Google has slowly but surely been transforming the Google Home app into a centralised control hub. If you haven’t opened the app recently, you may not have noticed the bevy of new features and settings available. The most recent of these new features is the ability to change the colours of your smart home’s lightbulbs natively in the Google Home app—something that has conspicuously been absent despite the app’s brightness adjustment settings and other smart light features.
Technically, changing a smart light’s colour was previously possible by using third-party apps from Philips, LIFX, and others, but you had to use the appropriate app for each brand of lights you had installed or, in some cases, Google Assistant voice commands. Google Home’s new light control setting, however, removes the need for those third party apps. Google Home Users can now change the colour for every Google Home-connected light bulb in their home in much the same way the app lets users control the brightness of their smart bulbs. Here’s how to access the new colour light settings in the Google Home app.
How to change your Smart Home light bulbs in the Google Home app
Update the Google Home app if you need to. The easiest way to check this is by opening the app’s Google Play store page and seeing if an update is waiting. You’ll need to be using version 2.9 of the app.
Open the Google Home app, and select the room or individual light you wish to change the colour of (Follow Google’s setup guide if you haven’t connected your compatible smart devices/lights).
Tap the “Colour” setting in the Lights menu, then select the specific colour you wish to switch to.
There are a few limitations to the Google Home app’s new colour change abilities. Unlike, say, the full RGB light control you get with the Philips and LIFX apps, the Google Home app only offers preset colours. This seems like a strange decision, especially since full RGB control is available elsewhere. Similarly, while the app will tell you whether a specific light is on or off and its brightness level, it doesn’t display what an individual bulb’s colour is currently set to, which means you might have to play a guessing game if you’re managing a large number of bulbs. In all fairness, the collection of 42 available colours offers a respectable variety of hues to swap between, and you can avoid having to guess which bulb you’re changing if you give them clear and specific labels, but these are odd limitations nonetheless.
Those quirks aside, the colour swap feature is going to be a welcome addition for Google Home users who prefer to control as many smart home devices as they can from a single app.
Once you’ve got the mood lighting set, it may be worth checking out the numerous other things your Google Home app and devices can do, such as configuring your smart home devices to automatically quiet down at night.