Philips offer a fully documented and easy to use API that enables you to significantly enhance how you use your Philip Hue system. This guide offers a brief introduction to the Philips Hue API, how to access it and how to use it.
The Philips Hue API (Application Programmers Interface) enables you to make your Hue system do way more than you ever thought it could. The normal Hue phone APP (iOS or Android) is a great app, but it doesn't give you access to all Hue system features. This is where the API comes in.
That's all OK, but why would you want to use the API - what can it do? Well, basically it can help you do a lot of cool stuff!
- Rules - Create rules so that lights turn on if particular things happen in the system (such as a TAP or Dimmer button being pressed)
- Schedules - Create more complex schedules than available in the standard Hue smartphone App
- Sunset/Sunrise - Use Sunset and Sunrise times to activate your lights - this isn't accessible through the normal App
- TAP Switch - allow each button to toggle lights or do multiple things (not possible in the App)
- Dimmer Switch - allows the buttons to dim and control multiple lights and toggle lights or scenes
- Runs Locally - all commands run locally on the Hue Bridge - this isn't a cloud service, so there are no delays
- Easy to use - browser based editor allows you to create rules, schedules, scenes in a few minutes
- Free - all of this is Free, which makes it even better
One last point. The great thing about Philips Hue is that it's so easy to use, so isn't having to use a scary API the opposite? There's no need to be scared of the API, it's easy to use and very well documented. More importantly, there are lots of examples available, so you can copy those and just change the ID of your light or switch. We will also have a series of guides showing how to use the API do do particular things - again you can just use that code on your system.
Getting and Using the Hue API
The Hue API is freely available from the Philips Hue Developers site. All you need to do is register, and within minutes you have access to the API, documentation and examples. There's also a pretty good forum there as well.
Register for the Philips Develop Program - http://www.developers.meethue.com/user/register
Once registered, head on over to the "Getting Started" section. This will introduce you to the API and show you how to get access to your Hue Bridge.
Note - the aim of this Vesternet guide isn't to show you how to use the Hue API - Philips have already done a great job of that (and they constantly update it). We've created this short guide as an introduction to the API - making sure people know that it's available and why we believe you should take a look at it. It will also act as a point of reference for the Hue guides we write showing you how to do particular things.