Set your smart lights to turn on gradually as you wake up

If you don't wake up at the same time every morning, having smart bulbs on a schedule doesn't always work. Instead, connect them to your fitness tracker to have them power on -- only after you wake up.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Smart lights are great in that they can be programmed to work in whatever way suits you best.

If you want, you can wake up to them in the morning with a simulated sunrise. They can turn off at certain times each night, letting you know you should probably head to bed and not watch just one more episode of "Forensic Files" on Netflix.

But what if you don't live by a schedule? I, for instance, never go to bed or wake up at the same time. If you happen to have a Fitbit, Jawbone Up or other fitness tracker on hand, you can program your lights to turn on automatically every morning, but only after you get out of bed.

Here's how it's done.


If you don't already have an IFTTT account, you will need to create one and activate the relevant channels.

In this case, you will need to activate the channel for your fitness tracker, such as Fitbit, Misfit, Nike+ or Up by Jawbone. You will also need the channel for your smart bulb, like Emberlight, Lifx, Philips Hue, Stack Lighting or WeMo. IFTTT has channels for many smart-home devices.

For this instructional, I will be setting up a Fitbit to control a Lifx bulb. The process is much the same for any combination of fitness tracker and smart light, though some wording or triggers or actions may differ.

Program lights based on your fitness tracker

Taylor Martin/CNET

If you have any experience with IFTTT, setting up this recipe will be quite simple. Start by creating a new recipe.

  • First, click My Recipes in the upper middle of
  • Next, select Create a Recipe, located along the right side of the page.
  • Click this and select Fitbit as the Trigger Channel.
  • As the trigger, select New sleep logged and click Create Trigger.
  • After advancing to the that selection, locate and choose Lifx as the Action Channel.
  • For the action, choose Turn lights on.
  • Select which lights you want turned on when you wake up, and the fade-in duration, color and brightness.
  • Select Create Action.

If you have a Fitbit and Lifx bulbs, you can quickly add this recipe here. Or set up your own to match the equipment you're using.

Now, rather than abruptly waking up to a room full of lights in the morning, you'll find your lights won't turn on until you get out of bed. When you wake up, your Fitbit will end your sleep session and log it with the Fitbit app. After a short time, the selected lights will turn on. Bear in mind that IFTTT recipes can take up to 15 minutes to activate.

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