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My frustrations with the Philips Hue ecosystem

Week 48.0 — 24th September '18

There aren't a huge amount of HomeKit compatible devices but Philips have done very with their Hue range. With an Apple TV or iPad as your hub you can operate your lightbulbs in various ways. Add a sensor to your home and you can trigger them, or create automations for things to happen at specific times and even operate them remotely using your phone. They even work with Siri, and that's before iOS 12 and Siri Shortcuts came along.

Now for the frustrating aspects of being in the Philips Hue ecosystem.

Philips Hue Hardware

Because you technically need to have power available to the light all the time, but unless you have additional hardware, it means the only way of controlling them is with your phone.

Hue Dimmer & Tap Switch

The Philips Hue dimmer is a fun piece of equipment that allows you set scenes, dim the lights and turn them off. The enclosure is built for the American market but with adapters you can make them fit the style of switches found in Europe.

The dimmer switch is included in some kits and available for £17.99 which doesn't break the bank but you're paying for features you'll rarely use. Why don't they just create an bunch of regular switches?

Logitech offer a product called Pop, which uses a bridge like Hue to create a set of HomeKit compatible buttons. These look almost perfect accept positioning them over an existing switch isn't possible.

Now IKEA may have the answer, but again it requires a bridge. Not a deal breaker, but the reasonably priced TRÅDFRI dimmer becomes a tad more expensive. The other not-a-deal-breaker-but-close is the fact it's a dimmer and not a hard on and off switch. I really need to get to an IKEA and try these out.

Hue Motion Sensors

While these motions are great and offer some great trigger points, if you want to automate through the Home app, then you loose access to the temperature and lux sensors. Temperature data is still available through the Home app, but loosing lux is really annoying. Automations can only be run by the time of day whereas through the Hue app you can have them adjust based on the ambient light.


I updated week 45 with a screenshot of the Home app for macOS to highlight the lack of triggers available from Philips sensors, despite them being able to report on lux and temperature. Not sure if that's down to Apple or Philips, but having these available would make automations just that little bit more powerful.

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Quick links and commentary on interesting articles, videos and more throughout the week.

  1. 48.1 – Monday
    1. Everything Is Recorded mandala tee maharishistore.com
    2. Captive State trailer Focus Features on trailers.apple.com
  2. 48.2 – Tuesday
    1. White 2020 Tesla Roadster Rogerh24 on mobile.twitter.com
    2. Apple Watch Series 4 making of the fire, water and vapor faces coolhunting on youtube.com
    3. New logo and packaging for Carlsberg underconsideration.com
    4. New logos and identities for The FA's Women's leauges underconsideration.com
  3. 48.3 – Wednesday
    1. One World Trade Center: From cornerstone to skyscraper theatlantic.com
    2. Yohann MacBook Stand blessthisstuff.com
    3. Withings Steel HR Sport withings.com
    4. Black hole 101 National Geographic on youtube.com
    5. Another One's Hot In Herre theawesomer.com
    6. Ferrari SP1 and SP2 Monza cars coolmaterial.com
    7. Shoreline maps of the World kottke.org
    8. Making cookie cutters theawesomer.com
  4. 48.4 – Thursday
    1. Museum of the Moon Cinematica Media on youtube.com
    2. House of Cards teaser trailer Netflix on youtube.com
    3. An oral history of Apple's Infinite Loop wired.com
  5. 48.5 – Friday
    1. How to build a low-tech website solar.lowtechmagazine.com
    2. When you fuck up washing a spoon rses_ on twitter.com
  6. 48.6 – Saturday
    1. Fresh Guacamole PESfilm on youtube.com
  7. 48.7 – Sunday
    1. $1 Sushi vs $133 Sushi BuzzFeedVideo on youtube.com

Jump to notable items for Week #47, Week #49 , view the notable archive or my favourites.

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