How to Control House Lights With Your iPhone

Siri can help you turn your lights on and off

Two young women on a bed with iPhones and lights, depicting using Siri to control home lights

Mark Mawson / Getty Images

Smart light bulbs are LED lights users control via a smartphone, tablet, or smart home automation system. With your iPhone, Siri, and Apple's HomeKit IoT platform, managing your smart lights is simple and easy. Set a mood with lights or even make it seem like someone's home when you're not there.

Here's how to control your smart light system with your iPhone and Siri.

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

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 and tap Add Accessory.

  2. Use the camera on your iOS device to scan the eight-digit HomeKit code or QR code that came with your lights.

    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.

  3. When your accessory appears, tap it. If asked to Add Accessory to Network, tap Allow.

  4. Name your accessory and assign it to a room to help you identify it in the Home app and control it with Siri.

  5. Tap Next and then Done.

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.

    Screenshot showing how to turn on Siri and activate it.

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

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.

  2. Tap the Plus (+) sign.

  3. Tap Add Scene.

  4. You now have the option to create a suggested Scene or a custom one. For this example, we'll use Arrive Home. Tap Arrive Home.

    Screenshot showing how to turn create HomeKit scenes.
  5. The Scene will display all available accessories, including your smart lights. For this Scene, it recommends turning on all available lights at 70% 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. Slide up and down to adjust the brightness.

    Screenshot showing how to set light brightness presets via HomeKit.
  8. Once set, you'll see the lights that are set up and their predetermined brightness levels.

  9. Tap Done to finalize your scene.

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

    Screenshot showing how to setup a new scene in HomeKit.
  11. Exit the Home app, open Settings, then scroll down and tap Siri & Search.

  12. Tap All Shortcuts.

  13. Scroll down until you see the suggested shortcuts for Home. Tap Run Arrive Home.

    Screenshot showing how to turn on activate HomeKit scenes via Siri Shortcuts.
  14. You'll now be asked to record a Siri launch phrase to run the Scene. Tap the red record icon to record your phrase.

  15. Record your launch phrase.

    You can record any phrase you like, but to keep things simple, try going with "Run arrive home."

  16. Once you've recorded your launch phrase and are satisfied, tap Done.

    Screenshot showing how to record a HomeKit Shortcut.
  17. Launch Siri and say, "Run arrive home."

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