How to Control House Lights With Your iPhone

Siri can help you turn your lights on and off

What to Know

  • In the Home app, select Add Accessory. Scan the HomeKit or QR code that came with your lights and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Make sure Siri is active on your iPhone, and use voice commands to control your lights. Say, "Hey Siri," and then "Turn on the lights."
  • To activate smart light scenes (multiple lights): In the Home app tap Add Scene. Choose a scene or create a new one.

This article explains how to control your smart light system with your iPhone and Siri, and Apple's HomeKit IoT platform

Control Your Lights With an iPhone and Siri

While smart light brands usually have their own iOS apps, using Siri's voice control functionality to control your lights is simple and convenient. Here's how to set it up.

Connect Your Lights to the Home App

The first step is to make sure your smart lights are connected to your Home app.

  1. Open the Home app.

  2. Go to the Home tab, if you don't start there.

  3. Tap the plus sign in the upper-right corner of the screen.

  4. Select Add Accessory.

    The "Add Accessory" command in the Home app
  5. Use the camera on your iOS device to scan the eight-digit HomeKit code or QR code that came with your lights and follow the on-screen instructions to add it to your network.

    If you have an iPhone 7 or later and see a wireless icon on your accessory, hold your iPhone near the accessory to add it.

Two young women lying on a bed. Lights at the foot of the bed.
 Mark Mawson/Getty Images

Make Sure Siri Is Active

Next, make sure Siri is active on your iPhone.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.

  2. Scroll down and tap Siri & Search.

  3. Make sure Listen for "Hey Siri" is toggled on so you can use your voice to control your lights.

    You may need to set up Hey Siri functionality by following the instructions on the screen.

    Turning on all Siri options on an iPhone

Use Siri to Control Your Lights

Now that your lights are part of the Home app and Siri is activated, you can use voice commands to control your lights. For example, say, "Hey Siri," and then "Turn on the lights."

If you have multiple smart lights or lights set up in different rooms, you can be more specific with your request. For example, say, "Turn on the living room lights," or "Turn off the bathroom light."

If you have color smart lights, you can also ask Siri to set those lights to a specific hue. For example, you can say, "Turn the kitchen lights to green." To turn off the lights, simply activate Siri and say, "Turn off the lights."

Screenshot showing how to turn on lights using Siri.

Use Siri to Activate Smart Light Scenes

Using the Home app and Shortcuts, use Siri to turn on multiple lights without having to request them all individually. Here's how.

  1. Open the Home app and make sure you're on the Home tab.

  2. Tap the Plus (+) sign.

  3. Tap Add Scene.

    The Add Scene command in the Home app
  4. You now have the option to create a suggested Scene or a custom one. For this example, tap I'm Home.

    In some versions of iOS, this Scene may be called Arrive Home.

  5. The Scene will display all available accessories, including your smart lights. For this Scene, it recommends turning on all available lights at 70 percent brightness when you get home.

  6. Customize this array by disabling lights you don't want to activate. To do this, tap the lights you want the Scene to ignore, and they'll be greyed out.

  7. Next, adjust the brightness at which individual lights come on when the Scene is activated.

    On an iPhone with 3D Touch, press firmly until the brightness control appears. Slide up and down to adjust the brightness. On an iPhone without 3D Touch, press and hold until the brightness control appears.

    Setting up a Scene in the Home app
  8. Slide up and down to adjust the brightness. Select a color for the lights by using one of the options below the slider. Tap a preset option twice to open the color customization screen.

  9. On the next screen, either tap the color wheel to choose a color or use the Temperature tab to choose a warm or cool shade of white.

  10. Select Done to save your selection.

    Selecting color and brightness for a light in a Scene
  11. Once set, you'll see the lights that are set up and their predetermined brightness levels.

  12. Tap the switch by Include in Favorites to add it to the Home tab, and then tap Done to finalize your scene.

  13. On the main Home screen, you'll now see Arrive Home listed as a Favorite Scene. Tap it once to run it.

    Adding a new Scene to Favorites in Home
  14. Launch Siri and say, "Run I'm home."

  15. Siri will activate the scene, and you can enjoy your lighting.

Many smart light bulb brands work with Apple's HomeKit software, including Philips Hue, LIFX, and more.

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