Using Philips Hue with Multiple Users
Hue lighting needs to be accessible to all in the home so that people are not left in the dark, if you are the tech person in your home you will know how to turn lights on and off easily, however what about other people in your home such as your partner, kids or flat mates?
Multiple Users and Hue
If you have multiple people living in your home where you have Hue bulbs installed, such as your partner, flat mates, kids, then they may need access to control the home lights. There are a few methods they could use, the physical switch such as dimer or Tap, voice control via a smart hub such as Alexa or Google Home.
Finally they could use the Hue app, or a third party app such as iConnectHue. Each person just needs to install the app on their phone, gain access to the Hue bridge and they are good to go. They can then turn lights on and off via their app on their phone.
Can I connect more than one phone to my Hue bridge?
All the bulbs are connected to your bridge via a Zigbee mesh, your bridge is what tells to the bulbs to do. You can connect as many phones and tablets to your bridge using the Hue app. This makes it ideal for you and your partner to be able to change the lights and scenes, making it possible to control same light by two user via Philips Hue Bridge. When loading the app your can see which lights are on, and have the ability to change the scenes.
What about Multiple bridges?
The Hue bridge has a limit of the amount of bulbs and accessories that can be connected, therefore if you hit this limit you will require another bridge. The Hue app allows you to add mutable bridges and control all lights through your app, however there is a downside,you have to select each bridge each time depending on the bulbs they are connected too. Unfortunately they are not all listed as one.
Geofencing for Multiple Users
Geofencing allows you to turn lights on and off as your leave or come back to your home using the home and away function. This is great for leaving for work in the morning, the lights in the house re all turned off, and when you return your entrance lights can be set to turn on. However what about when you go to work and their is someone else in the house such as your partner and you don’t want all your lights to turn off, leaving them in darkness.
Via Hue Labs there is a Multi User Geofencing formula. Installing this on your bridge allows your bridge to take into account other users and their location so if they are home then the lights won’t turn off unless everyone has left.
Another way this can be done is via Apple Homekit, syncing all users and adding rules to turn lights and other devices on and off.
When it comes to multiple users it all works great, however there is something missing, and that user roles or permissions. For example, me being the parent and home owner has access to all bulbs and accessories, I am the admin, however what about my kids, what if I only want to grant access to them for bulbs in their room only via the app. At the moment everyone that has access has access to all.
I feel a simple method to grant mobile devices with certain access to certain bulbs is a must feature that needs to come, as more and more home use more and more Hue bulbs, managing access becomes more important.
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