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Google Assistant, Philips Hue lights will simulate sunrise to gently wake you up (Update: Available)

The brightening lights should wake you up over time instead of abruptly like standard alarms.

Published onApril 17, 2019

Philips Hue Gentle Wake up
Philips Hue

Update, April 17, 2019 (11:30am ET): Google might have missed the promised release period for Gentle Sleep & Wake, but the feature is now available on Home devices. If you own Philips Hue smart lights, you can use them in conjunction with Google’s smart speakers to mimic sunrise in order to wake up calmly or help you prepare for bed.

To get things started, you can try giving the following commands to your Google Home:

  • “Hey Google, turn on Gentle Wake up” to have your daily morning alarms pair with gradual brightening.
  • “Hey Google, wake up my lights in the bedroom at 6:30 AM” to gradually brighten your Philips Hue lights at 6:30 AM. This can be set up to 24 hours in advance.
  • “Hey Google, sleep the lights in the living room” to begin gradually dimming the lights in the living room.

Original article, Jan. 8, 2019 (9:00am ET): The Google Assistant is great at automating little tasks such as turning on or off lights and setting alarms. With a new feature just announced by Philips Hue, the Assistant will now help wake you up in the morning so that you feel more rested and ready for your day.

Introduced at CES 2019, Philips Hue’s new Gentle Wake Up feature allows the Google Assistant to slowly brighten your lights 30 minutes before your alarm is set to go off. This effect simulates a sunrise which should bring you out of REM sleep gently and over time instead of jarringly at the sound of your alarm.

When the feature is rolled out, you will have to initially set it up by telling the Assistant, “Hey Google, turn on Gentle Wake Up.” After that, the Hue lights should naturally wake you up whenever you ask the Assistant to set an alarm.

Google introduced a very similar feature with the release of the Pixel 3 and Pixel Stand. When the phone is docked, users can choose to use a Sunrise Alarm. As the name suggests, the Pixel’s display will gently brighten to simulate a sunrise.

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Philips Hue Lightguide bulbs and matching pendant light cords

The downside of Google Pixel’s feature is that unless your room is pitch black, you might not even notice the effect. But if you use Philips Hue to light your room, one or two of the company’s bulbs should be enough to simulate sunrise and wake you up.

As part of this update, Philips Hue is also introducing the ability to have the Assistant set sleep lighting effects. By telling the Assistant, “Hey Google, sleep the lights at 10 p.m,” your Hue lights will change to a warm white tone and slowly fade 30 minutes before your sleep timer.

Philips Hue will begin rolling out the Gentle Wake Up feature and sleep lighting effects in March.

Have you outfitted your home with Philips Hue? Do you think this will be a useful feature? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!