Thanks to Apple’s HomeKit home automation system and the versatility of Siri, you can now control your home lighting with just your voice. Keep reading as we show it off with Philips Hue.

To control your smart home lighting, you need a few things. First of all, you need an iOS device that runs Siri and updated to at least iOS 8.1 or higher to support HomeKit.

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You will also need a HomeKit-enabled lighting system. For demonstration purposes, we are using a Philips Hue 2nd generation system (with an updated bridge that supports HomeKit).

Note. If you were a Hue pioneer, you can keep the Hue bulbs you have, but you will need to upgrade the 1st gen Hue bridge to the 2nd gen model.

How to set up Siri Control for Philips Hue

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Make sure you set this up on the iOS device in your household that the owner/parent/home automation controller is using and signed in as HomeKit is associated with your iCloud login. You wouldn’t want to use your child’s iPad to set up HomeKit settings (if that child has their own iCloud ID), because then you’d always have to go back to the iPad to make changes and have to share it with HomeKit. Configuration with your other devices (instead of you, the managing agent, share HomeKit settings with them). If you accidentally set up your HomeKit system with the wrong Cloud ID, don’t panic, just reset the HomeKit configuration on the device you mistakenly used to set up your system.

To pair Hue Bridge with HomeKit and enable Siri control, start by opening the Hue app and tap the settings button in the top left corner of the screen.


From there, select Siri Voice Control.


Click «Pair Bridge» at the bottom.


If you haven’t set up HomeKit yet, you’ll be prompted to create a «home» and give it any name. Click «Create Home» when you’re done.


You will then be prompted to scan the number on the back of your Hue Bridge, but you can also enter it manually by clicking Enter Code Manually. Since my Hue Bridge is all the way down (as are most of my other hubs), I have the codes written down on my computer and I just type them in by hand, which is easier and faster than going all the way down just to scan a number.


After you scan or enter the code, it will take a few seconds to pair it. Once that’s done, you’ll be taken to the Siri voice control screen, where you can control which lights, rooms, and scenes you want to use with Siri and which you don’t. Some may not sync properly with Siri and you will get an orange dot on the right. Click on it to fix it.


From there, click on the checkboxes next to the rooms that have orange exclamation marks to fix the sync. However, if you don’t want these rooms connected to Siri, you can just leave them there.

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When you’re done, return to the previous screen and tap Done in the top right corner to save your changes and end Siri voice control.


Different HomeKit-enabled systems and apps will have different selection methods, but the general rule is that you can always select groups (called scenes, rooms, or zones depending on how they’re organized in the app) and/or individual components like individual light bulbs or fixtures.

How to control your lights

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Once you’ve gone through the physical system setup and jumped over the small part of linking the Hue app to your HomeKit system, it’s just a matter of going back and issuing Siri commands.

One important note before we continue, some names can be tricky for Siri because they are part of other general commands. Siri, for example, is desperate to parse names and dates into contact and calendar actions.

So it’s just asking the headache to name the bedroom lamp on your spouse’s side of the bed «Nicole Lamp» because half the time you say «Nicole» on the voice command Siri will want to do something related to Nicole’s contact information . The same goes for any words that sound like they’re related to calendar activities (today, today, tuesday, you get the idea) Siri much happier when your potential commands are very clear. Naming a scene «Movie Mode» or simply «Movies» is much safer because it’s unlikely to lead to Siri-related confusion.

With that in mind, you can use the following commands to communicate with Siri and your Philips Hue lighting system:

There may be others (Hue’s documentation doesn’t even include all of the above commands), but we’ve tested and confirmed that they work. You may discover some others as you experiment.

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