Alexa and Philips Hue: Setup, Voice Commands and New Tips and Tricks!

In this post, we will teach Alexa to talk to your Philips Hue lights. We will cover a quick basic setup, as well as additional Alexa features to get the most out of your Philips Hue setup.

You will find all the voice commands and many alternatives to control your lights just by voice! And we’ve also added the Philips Hue Zones (beta) feature, which works now nicely with Alexa and added some brand new Alexa smart light tips and tricks.

If you have not already set up and configured your Philips Hue lights in the Philips Hue app, please check out our updated post here: Philips Hue – A Smarter Setup for Your Smart Lights.

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Prepare your Philips Hue Setup for Alexa

There are two very different ways to link your Philips Hue lights to Alexa.

  1. If you do not care about importing your scenes or rooms from your Philips Hue app, you can just say “Alexa, discover devices” and then press the button on the Philips Hue bridge you’d like to connect.
  2. Since we are looking here to get the most out of our setup, we will install the Philips Hue Skill to additionally import the rooms and scenes from our Philips Hue setup.

Pro-Tip: The Philips Hue skill only supports linking to one Philips Hue bridge. You could use the first method to add your additional Philips Hue bridges (without rooms and scenes) and later group them with the method described in the pro setup.

Create your “My Hue” Account

Before we can connect Alexa to Philips Hue, we need a “My Hue” account. This account will enable the communication between Alexa and your Philips Hue lights. In case you have not already, open your Philips Hue app and tap on Settings / “Out of home control” and then “Log in”. You can create your account there.

Clean up your Philips Hue Scenes

All the scenes in your Philips Hue app will be imported into Alexa. So, before connecting the two, it makes sense to review all your scenes and delete the ones you will not use.

Please note, also your Philips Hue Zone scenes will be imported into Alexa!

Screenshot of Philips Hue App - Default Scenes of a Color Bulb
Philips Hue App – The Default Scenes of a Room with Color Bulbs – Delete what you don’t need!

Pro-Tip: there are currently up to 12 predefined scenes from Philips (the number depends on the type of bulbs you are using; the “Colorloop” scene is not displayed in the app but always imported to Alexa), expect to find at least – 12 x number of rooms – scenes in Alexa plus your own scenes on top of this. 

Enable the Philips Hue Skill

  • Open the Alexa app and navigate to the “Devices” section at the bottom right.
  • Tap on “Your Smart Home Skills” (additionally tap on “Enable Smart Home Skills” if this is your first skill).
  • Search within the Smart Home skills for “Hue”, select it and tap on “Enable to use”.
Screenshot of Alexa App - Linking to Philips Hue - Enable the Hue Skill
Alexa App – Linking to Philips Hue – Enable the Hue Skill
  • Since this Skill requires account linking, you will now need to log in with your Philips “My Hue” account.
  • On the “Grant permission” page click “Yes” to link the account.
  • A message will indicate that “Hue has been successfully linked”
  • Close the page by tapping “Done” at the top left.

Let Alexa Discover your Smart Home Devices

  • Alexa will now switch to discovery mode, tap on “Discover devices” at the bottom right.
  • After a minute, the Alexa app will display how many devices and scenes were found. Alexa will suggest to group your devices one by one. This is a tedious process which we will cover in the extended setup below in a more efficient way. You can exit now by tapping on e.g. “Devices” at the bottom of the Alexa app.
  • At the top of your “Devices” page, you will see additional Devices “Lights” and “Scenes”. When you tap on “Lights” you will find all your lights, rooms and zones, and when you tap “Scenes” all your Philips Hue scenes.

Basic Voice Commands

Without further ado, we are able to talk to our Philips Hue lights now!

Voice Commands for turning the Philips Hue lights On/Off

  • Alexa, lights
  • Alexa, turn the lights on
  • Alexa, lights off
  • Alexa, turn on office
  • Alexa, turn off downstairs
  • Alexa, switch the office desk lamp off
  • Alexa, turn <lightname>/<roomname>/<zonename> on/off 

Pro-Tip: There are many alternatives we can say. Just pick the commands which work best for you: 
Alexa, switch / change / make / set / turn / activate (on/off)
[all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME> / (the) <ZONENAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s)) (on/off)

Voice Commands for setting the Philips Hue Scenes

  • Alexa, turn on Read in Couch
  • Alexa, activate Energize in Kitchen
  • Alexa, activate Concentrate Downstairs
  • Alexa, activate <scenename> in <roomname>/<zonename>

Pro-Tip: You could also try one of the alternatives
Alexa, switch / turn / activate on <SCENENAME> in/on (the) <ROOMNAME> / (the) <ZONENAME>
Alexa, switch / change / make / set / turn / activate <SCENENAME> in/on (the) <ROOMNAME> / (the) <ZONENAME> on

Another Pro-Tip: If you are using Philips Hue Lab Formulas, you can activate some of them with the Alexa Scene commands above.

Voice Commands for setting the Philips Hue Brightness

  • Alexa, dim all lights
  • Alexa, set office 20
  • Alexa, brighten office desk in office by 50 percent
  • Alexa, set downstairs to 50 percent
  • Alexa, dim/brighten <lightname>/<roomname>/<zonename> (by x percent)
  • Alexa, set <lightname>/<roomname>/<zonename> to x (percent)

Pro-Tip: Again, we can choose from many alternatives. Try, what works best for you:
Alexa, switch / change / make / set / turn / activate / deactivate ((the) brightness of) [all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] / (the) <ZONENAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s))
(brightness) (to) x (percent)
Alexa, dim (down) / brighten (up) ((the) brightness)
[all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] / (the) <ZONENAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s))
(brightness) (by x (percent))

Voice Commands for setting Philips Hue Colors

  • Alexa, set bedroom red
  • Alexa, turn Iris blue
  • Alexa, set ceiling sky blue
  • Alexa, set <lightname>/<roomname> <color>

Pro-Tip: you can also try following alternatives
Alexa, make / change / set / turn
[(the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] (light(s)) / / (the) <ZONENAME>] (lamp(s))
(to (the color)) <COLORNAME>

Alexa’s Colors

  • Red,
  • Crimson,
  • Salmon,
  • Orange
  • Gold
  • Yellow,
  • Green
  • Turquoise
  • Cyan;
  • Sky blue
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Magenta
  • Pink.
  • Lavender

Voice Commands for setting the Philips Hue Color Temperature

  • Alexa, make the couch warmer
  • Alexa, set office cooler
  • Alexa, make the ceiling warmer
  • Alexa, make the <lightname>/<roomname> warmer/cooler

Pro-Tip: these alternatives will also work
Alexa, make / change / set / turn
[all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] / (the) <ZONENAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s))
warm(er) / cool(er)

Note: This works only when (one of) your lights are set to a shade of white

Alexa’s Shades of White

  • Warm white,
  • soft white,
  • white,
  • daylight white,
  • cool white.

Should I create Alexa Groups and/or Alexa Routines and what for?

Let’s look at the different use-cases you might have:

  1. If you have Philips Hue lights in just one room you can skip Alexa Groups.
  2. If you control some regular lights with smart plugs and/or have other smart lights, maybe from other manufacturers (e.g. Nanoleaf), which you already control with Alexa, definitely have a look at Alexa Groups to synchronize Philips Hue with your current setup.
  3. If you have multiple Amazon Echos and smart lights spread throughout the rooms in your home, definitely have a look at Alexa Groups. You’ll be able to use the short voice commands “lights on/off” in those rooms, etc. as well as “Turn on <group name>” commands from everywhere.
  4. Also have a look at Alexa Groups, if you would like to have overlapping groups, for instance, control multiple lights of different areas of your living room (as groups), but also your living room altogether (as a group), including scenes. Please note, if you’re using only Philips Hue lights, you can now create Philips Hue Zones instead!
  5. Have a look at Alexa Groups, if you’d like to control your rooms from a screen device, like your Alexa app or an Echo Show.
  6. If you would like to set your Philips Hue scenes together with playing your favorite music playlists/stations from Alexa, have a look at Alexa Routines.
  7. If you want to schedule your light scenes with Alexa, have a look at Alexa Routines.
  8. If you want to use the brand new wake-up and sleep timers with light to control more than one light, have a look at Alexa Groups.
  9. If you’d like to gradually change the brightness of your lights over a period of time in Alexa Routines, please check out the Alexa Routines.

What are Alexa Groups?

Screenshot of Alexa App - Devices view
Alexa App – Devices view with some Groups
  • You can create Alexa Groups to represent your rooms (but also scenes, which we will explore later).
  • An Alexa Group can contain multiple smart home devices. A smart home device can be added to multiple Alexa Groups.
    Note, one Amazon Echo device can only be added to one Alexa Group.
  • One command: “Alexa, turn on <group name>” will activate all the devices in the group.
  • If your Amazon Echo is physically located in a room with smart lights, you can create a corresponding Alexa Group and add your Echo to it. Alexa will switch only the lights in this room/group, when you say: “Alexa, lights on/off” or “Alexa, dim the lights”. This works with every Alexa Group if you have an Echo and smart lights added.

Pro Tip: do not add scenes to the groups where your devices are in! Not only, that this does not help with any voice commands (you cannot have a short command “Relax” scene for your bedroom and a “Relax” scene for your living room, Alexa cannot handle this) but all added scenes would also be activated (quickly after each other) when you turn on the group by using its name, e.g. “Alexa, turn on living room”.

What are Alexa Routines?

Here’s Alexa explaining her routines, from our post: Alexa Routines: How to Automate your Life with your Amazon Echo.

Screenshot of Alexa App - Routines
Alexa App – Routines – a voice controlled and two scheduled routines
  • Alexa Routines can be activated by
    • your custom voice command,
    • schedule,
    • your location,
    • an Echo Button,
    • when deactivating an alarm,
    • or a restricted set of devices/sensors) Please note, although your Hue Motion sensors will appear here, they currently can’t activate routines!
  • One command: “Alexa, <routine name>” will perform all the actions defined in an Alexa Routine.
  • An Alexa Routine can perform multiple actions at once.
  • Actions can include controlling your smart home devices, smart home groups and/or smart home scenes. Actions could also play your music, and give you calendar, news, weather or traffic information and more.

Basic Setup of Alexa Groups and Routines

Adding your Philips Hue lights to one Alexa Group

Let’s start with the basic example of adding some of our Philips Hue lights to one Alexa Group.

Screenshot of Alexa App - Group Office
Alexa App – Group Office with some smart lights and Nanoleaf Muks
  • Go to the devices (bottom right) view in your Alexa app.
  • If you’ve already created a group, select it and click “Edit” at the top right, otherwise click on the “+” at the top right and
    • select “Add Group”
    • Name the group (we’re taking “Office” here)
    • tap the “Next” button
  • Select all the devices which should be part of this group, this includes
    • Your Amazon Echo Device (it must not be part of any other group)
    • Your Philips Hue lights
    • Your other smart lights (Nanoleaf Aurora in this case)
    • Any smart plugs which control your lighting or other devices
    • Any other smart home devices
    • Do not select any Philips Hue scenes here!

Group Voice Commands

You can now enter your office, and say

  • Alexa, lights on/off
  • Alexa, dim/brighten the lights
  • Alexa, set the lights (to) <color>

and all your devices including your Philips Hue lights in this group will play along. Additionally, you can command from any other Echo device in your setup:

  • Alexa, (turn the) <office> on/off
  • Alexa, dim/brighten the <office> lights (to x percent)
  • Alexa, set the <office> lights (to) <color>

If you’re interested in synchronizing scenes, please check out the Pro Setup example.

Add some Music with Alexa Routines

We’re in the office and we would like to … concentrate. You could think of less boring examples, like a romantic candlelight dinner, or your morning news briefing and traffic update while sipping your coffee, realizing you’re going to be too late for a meeting.

Creating an Alexa Routine is nowadays as easy as saying:

  • Alexa, when I say “Office concentrate” turn on concentrate in office

Alexa will come back with “Great, I created your routine. When you say “office concentrate”, then I will turn on concentrate in office. Change it anytime in the Alexa app.”

Now, when we open the Alexa app, and select “Routines” from the menu, we will find our Alexa routine “Office concentrate”. We can edit the routine by tapping on it and adding actions.

Or, in case she didn’t get our request, we can simply create the Routine in the Alexa app.

Screenshot of Alexa App - Office Concentrate Routine
Alexa App – Office Concentrate Routine – Deep Serious
  • Select routines from the Alexa app menu (top left)
  • Tap on the “+” top right
  • Tap on “when this happens”
  • Select “Voice” and add your custom command (here “Office Concentrate”), tap “SAVE”
  • Select “Add Action”, tap “Smart Home”, “control scene” and select
    • your favorite Philips Hue scene for concentration, here “Concentrate in Office”, tap “Add”
    • Add other smart lighting scenes, like “Muks Concentrate” (this is our Nanoleaf Aurora scene), tap “Add”
    • Additionally, adapt the settings of your smart home devices by tapping “Add Action”, tap “Smart Home”, “control device” to the state which fits for concentration.
  • Select “Add Action”, tap “Music” and
    • enter your favorite playlist, album or station, “deep focus” in this case
    • select the provider, “Spotify” in this example, tap “Next”

We are ready! We just need to say:

  • Alexa, office concentrate

and all our Philips Hue lights in the office (including our other smart devices) will switch to our preferred setting. Additionally, our Echo will play our preferred music.

Pro Setup of Alexa Groups and Routines

Alexa Groups within Alexa Groups, also Controlling Scenes

Screenshot of Alexa App - Living Room Group
Alexa App – Living Room Group – just too many lights

Please note, if you only have Philips Hue lights, you can create Philips Hue Zones in the Philips Hue app to achieve the same functionality. Your Philips Hue Zones will be imported as “lights” and “scenes”.
If you want to synchronize the lights from multiple manufacturers, this chapter will be helpful.

In this example, we have (too) many lights in the living room, so we’ve grouped them into different areas: “Couch”, where we usually watch TV. “Table”, where we usually eat, “Shelf”, which is a monstrous bookshelf where we like to read, and “Kitchen”, which is an open kitchen and hence part of the living room. All these areas are rooms in the Philips Hue app.

With the basic setup, we can control and set different scenes for every area, like read at the table and relax at the couch as well as concentrate in the kitchen and so on.

However, since we see all the lights all of the time, we would like to have overall control for the areas and want to be able to set all of them to a specific scene e.g. living room relax. Our Philips Hue lights should react in this example to “couch”, “table”, “shelf” and “kitchen” commands as well as “living room” commands.

Here’s what we’ll need:

Screenshot of Alexa App - Living Room Relax Group
Alexa App – Living Room Relax Group – Relaxing the whole living room
  • If you only have Philips Hue lights, it’s enough to create a Philips Hue Zone “Living Room” in your Philips Hue app. Your Philips Hue Zones are imported as “lights” and “scenes” and you can control them, as you would control any room.
  • However, if you’re mixing smart lights from different manufacturers, create an Alexa Group for your living room areas, here: Kitchen, Table, Couch and Shelf and add all the Amazon Echo devices and smart lights to the appropriate groups.
  • Then, create an Alexa Group for the living room: add all areas, e.g. Kitchen, Table, Couch and Shelf smart lights to this group (and the Amazon Echo devices which control your living room, the ones which should react to “lights on”, when you’re in the living room).
  • Finally, for every scene in your “living room”: create a group and select the appropriate scenes. Here we have “living room relax” combining all the relax scenes from all the living room areas.

Congratulations! You have just created the following commands:

  • Alexa, (turn the) lights on/off will control all your living room lights (or e.g. your kitchen lights if you command an Echo device in your kitchen area and you’ve added it there).
  • Alexa, (turn the) <table/kitchen/shelf/couch/…> lights on/off will control the lights in the respective living room area from any Amazon Echo device.
  • Alexa, dim/brighten the lights will control all your living room lights.
  • Alexa, dim/brighten (the) <table/kitchen/shelf/couch/…> lights will control the lights in the respective living room area
  • Alexa, turn on living room <scene> will set the scene for the living room
  • Alexa, turn on <scene> in <kitchen/shelf/couch/…> will control the lights in the respective living room areas.

Pro Setup Bonus for Groups

Now, that we’ve made it through this complex example, here are some simpler group ideas:

  • Create a group “everything” and add all the devices you like to turn off when you say “Alexa, turn everything off”
  • If you have a downstairs and upstairs, create groups to be able to control your lights in these areas. “Alexa, turn off upstairs”. 
    Please note, if you only use Philips Hue lights, you might prefer to create Philips Hue Zones in the Philips Hue app!

Scheduling your lights with Alexa Routines

Screenshot of Alexa App - 6pm Scheduled Routine
Alexa App – 6pm Scheduled Routine – Time to Relax in the living room

We’ve already created an Alexa Routine to set a Philips Hue scene and play some music with just one voice command, but we can also schedule our Alexa Routines. Let’s have the “Relax” scene scheduled at 6:00 pm and the “Nightlight” scene activated at 9 pm every weekday.

With a brand new feature we can now even gradually change the brightness of our lights over a set duration. When adding a smart home action, select “lights” and then your light, room or zone. Select “Brightness” and tap the slider to set the desired brightness. Tap on “Ramp brightness” and set the ramp time for the lights to brighten or dim.
Please note, the brightness will go from the current state to the state set and will accordingly brighten or dim your lights over the period of time.

Alexa Ramp Brightness
Gradually changing the brightness in an Alexa Routine!

This is a great feature for wake-up and preparing for bed Alexa Routines! In our case it will set the scene office relax and dim the lights gradually over the next 30 minutes. I can already feel the melatonin kicking in and making me sleepy, so I need to hurry up with this post update. =)

Alarms and Sleep Timers with Lights

We had to wait for quite some time but finally, here they are! Alexa Alarms, which sunrise-like gradually brighten our Philips Hue lights in the morning and Alexa Sleep Timers which (should) gradually dim our Philips Hue lights and turn off our music or sleep sounds.

To set an alarm with light we can say:

  • Alexa, set a light alarm for <time> with my <light>
  • Alexa, set a (daily) light alarm for <time> with my <group name> lights

If we have grouped our Echo device with our smart lights into an Alexa Group, we just need to say:

  • Alexa, set a light alarm
  • Alexa, set an alarm with lights
  • Alexa, set an alarm for <time> with lights.
Alexa Alarm with Wake Up Light
Alexa Alarm with Wake Up Light slowly fading in to help us wake up

Alexa should confirm that she has created an alarm “with lights”. You will find a little sun next to your alarm in the Alexa app and “Wake-up Light Enabled” when you tap on the alarm.

We can also set a sleep timer with lights:

  • Alexa, set a sleep timer with lights
  • Alexa, set a 30 minutes sleep timer with lights

Please note, in our case, this currently just turns off our dimmable Philips Hue lights, rather than slowly dimming them.

What if I add some Lights or Scenes?

If you’ve changed or added a Philips Hue scene or added a light, and want Alexa to notice these changes, you can just say:

  • Alexa, discover scenes/devices

If you have removed a light or scene, you’ll need to

  1. memorize which lights/scenes you’ve deleted
  2. manually delete them from the Alexa app: under Devices/Scenes or Devices/Lights, tap on the item and then delete (at the top right).

Pro Tip: Alexa’s web interface at, provides insight into which Philips Hue scenes or devices are ‘offline’. This will help to figure out, what you have deleted. It also provides a ‘forget all’ button for all scenes. But be careful, as this deletes all smart home groups you have created!  


Alexa imports all Philips Hue lights, rooms, zones and scenes from our Hue setup. Additionally to scenes, brightness and color control, also color temperature can be set. Alexa has her very own style when naming scenes, e.g. “Read in Table” and is also a bit picky in regard to voice commands.

What we’re missing is broader sensor support from Alexa to automate our smart lights e.g. based on Philips Hue motion sensors. Let’s hope that the presence of our Hue Motion sensors in the Alexa app indicates that this update will come soon.

Alexa supports sunrise/sunset schedules in Alexa Routines. We can now automate additional smart home devices along with Philips Hue through Alexa and don’t need to create sunrise/sunset schedules in the Philips Hue app. In combination with the new “ramp time” for brightness in Alexa Routines we can now create natural light transitions over time, which can help us to wake up and prepare for bed.

We can finally set alarms and sleep timers with our Philips Hue lights! Though sleep timers “with light” currently only turn off our dimmable lights, rather than gradually dimming them, we can expect that this little glitch should be fixed soon.

With Alexa Groups and Routines, Alexa provides us great features, to further streamline automation and voice control of our Philips Hue lights, also in combination with our other smart home devices.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post and it helps you to get the most out of your Philips Hue with Alexa setup! If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with Philips Hue and Alexa, please leave a comment in the section below.

Happy Hue with Alexa!

P.S. You can find more Alexa posts here: Amazon Alexa.

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8 thoughts on “Alexa and Philips Hue: Setup, Voice Commands and New Tips and Tricks!”

  1. Hey there! This is super helpful!

    My house has several Alexa-enabled devices – hue bulbs, tp-link outlets, Sonos speakers, xbox, etc. Things work fairly well although we run into issues with naming devices across systems. For example, if we I have a Hue zone or bulb with “Living Room” in the name and then also a create a Living Room group in Alexa, then Alexa doesn’t quite respond how we would like. Or if I create an outlet named “Television” then sometimes Alexa gets confused with the TV input on the xbox.

    Any suggestions on naming conventions or best practices to help with this?

  2. Many, many updates:
    – Philips Hue Zones are now fully supported
    – Simple Routines can be created with voice commands
    – Wake-up and sleep timer with lights
    – Routines can gradually change the light brightness
    – Added product links
    Updated post date.

  3. Here are some German Alexa / Philips Hue commands:

    – Mach alle Lampen aus
    – Schalte die Lampen im Office an
    – Mach die Schreibtischlampe aus
    – Stell die Schreitischlampe im Office an
    – Alexa, schalt(e) / setz(e) / stell(e) / mach(e) alle (Hue-) Leuchten / Lampen / Lichter
    – Alexa, schalt(e) / setz(e) / stell(e) / mach(e) (die/das) Lampe(n) / Licht(er) ((in/im/auf/am) [RAUMNAME])
    – Alexa, schalt(e) / setz(e) / stell(e) / mach(e) [LAMPENNAME] 
- Alexa, (die/das) [LAMPENNAME] / (in/im/auf/am) [RAUMNAME] an/ein/aus/ab – schalten/machen/stellen / aktivieren/deaktivieren.)

    – Entspannen in Office
    – Aktiviere Lesen in Office
    – Alexa, ( aktivier(e) / schalt(e) / setz(e) / stell(e) / mach(e) ) [LICHTSZENE in RAUMNAME] (an/ein/aus/ab).
- Alexa, [LICHTSZENE in RAUMNAME] an/ein/aus/ab – schalten/machen/stellen / aktivieren.
    Hinweis: Es kommt oft ein “OK” und nichts passiert. “Aktiviere” ist mEn der stabilste Befehl

    – Alle Lampen 100
    – Dimm alle Lampen um 50%
    – Stell die Helligkeit aller Lampen auf 100%
    – Dimm die Schreibtischlampe um 20%
    – Mach die Schreibtischlampe im Office noch heller
    – Alexa, ( dimm / stell(e) / mach(e) ) alle (Hue-) Leuchten / Lampen / Lichter
 (noch) dunkler / heller.
    – Alexa, ( änder(e) / dimm / schalt(e) / setz(e) / stell(e) / mach(e) ) (die Helligkeit) (die/das/der) ( Lampe(n)/Licht(er) ) (in/im/auf/am) [RAUMNAME] auf x (Prozent) / um x (Prozent) heller/dunkler.

    – Office grün
    – Ändere die Schreibtischlampe auf Weiss
    – Alexa, ( änder(e) / schalt(e) / setz(e) / stell(e) / mach(e) ) alle (Hue-) Leuchten / Lampen / Lichter
 (zu/auf) [Farbe].
    – Alexa, ( änder(e) / schalt(e) / setz(e) / stell(e) / mach(e) ) (die/das) ( Lampe(n) / Licht(er) ) (in/im/auf/am) [RAUMNAME] (zu/auf) [FARBE].

    – Stell Office wärmer
    – Mach die Schreibtischlampe wärmer
    – Alexa, ( stell(e) / mach(e) ) [Raumname] / [Lampenname] )
 wärmer / kühler.
    Hinweis: funktioniert nur, wenn das Licht auf einen Weisston eingestellt ist!

    Have fun!


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