Philips Hue app mimics your presence while you’re away from home


Research from Signify reveals most people fear leaving home unattended while on holiday.

Here are the top things holidaymakers worry about while away. Despite one third (36%) of vacationers only taking steps to prepare their property the day or even hours before they leave, 81% of those surveyed, fear leaving their home unattended. The findings also revealed how smart home technology, such as Philips Hue, could be an effective way to ease holiday stress levels with almost half of people surveyed (45%) stating they would be less worried if they could automate their lights in their home while away, using their phone.


The study of over 8,000 adults across six countries – USA, Germany, UK, France, the Netherlands and Sweden – found that aside from being burglarized, worries about leaving the house varied from forgetting to empty the garbage (15%) to leaving food in the fridge (18%). One third (36%) of Swedes have doubts as to whether they have left their hair straighteners or other electricals on, a third (34%) of Americans worry about their pets being lonely, while plants in the house or garden dying are a concern for over a third of Germans (35%). Overall the Dutch and Germans are the most relaxed with around a quarter able to kick back and enjoy their summer vacation, worry free (25% and 23% respectively).

Contrary to stereotypes that we get more fearful with age, the research revealed the opposite with worry levels decreasing as we get older. Younger people were particularly concerned about leaving their lights on (31%) and revealing on social media that they were away and their home empty – via posts on Facebook or holiday snaps on Instagram (24%). They were also concerned that passers-by would be able to see their house unoccupied (30%), compared to the other age groups. Over 55 year olds indexed lower than average with three quarters (73%) surveyed saying they would worry about their home while on summer holiday, compared to 90% of 18-24 year olds.

Looking to solutions, 18-24 year olds were most open to using technology to ease these holiday worries, with two thirds (65%) feeling less worried if they had an app to remotely control their security system including lights, sound system, and appliances. However, with little time spent preparing for their time away it’s often too late to use this technology to give holidaymakers the reassurance they need.


“This research reveals the benefits that remote access to our homes can bring, especially in giving holidaymakers peace of mind whilst away from home. The away from home control functionality is one of the most used and highest valued features in our Hue app. Based on feedback from our customers, we have now introduced the option to mimic presence in one of our Hue app updates. This allows you to schedule your lights to turn on and off whenever you want and the best thing is that you can enable it from anywhere in the world, so no need to add this to your already long list of holiday preparations,” says Sridhar Kumaraswamy, Business Leader Connected Home Systems at Signify.

Taking control this summer

If you’re away for just one night or taking a longer vacation, Philips Hue can simulate your presence at home. This key feature of the Hue app since its launch in 2012, was  updated last summer, meaning you can now turn on and off your lights remotely or schedule them to automatically switch on and off at specific moments in the day. You can also  introduce a randomness to it, so your lights mimic your normal daily routine and signal a presence to anyone around your home. You can set schedules for individual rooms or your full home and the app allows you to specify the days, so you can vary between different schedules during the week.

How to mimic presence

The international research revealed the top worries for holidaymakers as: 

  • Being burglarized while on holiday – 51%
  • Leaving electricals on, such as the iron, hair straighteners or the oven – 32%
  • Plants in the house or garden dying – 30%
  • Pets being lonely while away – 25%
  • Passers-by seeing that the house is empty if not well-lit – 25%
  • Leaving the lights on 17%


For more information, please visit or watch our ‘how to’ guide on how to simply set-up this feature:

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