Can Phillips Hue Lights Strobe – Let’s Find Out!


With the proliferation of the features that a smart LED lighting system can offer, many have wondered if a party atmosphere can be mimicked at home. House parties are now the trend with the market demand for party lights increasing significantly. The problem with normal party lights is that you have to switch them out with your day to day light bulbs. However, smart LED light providers like Philips Hue have come up with a solution, smart LED bulbs that can be commanded to produce strobe lights.

Can Philips Hue Lights strobe? Yes. Philips Hue lights can produce strobe lights with the help of a third-party app, the Philips Hue Disco App. It will cost you around $3.99 and is available for both IOS and Android. With the app, you can have your Philips Hues groove along with the music.

With this article, we will discuss how you can turn your Philips Hues into party lights that can strobe and groove along with any music. Philips Hue Disco app can also let you choose what kind of colors you want to strobe. We will also go through the many features that make the Hue Disco app worth the $3.99 price tag. Lastly, we will discuss the trend of house parties and trendy staycations that lead to the popularity of house lights that can strobe and change color.

Hue Disco App

Hue disco app available for $3.99

The Hue Disco App is a third-party app that allows you to control and manipulate your Philips Hues. The app is designed to allow the user to enjoy party vibes through their Philips Hue. Through the app, you can have your Philips Hues produce strobe lights that are perfect for house parties or whatever suits the mood or event in your living room.

The strobe lights produced are not just blinking and flickering white lights but also changing colored lights too. The strobe effects could also be synced with any music you are playing. Since the app controls Philips Hues, you have access to the full spectrum of colors. You can also increase and decrease the brightness of each lightbulb.

All types of Philips Hues can be controlled

All types of Philips Hues, whether white bulbs, color ambiance bulbs,  or full-color bulbs, can be controlled by the Disco Hues App. However, to fully maximize the experience brought by the app, you should have at least one full-colored light bulb. Regular whites and color ambiance bulbs can only blink but not produce strobe effects. The strobe effects can be displayed through the full-colored bulbs.

Since full-colored bulbs are the most flexible, it is much better to set the regular whites and ambiance bulbs at the bedroom or anywhere else where you won’t be partying. Place the full-colored bulbs in the living room, entertainment rooms, and gaming rooms, places where you can conveniently have house parties.

Procedure: Operating the App

Buy and Download the App

The first step to having those strobe lights on your Philips Hues is to buy and download the app. Unfortunately, the app is not for free. You would have to spend money to download it, but the good news is that it is cheap and is compatible with both IOS and Android. So check your app stores on your smartphones and download it.

Choose the Lights

hue disco main screen

Once you downloaded the app, open it, and familiarize yourself with the sliders and options in the app. The app may be intimidating because of the number of options to choose from. So relax and start with the basics first, choose which of your existing lights will you manipulate and control. You can include as many bulbs as you want.

Choose between Disco Mode and Mood mode

To have strobe lights, pick the disco mode. The disco mode is more tailored to have disco effects as compared to mood mode. Mood mode is more on the ambiance and mood lights and not necessarily party lights. Under the disco mode, you have so many options and sliders to choose from, such as Beats per Minute, Strobe, and Basic disco mode.

Cost of the App: Worth the Price tag

The Disco Hue app is priced at $3.99. It may seem like unnecessary spending, but in actuality, the app is worth the price because of the number of features, flexibility, and control it gives the user. Through the app, the user can control the brightness of the lights, the frequency of the strobe cycles, the color variations, the rhythm of the changing colors, and even blacklights.

Comparing it to the cost of installing separate disco lights and its accompanying control system, the cost of buying the Disco Hues App becomes cheap and worthy of its price tag. You will also not incur any expense in installations because all you have to do is download the app in the app store. Furthermore, the $3.99 price tag is nothing to people who patronize Philips Hues because of its reliability, longevity, flexibility, and a wide array of smart features.

Disco Mode v Mood Mode

hue disco app - mood and disco modes
disco and mood mode settings

In the Disco Hues app, there are two modes to choose from. The disco mode is the mode better suited for parties because it allows you to have fast-paced strobe lights and other party effects. Even the pace of changing colors is faster in disco mode than in mood mode. 

Mood mode, on the other hand, is the mode better suited for relaxation and binge-watching. The pace of the light changes is slow and deliberate. It is designed to create serene ambiances. So if you want to party at home, better stick to the disco mode.

Types of Disco Mode

Beats Per Minute

Beats Per Minute, or BPM, as indicated on the bottom part of the app, is the mode that will allow you to cycle colors based on a set rhythm. It is called Beats Per Minute because you can actually control how fast the lights will change colors. The quicker you tap the BPM button, the faster the rhythm goes.

With this button, you can set your color cycle to match the music you are currently playing. Make sure that your phone microphone is properly functioning as it may not detect the music being played. Another downside to this mode is that every time the music changes, you will have to manually change the BPM, thru tapping it again, so that the color cycle matches with the new music. 

Strobe Disco Mode

This type of disco mode is specifically for purposes of producing strobe lights. By just tapping on the lightning button on the bottom part of the app, you can have strobe lights that will flash white. White is the standard strobe light. 

However, as mentioned before, strobe lights can only be produced by full-colored light bulbs. You also have the option to have colored strobe lights, which is cool too! Lastly, you can also change them into faux black lights.

Basic Disco Mode

This is the last type of disco mode, which can also produce strobe effects. It can be found on the right-bottom portion of the app, near the strobe disco symbol. Click on the blue play button, and you can set up a default disco mode. The difference between BPM and Basic Disco mode is the fact that the color cycle and strobe effects depend on the volume in the room, not on the number of taps you do on the button.

This allows you to have the light automatically adjust to the music. Many have complained that this mode does not have the lights perfectly sync with the music. For those too lazy or too drunk to use the BPM, just click on the basic disco mode and let the microphone do the rest. It may not be as perfect as many have wanted, but hey, it works!

The Reason Why People Want Strobe Lights

cool demonstration of hue strobe effect

It may seem like a surprise, but people actually want their house lights to produce strobe effects. People, even before the age of home quarantine, have been observed to favor house parties over regular parties. The strobe features of Philips Hues through the Disco Hue app will come in handy in pool parties, gaming events, and house karaokes. 

Strobe lights have always been used for parties, specifically in the ’60s, to enhance the effects of LSD. As time went on, even regular parties with music have used strobe lights to maximize the party experience. Nowadays, some households have rooms designated for parties and so the demand for party lights increased. 

Other purpose for strobe lights: alarms

Aside from using the Disco Hue app to have rave parties at home, many Philips Hue users have used the app for alarm purposes. Apparently, some have realized that strobe lights are effective in waking up people who are sleeping. WIth those strobe lights flashing above your bedroom, it would be a miracle if you can sleep through that.  

If you’re interested in reading more about some of the more unusual capabilities of hue smart lights checkout some of the other houshia articles including:


It works! Through the Disco Hue App, you have your Philips Hues produce strobe lights that are perfect for party and disco purposes, and also whatever else suits your imagination, such as alarm lights. The app may not be free, but with the features it offers, the price is definitely worth it. The app is also easy to navigate, so beginner mistakes are not to be expected, and with the lack of complicated installation procedures, you can get strobe lights fast and easy. 


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Steve Foster

Suburbanite, tech geek, handy man, automation enthusiast who started blogging about the stuff I do around my home and found he had a knack for it.

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