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How to use Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights

How to use Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights. iPhone 11 with Adaptive Lighting on display inside of an Eve Light Strip.
How to use Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights. iPhone 11 with Adaptive Lighting on display inside of an Eve Light Strip. (Image credit: Christopher Close / iMore)

First introduced in iOS 14, HomeKit Adaptive Lighting can automatically adjust the color temperature of compatible lights in your home. With Adaptive Lighting, your lights will display softer tones in the morning that ease you into the day. During the afternoon, your lights will switch to cooler temperatures, which help energize. Your lights will return to softer hues to promote rest in the evening to finish the day. Here's how to use Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights.

How to set up HomeKit Adaptive Lighting

Before using HomeKit Adaptive Lighting, you must have a compatible light — like the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 Light Bulb — already set up in the Home app. Some lights will already have Adaptive Lighting, but others may require a firmware update. If Adaptive Lighting is not available, check the app for your accessory to see if there is an update available.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap Set Up Lights.
  3. Tap the Lights that you want to use with Adaptive Lighting.

How to set up Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights in the Home app on the iPhone by showing steps: Launch the Home app, Tap Set Up Lights, Tap the Lights that you wish to use. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Use With (number) Lights to complete setup.

How to set up Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights in the Home app on the iPhone by showing steps: Tap Use With (number) Lights to complete setup. (Image credit: iMore)

How to use Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights

Once set up, you can switch to HomeKit Adaptive Lighting at any time. Switching is easy as it works just like any other color or color temperature adjustment in the Home app.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap on the House icon (on iPad or Mac, skip to the next step).
  3. Tap the name of the Room that your light is within.

How to use Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights in the Home app on the iPhone by showing steps: Launch the Home app, Tap the House icon, Tap the name of the Room that your light is in. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap and hold on your Light.
  2. Tap the Adaptive Lighting icon in the color selection area.
  3. Tap the X to save your selection.

How to use Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights in the Home app on the iPhone by showing steps: Tap and hold on your Light, Tap the Adaptive Lighting icon, Tap the X button to save (Image credit: iMore)

How to disable HomeKit Adaptive Lighting

To return to custom colors or color temperature, simply select another option from the controls screen for your light.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap on the House icon (on iPad or Mac, skip to the next step).
  3. Tap the name of the Room that your light is within.

How to disable Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights in the Home app on the iPhone by showing steps: Launch the Home app, Tap the House icon, Tap the name of the Room that your light is i (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap and hold on your Light.
  2. Tap on a Color icon in the color selection area.
  3. Tap the X to save your selection.

How to disable Adaptive Lighting with your HomeKit-enabled lights in the Home app on the iPhone by showing steps: Tap and hold on your Light, Tap another color option, Tap the X button to save. (Image credit: iMore)

Put your lights on auto-pilot with HomeKit Adaptive Lighting

Now that you know how to use Adaptive Lighting, your HomeKit light strips, light bulbs, lamps, and more will automatically adjust the color temperature throughout the day. You can also create automation to switch between Adaptive Lighting and specific colors if you have a favorite that you use during your daily routine to put your home on auto-pilot.

Updated April 2022: Updated for iOS 15.5.

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit. If you wish to join him on his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.