Naming Hue Lights and Siri

In my home I have Hue lights in multi-light fixtures:

  • A five-bulb fixture above the dinner table
  • a two-bulb fixture over the kitchen island
  • and 2 fixtures with 2 bulbs each in the (only) hallway.

I named these bulbs in the following way:
Island Light 1
Island Light 2

Kitchen Table 1
Kitchen Table 2

Hallway Light 1

These are grouped in HomeKit into Kitchen Island, Kitchen Table, and Hallway.

Every now and then, I’ll ask Siri something like “Set the kitchen Table to 100%” or “set the hallway to 50%” in the hopes that it will set that entire fixture to that percentage. However, every now and then Siri will interpret my speech as “Set Kitchen Table 1 to 100%” and consequently will change only that bulb.

Do you have suggestions for naming your individual bulbs to help work around this?

Name them after musicians, or writers, or sports figures – whatever suits your fancy and is easy to recall. When I name the lights in a room I try to keep the individual names as dissimilar as possible but also related – like the members of the same band all add up to the living room.

I use Alexa for this, more often than Siri, and Alexa needs very distinct names.


Ha! This is a good idea. I basically never refer to any individual bulb, so really it’s a matter of differentiating the name of the bulb from the name of the aggregate to which it belongs – but your suggestion would work fine for that! (I can see it now: “Turn on Gord”, “Turn Neil to 110%”)

I think for me it may be a matter of just making sure the name of the light doesn’t contain the name of the aggregate. I may just try “HW 1” “KI 1” etc for “Hallway Light 1” and “Kitchen Island 1” to see if that helps reduce misinterpretations.

I do the same and so far it’s working fine for me.

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Fred & Stanley in the living room.

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I use Scenes in Homekit for this, I believe. I have specific bulbs set for each lighting device, and use the fixture names within each scene. You might try making a scene specifically for your 5-bulb configuration, and inside it include each of the bulbs?

I do use scenes in Home, but more for tying together multiple rooms (our living room and kitchen are effectively the same space in our home’s layout) or multiple fixtures in a single space.

My fixtures are all “Groups” of accessories, in Home parlance. Individual accessories can have names (the same names they have in Hue), and groups have their own distinct names. My 5-bulb configuration, for example, is a group made up of 5 individual accessories.

The issue was that since the Group and the accessories that comprised the group shared a word as part of their name, Siri could get confused. I think I mostly resolved this by using less wordy names for individual accessories since I usually never address individual accessories.

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I get what your saying, I had to rename my individual living room lights because the Hey Siri command seems to do fair bit of fouling things up regularly. However, I’ve never had an issue with my Echo Dot following each command distinctly, so I tend to rely on that device for environment conditions (turning the lights down low when I say “It’s movie time”.

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This is a super helpful perspective. We’re currently renting so am reluctant to be swapping out in-wall components, but we’ll likely be buying in the next year, in hich case I think I’ll be heeding your advice - smart dimmers and dumb bulbs for multi-bulb fixtures/overheads seems like a simpler way to go.

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Bam, great idea. May do this with the next fixture or if my current solution isn’t adequate!