How to Sync Philips Hue Lights with Your TV (Step by Step)

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Philips Hue is a smart lighting system that allows you to control and sync your lights with your TV and other devices for an immersive entertainment experience. With Hue lights, you can make your TV viewing experience more engaging by having your lights react and change based on what’s happening on screen.

What You’ll Need to Sync Philips Hue Lights with Your TV

To sync your Hue lights with your TV, here are the basic things you’ll need:

  • Philips Hue Bridge: This connects your Hue lights to your home WiFi network and allows you to control them through apps.
  • Philips Hue Lights: These are the smart bulbs that you’ll be syncing to your TV. You can use any color Hue bulb.
  • TV: Your TV needs to be connected to your home WiFi network to sync with the Hue lights. Most modern TVs have WiFi built in.
  • Hue Sync App: This app from Philips allows you to sync your lights with your TV and choose different modes. You can get it on iOS or Android.
  • Hue Bluetooth App: This app lets you connect your Hue lights via Bluetooth if you don’t have a Hue Bridge.

Step1: Connecting Your Hue Bridge

The first step is to connect your Philips Hue Bridge to your home WiFi network. The Hue Bridge plugs into your router via an Ethernet cable and acts as a hub for controlling your lights.

Install the Philips Hue app on your smartphone or tablet to set up the Bridge. Follow the in-app instructions, which will walk you through connecting the Bridge to your WiFi, creating a Hue account, and linking any Hue lights.

Once connected, the app will show all your available Hue lights and allow you to control them.

Step 2: Linking Hue Lights to Your TV

With the Hue Bridge set up and connected to your lights, you now need to link the Hue system to your TV. This depends on the app you are using:

With the Hue Sync App:

  • Open the Hue Sync app on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Tap the Hue Bridge icon in the top left to connect to your Hue Bridge.
  • Select the ‘Entertainment Areas’ tab.
  • Choose your TV from the list. This allows the app to detect what’s playing on the TV.

With the Main Hue App:

  • Open the Philips Hue app and go to the ‘Entertainment’ section.
  • Select your TV. The Hue app will send a signal to make your TV blink so you can confirm you have the right one.
  • Your TV and Hue lights are now linked.

Step 3: Choosing Your Syncing Mode

The Hue app provides several different modes for syncing the colors and effects of your lights to what’s happening on your TV screen:

  • Video – This analyses the colors on the edges of the screen and replicates them with your lights. The lights extend the colors displayed on the screen.
  • Music – Makes the lights pulse and react to music playback on your TV.
  • Game – Optimized for gaming, lights react faster to on-screen motions for an immersive effect.
  • Ambiance – Uses natural light profiles optimized for TV watching. Lights subtly change in brightness based on the overall screen.
  • Subtle – Gives a subtle background syncing effect focusing mainly on the edges of the screen.

Advanced Settings to Use After Sync Philips Hue Lights with Your TV

In the Hue Sync app, you can fine-tune the sync settings:

  • Brightness: Change the brightness of lights from subtle to intense.
  • Transition Speed: Adjust how quickly colors change with on-screen content.
  • Intensity: Control the saturation of colors the lights display.
  • Background Color: Set a backdrop color for lights when syncing to maintain some consistency.

Entertainment Areas Features on TV

You can group sets of lights together as ‘Entertainment Areas’ to control different zones separately. For example, you may want lights behind the TV to sync while keeping other room lights normal.

In the Hue app, you can create and customize Entertainment Areas with specific lights grouped for TV syncing. The app will then only apply the sync to those areas.

Troubleshooting Tips If you are Not Able to Sync Philips Hue Lights with Your TV

Here are some troubleshooting tips if you’re having problems getting your TV to sync properly:

  • Ensure your TV, Hue Bridge, and lights are all connected to the same WiFi network.
  • Try restarting the Hue Bridge if the sync seems to stop working. Unplug and replug in the Bridge.
  • The Hue app may need to re-detect your TV if there are issues with syncing. You can manually initiate a new TV discovery through the Entertainment section of the app.
  • Check that the video input your TV is displaying matches the one selected in the Hue app settings.
  • Adjust your TV picture settings. Vivid or dynamic picture modes work best for syncing. Standard modes may have dimmer colors.

With the right setup, Phillips Hue lights can take your TV viewing experience to the next level. Experiment with the different sync modes and settings to find an immersive lighting effect you love for movies, shows, games, and music.

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About James Beetie

James - a self-confessed nerd - has owned smart home equipment for close to a decade, and he loves communicating the best ways of setting them up... and resolving the various bugs and issues that you'll no doubt come across!