all 4 hue is the app for configuring your Philips Hue lights. It provides one of the most comprehensive apps for Philips Hue lighting system. The app is available for Android and iOS devices. You can install the app on iOS and Android devices for free and use them with some limitations such as limited numbers of scenes you can create or limited time you can use special effects. But free versions give you access to all features so you can thoroughly evaluate the app before you purchase. Full versions cost $3.99 for iOS and $4.49 for Android.
About iOS version of all 4 hue
Android and iOS version of the app are not completely the same. There are some differences. iOS version lacks a few features. What is missing is Device Events and Effects. These features are very useful or entertaining. I paid $3.99 for the full version with a hope of adding these features which you can see in a free app for Android. But these features aren’t available for iOS devices whether it’s the free version or the full version. I just don’t know why iOS version lacks these features.
There are many features in the app. Here are some useful features that the original Philips Hue app doesn’t have. Please note that these are not all.
Toggle color loop
To start and stop color loop, open Menu > Lights > Edit (right icon) > Toggle color loop. You can apply this effect individually to any Hue color light bulb. Speed and colors are pre-set and not configurable. But you can adjust speed and colors of color loop under Effects.
Copy to NFC tag
You can copy scenes to NFC tags. After you create scenes, open Menu > Details > Edit (right icon) > Copy to NFC tag. Then put NFC tag on the back of your mobile device. Your device must support NFC (Near Field Communication) to program NFC tags. The full version of the app can create as many scenes as you want. And you can also make as many NFC tags as you want.
You can make a light or a group of lights flash on an incoming call, SMS, or even app’s notification. You can select apps which notification you want to know with a flash. Connecting or disconnecting Wifi are also used as a trigger for the flash. For Wifi events, you may choose “Activate scene” in addition to flash.
As of writing this post, there are three effects available. You can start, stop and configure each effect. “Disco” uses your device’s microphone. Place your device near a speaker or play music on the device itself and lights start changing colors along with the music. “Color loop” is configurable on speed and colors. “Bonfire” provides an atmosphere of bonfire or candle with flickering lights. You can change colors and adjust several parameters.
Alarms, Timers, and Rules
You can set alarms, timers and make Rules. Rules consist of Conditions and Actions. Actions will be executed when Conditions are triggered. You can configure all accessories here like Dimmer Switch, Tap, and Motion sensor. Actions are not only turning on/off or activating scene but also flash, color loop, change brightness, start a timer, etc.
Rules with Dimmer Switch
I found it very handy to make Rules with Dimmer Switch. With the original Philips Hue app, you can make a dimmer switch remember five scenes on ON button, and the other buttons are not configurable. But all 4 hue app can completely reprogram the switch. For example, by default, Dimmer switch’s dim up/down buttons are set to change brightness 11% when it’s pressed, 21% when held down. Change the setting to 5% when held down and lights brighten or dim more slowly.
Plus, you can add multiple Actions in one Rule, which means that only one condition like pressing “ON” button triggers many Actions like turning on Relax in dining, Energize in Living room and turning off in Kitchen at the same time.
What’s more? There are more Conditions than it appears. Dimmer Switch has four buttons, and you can configure only ON button with the original Philips Hue app. But you can completely reprogram the switch with all 4 hue app. If you want to do it the following Conditions can be used in Rules:
Button ‘On pressed
Button ‘Dim up’ pressed
Button ‘Dim down’ pressed
Button ‘Off’ pressed
Button ‘On’ hold
Button ‘On’ short released
Button ‘On’ long released
Button ‘Dim up’ hold
Button ‘Dim up’ short released
Button ‘Dim up’ long released
Button ‘Dim down’ hold
Button ‘Dim down’ short released
Button ‘Dim down’ long released
Button ‘Off’ hold
Button ‘Off’ short released
Button ‘Off’ long released
Let’s say you want to control the lights in the bedroom. But you want to control lights separately, lights on the ceiling and lights on the night table. Create two groups and name them “Bedroom” and “Night Table.”
Button ‘On or Off’ short released and long released are practically the same as Button ‘On or Off’ hold. So, don’t use them.
Rule 1: Button ‘On’ pressed triggers Enable ‘Bedroom’
Rule 2: Button ‘On’ hold triggers Enable ‘Night Table’, Disable ‘Bedroom’
Rule 3: Button ‘Off’ pressed triggers Disable ‘Bedroom’, Disable ‘Night Table’
Now, “ON” button can turn on two groups separately. If you set up five scenes with the original Philips Hue app, you can continue to use them. You may set up Dim up and down buttons for turning on and off lights in other rooms, but let’s keep dimming features for the bedroom. So, let’s make Rules to use dimming features in Bedroom and Night Table.
Rule 4: Button ‘Dim up’ pressed triggers Increase brightness by 11% in Bedroom, Increase brightness by 11% in Night Table
Rule 5: Button ‘Dim up’ hold triggers Increase brightness by 21% in Bedroom, Increase brightness by 21% in Night Table
Rule 6: Button ‘Dim down pressed triggers Decrease brightness by 11% in Bedroom, Decrease brightness by 11% in Night Table
Rule 7: Button ‘Dim down pressed triggers Decrease brightness by 21% in Bedroom, Decrease brightness by 21% in Night Table
Actions of increase or decrease brightness don’t affect lights when they are off. Now, you can brighten and dim the lights in the room. But, there is still one thing that the switch can’t do. It’s to turn on all lights in the room. It may not be necessary to turn on all lights in the room at the same time, but just in case, create the last Rule.
Rule 8: Button ‘Off’ hold triggers Enable Bedroom, Enable Night Table
Now, a single Dimmer Switch has a complete control of two groups of lights. Five scenes you might have set up in the original Philips Hue app can continue to be used. (scenes for only one room or group. Although you can add up to 2 rooms in Philips Hue app, if you do so, you can’t control them separately.) Please keep in mind that you shouldn’t change the setting of the dimmer switch in Philips Hue app after you create Rules. You will see the following message in Philips Hue app.
The current behavior for this button can’t be displayed. Configuring the On button will remove the current behavior.
If you configure, some Rules will be removed or changed.
Features introduced here in this post are not all. There are more things you can make Philip Hue lighting system convenient with the app. It’s definitely worth the price.