Turn lights on one by one

I have 12 philips hue lights, a hue bridge, the philips hue app and the hue essentials app. The 12 lights are physically positioned in a straight line. I would like to be able to turn the lights on one by one in order. So first the one most to the left and then every +/- 0.1 second the next light. Ideally the same for switching the lights off. I have asked this question on Tweakers before. They referred to Hue Essentials, but I didn’t get details on how to do it.

I seem to have two problems:

  1. When I create an effect for a scene, I can add a scene, colour or palette as new frame. But I cannot add a single lamp
  2. The minimum wait time between different frames in an effect is 1 second. I need it to be something like 0.1 or 0.2 seconds.

Does anybody know how I can get this wave effect with my lights (with or without Hue Essentials)?



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Hello Jasper,

what you can do is use the effects for this. You can use an effect to go through multiple scenes every second.

First you would need to create a scene for every frame. So in your situation that would be 12 scenes, every scene with one extra light switched on.

After you have created the scenes, go to the effects tab, and tap the + button. This will open the effect creator.

In the effect creator, under advanced options, switch on “I want to set brightness per frame”. Then add all of the created scenes as frames in the effect. You can set the delay to a minimum of 1 second. Unfortunately this cannot be set any quicker as the Hue bridge does not support that. Make sure you have the repeat option switched off as well. Now save the effect at the top.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the explenation. I tried the following configuration. But the lamps never go in. It stays dark for four seconds and then the effect ends. Any idea what I am doing wrong? (for the record: I tested it with 4 lights instead of 12) If it works for you, can you show me a screenshot of your effect?




I think I came across this problem myself when I programmed my lights ages ago.

  1. You must select the option “switch on lights when started”.

  2. If i remember rightly that means that ALL the lights will switch on when you start the effect and, if they’re Hue bulbs, at least, they will remember whatever state they were in when they last were switched off.

To avoid that dazzling you you need to do two things:

(a) when you create the scenes that you use to build your “switching on” effect, all the lights must actually be on, but set the lights that you want to look like they’re off in that scene of your sequence to the lowest brightness they can be and with the least bright colour (for me that was blue). They’re not actually off but it’s as close as you’ll get.

(b) when you turn the lights OFF you’ll need in your turning off sequence of scenes to make sure that each light has a scene where it drops to its lowest brightness / least bright colour BEFORE any scene in which you turn them off. That way, when you use the turning on effect later on, they won’t flash through a much brighter setting the moment you turn them on before switching to what you’ve told them to do. When you do the sequence to turn the lights off, remember in the hue essentials effect settings to click “switch off lights when finished”.

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Hello Jasper, thanks for the details. I will look into it why it is not working. As an alternative, you could set the lights to the lowest brightness instead of off, just like @Northwold suggested.

This will be fixed in the next version of Hue Essentials. That will be version 1.15.0-beta7 on Android and version 1.9.0 on iOS. The Android version should be available in a few days (in the beta). The iOS version will take some more time.

The new option will be called “Toggle light states in frames” and is disabled by default, see the following for more information: How to use the Effect Creator?

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Thanks @Thomas for the fix!

Two new question.

  • It seems the effect starts exactly 1 second after I activate it. But as you can see from the screenshot of the configuration, it should first do the first scene and then do the one second wait. Now every time somebody presses the switrch to activate the effect, it seems the switch is not working. Is there a way to start the first 1 second delay?
  • There are 14 lamps in this effect. It takes quite a long time to switch them all on. The fact that the minimum time between the steps in the effect is 1 second, is that a zigbee, hue or hueessentials limitation?

Thanks again!

I know this is a few years old by now, but I would like to know if the minimum wait time between different frames did in fact get dropped below 1 second (need about .1 or .2 seconds between lights turning on). Im trying to get a wave effect in my hallway but I want to make sure the system will do it before I purchase these lights. Just would like to confirm here