Today I dealed with setting up a Hue 2.0 bridge and setting it up to connect to HomeKit properly. In short, as of the time of writing this article it’s quite a pain. Partly due some shortcomings of Philips offical app but also due some issue of HomeKit. I won’t go into detail here how to do the basic setup, more I want to give hints and tips how go around the pitfalls and how to setup later rooms for Siri.
First to go around trouble, you want to have your iOS devices on 9.2 (currently beta) to go around the issue of having one device able to control things with Siri, and the other always keep telling you “iCloud Data sync in progress”. Without iOS 9.2 i found no way to get around this bug, and I tried a lot of the guides out there; with 9.2 it syncs without any hassle. Also, if you wanna try to use HomeKit commandos on your Apple TV 4, forget about it for now, I tried and only got the answer that Siri is not able to help me with HomeKit right now. It’s kinda disappointing but anyway, thats just on a side note.
Assuming you have setup the Hue lights and gave them name, and also communicated those to Siri (if you changed them, go to the Siri settings in the Hue app, and then Lights. The ones whose name you changed have a “!” to them, tap them once and he syncs the new name to Siri (why they not do that automatically… i don’t know). Scene setup works pretty much fine via the Hue app, but if you wanna setup rooms, its not possible with the Hue app. There I can suggest as a free solution the Elgato Eve app (link takes you to the iTunes Store). Start it up and its pretty much obvious build, also it accepts the Philips bulbs easily since its centered around HomeKit instead of putting a own system into the front and HomeKit seconds like it feels with Philips own application. Tap the cogwheel to enter the settings, goto Rooms, add a couple of Rooms. If he doesnt accept the name for the room, ensure nothing else (scenario, bulb) have a similar name, everything for HomeKit requires a unique name. What works fine is to call the bulbs for example “living room one, living room two, etc.” and then create a room “living room”. Just a word of warning, i advice against changing the device names from the Elgato app. It kinda messed up my settings, so you should refrain from that. For some reason he doesn’t read the names from the devices, just names them after their default. To go back to the rooms, once you have created them, go back and in the settings go devices, and tap each device to add it to a room you created. once that is done, you can go like “Turn on the lights in <your room here>” or “set the lights in <your room here> to green”, since now you have rooms setup successfully.
It’s a bit tricky to get things working but slowly it comes around. The remote access also seems to have yet issues, I manage to turn on the lights but can’t turn them off again and such. But that you can do reliable via the Hue app, so its no trouble for me. But the Elgato app is a cheap and pretty good filler for now for the short comings of the Philips app.