How to Control Your Smarthome Devices with Google Home

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To provide your Google Home with even more capabilities, you can connect a few different smarthome devices to the Google Home and control them using nothing but your voice. Here’s how to set it up.

Voice assistant devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are fine by themselves. They can be extremely helpful in the kitchen or with other tasks, such as looking up information, playing music, and even telling you how the traffic is right now. However, where these devices really shine is in the smarthome department.

The Google Home doesn’t support a wide range of smarthome devices just yet, but it does support three big brands: Nest, Philips Hue, and SmartThings. Here’s how to connect your smarthome devices to your Google Home (using Philips Hue as our example) and control them using just your voice.

The first thing you’ll want to do is open up the Google Home app on your smartphone and tap on the Devices button in the top-right corner of the screen.

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Next, tap on the menu button in the upper-right corner.

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Select “Settings”.

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Tap on “Home control”.

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Tap on the round plus button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

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Select either “Nest”, “Philips Hue”, or “SmartThings”. Unfortunately, these are the only products you can connect to your Google Home, but more smarthome devices will undoubtedly be supported in the future. For this tutorial, we’ll be connecting Philips Hue to the Google Home.

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On the next screen, tap “Pair” at the bottom and then press the big button on your Hue Bridge hub.

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If done correctly, you’ll see a message saying that the pairing was successful. From there, tap on “Assign Rooms” in the bottom-right corner.

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Your Philips Hue bulbs will appear in the list, and technically you can begin controlling them using voice commands right away. But the real magic happens when you group these individual bulbs into rooms (yes, you’ll have to do so even if they’re already organized into rooms in the Hue app). Select the “Rooms” tab at the top.

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Then tap on the round plus button in the bottom-right corner.

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Select a room from the list. This is what your room will be called and what you’ll need to call it when you tell Google Home to control your lights. You can also scroll all the way down and choose “Add Custom Room”, where you can name it anything you want as long as it’s something that Google Home can recognize when you say it.

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Once you select a room, place checkmarks next to each Philips Hue bulb that you want associated with that room. Tap on “Done” in the top-right corner when you’ve selected the bulbs.

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The room will appear in the list and you can tap on the round plus button again to add more rooms. Once you add all of the rooms that you want, you can close out of the app and begin controlling your lights using the Google Home.

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There are a handful of voice commands you can use to control your Philips Hue lights with the Google Home, including turning them on and off, dimming and brightening them, setting lights to a certain percentage, and changing the color of your lights. Here are some examples of how you can do all of this:

  • “Ok Google, turn on the office lights.”
  • “Ok Google, dim the living room lights.”
  • “Ok Google, brighten the kitchen lights.”
  • “Ok Google, set (or dim/brighten) reading light to 75%.”
  • “Ok Google, turn off all the lights.”

Unfortunately, you can’t activate scenes through the Google Home, so saying something like “Ok Google, turn on Relax scene in the living room” won’t work. Of course, Philips Hue support could get better as time goes on, but scenes are out of the question right now.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.