of positive benefits, from simply being more aesthetically pleasing to enhancing your focus. However, it is can’t sync to the outside weather because they are only one color.

It will only be warm or cool white whether the weather outside is sunny or gloomy.

If you have had some Philips Hue smart lights or bulbs installed at your home, so one of the greatest tips you can do is replicating your choice of weather or even changing color in time with the conditions outside of your window. For example, you can use the IFTTT applet to have your bulbs blink or set them to red based on the weather outside.

IFTTT is great for you to sync weather while you just can create three applets there. 

You need to activate the Weather channel for your Hue light bulbs on IFTTT. To activate the Weather channel, search for it in the list of their channels, select it then click Connect.

If you have done it correctly, your Hue lights will change colors and notify based on the weather. You can set up recipes for when the weather clears, begins to snow, the current temperature drops below or rises above a certain threshold, the sun rises or sets, and many other weather events.

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