Sense has seen the light! Literally! Now you can integrate your Philips Hue smart bulbs with your Sense monitor. This has been in the works for a while and is just the start of some coming smart home integrations.
We see two key benefits here:
The Sense app will now recognize your Hue LED bulbs. These have been tough to detect in the past, but now via our integration with Hue, it’s simple. You can see when they turn on or off, their brightness, how much energy they’re using, and all of the historic data you’ve grown accustomed to with Sense
You can now also control your Hue bulbs from the Sense app, our first integration of this kind. This includes turning them on and off, as well as adjusting their brightness. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here and there are already a million other apps where you can control your Hue bulbs, but it’s a convenient inclusion. Checking in with Sense after you left for the day and see you left your bedroom lights on? No need to switch apps. Or set a custom notification to alert you if your lights have been on for too long.
Connecting and Controlling
Connecting to your Philips Hue bridge is easy. Just navigate to Settings > My Home > Connected Devices and select Philips Hue. You’ll need to be at home for this and near your Hue bridge to pair. In addition, your bridge needs to be on the same network and subnet as Sense.
After pairing, Sense will automatically add your Hue lights to your Devices list. This might take a few minutes. Sense will use the same groupings that you have set in the Philips Hue app. So, if those four ceiling fan lights in your living room are grouped as ‘Living Room’ in your Hue app, Sense will show a ‘Living Room Lights’ device that tracks all four bulbs together and controls them as a group.
You can control your Hue bulbs from a couple places in the app. On your Devices list, you’ll see a small button to the right of your Hue device. You can tap this button to turn the lights on or off or long-press it to access full light control with brightness. You can also access your full lighting controls from the Device Details page for that device. Finally, you can even long-press Hue device bubbles in the Now screen to go right to the full control page for that device.
This is just the beginning of integrations with two-way communications and control within Sense. Hue’s API was well documented and a great one to work with for our first foray into these types of integrations, but rest assured that this opens the doors to many others that we hope to be able to share with you soon. In the meantime, check out this blog post from our CEO, Mike Phillips, and help us out by completing this survey on smart home devices.
A couple caveats
We’re hoping to address all of these in due time, but:
- You can only connect Sense to one Hue bridge, so if you have multiple Hue bridges, unfortunately you’ll need to pick just one to connect to.
- Control functionality is not yet available in the Web app. You can still view your Hue devices and see their usage…
- Improved messaging with password resets and mistyped email addresses
As always, let us know what you think! We’re very excited about this release.