Philips Hue dynamic lighting scenes are missing two key features

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After a long wait, Signify-owned Philips Hue has finally rolled out dynamic scenes that allow its smart lights to cycle between various colors. But a pair of fairly obvious features are—for now, anyway—missing in action.

The new dynamic scenes arrived last week in version 4.4 of the Philips Hue app, and they work with all color-compatible Hue lights.

To access the scenes, tap on a room or a zone that contains color Hue lights, tap the Hue Scene Gallery tile, then pick any scene below the initial Defaults section and tap the Add to My Scenes button.

Now, back in the room view, tap the tile of the new scene, and your Hue lights will change to the static version of the scene. To switch to the dynamic version, tap the Play icon on the scene. You’ll know it’s working when you see the “Dynamics” bug on the tiles of your Hue color lights. (You can apply dynamic scenes to rooms with a mixture of color and white-only Hue lights, but only the color-capable lights will begin changing colors.)

philips hue dynamic scenes Ben Patterson/IDG

You can switch a Hue light scene to dynamic mode by pressing the Play button (the Stop button is pictured). Note the “Dynamics” tag in the tile for the Iris light.

Your first reaction to seeing a Hue dynamic scene in action will likely be: “So…is it working?” That’s because the transitions between colors is—for now, at least—quite slow and stately.

Hue concedes as much in the release notes for the updated Hue app, noting that for this “initial” release, the dynamic effects will be “subtle,” and that “you may not notice” the lights changing colors.

Speaking to Hueblog.com, Hue head of technology George Yianni said (translated from German) that “we have deliberately not chosen the standard so that it is like a disco.”

Indeed, even the “Party Vibes” selection of dynamic scenes, such as Ibiza, Osaka, Soho, and Tokyo, roll by so slowly that you may not immediately notice the changing colors.

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