Looking for an easy way to control Philips Hue lights from Ubuntu? We’ve found you one!

In 2016 we wrote about a GTK app for managing Phillips Hue lights on the Linux desktop. Though very handy that tool hasn’t been updated for a while. But no worries: now there’s something better.

If you use Ubuntu (or any distro with GNOME Shell) and your Hue bulbs are connected to a Hue Bridge you can turn lights on or off, control their brightness, and even change their colour — directly from your desktop PC.

The brightly named “Hue Lights” GNOME Shell extension is able to discover Hue Bridges (or connect directly by IP). It lets you manage individual bulbs or groups of lights in “zones” (e.g., ‘bedroom lights’, ec).

“The extension groups the lights in zones and rooms. It is possible to control the state, the brightness, and the color. The scenes can be activated for the zones or rooms. The color picker is shown after clicking the name of light. Multiple bridges should be possible to control,” the extensions’ store description reads.

I don’t have a Hue Bride or any Hue light bulbs to test this with but I figured some of you might (and these colourful light bulbs seem to be sold everywhere I go lately, so it’s not a wild punt).

The extension requires GNOME 3.36 or later and can be installed from the same place as every other GNOME extension: the EGO website:

Hue Lights GNOME Extension

The developer of this add-on is looking to extend functionality in future releases. One suggested idea is allow light events to be triggered by a task or process on the desktop. For example, your study light could blink each time a new mail notification arrives.

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