Control Philips Hue Lights From Your PC – with this GNOME Extension

Background: We have purchased a lot of Philips Hue lights, which are lights that can be controlled with a wireless device like your phone. You can change their colors, and of course they can be white as well. According to Wikipedia, “Philips Hue is a line of color changing LED lamps and white bulbs which can be controlled wirelessly. The Phillips Hue line of bulbs was the first smart bulb of its kind on the market. The lamps are currently created and manufactured by Signify N.V., formerly the Philips Lighting division of Royal Philips N.V.” We started putting them in our basement and are working our way up the house. With Philips Hue lights, you can create an entirely different mood in the room by using combinations of colors and dynamic lights that change (once I even made them look like fireworks).

Note that you can only use the information in this article if you have Linux installed on your computer (with the GNOME desktop environment installed as well).

Today I wanted the ability to control my Philips Hue lights with my PC, and I found an app, but it was only for Windows, and I didn’t want to create an article about emulating a Windows app and downloading it (I use Ubuntu Linux). Knowing Linux, there’s a way to do anything, even without having to emulate other apps. I came across a GNOME Extension that controls all of your Philips Hue lights, rooms, scenes, zones, and even entertainment areas. It feels exactly like I’m using the mobile app, and it’s really fast.

Of course, there’s the remote API, but this GNOME Extension easily changes your lights without the remote API, and uses your network, which is WAY faster. (it only works as long as your computer is on your local network).

If you don’t know what an API is, or anything in the above paragraph, you don’t even need to! This GNOME Extension makes it really easy for you to control your lights with barely any configuration.

Here’s my video on this:

This GNOME Extension can be installed like any other GNOME Extension from the official Extensions page. Click the button below to get the extension.

Once you download the extension, an icon will appear in your GNOME top bar for easy access to your lights.

Philips Hue Icon (all the way to the left)

Of course, you have to tell the extension the local IP Address of your Hue Bridge. Your Hue bridge is what connects and controls all of your Hue lights. We have it plugged into our network switch. If you don’t know what the bridge is, it looks like this:

If you have a lot of Philips Hue lights and control them with lots of different apps, you probably have a bridge. It connects and talks to each of the lights and sends them commands.

Anyway, you’ll have to find the IP address of your bridge. You can either look on your local network configuration page, or for an easier experience, go to the Philips Hue app, click on Settings, scroll down and click on Bridge Settings, click Network Settings, and you should see your IP. If you don’t, you’ll have to toggle the DHCP switch just for a quick second so you can see the IP and then turn it back on.

Once you have the IP, you will then put it into the extension configuration. But before that, click the button on your Hue Bridge so it temporarily allows other apps to connect to it, and then enter the IP in the extension. If you don’t do this, you’ll get an error window from the GNOME Extension.

Once you enter that, you might have to click on the icon in the top bar and select “refresh menu.” After that, you’ll be able to control your Philips Hue lights as long as you’re on your WiFi.

You can even change colors, choose scenes, and do pretty much everything that the mobile Philips Hue app can do.

If this article helped you, leave a comment down below and tell me how you thought about it.


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