2018-02-04

Philips Hue light control now integrated into my train control software

I have some Philips Hue lights in my train room and I use them to simulate sunrise, sunset and also the Aurora Borealis in one area of the layout. Until now, I controlled the lighting with a separate program. I decided to incorporate that functionality into my layout control program as events that can be configured to alter the lights in any possible manner.

Here is my ICE 3 train going past the sunset....


I now have a new type of event in my software that allows me to tell any of the lights to change to any color or brightness that the light supports over any time period.

Configuration screen for a Hue Light event
(c) Dale Schultz 2018

This allows me to chain a number of these events together to create the sunset, sunrise and aurora. For sunrise and sunsets I control the brightness of the lights illuminating the landscape in a non-linear fashion and also independently change the brightness and color of the lights behind the backdrop.

By having this functionality in my program I can now also combine it with the switching of lights as well as sound effects, etc. For example, when I run a thunderstorm, I now have lightning flashes synchronized with the thunder!

I have tried to create a video of the sunset, but neither our video camera nor my phone do a good job of handling the changing light intensity, but I will try again to document how it looks sometime.