HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
This week on HomeKit Weekly we’re looking at personalizing the icon for individual lights in Apple’s Home app. Changing each light icon can be especially useful after adding lots of HomeKit lights to your home.
Personalizing icons is one of the most useful and hidden features of Apple’s Home app. Most homes have a lot of individual light bulbs, and going all in on HomeKit lighting with a system like Philips Hue or Lutron Caseta can often be done for a relatively reasonable price.
The benefit is being able to use Siri or the Home app to control individual lights throughout your home, but this can quickly populate your Home app with light tiles that aren’t easy to identify without parsing the text label.
Giving bulbs, table lamps, floor lamps, and overhead lights their own icons makes identifying what Home app tiles correspond to which lights much more glanceable — plus it’s just charming.
To do this, launch the Home app and find a light that you want to personalize. Firmly press or long press on the tile, then tap Details, tap the light bulb icon within the yellow box on the light name line, then choose your icon and tap Done.
Now with your new light icon is in place, tap Done to save the change, tap anywhere around the brightness slider (where the new icon now appears) to dismiss, and see the result in place.
There’s no functional change to personalizing the icon and it changes for all of your devices and for each HomeKit user with access. Check out my before and after for a comparison:
Personalizing accessory icons is unfortunately limited to just lights for now, although I would love to see each accessory type gain this feature — especially fans and speakers. For now it’s just a nice touch made available for lights that will likely improve your experience and add a personal touch to your Home app.
Stay tuned for the next installment of HomeKit Weekly next Wednesday, and catch up on the first five entries below:
- HomeKit Weekly: Getting started with Apple’s Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch
- HomeKit Weekly: Turning your old garage door into a Siri-controlled entrance
- HomeKit Weekly: Using Automation to put sensors to work
- HomeKit Weekly: Automating outdoor lights on and off based on sunset/sunrise and time
- HomeKit Weekly: Using hardware buttons to make smart lights familiar for guests and family