How to Connect Google Home to Lights in Your Home

Get lit with Google Home

Google Home
Google Home.

 Getty Images

There are a lot of options to control smart light bulbs in your home with your voice. Apple’s HomePod and Amazon’s Echo devices are a couple of options, but you can also take a Google Home device and connect it to your Philips Hue lights.

Learn how to connect Google Home to your lights and control them with just your voice.

Start With a Google Home Device

Beyond the standard Google Home device, there’s also the Google Home Mini and the Google Home Max, which can also access connected lights. 

Google Home Mini
Google Home Mini.

Each of these different Google Home devices will perform the same functions. However, the main difference is the sound quality and loudness of the internal speakers. If a Google Home device isn't your style, you can also use any other Google Assistant enabled device.

Smart Plugs Can Make Nearly Anything ‘Connected’

Smart plugs are devices that plug into wall outlets and can remotely control whatever device is plugged into them, including non-smart devices. A standard floor lamp, for example, can respond to voice controls and gain an internet connection just by being plugged into a smart plug.

Smart plugs are a great way to ease into the connected home space because the cost is typically under $30 and can be used to test different ideas. If controlling a lamp with your voice isn’t incredibly helpful, you can always move it to a different room and plug something else in.

Tip: For rooms like the kitchen, you’ll want to invest in smart light bulbs to easily connect rooms that don’t typically have lamps.

Use Smart Light Bulbs to Fill Your House With Light

If you want to use Google Home to control your lights, the obvious place to start is having a connected light bulb.

For this, we’ll focus on Philips Hue because it's a great connected lightbulb option, but there are other options available, such as TP-Link Kasa, LIFX, and GE. One specific benefit of the Hue lights ecosystem, though, is it works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and the Google Assistant. If you decide to switch from Google Home in the future, you’ll still be able to use the same Hue lights.

Philips Hue bulbs need a hub so if you don’t already have any connected lights, there are starter kits available starting at $69.99.

Download These Apps

Before you can use your Hue lights, you’ll need to download Google Home and Google Assistant from either the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. It’s not obvious which smart home functions each app performs, but both will redirect to the other when necessary.

Note: While Google Home was the primary app previously, this has since switched to Google Assistant.

Connect Your Light Bulbs to Google Home

Connecting your smart light bulbs to Google Home largely amounts to finding and adding your bulbs to the aforementioned Google app and assigning them to a room.

Add smart devices to Google Assistant
Add smart devices to Google Assistant.
  1. Open the Google Assistant app.
    1. Note: If you start in Google Home it will redirect you to Google Assistant.
  2. In the Explore section, tap the compass icon in the top right of the screen.
  3. In the Explore section, tap the three-dot ellipsis in the top right of the screen
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Scroll down to the services section and tap Home Control.
  6. Tap the Plus (+) in the bottom right corner.
  7. Scroll down and select Philips Hue.
    1. Note: Any other smart light bulbs you may have will also appear here.
  8. Sign in to your Philips Hue account and all the lights you've set up will appear in the devices under Home Control.

Set up rooms:

Add lights to a grouped room
Add lights to a grouped room.

Once you’ve connected your lights to Google Home, you’ll want to group them by rooms to control them all at once.

  1. Under Home in the Google Assistant app, tap Rooms.
  2. You’ll be asked to assign lights to a room.
  3. Tap the pencil icon next to the light, then select which room it belongs in.
  4. Tap Done in the top right corner
  5. If everything went as planned, you can now try saying, “Hey Google, turn on [or off] the [living room] light.”

Voice Commands to Try With Your Lights and Google Home

Once everything is set up, you can use voice commands to tell your Google Home to perform various actions, such as:

  • Turning lights on or off
  • Dimming or brightening lights
  • Setting a certain brightness level
  • Changing light color (supported bulbs only)
  • Controlling all the lights in a room

Type to Turn on Your Lights

Because Google Assistant is controlling your lights through a Google Home device, you can also control your lights using text.

Text Google Assistant
Text Google Assistant. ​

Instead of using the microphone through the Google Assistant app, tap the keyboard and type a command like, "Turn on the kitchen lights."

Don't Forget to Keep the Light Switch On

Now that you have your lights connected to your Google Home, you’ll want to leave the light switch on. If you turn off the light switch, it stops providing power to the bulb. Leave the wall switch on, and just ask Google to turn off the lights.