Phillips Hue Lights

Over tphe last couple of weeks I've bought a Phillips Hue starter kit with 2 Lux (white only) light bulbs and one Hue (multiple color) light bulb. I am having all sorts of fun playing with the lights and programming them using IFTTT.

I can create recipes to change the Hue lightbulb color, but I have found that "change" is not literal, by this I mean that if the bulb is turned off and the recipe triggers, the light turns on to the color you select. To me, "change" means change the color if the light is on, but if it is off, don't do anything.

Basically, what I want is for the light in my home office to only operate when I am actually in the office, but if I am not there, such as in the middle of the night or on the weekends, then I don't want the light turning on. I can narrow a recipe down to a specific day and time of the week, to rule out the lights going on during the weekends, but there is nothing I can do right now about if I am not in my home office during the week.

Here is an example, there is a IFTTT recipe to change the Hue lightbulb color to blue if it is raining outside. Being that my home office is in the basement where there are no windows, I think this would be a handy recipe to use. However, since "turning lightbulb blue" means "if the lightbulb is off, turn it on and set it to blue" the recipe will turn on the light, and keep it on, even if I am not in my home office.

The problem I am running in to is that while IFTTT is very handy, it is pretty simple because doesn't support conditionals. What I want is something like "IF its raining outside AND its between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday thru Friday THEN turn the lightbulb blue." Even if I had a proximity sensor that could detect my presence in the room, without a conditional item that keeps the light from turning on, I am out of luck.

One thing I could do is physically turn the light off, but that defeats the purpose of having a wireless "smart" light.

Beside my conditional control issue, I am thinking about how I can use a Lux light in my bedroom. I like the idea of having a bedroom light automatically turn on every evening at sunset, or at some set time. The issue is turning the light off if my wife goes to bed before me because she will want to run the light off. I either install the Hue app on her phone and show her how to turn off the light (and I could create a widget) or tell her to physically turn the light off, but then I would have to remember to turn it on each morning in order for the "automatic on" to work.

I could buy a Hue Tap, but $80-$60 for a physical switch is awfully expensive. I think I read an article saying that Phillips was going to be selling a lower cost physical switch which I could wait for.

Last built: Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 3:26 PM

By Frank McPherson, Friday, June 19, 2015 at 3:38 PM. All baking done on premises.