Philips Hue Needs Fine-Grain Location Control

October 6, 2013

in Smart Home

TileI have a new little want. I like my Phillips Hue light bulbs. They are LED low energy, WiFi connected, multi-color bulbs that are just really cool. They also do a neat thing of turning on when I return home at night. However, more fine-grained location control simply isn’t available.

The biggest pain with Hue is reaching for the smartphone to turn the bulbs on. It’s pretty quick although flicking a traditional switch is faster. What they lack is proper location control that could be invisible. Example if I walk into a room and it is dark and they are not on – then they should turn on to the last setting (or another if I set it that way). Similarly, if I leave the house and no-one else is there – then the lights should go into vacant house – security mode. Likewise when I enter and leave a room.

I actually presume that if the Hue bulbs supported BluetoothLE this could be a whole lot easier. Of course they don’t they use Zigbee and a Bluetooth LE solution could well challenge them in the future.

So here’s the experiment. I’ve got some Tiles on order. Tiles are a simple little BluetoothLE beacon that you attach to things. The app is supposed to let you find them. The example is keys, or your wallet etc. At first I thought they would just be cool. However, the more I read or understood what they were, the less useful they seemed to be. So I’m thinking. If  “TheTileApp” can find my keys then it could also send a notification to my IFTTT account when I am on one or the other side of the tile. I could then use the IFTTT account to turn on my Hue lights. Then I just put the Tiles where the natural switches are (which may or may not be where they actually are).

For music to biofeedback, this site is a pointer to many Hue apps.

  • what are you thoughts on TILE being a sealed unit that stops working in 12 months and you have to purchase another unit?

  • Hi Dean, think I’ve commented elsewhere that the tile business model is NOT the best way to approach things. I suspect they will end up revising it.

Previous post:

Next post: