The past few months I’ve become heavily invested in learning about home automation and with it I’ve been trying to find ways where I can implement it into my Kodi setup. Along the way I got introduced to the cool Phillips Hue smart lights and integrated it into my small condo and have been playing with them ever since. It wasn’t long after I found a way that you can actually implement these when you’re watching content through Kodi either with ambilight or theatre mode. While this isn’t a necessity in your Kodi system it definitely brings a WOW factor to it when people are watching.
At the time of this writing, the addon that ties this altogether isn’t being actively developed so there is always a possibility of errors moving forward. It’s been clearly stated this is a side project from the developer but the good news is in most cases users haven’t had many problems getting it up and running. Lately he has pushed out some updates so moving forward that should be a positive step.
PLEASE NOTE: The source for the Hue script has been updated, I’ve updated it below but make sure to download the new source here (https://github.com/mpolednik/script.kodi.hue.ambilight/archive/master.zip)
It took me about an hour to figure this all out and was simple to install and setup. I’m not going to go into detailed steps on how to install the Phillips Hue lights, I’m going to leave that in your hand. Again, it’s something that’s very easy to setup.
In this tutorial there’s two ways you can use your Phillips Hue Lights with Kodi, the first is Ambilight. From my brief use of the Ambilight feature it seems like a real cool idea on integration but can be hit or miss at times with colors. Theater mode simply just dims out the lights when playback begins.
Let’s get started, here’s what you need first and foremost.
- 1 What You Need To Install Phillips Hue on Kodi
- 2 How To Install The Phillips Hue Plugin For Kodi
- 3 How To Configure the Kodi Phillips Hue Addon
What You Need To Install Phillips Hue on Kodi
If you haven’t looked into Phillips Hue lights before then I’ll pre-warn you that yes they are expensive. With that being said they’re like most other LED bulbs in that you won’t have to replace them anytime soon.
Here’s what you need.
- Phillips Hue Lights, not only will you need some actual bulbs but you’ll need to have the Phillips Hue hub that connects this all together. I picked up three bulbs with the Hub (view here) and then purchased an individual LED Light Strip to go behind my TV. The LED strip isn’t terribly long so If you want to brighten it behind the TV more you may want to add another strip to your purchase.
- Download the Phillips Hue Script Addon for Kodi (version 0.7), there is a new BETA out (download version 0.8) which has more features but I was getting a script error on use.
- Kodi add-on script.module.requests, this file is required in order to use the Ambilight mode.
- Finally you’ll need a player with Kodi installed. This will work on any box, if you’re using an Amazon Fire TV you can follow this guide on how to install it plugins on your Fire TV.
I’ll be using a MAC showing you how to install the actual plugin/script below.
How To Install The Phillips Hue Plugin For Kodi
There really isn’t to much to this, if you’re familiar with installing Kodi plugins this will be easy for you. Here are some simple steps to get everything running.
- First things first, fire up Kodi and navigate to the SYSTEM menu option and select it or SETTINGS below it.
- Next we want to scroll down to the ADD-ONS option and select it.
- From here simply select “Install From Zip”.
- The next screen will bring up your folder structure. This image is on a Macbook, what you need to do from here is browse to where you downloaded the zip file I listed above. Again if you want to do this on a FireTV I suggest following this tutorial.
- Finally once you locate where you saved the zip file from above click on it or highlight and select OK.
You should get a confirmation that the Kodi Phillips Hue plugin has been installed in the lower right corner of the screen. Now it’s time to configure the plugin settings.
Make sure to follow the exact same steps as above but this time install the Kodi add-on script.module.requests.zip file instead. You need to install both only if you are planning on using the Ambilight feature of this plugin.
How To Configure the Kodi Phillips Hue Addon
Now that we’ve got the plugin installed on our system the next step is to configure it. I had to search a little bit to find it as it resides in the services section for addons and not your traditional places like programs or videos.
To find it we need to follow almost the same steps as above.
- If you’re on the home screen navigate to SYSTEM once more and hit enter.
- Scroll down to ADD-ONS and hit enter.
- This time we want to select “MY ADDONS” and hit enter.
- Inside here will be a list of plugin sub folders. To use the Kodi Phillips Hue addon we want to scroll down to the “SERVICES” option.
- From here we simply open the Kodi Phillips Hue addon located in the services section. You should see something similar as below, all we need to do now is click “CONFIGURE”.
- Depending on if you’re using version 0.7 or 0.8 your screen may look a little different. Version 0.8 options has a few more menu options and provides more features. All we have to do is connect the Phillips Hue Hub to our Kodi setup which is easy to do. If you’ve managed to install any of the other lights this will be pretty straight forward. To get started all we have to do is cick “START AUTOMATIC CONFIGURATION”, it should then ask you to press the button on your Phillips Hue Hub.
Once connected you should see an IP address of your hub(typically 192.168.x.xxx) and an Bridge User key that’s connected to the Hub. Now it’s up to you to decide which method you want to use. Here are your two options.
If you’re unsure of what Ambilight mode is feel free to watch the start of the video above and you’ll see. Basically ambilight mode tries to match the current colors on screen of the video you are watching. From my experimentation it does work and decently well but there will be moments with some problems of colors not matching. In order to run ambilight mode we use these options.
- Mode: There are only two options here so select Ambilight.
- Lights: Lights will be associated with all the Hue bulbs you’ve added to your setup. You’ll need to take note of the ID in the Phillips Hue App that’s installed on your smartphone. It’s as easy as opening the app and browsing to the “Lights” menu option. If you’ve added in your lights already you should see a numbered list in here. The number is your Light ID. Ambilight won’t work well with a group of lights so it’s best to use a single light for this which is why I’ve purchased a strip of LED strip lighting and put behind the TV. Make your selection as “Single Light” and enter in the proper ID.
- Misc Settings:Enable Initial Flash and Disable for Short Movies, I’ve left these both off.
- The only settings I changed here for Ambilight involved deselecting the “override Hue colors” and pushing the “Color Bias” to 36.
You’ll have to restart Kodi for these changes to take effect.
- Mode: This time we change the selection to “Theater”.
- Lights: Because this simply just fades out when you start a movie you can use as many Hue lights as you’d like. I’ve only got 4 lights in a small condo so I use them all so I set my lights to a “Group of Lights” with the ID as “0” to use them all.
- Misc Settings: Again I turn both of these off.
- The only real thing to change in here is the “DIM/UNDIM Transition Time”. I have mine set to 7 seconds. with everything else deselected.
Again you may have to restart Kodi to see the effects take place.
The Phillips Hue Plugin for Kodi is a neat addition to your Kodi system. While it’s not actively maintained or developed it should still work for some of the things I’ve shown above.
Don’t forget you’ll need to purchase both the Phillips Hue Lights and Hub for this to work.
If you have any questions on setup or problems please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.