Hue Menu provides a Mac menu bar utility to control Phillips Hue Lights.
Over the past few months, we’ve been adding home automation devices to our home. The latest addition is the Phillips Hue Lights. Phillips Hue lights are LED light bulbs with built-in wireless technology that allows you to change the colors of the lights from a mobile app. They add a special ambience to every room they are in. Other than the mobile app, users can control their Hue Lights from the web interface or third party apps like Hue Menu.
Hue Menu is a simple menu bar utility that allows users to control Phillips Hue lights from the Mac. It’s the first third party app of its kind that controls the Hue lights. Users can change the color of their lamps, create presets, set alarms and control the brightness from the menu bar of their Mac. This is very convenient when you don’t want to pick up your phone or log on to the web interface.
When you first start up the app, you have to Auto-Discover the Hue Bridge. If you have the bridge set-up, this will be detected quickly. Once detected, you only have to tap the button on the bridge and Hue Menu connects. Within the preferences of Hue Menu, you have the option to select whether or not the light bulbs flash when you receive Twitter mentions or Facebook notifications.
Once the Hue Lights are connected to Hue Menu, you can immediately start changing their color, color temperature and brightness levels. Users can change the color by using the Hue Menu color selector or by defining RGB or Hex values. This makes it easy for users to get exactly the right color they are looking for.
Another nice feature of Hue Menu is that users can create presets for their Hue Lights. The way to set these up is to first get your lights the way you like them. Then, from Hue Menu select ‘Create Preset’. Then close the Hue Menu. The next time you open it, the Preset will be available. From Preferences, you can change the name of any presets you have created.
The Alarm option is also nice. This is a feature that is not used within the Phillips Hue mobile app or the web interface. Hue Menu allows you to set an alarm to turn the lights on or off on a specific day or time. This feature works really well and is pretty handy if you are planning on being away from your home. It’s a different kind of lighting timer.
Hue Menu does a good job of providing basic functions on the Mac. I did notice that the Phillips Hue mobile app is more responsive than Hue Menu, but it’s great having control of the Hue lights without having to pick up my phone. One small drawback is that there aren’t many instructions on how to use Hue Menu. While it’s fairly easy to pick up, it would be nice to have a small how-to guide available either inside preferences or on the website.
Hue Menu is currently on version 1.5.1 and can be purchased from the App Store for $2.99. For more information, visit huemenu.com. or follow them via social media below.