Philips Hue is one of the best smart lighting options on the planet, and Google Assistant is hiding inside some of the best smart speakers money can buy. Combining these two can make for some of the best smart home tech you can install in your home.
It’s a match made in heaven, but setting up smart home gear with your Google Assistant toting speaker can sometimes be a little difficult.
Below TechRadar's James Peckham talks you through the exact process of how to set up your Philips Hue lights with your Google Assistant speaker as well as explaining how you can start controlling your lights with your voice.
What is Philips Hue and how does it work?
To start with, you need to know exactly what Philips Hue is. It’s a system for smart lighting that is included across a huge variety of products including bulbs you screw into your light sockets at home – much like a normal bulb – strip lighting, standalone lamps and more.
All of these lights can be controlled through an app on your iPhone or Android device, and they can also be controlled by the three main voice assistants hiding inside some of the best smart speakers. That’s Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa and – of course – Google Assistant.
Find out how to use Philips Hue with Amazon Alexa.
The whole range of Philips Hue products can all be installed together, and you can pick and choose the best products for you to add to your lighting collection. The one gadget you’ll have to have to get started is something called the Philips Hue Bridge.
This works as the central hub for the Philips Hue products, and it will be the core part of the system you’ll need to connect your other light up to. You can either buy this separately or you can just get the Philips Hue Starter Kit that has a Bridge included.
Before you start buying kit, you’ll want to take a look at the whole range from Philips and ensure you’re buying the right lighting for you. Just remember you can have as much or as little as you need for your home, and you can always add to it in the future.
How to set up Philips Hue with Google Assistant
The next step is to set up your lights with Google Assistant. You’ll be able to do this if your speaker comes with Google’s voice assistant on board, and that’s ready to roll inside the Google Home range as well as a variety of other third-party products from the likes of Sonos, JBL, Sony, LG and many other manufacturers.
To do this, you’ll need your smartphone that you’ve got paired to your Google Assistant speaker. Here you’ll have the Google Home app up and running already from when you set up the speaker, and you’ll want to start up that app now.
If you press on the three horizontal lines in the top left corner you’ll find an option called Home Control. Press on this and it’ll show all of your active smart devices, and you can add new ones by pressing the plus symbol in the bottom right hand corner.
Scroll down in this menu to find Philips Hue, and press on that where you’ll be taken to a new menu that asks for your details of your Philips Hue account. Enter those details to sign in and it will sync across all of your Hue devices that are set up already.
From here, you can set up nicknames for each of your devices. If you have a night light in your child’s bedroom, for example, you can call it 'night light' and Google Assistant will then know the specific light you’re referring to when you say those words to your speaker.
If you’ve got more than one Philips Hue light, you’ll want to setup what Google calls Rooms. In the Home Control section of the app you’ll find the ability to create Rooms and then add devices in that are installed in that area of your home.
For example, if you have three sets of Philips Hue devices in your living room you can include all of these under a title of 'living room'. This allows you to say 'OK Google, turn on my living room lights' and stops you having to ask your speaker to turn on all three lights separately.
This is perhaps the easiest way to control your lighting with Google Assistant, and we recommend doing this as soon as you set it up to ensure you get the best experience from Philips Hue.
When you’ve assigned all of your lights to your respective rooms, you’ll have to tap done and you’ll see a message that says you’re all ready to go. Now it’s time for the fun bit… actually controlling your lights.
How to use Philips Hue with Google Assistant
It really is as easy as speaking to your smart speaker. The best way to control your lights is to say 'OK Google' and then the instruction followed by what room it is you’re changing the lighting in. If you’ve not set up individual rooms, you’ll have to say whatever nickname you’ve set for your light or its full name that is shown in the Google Home app.
You can ask Google Assistant to turn on your lights, change the colour of the lights, change the brightness and much more. If you’ve got Philips Hue colour bulbs, you’ll be able to ask it to choose from a variety of pre-set colours, or you can set up your own favourite shades within the app.
Most of the more in-depth features – like setting up timers for when your lights will automatically turn on, – will have to be done through the Google Home app.
Everyday controls are easiest through your Google Assistant toting speaker though, and now you’ve got your lights all setup we recommend experimenting with how you speak to it.
We recommend trying out a variety of different instructions within one sentence, and usually Google Assistant will be able to handle this. Maybe try 'OK Google, turn on my lights in the colour blue'.
There are thousands of different ways to speak to Assistant to control Hue, and you can’t really go wrong here so be sure to experiment.