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New App Lets Linux Users Control Their Lighting from their Laptop

Internet of things meets mood lighting

Luminance App for Linux

A new app lets Philips Hue users control the colour or brightness of their room straight from the Linux desktop.

Called Luminance the app allows owners of the smart LED lightbulbs (via the Hue Bridge) to cycle through and adjust colors, temperature or increase brightness, or even switch lights on/off remotely.

No need to reach for your smartphone when you fancy altering the ambience of a room: just head to the Dash (or your app menu equivalent) and launch Luminance.

Open-Source Philips Hue Linux App

The open-source app, which is written in Python and GTK+, says it wants “…to be beautiful and easy to use yet offer all of the functionality that the Hue system has to offer.”

I don’t own any Philips Hue products — cheesy wink to the camera in case Philips is watching — but Craig Cabrey’s app looks like it offers everything one would need, including:

  • Control lights individually (brightness, color, on/off)
  • Control groups (brightness, color, on/off)
  • Access bridge information and management (e.g., rescan for lights, check for updates)

Installing It Isn’t So Simple

For full details on how to install the app — it’s not as simple as flicking a light switch on, sadly — can be found on the GitHub page for the app.

Among the required dependencies listed there is GTK 3.20 (i.e., Ubuntu 16.10 or later) and phue, a python library for interacting with the Philips Hue.