How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Philips Hue on the 31st May 2018 launched the “Philips Hue Sync” app for Mac and PC computers. Using the app, users can sync their Hue lights to films, music, and games that they’re watching or playing, making it a more immersive experience.

Philips Hue Sync App

Hue Sync will be an app for for macOS High Sierra and Windows 10 device, and is expected again in Q2 2018. The Hue Sync app will let you create and customize your hue lights for games, movies, and music played on a Mac or Windows computer.

“Running in the background, Hue Sync will analyze anything displayed on your monitor in real-time and create light scripts to compliment your content. Philips has built algorithms that analyze the tempo and rhythm of your music to determine the track’s style, and adjust lighting accordingly. The intensity of these lighting effects can be adjusted by the user.”

Hue Sync – What it is?

Hue Sync is a software app that you can download and install on your Windows or Mac PC, the app will then be able to transfer on screen color information to your Hue Lights. A simple example is when gaming, it maybe dark on screen, however there is then an explosion of bright light, your lights in that room will suddenly light up too. This same thing can work with watching movies, YouTube videos, or looking at photos, your lights adjust to the color on screen.

When setting up entertainment zones, you can set where your lights are in the room in reference to your TV, so if there is a bright red light on the side of the screen in the film you are watching, your light to the right of the TV will go red, the screen goes bright blue, your lights go bright blue to reflect this.

You can use Hue Sync to:

  • Sync Videos to your Hue Lights such as Youtube, Netflix, Movies etc
  • Sync Hue lights with music and audio
  • Sync Hue lights with games played on Mac and Windows

Hue Sync will work with all Hue bulbs and lights, however your do need a second gen Bridge. Bulbs that work really well with Hue Sync and a must for any home entertainment setup:

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Sync your lights

with movies, music and games

Download and experience now

Philips Hue Sync is a tool for PC or Mac which captures content you’re watching, listening to or playing and translates it into an immediate lightscript for an immersive experience.

High Sierra (10.13) and up

Hue Sync is only available to download on desktop

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Enhance films and games

The Philips Hue Sync application creates a light script for your lights based on content that you watch or play on your PC or Mac. Via screen grabbing and a smart colour algorithm, it matches your Philips Hue lights to on-screen action in real-time.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Match with music

Philips Hue Sync listens to the beat and type of song, creating a light script on the fly to match the music you are listening to. Immediate and without a delay, enjoy slow dynamic effects or customise the intensity of the effects as you prefer.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Finetune your experience

Brightness adjustment
Adjust the brightness level to control the intensity of the light effect.

Immersion control
Choose between different modes of immersion from normal to intense to personalize the experience.

Mode change
Change colors or white-tones via the presets and create the light setting that perfectly matches your entertainment experience.

Set up your Hue entertainment and get started

Step 1
Make sure that your square-shaped bridge and white and colour ambience lights are powered on and connected.

Step 2
Set up a new entertainment area in the Philips Hue App.

Hue color smart light setup with Bridge V2

All Hue White and Colour Ambiance smart LED lights connected to the Hue Bridge V2 and set up in an entertainment area work with the Hue Sync desktop app.

Hue Sync desktop app

Pair your lights to your computer using the free Hue Sync desktop app, which allows you to sync your content and adjust the intensity, brightness, and speed of the light effects.

Get the Hue Sync desktop app

High Sierra (10.13) and up

Hue Sync is only available to download on desktop

Already have a Hue Bridge?

White and Colour Ambiance

Play light bar double pack
  • Double pack
  • LED integrated
  • White
  • Smart control with Hue Bridge*

White and Colour Ambiance

Go portable light (latest model)
  • Integrated LED and battery
  • Bluetooth control via app
  • Control with app or voice*
  • Add Hue Bridge to unlock more

White and Colour Ambiance

Play light bar double pack
  • Double pack
  • LED integrated
  • Black
  • Smart control with Hue Bridge*

White and Colour Ambiance

Play light bar extension pack
  • Extension pack 1 PC
  • LED integrated
  • Black
  • Smart control with Hue Bridge*

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Finetune your light effects

Adjust the intensity

Control the brightness of your lighting depending on the media type you choose.

Set the perfect scene

Use the preset light scenes from the Hue Sync desktop app to complement your Entertainment area.

Configure your preferences

Choose your performance mode, keyboard shortcuts, display preferences, and more.

Choose your own adventure

Connect Razer to your Hue lights

Your gaming setup is your domain — from the chair you sit in to the mouse you click, your battle station says a lot about you. Use the Hue Sync desktop app and your Hue smart light setup or use Razer’s Synapse tool and Razer Chroma accessories for a totally immersive gaming experience.

Turn your home into a disco with Hue lights changing color to the beat of the music. Philips Hue and Spotify combine to create a deep integration of lighting and music which now provides Philips Hue users with an immersive experience like no other.

This new feature will start rolling out among Philips Hue App 4 users from September 1, 2021, onwards

Syncing Hue lights with Spotify

Philips Hue and Spotify have teamed up to go far beyond what other integrations can do and enabled the experience through the Philips Hue app itself. With Philips Hue + Spotify, the Hue app analyzes the metadata for each Spotify song in real time, resulting in a light script that on top of incorporating the beat of the song, now also reflects its mood, genre, tempo, segments, loudness, pitch and more.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Thanks to the new Sync tab in the Philips Hue app, the experience can even be easily personalized. Users can start and stop sync, change the brightness and intensity of the lights, or choose a palette to change the colors of the lights.

How Philips Hue + Spotify works

The Philips Hue and Spotify integration is free to use with the Philips Hue App – you only need a Hue Bridge and color-capable Philips Hue lights to enjoy the experience, such as White and color ambiance smart bulbs, a Hue Go, or the new ambiance gradient lightstrip.

As the integration is embedded in the Philips Hue app, it does not require a microphone to react to the music. This ensures that the lights can react to the music without any interfering background noise and provides you full flexibility in using your phone for other purposes at the same time.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

The integration works with any Spotify-compatible audio device, such as a speaker, smartphone, or computer. To experience this immersive light and sound integration at home, link your Philips Hue and Spotify accounts in the Philips Hue app, and then play a song from any device that’s logged in to your Spotify account.

“At Spotify, we’re always working to create the best listening experience for every moment, via any device, throughout your day,” said Sten Garmark, VP of Consumer Experience at Spotify. “We’re looking forward to introducing our innovative integration with Philips Hue, where smart lighting will add another dimension to enhancing your next listening session.”

How to Use

  • Download the latest version of the Philips Hue app
  • Ensure you have the latest Spotify app updates on your phone
  • Connect and authorise the Hue app to use Spotify
  • When connected you can then play music from Spotify
  • In the Hue app hit sync to sync your lights
  • From the app you can change the entertainment area and lighting settings.

How to Sync Hue with Spotify via your Mac or PC

If you have Spotify installed on your Mac or Windows PC then you can install Philips Hue Sync, this app will sync your hue lights to the sound of the music.

Using a entertainment area you set up on the Hue app you can then have multiple lights changing color and lashing to the sound of music from Spotify, or other sources such as iTunes, YouTube or audio files.

  • Download and install Hue Sync on your Mac or PC
  • Load Hue Sync
  • Select your Entertainment area, this can be set up on your phone via the Hue app if not done so already.
  • Select music in the Hue Sync app and turn on sync.
  • Load Spotify on your Mac or PC and play your music

This method works for all audio played via your Mac or PC, so this could be Spotify, but it could also be the radio, Amazon Music, Apple music or from a movie.

Does this work with Spotify Connect? Unfortunately if you play music via Spotify connect from your computer to Sonos or another speaker, the Hue sync app will not work or adjust your lights, it will only work if you play it through your device that is running Hue Sync.

Other Hue party apps worth checking out

Mike Ford
Founder & Editor

Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Recently Philips Hue gets an update that will make your media content and gaming experience more immersive than before. To create Philips Hue Entertainment experience, a low-latency and dynamic way to connect your Philips Hue lighting to your media and gaming. So if you want to create an entertainment zone in your home, then you have to use Hue App and follow below-mentioned steps.

Setup and Connect Philips Hue Entertainment

Step #1. Launch Hue app on your device and then tap on settings option from the bottom right of the app.

Step#2: Choose Entertainment Areas from the list.

Step #3. Now, tap on Create Area.

S t ep #4. Next, Select the room where you want to build an Entertainment Area in and then tap on Continue.

Step #5. Up next, Choose all of the lights in the room you wish to add and tap on Continue.

Step #6. Here you need to drag the lights in your room according to the diagram on the screen.

Step#7. Tap on Test Area to validate the lights are set up on the diagram perfect.

Step #8. When you are done with setting up lights correctly, tap on Perfect Match.

Step #9. Download and Install the Hue Sync app on your Mac or PC.

Step #10. Launch the Hue Sync app on your Mac or PC and then choose Search for Bridge to connect to Hue bridge.

Step #11. Now, tap on the big button on the Hue bridge to complete the connection with the app.

Step #12. Here you need to select the Entertainment Area which you want to control via the app for adjusting the brightness to match your settings.

Here you will get four options. You can utilize your PC or Mac to control light scenes like the application on your smartphone, or you can use the app to pull from video, games, or music. The scene control works precisely equivalent to it does on your telephone, yet the other three settings have various principles.

Music mode enables you to pick a color palette and animate to the music you’re playing dependent on that palette. When you select Start Light Sync in the application, this element will enliven lights dependent on all framework sounds on your PC.

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Games and Video mode takes the data from your screen and hues the lights, yet additionally incorporates force modes for you to look over. This affects how rapidly the lights move hues, which can be significant if flickering lights are an issue for you or everyone around you. These modes additionally incorporate a Use Audio for Effect work, which enables you to transform loud bangs or abrupt panics into light flashes.

I recently got some Hue bulbs and have been looking for a good program to sync my lights to my monitor for PC games and movies.

Initially I was using Albedo but for some reason I could no longer get the program to start in Windows 10.

So I just found this program called ScreenBloom that I thought I would share that does all the display syncing for free that I wanted.

Apologies if this program comes up often.

I'll be adding this to hueDynamic soon. Currently it works with webcam.

Great. I had a mess around with your app today and it was impressive – especially all the cool scenarios. Would be very useful for all these features in one app. I can't recall if your app did all these things but here's a list of what would make the ultimate windows app:

Sync to display.

System tray icon.

Autostart with Windows.

Edit – Couldn't get lists working.

I hate to be that guy but I'm not going to spend 3 dollars on this program I'm going to use one feature for. Please just make it open source, so people can not only help you, but you can get your name out there. As a developer I can speak from personal experience and by adding a donate button in my app, I have gotten a ton of donations. Also as myself and a huge poll in my office, nobody really uses the windows store for apps (I disabled it :O). Would recommend just making it exe/installer 🙂

alsoooooooo I use linux, by chance have you thought about porting to that yet :D?

Chris Hoffman
How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pcChris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Want to easily control your Hue lights? You don’t have to pick up your phone or yell across the room at Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. Here are some easy ways to control your Hue lights right from your Mac.

We’ll cover a few solutions here: The built-in smarthome features in macOS and a convenient third-party utility for controlling Hue lights from your Mac’s menu bar.

Option 1: Use the Home App

Your Mac has a version of the same “Home” app you can use on iPhone and iPad. It can control all your HomeKit-enabled smarthome devices.

To open it, press Command+Space to open Spotlight search, type “Home,” and launch the Home app. Your Hue lights will appear here if you’ve already set up the integration to control them with Siri on iPhone or iPad.

To turn Hue lights on and off, click their tiles. For more options, right-click or Ctrl-click one of the tiles here and select “Show Controls.”

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

This window provides an easy way to turn lights on and off, choose brightness levels, and change their color. However, it’s not as fully featured as the Hue app itself.

(If you haven’t set up the Hue integration yet, open the Hue app on your iPhone or iPad and head to Settings > HomeKit & Siri.)

Option 2: Talk to Siri

Assuming you’ve already set up the HomeKit integration, you don’t even need to open the Home app. You can control your Hue lights from your Mac with Siri just like you would from an iPhone or iPad.

To use this, either click the SIri icon at the top right corner of your Mac’s menu bar or press and hold Command+Space. Speak into your Mac’s microphone and say a command like “Turn off the lights” or “Turn on [a specific light]”—any Siri command for turning lights on and off, adjusting brightness, or changing colors will work on your Mac just like they do on an iPhone or iPad.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Option 3: Install Colors for Hue

Okay, the integrated features on a Mac are great, but they really aren’t perfect. Wouldn’t it be great to control your Hue lights from your Mac’s menu bar with just your mouse and have access to all the color options Hue offers?

Colors for Hue, a free app available in the Mac App Store, offers all these features. The app has in-app purchases, but only for donations if you feel like supporting the developer—you can use everything in the app for free with no ads.

Once installed, launch the Colors for Hue app. The first time you use it, you’ll have to connect to your Hue Bridge. Use the “Connect” tab in the app’s settings window to scan for the Hue Bridge on your network.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

You can also manually enter your Hue Bridge’s IP address. (You can find this information from within the Hue app. Head to Settings > Hue Bridges and tap the “i” to the right of the bridge’s name.)

Can’t see the “Scan by IP” box? We ran into an odd bug with that—to reveal it, click the “Support Us” icon at the top of the window and then click the “Connect” icon once again.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

Press the button on your Hue Bridge when prompted to finish the connection process.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

You now have a light bulb icon on your Mac’s menu bar. Click it for easy access to your Hue lights: You can turn them on, turn them off, adjust brightness, change colors, and even use a “Delayed Off” feature to have a light automatically turn off after a certain period of time.

How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc

You can use the Colors for Hue preferences window (click “Preferences” in the menu) to rearrange the list of lights and set up groups. Click the “Lights” tab to find these options.

That’s it—you’ll still have to use the Hue app for many features like adding new lights and setting up routines, but Colors for Hue provides quick access to standard controls you’ll need.

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How to sync your hue lights to your mac or pc Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »

Are there any news on an app for Samsung or other TV's to make your hue lights sync with your TV?

I know of Hue Sync for Windows PC and Mac to sync e.g. Netflix or games with your lights and the possibility to connect the PC with your TV in order to have the same entertainment on your TV as well.

There is also the possibility to use Hue Stream on an Android TV (Box – such as Nvidia Shield) but it is pretty limited since I heard you can not use it with Netflix, Youtube or content that is transmitted via hdmi.

I really love my Hue Light setup but being able to synch everything with my TV while watching Netflix, Youtube or playing games on my PS4 and Nintendo Switch would be the pinnacle and everything I could ask for.

I hope you guys have some more information on that!

See this reply from George Yianni on his AMA going on now.

I totally want to make hue sync as easy for people to use as possible and that would ideally mean it running in the TV, console or streaming service so you just have to watch TV like usual.

Getting Hue Sync built into these devices is hard and we're trying our best to get it done with a variety of partners. Reason it is hard is that the entertainment industry has been working to battle piracy for years and have made all these devices completely locked down to stop applications like hue sync having access to the video feed incase we rip it. Means significant platform changes and also legal contracts are needed at the partner side before we can do it.

Worth fighting for though! As soon as we have breakthroughs to share we will.

On the second point good luck with your hue addiction, its a slippery slope – you should try the switches they're awesome too!

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Share All sharing options for: Philips’ app that syncs Hue lights with computer displays is surprisingly good

Hue Sync with Hue Go lights and a Hue LightStrip. Image: Philips

Today, Philips is making its Hue Sync app available to anyone looking to synchronize their Hue lights with whatever’s running on their Windows or Mac computer. Hue Sync detects whatever colors it sees on the screen and then projects a matching aura onto the walls around it. It works with anything, really, even music and web browsing, but the experience is especially immersive when gaming or watching video at full screen. It works surprisingly well, too. I know because I’ve been testing a pre-release version of the app on an iMac for the past few days.

Let me guess: like me, you spend a lot of time behind your home computer. Maybe it’s also the biggest screen in your house, surrounded by a rumbling speaker configuration that’s perfectly tuned to blast your face with audio while gaming, or watching videos and film. If so, then Hue Sync could be for you.

My setup is super simple. I’ve got a four-year old 27-inch iMac that sits about a foot from a white wall, with an old “Pixar lamp” behind it fitted with a multi-colored Hue bulb. I’ve always been a fan of Microsoft’s IllumiRoom concept, and those Philips Ambilight TVs that bleed colors right off the display and onto the wall behind it. Hue Sync creates an approximation of that glorious effect, but with a non-trivial impact on CPU.

The Hue Sync app set to synchronize video. Image: Philips

The app requires a Hue bridge on your network, and you need to define an “Entertainment area” in the much improved Hue 3.0 app that went live a few days ago. My entertainment area is comprised of a single bulb behind my all-in-one, but you can go nuts with light strips and other Hue fixtures to create as big and bright of a light show as you want.

With a YouTube video playing at full screen and the Hue Sync app maxed-out at “Intense” brightness and “CPU – high performance,” the HueSync process usually reported CPU usage on my old iMac at around 24 to 26 percent, occasionally spiking to over 40 percent, or dropping into the low teens. But the synchronization was good. There was a slight lag between the color changes on the screen and the Hue bulb, but it didn’t detract from the experience, with the Hue smoothly changing colors even during fast-moving action scenes. It was particularly adept at identifying just the right colors to send to my lone Hue bulb even as the on-screen image presented a muddle of colors as you’d get with any TV show, game or film.

In a multi-light setup, Hue Sync will map the colors across regions of the display and then send them to the appropriate Hue device. You can see this in the image at the top of the article with red light flooding the wall on the left, and blue to the right, in accordance to the scene on the display.

The folowing GIF was captured while streaming this YouTube video to show how accurately and quickly my setup responded to uniform color changes on the iMac’s display:

Synchronizing with a YouTube video. Hue Sync set to high cpu mode and intense brightness. GIF: Thomas Ricker / The Verge

Reducing the brightness from “Intense” to “Subtle” in the app had little impact on the CPU usage. In my testing, the CPU set to “low performance” mode hovered around 19 to 20 percent but still spiked into the 30s. It also resulted in a sometimes uncomfortable delay in the light synchronization, and sometimes appeared jerky on the wall behind the display. For these reasons, I left the app in high performance mode, which is fine for films, but could cause problems for gamers.

Bottom line: Hue Sync is a fun little app that’s free to use, and, for me, adds an extra layer of immersion to the experience of watching videos or film. So, if you already have some Hue bulbs laying around, then you really should give it a try.