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HomeTechHow to use Philips Hue’s new smart security system

How to use Philips Hue’s new smart security system


Philips Hue Secure is a new smart home security system from the smart lighting company. The system was announced along with some new smart security cameras in August and is now available in the Hue app. However, if you’re a Philips Hue user, you don’t need to purchase the new cameras to use the new security features; you just need to update your app to version 5.0.1.

The system works with Hue’s existing smart lights, motion sensors, and new motion sensors. contact sensors ($39.99) that monitor doors and windows. When armed, if the system detects motion or other activity, you receive an alert and can choose to activate all lights to flash and even activate an alarm. Star Trek-red alert style. Add in Hue’s new security cameras and you’ll also have the option to activate its built-in siren.

Hue’s new security cameras work with your new security system, but are not necessary.

What you need to use Philips Hue Secure

To set up Hue Secure, you need a Hue Bridge ($59.99), Hue lights, and at least one sensor. This may be a Hue motion sensor (inside either abroad), the new Tone contact sensorsor any of The new Hue security cameras (arriving later this year). As mentioned, the cameras include a siren and motion detection capabilities.

If you don’t have any Hue products, you can purchase a Hue Safe Starter Kit that includes two light bulbs, a motion sensor, and three contact sensors, plus a bridge for $299.99.

There is no charge to use Hue Secure. However, Hue Secure cameras, starting at $199.99have a optional subscription plan to add cloud storage of recorded videos and smart alerts for motion, people, animals, vehicles and package detection. This starts at $3.99 monthly / $39.99 annually per camera.


This screen will appear when you open the Hue app for the first time after the update.

How to set up Philips Hue Secure home security monitoring

Once you’ve updated your app to the latest version, you’ll receive a prompt to set up Hue Secure the first time you open it. (If you don’t see this screen or choose to skip it, you can configure it later through the new Security tab in the app settings.)

  • Choose which devices you want to use to notify you when there is activity in your home. These will be the motion sensors, contact sensors and/or cameras you have in your Hue system.
  • Choose whether a device will monitor when the system is Armed: Start either Armed: Absent. (Advice for Armed: StartChoose only devices that are outdoor sensors or on a different floor so you don’t accidentally activate them.)
  • Activate sensor notifications. This will ensure that you are alerted when motion is detected, when a contact sensor is activated or (if you have a secure camera) if a person/pet/vehicle is detected. Setting alerts is essential, as the system will not trigger an alarm automatically; you must activate one manually.
  • Set an alarm. If you only have lights, you can flash white or red lights (if you have colored bulbs). If you have cameras, you will also see the option to activate a siren.
  • Once you’ve selected an action, select which lights in your home will flash and choose different options for when you’re home and when you’re away.
  • Finally, you can choose to add an emergency contact number. This will appear next to 911 on the Take Action When Motion Detected screen so you can quickly call them from that screen.


When Hue Secure detects motion, an alert appears on your smartphone.

How to use Hue Secure

  • Once Hue Secure is set up, a new Security option appears on the home page of the Hue app. Tap here to arm or disarm the system. You can choose Arm: Home either Arm: Far to activate its sensors.
  • When you touch any of them, you get a 30-second countdown (configurable in settings) until your sensors start monitoring motion.
  • When the system is armed, any motion detected will send an alert to your phone saying “motion detected” and indicating where and when it was detected.
  • Tap the alert to open the To take action screen in the Hue app.
  • You have three options: tap Disarmtap All safe to dismiss the alert but keep the system armed, or touch To take action.
  • picking out To take action A second screen will appear from which you can choose to call 911, call your emergency contact, turn on all lights, or activate the alarm.
  • You need to touch and slide the alarm trigger to activate the alarm. This will cause the lights to flash and the sirens to sound however you have them set in the settings.
  • Touch again to stop the alarm.

The Hue app now also has a new timeline where you can view a history of security-related events, such as motion, when the system was armed or disarmed, and clips from any cameras.

At launch, Philips Hue Secure isn’t as strong a home security system as, say, Ring Alarm, SimpliSafe, or Arlo’s new system; In particular, there is no professional monitoring option or physical keyboard. However, as a free way to add smart security to your existing products, it’s a nice upgrade for Hue users.

Screenshots by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy/The Verge

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