The Philips Hue app gets a free design upgrade, but there's something you need to do first

You have to switch the new design in the app itself – here's how

Philips Hue app running on iPhone
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)
Quick Summary

The Philips Hue app has been updated with a simpler, more friendly design – but you might not notice.

That's because you have to activate it first.

Philips Hue lighting owners will notice a design change in the mobile app today, although only after switching it on.

Promised as part of the app update version 5.17 that was delivered on 17 May, the new feature has only just been enabled thanks to a server refresh at source. Once activated, it makes the home screen look more pleasant and better to navigate – it is easier to see your lighting groups and turn them on/off.

It effectively increases the size of the on-screen cards for each lighting system or group, so instead of a list you can see larger, clearer entries.

You can then hold your finger on one to set the brightness of the light, or tap on them to enter the scenes menu.

As noted by Hueblog, to turn on the new design, you need to head to the burger menu on Home – the three dots icon in the top right. Then tap on "Edit home tab" on the pop-up that appears.

Now hit "Cards" at the bottom right of the screen, and then "Done" in the top right.

This will change the home menu to the larger cards style.

You can still organise your cards in rooms and zones, and the new look allows for more lighting groups to be shown on screen at once. That'll save having to scroll down just to switch off a bedroom light at night, for example.

Philips Hue has been expanding its line up in recent times, beyond coloured and ambient lighting. This includes smart security products, like the Philips Hue Secure Floodlight Camera.

It essentially competes with Ring and other brands in offering video recording along with LED lighting capabilities to deter intruders. It'll be interesting to see if Ring decides to head in the other direction too, in making standalone smart lighting.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.