WeLight provides a simple way to communicate through smart lights. You can send someone a phrase or an image, even without any mention of color, and WeLight will translate your message into colors that instantly light up their home.

WeLight uses SMS/MMS as its user interface. All commands are sent as text messages to WeLight (+1-206-488-1966).
A light message is one such command. It contains a recipient and a message.
WeLight currently supports three types of light messages:​​

  • A phrase (such as "Sunrise" or "Brazilian flag")
  • An image attached to the text message
  • A URL of an online image


In this example, the user opens an SMS application and sends a text message to WeLight (+1-206-488-1966) with the phrase "be my valentine" and the recipient Jane. WeLight converts this phrase into a colorful scene to illuminate Jane's home.

Jane's home



All commands are sent as text messages to WeLight (+1-206-488-1966).
WeLight currently support the following commands:

  • <phrase or image> - sends a light message of the phrase or image to yourself
  • @<user> (@<user>) <phrase or image> - sends a light message of the phrase or image to the specified user(s)
  • !allow <username> - allows the specified user to send you light messages
  • !disallow <username> - disallows the specified user
  • !users - lists all the users you are allowed to communicate with
  • !dnd - toggles "do not disturb" mode, which temporarily disallows communication with your lights
  • !demo - toggles "demo" mode, which allows everyone to send you light messages
  • !help - lists all available commands

Get started

  1. (Optional) Purchase your Philips Hue Starter Kit or LIFX Color Bulbs.
  2. (Optional) Follow the instructions to set up your lights and sign up for a corresponding MyHue or LIFX account.
  3. Register for WeLight here:

    Register my lights to receive messages:

    Select your light type:

    Select the lights you want to register:

  4. Reply to the confirmation message to validate your phone number.
  5. Add WeLight (+1-206-488-1966) as a contact in your phone.
  6. You're all set. You may now send commands by texting WeLight.
  7. (Optional) Authorize users to send you light messages using the auth command.

To send yourself a sunset: sunset
To allow Jane to send you messages: !allow janesmith
To send Jane flowers: @jane flowers

Important: If your light setup changes, please repeat the registration process.

Contact us

Contributors: Margie Morris (HCDE@UW), Luis Ceze (CS@UW), Doug Carmean (CS@UW)
With UW students: Artem Minyaylov, Lydia Monirian, Ankur Agrawal

Privacy Notice: Please note that usage data, including direct messages and registration credentials, is stored for research purposes only. We do not disclose identifying information to any external parties.