1 Thing A Week week 48.0

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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.

Updates

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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