Hue-topia - home lighting controller for Mac
1.1 How do I get everything set up?
1. If you've not already done so, make sure your Bridge and some bulbs are switched on. Then start Hue-topia.
2. The only thing you should need to do is to press the button on your bridge the first time that you run Hue-topia. If you have any problems at this stage, see troubleshooting.
1.2 How do I schedule a lamp to switch on / off / change brightness?
1. Press the Schedules button or 'Show schedules' from the View menu (command-2 also shows this window).
2. Press the [+] button at the bottom-left of the Schedules window.
3. Fill in this box, it should all be self-explanatory. Click somewhere outside of the box to save and close those settings.
4. When setting light(s) to switch 'On & Off', the days of the week apply to the 'on' time. If the 'off' time goes past midnight, then the lamp will obviously be turned off the following day.
1.2a The sunrise/set times don't seem to be accurate / how does the twilight setting work?
If you make a schedule, to switch a lamp / group on and/or off and check "link these times to local sunrise/set". You should see the times grey out, and they'll now set to your sunrise/set times.
If the times that are used don't appear to be as expected, go to Preferences. There are a number of different definitions of sunrise/set, ranging from the time that the sun first hits the horizon (when it's still fully light) to when it's fully behind the horizon (it's pretty dark by then). Experiment with the drop-down box (Sunrise/set, Nautical, Civil, Astronomical) and see which suits you best.
1.3 How do I create / use presets (known elsewhere as 'scenes')?
With the lamps set how you like them, press the big [+] button labeled "Save preset". You can give it a name before saving.
There are many ways to trigger your preset; from the status menu, from the Presets drop-down button in the toolbar, by scheduling them.
1.3a Can presets operate certain lamps and not others?
Yes. After the preset is saved, go to 'Manage presets...' from the toolbar button or the Lights menu. Select your preset in the window that pops up and press 'Lamps affected'. In the main window you'll now see a checkbox beside each lamp and you can uncheck the ones that you want the preset to ignore.
1.4 Can I switch lamps on or off by a keystroke?
Choose 'Assign hotkeys' From the Presets drop-down in the toolbar or go to Preferences > Hotkeys. Simply select which preset you'd like to assign to F keys. If this interferes with other software you use, you can set a modifier too. (ie if you're unable to use F1 because another app uses that key, set cmd-F1 or ctrl-F1)
1.5 How do I use the effects designer?
The effects designer comes with version 2.0 +
The Effects designer is 'pre-loaded' with some effects such as TV simulator and Fire, plus two which are designed to replace the old 'false dawn' and 'false dusk'.
The new dawn / dusk effects change colour through gold and blue while reducing or increasing the light in order to simulate dawn or dusk more realistically. More importantly, they're editable and you can customise them as you see fit.
Note that If you did have any 'false dawn / dusk' set up on schedule, you'll need to open these and change them to 'Effect' and choose the appropriate effect.
You can open the list of effects by pressing the effects button at the end of each control strip (swirly symbol) and choosing 'add / edit effects' or View > Show Effects (cmd-3)
Double-click to open one of the existing ones, or use the [+] button to add a new effect.
With the effect sheet open, add as many 'sliders' as you like (each one is a change of colour or brightness).
A slider with zero brightness will switch the bulb right off. This is important with non-looping effects such as the false dusk where we want to leave the lamp switched off rather than just minimum brightness.
1.6 I've bought new bulbs, how do I get the bridge to recognise them?
Lights > Discover new bulbs
As always, first please make sure that you're using the most recent version of the app.
2.1 I'm trying to run Hue-topia for the first time and it can't find my bridge
If your internet connection is OK, then the problem may be a problem with the meethue portal. Problems here are usually temporary and are only likely on the first run (after that, if Hue-topia can't find the bridge it will try the last IP that it successfully used), Either OK the message in Hue-topia and it will try again in 15 seconds, or quit the app and re-start it after a few minutes.
If you know the IP address of your bridge, you could eliminate the need for Hue-topia to detect it by going to Preferences > Bridge, typing the IP address and checking 'always use this IP'. Note that there's a downside to doing this: if the IP address of your bridge changes (very likely at some point in the future) Hue-topia will only be looking for it at the old address, so it's best to leave that checkbox unchecked.
2.2 False dusk doesn't seem to work properly
There is a bug with false dusk which seems to be a problem with certain older bulbs - those bulbs sometimes (not always) switch off quickly regardless of the transition time. False dawn seems to work fine. Suggest switching your bulbs around if you have any of the newer ones so that the newer ones are in the place(s) where you'll use the false dusk. (you can check and compare software versions (swversion) using the new Bridge Explorer in Hue-topia)
2.3 My bridge just won't find my bulbs, even after using Lights > Discover New Bulbs
New bulbs supplied individually should begin life in a network discovery mode and you should be able to pair them with your bridge using Lights > Discover New Bulbs. The bulbs supplied with a starter pack are paired with the bridge that they came with. If your bulbs are not part of your original starter set, have been connected to a different bridge or for any other reason won't pair with your bridge, Touchlink may work (see Philips' LampStealer app).
2.4 Controls don't always work / Hue-topia hangs
1. Check the lights on your bridge; are they all on steady, are any off or flashing occasionally or always?
2. If any of the lights on the bridge are not lit steadily, remove the power cord, count to 10 and then plug back in. If all the lights still don't light steadily, then the problem is with the bridge, your network or internet connection. Check which lamp is not lit / flashing. Step 3 below may also help you to identify the problem.
3. Use HueTopia with the debug console window showing (View > Debug Console). Switch verbosity to 'A few warnings'. If anything is reported, email the contents of the window to firstname.lastname@example.org
2.5 F-key assignment doesn't work
If you're using a laptop or a newer apple keyboard, you may have a [fn] key in the bottom-left or in the middle. Your Function keys may have certain MacOS functions assigned to them - dimming the screen / keyboard etc. (They may have icons for those functions printed on them more prominently than the 'F' number). You will need to press the fn key along with the actual F-key in order to make it work as an F-key (don't forget the modifier key as well if you've set one in Hue-topia preferences).
You can change this behaviour in System Preferences > Keyboard > 'Use all F keys as standard F keys'. In that case you will then need to press the fn key to access the special feature of each key.