How to Change Your Hue Lights’ Color Based On the Weather Outside

Before you head out the door, it would be handy to know whether you need a coat, or if you can skip it. To give you a quick indicator, you can set one of your Hue light bulbs to change colors when it’s too hot or too cold outside. Here’s how to set it up.

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For this, we’re going to use a service called IFTTT (If This Then That). If you haven’t used IFTTT before, check out our guide to getting started for info on how to create an account and connect apps. Then, come back here to create the necessary recipe.

To do this, you’ll need to enable the Philips Hue and Weather Underground channels in IFTTT. You’ll also need a Hue light that can change colors. Some other smart lights like LIFX can also change colors, but we’ll be demonstrating with Philips Hue. For your convenience, we’ve created a sample applet using Philips Hue lights here, or you can follow the steps below to make it for yourself.

To get started, head to IFTTT’s home page and log in. Then, click your profile picture.

Next, click “New Applet.”

Click the word “this” highlighted in blue.

Search for “Weather Underground” or find it in the grid of products below. Click on it when you find it.

In the list of triggers, there are two that will be relevant here. One, labeled “Current temperature drops below,” and one labeled “Current temperature rises above.” You can set these based on what the weather is like around you and what you’re comfortable with. For example, you may want to get notified if it drops below 40 degrees so you know to wear a coat, or when it gets above 75 so you know it’s time for your warmer weather clothes. Pick the one you want and continue on. We’ll demonstrate with “Current temperature rises above.”

Note: You can only pick one trigger per applet, so if you want your lights to change to one color when it’s very hot and another color when it’s very cold, you’ll need to go through this process twice.

On the next page, enter a temperature in the first box you want to be notified of. In my case, I want to know any time it’s hotter than 75 degrees outside. You can also choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius in the second box if you need to. When you’re done, click “Create trigger.”

 

On the next page, click the word “that” highlighted in blue.

Search for your smart light’s IFTTT channel. In this case, we’re searching for Philips Hue. Click on the channel when you find it. From here on, the steps may differ slightly depending on which brand of smart lights you use, but the basics should all be the same.

Find “Change color” in the list of triggers and click on it.

On the next page, choose the light you want to change from the drop down list. Next, enter a color name or hex code value for the color you want. I preferred to lightly tint the color of my lights without turning them a stark color like solid red or blue. For warm weather, I set my light to #ffee99, and for cold weather, I used #ccddff. These colors provide a distinct enough color different to know that the weather has changed without making the lighting in the room look awful. (Though you could use something more saturated if you were doing this on, say, a porch light.)

On the last screen, name your applet and click Finish.

 

Repeat these steps to create a second recipe for cold weather. This recipe will work best on a light in a room where you’re likely to see it and that you don’t turn off very often. For example, you probably shouldn’t use this in your home theater room. However, it can be very handy for a bedroom lamp or outdoor bulb that you’ll see when you’re getting ready in the morning.

Eric Ravenscraft covers smarthome tech for How-To Geek. He's a problem solver who never learned to say no to a project. When he's not fixing things, he's cosplaying at cons, playing video games, and watching too many comic book movies. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.