Adaptive lighting can automatically adjust the color temperature of your smart bulbs during the day to better match your circadian rhythm and the light outside. Here̵
What is Adaptive Lighting?
The Adaptive Lighting feature was first introduced alongside the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 software updates in September 2020. This feature allows Apple’s HomeKit smart home software to automatically adjust the color temperature of supported smart home bulbs during the day. You can get warm yellows in the morning when the sun comes up, cool whites in the afternoon and softer yellows at night when the sun goes down – all automatically.
The hardware you need
Adaptive lighting only works with smart bulbs that support this. Since February 2021, Philips Hue bulbs have supported this, as has the Eve Light Strip. Other lights will hopefully add support for it in the future.
You also need to set up your lights to work with Apple HomeKit if you haven’t already. For example, for Hue bulbs, you can open the Hue app on your iPhone or iPad and select Settings> HomeKit & Siri to set this up. (If you’ve set this up before and you can currently control your lights with Siri and the Home app, you’ve already set this up.)
You also need a device set up to function as a “home hub”. You can set an Apple TV, HomePod, HomePod mini, or even an iPad as a home hub. The automation actually runs on this device – it constantly communicates with your lamps and changes their color temperatures. Here’s how to set up a home hub, courtesy of Apple.
RELATED: 16 Apple HomePod Tips and Tricks You Should Know About
Set adaptive lighting
If you have the required hardware and have set up a home hub, this option should be easy to find. Just start the “Home” app on your iPhone or iPad.
You may see a banner that says ‘Adaptive lighting now available’. If so, tap it to set your lights.
You can also select a specific light and manually enable Adaptive Brightness. Find your bulb in the Home app and long press it to bring up the controls.
If a lamp supports Adaptive Lighting, you will primarily see a dedicated ‘Adaptive Lighting’ control in the color presets. Unlike the other color controls, it has a sun logo on it.
To turn on Adaptive Lighting for a bulb, just tap that Adaptive Lighting icon.
That’s it – the light is now in Adaptive Lighting mode. You can change it to a different color at any time, but it will remain in that color until you put it back into Adaptive Lighting mode by tapping the Adaptive Lighting circle.
How adaptive lighting works with brightness control
Adaptive lighting does not automatically adjust the brightness of your light, only the color temperature. If you manually adjust the brightness of your light, Adaptive Brightness automatically changes the color temperature. It is cooler at higher brightness and warmer at lower brightness.
For example, the coolest temperature is 100% brightness mid-day. If you lower the brightness, the color temperature will become warmer, even in the middle of the day. If it is night time and your lamps already have a warm shade, then dimming ensures that they get an even warmer color.
Give it a try and see how it works.