Last month, Hue bulbs were updated with the option to use their most recent settings when powering on, rather than coming on at full brightness. Hue has now announced that users will soon be able to choose what setting lights power on with — full brightness, the last used setting, or a user-defined custom setting. The bulbs are also getting new sleep and wake functionality with Google Assistant, meant to replicate sunset and sunrise.

Hue's revamped power-on settings will let users choose how lights come on when power is cycled, rather than offering a binary choice between full brightness and the last used setting. So if, for example, you'd like the Hue bulb in your bedroom lamp to always be dim and cool when you power the lamp on, you'll have that option. Personally, I've always wanted the bulbs to check the time use the appropriate scene when turning on; unfortunately, it doesn't seem like this update allows for that.

Users will be able to set custom power-on behavior starting in February.

Additionally, Hue bulbs will soon be able to do 30-minute wind-down and wake-up routines in conjunction with the Google Assistant. "Hey Google, sleep the lights" will cause these the lights to gradually warm and fade over a half hour at a time of your choosing. "Hey Google, turn on Gentle Wake Up" will make Hue bulbs brighten in a way that mimics sunrise starting a half hour before morning alarms set through Google Assistant. It's not clear whether it's possible to have the effect apply to alarms set in other ways — but since you're able to tie Assistant routines to alarms in Google's Clock app, there's probably a way.

The sleep and wake-up functionality should be available by March.

  • Thanks:
  • Nick

Press Release

January 8, 2019

“Hey Google, wake me up at 6 a.m. tomorrow.” Philips Hue brings voice commands to your sleep and wake up feature with the Google Assistant

CES - Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)– Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, has collaborated with Google to give consumers the ability to use voice commands with the Google Assistant to activate sleep and wake light effects, using Philips Hue functionality. These effects replicate the optimum lighting for winding down before bed and waking up naturally in the morning. It represents the first integration of the Philips Hue sleep and wake up feature with a digital assistant platform.

Features will include:

One-time alarm sync: Users can say “Hey Google, turn on Gentle Wake Up”, which will sync their Philips Hue lights with their morning alarms with the Google Assistant. Every time, the user sets their alarm on the Google Assistant, Philips Hue lights will naturally wake the user up with a sunrise effect starting 30 minutes before the alarm.
Scheduled sleep / wake: Users will be able to set the sleep feature by saying “Hey Google, sleep the lights at 10 p.m.” The lights will change to a warm tone of white light, which will gradually fade out over 30 minutes. This functionality will similarly work when you would like to wake up.
Direct action: Users can instruct their Philips Hue lights via the Google Assistant to sleep and wake immediately, meaning the Philips Hue lights will activate the sleep and wake process for the 30-minute duration.
Multi Person activation: Just like the Hue app, the Google Home app lets you manage your lights in different rooms, which means you can set the wake-up routine not only for your own bedroom but also for other rooms, such as “Kids Bedroom”.

What light can do

Research is increasingly showing the important role light plays in how we feel and how well we sleep. Melatonin, the hormone that helps to regulate our wake and sleep cycle, is influenced by light, whether that’s natural or artificial light. By having the right light as we prepare for bed, we can get a better night’s sleep, and waking up with the right light can help us start the day feeling more energized.

While many people need an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, by using light that simulates a sunrise with gradually increasing light levels before the alarm goes off, you can improve your well-being, mood and cognitive performance later in the day.

Sleep plays such an important role in our health and well-being. We’re pleased to be adding yet another option for our users to help them relax before bed and wake up in a way that prepares them for the day ahead.”

Duncan McCue,
Head of Partnerships for Philips Hue at Signify

The new feature will be available by March 2019.

For more information about Philips Hue, visit

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018.