How to master...Philips Hue

Beta bonuses (advanced)

Thirsty for more tricks? Go the the 'Explore' tab in the Hue app, then 'Huelabs' for some enlightening beta extras...

14) Baffle the burglars

Ever used a mechanical plug timer to ensure that your flat's lights turn on when you're not around? Well, HueLabs' Presence Mimicking recipe is the modern equivalent of that, routinely engaging lights so that it looks from the outside like you're home… when you're not.

You can custom-set which lights turn on when, and they'll still turn on at your usual times for coming home, getting ready for bed, and falling asleep. But there's also a randomness modifier so that the timing isn't exactly the same each time. 

Turn on Philips Hue's Presence Mimicking

15) See the seasons

Philips Hue's scenes are all very nice, but what if you could string together a playlist of dynamic, changing scenes? That's where the Living Scenes recipe can help, by automatically alternating through an array of lighting scenes at the interval that you set.

You can get a similar effect from third party apps like iConnectHue (see below), but this is a good free taster of the effect. The gradual colour shifts mean the results are never too startling (or garish) too.

Turn on the Living Scenes recipe

16) Don't get overcooked

Setting timers can be pretty critical when you're cooking a homemade meal, but those clanging alarms can really ruin the ambiance. Or alternately, if you're listening to music or watching TV while the main dish bakes, you might not hear the alarm.

In any case, if you want to shake up your normal routine, you can set a visual trigger instead of an aural one using the HueLabs "Cooking timer" recipe. It lets you set quick alarms within the Hue app and then get a flashing light when your meal is all ready.

Turn on Philips Hue's Cooking Timer

The supercontrollers (advanced)

Brace yourself, we're going in deep with these hardcore Hue apps...

17) HueDynamic (£5.39)

Looking for some properly granular control over your Hue setup? This third party app for Windows 10 and Xbox One is your new mission control.

HueDynamic has perks for days, including dynamic, pulsing scenes that you can mix and match, the option of using Cortana voice commands control your lights, and the ability to use a device's camera to follow what you're watching on TV and have your Hue lights match the dominant colour.

In other words, it offers most of the tricks from third party Hue apps and HueLabs recipes in one place.

Download HueDynamic (Windows/Xbox One)

18) iConnectHue (£4.99)

While it's possible to customise your physical Hue dimmer switch in the official app (just go to 'Settings', then 'Accessory setup'), this app lets you go a bit deeper.

For example, you can assign a 'press and hold' of one of the Dimmer's buttons to switch your lights into Netflix-watching mode. With four options per button, there's a total of fourteen options for the buttons. Good luck thinking of enough scenarios to fill those.

With the app also capable of customising Philips' new motion sensor and doing advanced tricks that you'd usually need IFTTT for, it's a worthy investment for iOS-based Hue masters.

Download iConnectHue for iPhone

Download iConnectHue for iPad

19) iLightshow (£free)

Looking to sync your lights with Spotify? This app for iOS and Mac will help you set up an impromptu party during your 'working from home' break.

Just tap play on any song of your choice from the streaming service, and iLightShow will use its sonic smarts to work out a routine using different colours, as well as flash lengths and intensities. It's not perfect, but it is a quick and easy way to get the effect without any manual tweaking or tuning at all.

Download iLightshow for iOS

Download iLightshow for Mac

Now add these...

Oh boy, this is going to be an expensive new hobby...