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How to control your Philips Hue lights with the Google Home app

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Set the vibes with your voice

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If you’ve equipped your home with Philips Hue color-changing lights and a Google Home smart speaker (or some other Assistant-equipped device), then you know that it’s possible to control the color of your lights from the Home app. Google added the feature to the Home app just last month.

Unfortunately, the current version of the app only allows you to set a single color for all of the bulbs in the room, or one color for each light at a time. This isn’t as versatile as the official Philips Hue app, which lets you create “scenes” of lights that blend together using multiple colors.

That being said, it’s a lot more convenient — and fun — to be able to control your Hue lights via your Google Home app rather than having to switch to the dedicated Hue app. Here’s how to do it.

Before you begin, your Philips Hue lights and bridge should be functional and paired to your Google Home app. If you haven’t already, here’s a video from Philips on how to connect your Hue lights to Google Assistant.

Change the color of all lights in the room

  • First, open your Google Home app. If your Hue lights are connected to your Google Assistant-equipped device, you’ll see a small light bulb icon. Tap it, and select the room you’d like to control. (In my Home app, the room with multiple Hue connected lights is called “Stef’s Room.”) Once you arrive at the room’s control screen, you can control specific lights or all of the lights in a variety of ways.
  • To change the color of all of the lights in the room, tap “Color,” and then select one of the available 42 hues from the menu. Your lights should change color shortly.

Change the color of specific lights in the room

  • If you want to set different colors for specific lights in a room, go to the room control screen and tap the “[Number] lights” button. (In my test room’s case, I just did two lights.)
  • You’ll see a menu slide up that has each light listed. Tap on the name of that light.
  • At the next control screen, select “Color,” and set the light to the color of your choice.

Do the same thing using your voice

Of course, the fun part of using a Google Home device is using your voice rather than an app. So once you’re all set up, try it. For example, you can say, “Hey, Google. Turn on the lights and set them to red.”

You can also set colors for specific lights using your voice. For this one, you’ll need to know the names of each light. In my test case, I used the default names “Hue color lamp 1” and “Hue color lamp 2,” so the spoken command was pretty straightforward: “Hey, Google. Turn on Hue color lamp 1 and set it to red.”

If you’re looking for more than just color control using your voice, here’s the full list of supported Philips Hue / Google Home commands.

Congratulations! Now you know how to control your Philips Hue lights using your Google Assistant app or by talking to your Google Home device. With any luck, one day soon, you’ll be able to do even more.

Photography by Stefan Etienne / The Verge