When iOS13 was released it opened up the opportunity to use NFC tags for home automation through the updated IOS Shortcuts App. Our house is already kitted out with Philips Hue lights and the Philips Hue bridge so I bought some NFC tags so we could quickly turn the stairs lights on and off using our iPhones and and NFC tag. Here is how I set it up in case you wanted to do it yourself.

  1. Buy the following NFC tags from NFCtagify Amazon. Click here to View on Amazon (I recommend these as I know they work with IOS)
  2. When the NFC tags arrive get one of the tags and open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad
  3. Tap on Automation located at the bottom of the screen in the middle.
  4. Tap on the little plus icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  5. Tap on Create Personal Automation
  6. Scroll down and select NFC which is located under the Settings category.
  7. Tap Scan and hold the NFC tag to the back of your iPhone or iPad at the top.
  8. Give your NFC tag a name.
  9. You can then setup what you want to do when your device detects the NFC tag that you scanned. Below is a screen grab of my settings using a basic if statement. In simple terms if the stairs lights are off then turn the stairs lights on otherwise turn the stairs lights off.

Once you have set it up make sure you turn off the option called Ask Before Running. By doing this the shortcut will just run without any interaction from you.

Test to make sure it works by putting the tag near the back of your phone. When you do this the lights should come on. Put the tag near the back of  your phone again and the lights should go off.

All you need to do is stick the NFC tag to something near your lights. I stuck my NFC tag to the back of a canvas picture at the bottom of the stairs so all we need to do is put our phones near the canvas.

I know this is a very simple use of NFC tags and you could ask why don't you just use the light switch to turn the lights on and off... that's just boring though isn't it!

I hope you find this useful.

Jonathan