Alexa gets her hair done with help of her Philips Hue Bloom before going shopping.

Let’s set up Alexa to talk to your Philips Hue smart lighting. You will be surprised, how simple and effective Alexa supports your Philips Hue lights by importing your rooms and scenes, as well as letting you regroup your lights later on.

Preparation

Philips Hue app scene setup
Philips Hue app scene setup

Before going into the Alexa app, we need to make sure, that our scenes are set up on the Philips Hue side in the way we want to use them. Opposite to Siri, where we need to create all HomeKit scenes explicitly, all Philips Hue scenes from our rooms will be synchronized over to Alexa automatically.

Since there are currently 12 predefined scenes from Philips, expect to find at least – 12 x number of rooms – scenes in Alexa plus your own scenes on top of this.

We should remove all scenes which we won’t use for a better overview.

Setting up Alexa for Philips Hue

Now we are good to go:

Alexa App - Devices

  • Open the Alexa app and navigate to the Smart Home section.
  • Search within the Smart Home skills for “Hue” and enable it.
  • Since this Skill requires account linking, you will need to log in with your Philips Hue account.
  • A message will indicate that “Alexa has been successfully linked with Hue”
  • Alexa will switch into discovery mode, quickly press the button on your Hue bridge during the discovery phase.
  • Alexa will get back with all your lights and rooms mixed in the devices section.
  • The scene section contains all your scenes with the syntax “Scene” in “Room”, eg “Read in Couch”.

 

Regrouping Rooms

Alexa - Smart Home - Groups
Alexa – Smart Home – Groups

There was a recent update for the Alexa app, which enables us to regroup our room segments into larger rooms in two ways:

Smart Home Groups

Alexa app smart home groups
Alexa app Smart Home Group – Detailed

With the help of Alexa Smart Home Groups we can combine our room segments into the larger rooms, eg create a group “Living room relax” and tick all the “Relax in …” scenes which should be part of this larger group (Chrome search highlighting on a desktop comes handy to spot the scenes in the list).

  • Alexa turn on/off Living room relax

We can also add all the rooms into a “Living room lights” group to be able to turn them on/off.

  • Alexa turn off Living room lights

Another benefit of Smart Home Groups is the option to assign an Echo to a room. This way we can say “turn the lights off” and omit the room, since Alexa knows in which room are. Smart.

Alexa Routines

Alexa App Routines
Alexa app – Routines, Detailed

With the new “Routines” feature we have a powerful way to combine many Smart Home Devices and Scenes, together with news, traffic and weather information, into one voice command.

The benefit of routines is that we can define our own voice command for the routine and are not bound to a group name, like in the example above.

Alexa, Relax Livingroom

Voice Commands

Just a quick note:

  • <…> … fill in your <ROOMNAME>, <LIGHTNAME>, etc.
  • / … Our assistant understands various phrases for the same command. This means either/or, just pick one.
  • ( ) … This part of the command is optional. If you prefer short, snappy voice commands, you can omit this part of the command.

Voice Commands for turning Philips Hue lights ON / OFF

  • All lights off
  • Turn on office
  • Switch the office desk lamp off

Alexa, switch / change / make / set / turn / activate (on/off)
[all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s)) (on/off)

Voice Commands for Setting Philips Hue Scenes

  • Turn on Read on Couch
  • Activate Energize in Kitchen

Alexa, switch / turn / activate on <SCENENAME> in/on (the) <ROOMNAME>

Alexa, switch / change / make / set / turn / activate <SCENENAME> in/on (the) <ROOMNAME> on

Voice Commands for setting the Philips Hue Brightness

  • Dim all lights
  • Set Office 20
  • Brighten office desk in office by 50 percent

Alexa, switch / change / make / set / turn / activate / deactivate ((the) brightness of)
[all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s))
(brightness) (to) x (percent)

Alexa, dim (down) / brighten (up) ((the) brightness)
[all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s))
(brightness) (by x (percent))

Voice Commands for setting Philips Hue Colors

  • Set bedroom red
  • Turn Iris blue

Alexa, make / change / set / turn
[(the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s))
(to (the color)) <COLORNAME>

Note: Only basic colors are supported

Voice Commands for setting Philips Hue Color Temperature

  • Make the couch warmer
  • Set office cooler

Alexa, make / change / set / turn
[all, (the) <LIGHTNAME> / (the) <ROOMNAME>] (light(s)) / (lamp(s))
warm(er) / cool(er)

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

Conclusion

Alexa imports all Philips Hue room and scenes automatically. She has her very own unusual style when naming scenes, e.g. “Read in Table”. She is picky in regard to voice commands.

Alexa allows us, to regroup smart home devices and scenes within Alexa smart home groups and via Routines. We can change the color temperature with “warmer/cooler”.

Apart of the basic color support, it turns out, that Alexa handles your Philips Hue lights in a very flexible way and imports many settings from the Philips Hue app, thus saving you a lot of configuration time.

You can find more Alexa posts here: Amazon Alexa.

For a comparison with Siri and Google Home, please see: Assistant Showdown with Philips Hue: Who will win? Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.

If you are interested in smart ideas for your smart lighting, check out:

If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with Philips Hue and Alexa, please leave your comment below.

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