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Smart lighting: Control and extend Philips Hue with OpenHAB 3

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The smart lighting system Philips Hue includes countless devices and accessories. We show how you can also implement more complex automations with openhab 3.

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Table of Contents

When you enter the room, the light comes on as if by magic and a voice command is all it takes to change the lighting for the candlelight dinner. This is possible with Philips Hue lights and the associated app. When configuring, Philips deliberately tries to balance the simplest possible operation and great flexibility. As a result, the hardware can actually do more than the Hue app reflects – some functions cannot be accessed in it. In addition, Hue is an isolated solution that hardly interacts with other smart home components.

But with the help of a smart home center, you can often unleash the full potential with just a few mouse clicks and combine the smart lighting with other smart home devices. This is particularly easy with the open source smart home software OpenHAB. It runs on Windows, Linux and macOS. For economical continuous use, it is advisable to install OpenHAB on a Raspberry Pi. There are ready-made images on the OpenHAB website that you just have to flash onto an SD card. With OpenHAB, for example, a red flashing lamp in the hallway can then warn when leaving the apartment if a window has been left open. In addition, you can adapt the lighting much better to your own needs: for example, the dimmed night light can be switched on from 10 p.m. during the weekday, but only from 12 p.m. on weekends or during vacations.

More about: Hardware and software for the smart home

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In this article, we present some ideas on how to get more out of smart lamps and describe examples of how to implement them. With a little imagination, you can probably think of countless other hacks. If you have never come into contact with OpenHAB before, we will explain the basic functional principle and make it easier to get started.

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