Some HomeKit projects are about convenience, some are about security, and others are just for fun. The Philips Hue Play lights certainly fit in the last category of HomeKit products.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
I’ve been a big fan of the Hue lineup for quite a while now. Philips has a wide range of products that support HomeKit, and they are among the most reliable smart home products that I own. Hue products require the Hue hub, so keep that in mind as you start looking at products. The Hue Play lights are the perfect addition to a media/TV room to add extra ambiance. They can be mounted directly to your TV using included mounts with adhesive, or you can stick them behind your TV using the includes stands. I used the stands and have them facing the wall right behind the TV.
The setup of the Hue play bar was a simple process. Once you add them to the Hue hub using the Philips Hue app, they will automatically be added to HomeKit, and you can control them entirely using the Home app. I still find myself using the Hue app on occasion as it includes some pretty lovely built-in color “scenes” to create nice lighting effects.
Now that the Hue play lights are added to my HomeKit setup, I can use HomeKit automation to control its use with the other devices in the room. Our lights are in our bonus room where we have the biggest TV in the house, my Peloton bike, and extra seating. With HomeKit automations, you can create a Homekit scene for “movie night” where the lights are set to a particular color, your other lights are turned on, and if you have a HomeKit enabled TV, even turn the TV on. The Play bar includes over 16 million colors and 50,000 shades of cool to warm white light, so you can create countless scenes for parties, dinner, watching sports, etc.
My Philips Hue Play lights work great with the HomePod mini as well. In our bonus room, I have two HomePod minis in stereo mode, so I can turn the lights on, set the color, and set the brightness all from Siri. One addition I plan on making soon is adding the Hue Sync to automate the lights further to work with whatever content we’re watching at the time.
Overall, the Philips Hue Play lights a fun add-on to HomeKit. It’s enjoyable, and for nothing else, but it does create a pleasant environment for watching movies late at night. If you’re looking for a way to improve your media room’s lighting, I highly recommend the Hue play bar as it’s a simple product that does one thing well.
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