What can make a smart home truly smart?

It’s not just about connecting everything (especially not toasters!) but rather helping the user do less and have a more flawless, stressless and possibly handsfree day. And making home a more comfortable, comforting and secure place.

One great hit product of the smart home market is the Philips Hue light bulb, which delivers great possibilities of automation and adaptability. As smart lightning (along with energy) is one of smart home users’ main expectation (for 50% of them according to a GFK study), it’s natural that this product plays a central role in our smart home.

Let’s review 3 original and useful ways for you to automate your Philips Hue (thanks to your Prota hub) and greatly improve your smart home experience.


1. Notification interface

With a constantly rising number of connected devices and interconnected services, notifications are becoming overwhelmingly present and disturb the simplification purpose of technology.

A great way to avoid this would be to have a better management of notifications. For instance, visual notifications, simple and not too disturbing, that do not require neither special attention nor any action (such as looking at your phone).

In that regard, your Philips Hue can be a great partner! A simple storyline written on Stories app with a Hue bulb installed at your desk lamp could help you save a lot of time. Here are some suggestions of applications.

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Let’s find out how you can create those.

  • Email Notification: Pair your Prota with your email address via the Email app. Choose your email address as sensor of your storyline and set the event’s condition as “sender – equal to – address of your boss”.Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 6.17.49 PM
  • Bluetooth detection: once you’ve registered someone’s smartphone bluetooth, you can automate a storyline based on their presence. Scan it via the Blue Tag app. Choose “Bluetooth Device” as sensor and “is recognized” as event.
    Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 6.27.16 PM
  • Motion detection: plugging a webcam to your Prota not only makes it a great surveillance system, it also detects any motion passing in front of it. Choose “Webcam” as sensor and “detects some motion” as event.
    Add an AND element and set it for before 7PM.
    Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 10.53.43 AM
  • Slack notification: connect your Prota to your slack account by following our Slack guide. You can now choose “Slack” as a sensor and as an event receiving a message from a specific person or channel
    Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 10.58.47 AM
  • WeMo turned on: follow the On/Off app guide to set up your WeMo switch. Select your WeMO switch as sensor and set the event as “is turned on”.
    Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 11.06.06 AM

For all those storylines, the Actor should be your Philips Hue (once you’ve downloaded and installed the app).
Choose as action “is set to RGB of (???) with the brightness of ?”. The conditions set for RGB will determine the color.

Each Red, Green and Blue value must be a number between 0 and 255. To set it to red, you can for instance define
RED = 255
BLUE = 0

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 2.57.01 PM

PINK = 255, 182, 193
BLUE = 0, 0, 255
GREEN = 0, 255, 0
ORANGE = 255, 165, 0

That’s it! Now your Philips Hue lamp can warn you about the important notifications and remove the time-consuming action of checking your phone.

You can easily adapt this depending on your specific needs with our many Prota apps and devices and all the services and devices supported by IFTTT.

2. Visual timer

Timers make this terrible sound that make you tense in a second. Why not creating a soft version with a light timer, which makes a great stressless alternative.

For your power naps, why not setting up an automated wake up with your Hue light bulb.
You can, for instance, create a Telegram bot to which you send “nap” at the beginning of your nap. It will wake you up with soft lightning 20 minutes later.

Set up the storyline as follow:

Choose your TelegramBot (check here how to set it up) as sensor and set the event to “receive a message” with a condition the text “Nap”.

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 3.42.29 PM

Add as “extra option” a Duration of 20 minutes that will be equivalent to the delay between the message and the light turning on.

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 3.43.40 PM

Then simply add as Actor-story your room’s Hue Light turning on.

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 3.44.40 PM


You can adapt this concept to many other use cases. Why not using it as a kitchen timer when you’re baking something, to let you know when your one-hour yoga session is over or instead of a TelegramBot use a bluetooth button that starts the timer when you press on it.


3. Weather assistant


weather assistant

Why not teaching your Philips Hue to give you essential information in the morning as soon as you wake up, for instance the weather forecast of the day?

Setting up your visual weather assistant

Download the Weather app and set it up as explained here.

  • Start your Storyline by adding the time you wake up and want to see the notification with the scheduler feature (we set it here to 7AM on weekdays).
  • Then add an AND field and add the weather app with the condition “clear weather today”
    Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 11.52.16 AM
  • Simply set as Action your Hue light to turn on a specific color that will tell you what kind of weather there will be (for instance yellow for clear, blue for rain, grey for covered etc.)
    Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 11.54.03 AM

You can also very well trigger this kind of storyline with your Amazon Alexa via IFTTT by a simple voice command.


If you’re interested in integrating smart lights into your house, don’t forget to check out our latest Instructables to make a bedside lightning remote.

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