Control your smart lights right from your menu bar.

One of the things I love about smart lighting is the ability to have a voice-activated assistant control them. Unfortunately, there are times you can’t just call out to Alexa or Siri to turn your lights on/off or change their color. There are certain times you manually have to tap on a click or even click a mouse to send the commands to your lights. This is where HueMenu 3 comes in. A few years back, I actually reviewed HueMenu for Mac. It was in its infancy then, but it worked for those times you were stuck to your Mac and needs to adjust your lights. Now, HueMenu 3 is available for download and I’ve been delighted to revisit it.

Details

HueMenu for Philips Hue is designed to work exclusively with Philips Hue smart bulbs. The biggest difference between HueMenu 3 and the original version I tested before is that the app has been remade using the official Philips Hue SDK for macOS. This means you will get the full range of features including syncing of scenes and groups. HueMenu 3 also takes full advantage of the Touch Bar with the new MacBook Pros. You can control all your lights directly from the Touch Bar. HueMenu has been completely redesigned from the ground up to be more responsive and improve usability with a new, attractive user interface.

Some of its features include:

  • Change the color, brightness and turn on/off individual, a group or all of Hue lights
  • Groups and Scenes are synchronized with the official iOS App of Philips Hue
  • Dark Mode
  • Start hue menu on Login
  • The ability to flash the lights
  • Random mode
  • Alarms

User Experience

I like apps that make life easier. Smart lighting, as well as other smart home devices, are wonderful, but sometimes they get dumbed down by the devices that are controlling them. HueMenu 3 is a really clever utility for the Mac. It’s very easy to use. Much like the previous version, you get started by connecting the app to your Hue Bridge. Once the computer is connected to the Hue’s brain, all the information for your connected devices will download into the app. You will have a list of devices as well as the groups and scenes you have set up for your Hue Lights. In my case, we have over 30 Hue bulbs in our house so the list is quite long.

While you are in the menu, you can start typing for the name of the light you want and the cursor will automatically move to that item. If you have a list as long as mine, that can be very helpful. It would also be great if there was a way to make the list a little more condensed for those who have many devices on their network. I’d love it if a search field was also available since scrolling through the list can be a tedious process. Something else I find a bit odd but isn’t necessarily exclusive to HueMenu is that the app’s icon appears in the macOS Dock while the app is open even though it’s a Menu Bar utility. I have seen this with other Menu Bar utilities, but some of the ones I use regularly like Paste, do not show an open app in the Dock while it’s open in the Menu Bar.

I love that HueMenu has taken advantage of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro. It’s a very nice use of the application since you end up being able to fine-tune your lights and their colors. I much prefer using the Touch Bar for color selection because I feel like it’s a bit more precise then what I can do on the actual menu.

Conclusions

HueMenu 3 is a must-have for Philips Hue users. The ability to adjust your lights from the comfort of your Mac is too inviting. The app works really well and it maintains a strong connection to your network. I’ve not had any issues with the app connecting to my lights or controlling them as they are commanded to. It’s a really nice app, but I would like to see an option for the HueMenu icon to be hidden from the Dock.

DOWNLOAD – HueMenu 3 – $3.99

For more information, visit huemenu.com.
Find HueMenu on Twitter.

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