Philips Hue Labs: Living Scenes

Having expanded our living room setup by bestowing Philips Hue into a tower lamp, we were keen to find a way to enable some form of 'colour cycling'.  Thankfully, there's a very easy way to do this, and it comes right inside Hue Labs!

Following on from my previous article - Expanding our setup - I wanted to share something else we achieved in our Philips Hue setup.

With the tower lamp now using Philips Hue bulbs, my partner expressed an interest to enable some form of colour cycling. The tower lamp -thanks to it's design- lends itself nicely to this, but how to do it?

There are of course, plenty of third party apps around that could help here, but I was keen to explore whether there was a way to do this on the Hue Bridge itself, without needing an app.  Turns out, Philips have thought of this, and offer a formula in their 'Hue Labs' system known as 'Living Colours'.

As I explored in my article Discovering Philips Hue Labs, Formulas are modifications that can be applied to the default Philips Hue behaviour, extending the functionality, or modifying the default way Hue works.  The 'Living Scenes' feature, cycles the lights you choose, through the colours included in one of six built in scenes.

You start by deciding how you'll activate the scene. This can be achieved either by creating what Philips call a 'virtual button' (which will then appear on the Hue Labs homepage). Alternatively you can assign activation to a Tap switch button.

Then, choose the lights to be included.  This can be anything from an individual light, an entire room, or even the whole house.  Then, choose the scene, select the brightness, and finally how quickly you'd like the transition to occur (15 seconds right through to 2 hours).

Apply the formula, and you're done!  The effect is really nice, and so far has worked very well for us.  The only complaints we have is that you can't create your own living scene, and creation of the virtual button was not obvious (ie, you have to 'press' the virtual button to indicate that you want to use it).

It's just another of those nice features that you'd expect a smart lighting system like this to have.  It's a labs feature, so comes with a warning that there might be bugs or other issues.  Hopefully though, this will make it into the main Hue app as a native feature.

I'll let you all know how I get on with it!