Smart bulbs

Is it possible to control smart bulbs with just a phone app ?
Would find it easier while watching a film to use an app to turn the lights down.

If you have Apple devices then there are many lamps that use the HomeKit protocol and the Home app


Yes. But why not just get a Google home mini? I think they’re only £15.

I tell mine that it’s movie time and it turns off all the lights, turns on the lamp and changes the TV to the correct input. :blush:

You’ll have the device for so many other things then too



Should have said I’m thinking more Android based as I have an android phone.

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Thanks, I’ll get Google mini shopping.

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No worries. As @Ordog says, Google Mini is what you’re looking for! The app/speaker are a great combination


If you hold the power button on a Pixel phone you get your smart bulb and smart device options.
I use it all the time. Really quick and one-click access to controls.

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Go with @Ordog’s suggestion. If :android: is the platform, Google Home is the way to go with most smart bulbs. Have direct control over individual or grouped lights and set custom routines. Easy to do and voice control via a Google Assistant/Home-mini/Nest device too. Check that GHome works with the smart bulbs that you have (or plan to get)

It’s bonkers how smart & efficient you can make your home with a little research & planning.

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Bit late here. But, in the last two weeks I have improved my smarthome experience by a huge amount by moving to controlling everything from a raspberry pi, zigbee 2mqtt adapter, and home assistant. It has an app too.

It is a bit technical. But advantages are it controls everything with a lot of flexibility, like I have my smart radiator valves linked to thermostats in places where I want them, eg bedroom radiator is controlled by temp next to the bed, lights controlled by motion sensors.

Costs about £80 to set up the home assistant hub. Then you can control pretty much anything (lights, radiator valves, plugs cameras) using anything (motion sensors, switches, Alexa/Google, apps). much better system than all those proprietary bridges and stuff. And you can add your own python scripts, so if you can code python, you can do pretty much anything you can imagine :grin:

List of everything compatible with mqtt.

Many guides online for setting it up although knowing Linux will be a huge help.

One warning though: this is a massive, massive time sink. The 0.1 seconds anyone saves by not having to switch the light switch will be outweighed by the 200 hours you’ll spend perfecting your automation set ups.

My next project is a somewhat pointless ‘energy saving mode’ that will pair down all energy usage to minimums when my bank balance gets low, using the Monzo api. As this is completely beyond my technical skills it’ll take a very long time. But maybe if it starts to work I’ll write a thread about it :grin:

I’m looking for some help/guidance.

The light on our landing doesn’t have any switches, it’s controlled by a sensor that will turn the light on for a set amount of time when it detects movement. This set up bugs me so much!

I’ve checked behind switch plates but there is no old wiring where switches for this might may have been before.

Now I want the light be be switchable from 3 places, the top and bottom of the stairs and outside the main bedroom. (There are switches in these locations just not for the light I want to control).

With no tidy way to get the wires to a switch at the bottom of the stairs I’m thinking a smart bulb with remote switches in these three locations might work. (I’d bypass the current sensor to make sure that the bub would always have power)

Is this doable? Do I need a bridge? What is a bridge? I’m an Android guy.

Perfectly do-able.

I’d probably get 3x of these and then whichever bulb. You’ll need a hub too.

Otherwise you could do with it Hue, but more expensive. But then you could add these switches in the places of the other switches and have it all smart. Which is where you’ll end up anyway!

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Thanks :slight_smile:

I do want it all smart but I’m not the only one living here so need to win over my other half slowly.

They do love all the speakers I’ve dotted around the house already though.

Have you had an electrician look into it?

Might be cheaper and less of a headache for the others to just get them to wire in some switches rather than going down the smart route.

I “won” my battle by having switches to go with the smart.

I have something similar to this

So that you can walk into a room and press a button and a light comes on but I can still control everything with my phone/voice.

If you got Hue remotes and something similar, you can configure the remotes for different presses etc.

I did similar to the above but with rather than a cover got an entirely new light switch. (lots of other designs available too)

For example, I use IFTTT to make the outside lights turn on/off at sunrise and sunset so it automatically changes throughout the year. We can also manually turn them on/off too.

I don’t think I paid that much for them though, so you might find them cheaper :slight_smile:

Hmm there’s going to be a lot of research done I think :thinking:

I used to be one, hung my tools up over a decade ago but still do bits and pieces around the house.

So I could wire it all up but this would be the perfect excuse to not have to and start going “smart”

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Philips Hue wall switch is great - it keeps the power on so you can use your light switches and they are always ‘smart’. Super easy to install and works a treat.

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I’d recommend using Google Home as your main control centre. This way, if you expand your smart bulbs across multiple manufacturers, then Google can centralise them all on your phone or other smart hub devices.

Some smart bulbs need a bridge, and some don’t.

For example, my setup:

5 x Philips Hue bulbs
2 x Philips Hue Go lamps
1 x LIFX candle colour lamp
1 x WiFi LED rainbow strip
2 x neon signs
1 x Salt Lamp (no smart bulb)

The Philips Hue devices require a bridge. The LIFX one doesn’t. The neon signs and the salt lamp have smart plugs rather than smart bulbs, but they are labelled as lights in the Google Home app as a group.

So for example, when I say “Hey Google, turn on the living room lights” it turns on:

1 Hue Bulb in a standing lamp
The LED strip
The LIFX bulb
The neon signs
The salt lamp


The ideal, but it’s not cheap, is to put a Hue colour bulb into the light socket, put a Hue Dimmer switch where there isn’t currently a switch and Hue switch modules into the physical switches that you want to control the bulb - you’ll easily be able to do this being an ex-sparky. While expensive, this will form a good base for future bulb upgrades in other rooms without any other family member having to think about how to switch a light on/off. You’ll already have the hub, with configuration and control from the app and can be enabled remotely and via IFTTT.

Love Hue and the flexibility, but it can get expensive if you buy lots of kit together. I’ve got lots of colour bulbs, light strips, dimmer switches, IFTTT integrations and am about to buy several switch modules.