Philips Hue Lighting 12 Monkeys Sync News & Opinion

The Philips Hue Lighting 12 Monkeys Sync Experiment

The Syfy Channel is running a Philips Hue lighting 12 Monkeys sync experiment whereby they will synchronize a Philips Hue lighting system with the upcoming 12 Monkeys TV series starting January 16th. It will run for 13 episodes and is based on the 12 Monkeys film by Terry Gilliam that starred Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. The show will start airing on the SyFy channel on January 16, 2015. Syfy and Philips actually pulled this off a couple times before—most notably with the re-broadcast of Sharknado as well as during the debut of the Sharknado 2 sequel…Because, really, flying sharks and tornadoes aren’t truly complete without immersive lighting effects.

12 Monkeys TV SeriesPhilips Hue is an automated lighting system that is designed to provide color accents in a viewing room or home. Now, Philips once again teamed with the Syfy channel series to ensure that the program delivers lighting queues to the automated system. That means that if you have the Philips Hue system in your living room or home theater, along with the Syfy Sync app, you’ll get the chance to try out this broadcast immersive lighting experience. The lighting in your room will be custom tailored—in real time—to match the on-screen action.

The Syfy Sync app is available on iOS or Android devices. It works by tracking the audio form the program and triggering the lighting effects to match a preprogrammed sequence.

“Starting with the series premiere on Friday, January 16 at 9pm ET/PT, 12 Monkeys fans who pair the Syfy Sync app for phones and tablets with Philips Hue bulbs while watching the program will be treated to a specially designed “light track”—marrying the action on the screen to the lighting in your room—which will add a heightened engagement through a more immersive viewing experience. When combined, the app will detect audio cues from 12 Monkeys and translate them to the web-enabled Hue system. Fans will then be enveloped in the on-screen action through ambient lighting effects designed to engage viewers in an entirely unique way.”

Syfy Network Statement (via

While definitely cool, there are a few important caveats to keep in mind:

  1. The Philips Hue lighting system will only cue off selected programs associated and preprogrammed to work with the Syfy Sync app
  2. Currently, the app only lists Sharknado, Sharknado 2, and 2 Monkeys. Other app features can be used with shows like Defiance and Face Off.
  3. Your enjoyment and immersive effect will be limited to your particular implementation of Philips Hue lighting in your room.

Apart from helping you immerse yourself in time machine geekiness or flying sharks, the Philips Hue lighting system works with a Zigby wireless system which can tie into your existing WiFi network to let you set and control various lighting scenes, colors, and settings. Currently, Philips claims its Hue system can produce 16 million colors for you to choose from.

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