While Philips Hue has always made it easy to control individual rooms, control beyond that has always been fiddly. With the new Zones features, available in the app, that all changes and you now get finer control of how you want your lighting to work.
Zones can be thought of as a special type of room, where you can have bulbs from multiple rooms or even a sub-set of bulbs from one room. There are two main reasons why you might want to do this. First, if you want to segment a larger room into individual zones, you can do this. For example, in a kitchen, you could have cooking and dining zones, with brighter light in the former and a more relaxed atmosphere in the latter.
Secondly, if you want to control lights in different rooms together, you can do. A through-lounge, for example, could have a zone that tackles both the dining and sitting parts. Or, you can bundle the upstairs lights all together in a single zone. As our updated Philips Hue review states, Zones are a great way of segmenting your lights. Previously, the only way to control individual zones was by adjusting lights individually.
With Zones, you get all of the same controls as you do with rooms, including the ability to set colour, temperature and brightness, and to apply the same scene across multiple rooms. Note that if you then change a scene in a room, only part of a zone will be affected. There’s also no way to currently link Hue switches to Zones.
Related: Which Philips Hue should I buy?
Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant don’t pick up the new Zones. With Alexa, you can create your own groups to mimic the behaviour, as you can put devices into multiple groups. Google Home doesn’t support the same level of control, and devices can be placed into one Room only.
Zones is a further development of Hue, with new features and options being added regularly. Recently, Hue added the ability to set the colour/temperature and brightness of a Hue bulb when it’s physically turned on at a wall switch. That way, if you have a power failure or someone decides to use the old-fashioned control, you still get to choose how your lighting will look.
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