Compiling Hyperion for Phillips Hue support on Mac OSX

I’ve been looking at the Lightberry for a little while now and have been thinking about how I’ll be implementing it once I actyually buy it and add it to my setup.

The Lightberry is pretty cool, it works with a Raspberri Pi and a bunch of video grabbing / repeating so you can get lights behind your television that look like those really expensive TV’s for about 1/10th of the cost.

The end goal is that it will look something like this.

Of course, I wanted to go a step furthur than the default setup and have it so I could also control my Phillips hue lights to go along with the display on the screen. Originally, I was thinking this would be neat in video games or movies, but in practice it was a little annoying.

However, I still think it would be really neat to get these going for music visualization, so I’ll have a really high tech color organ basically.

Let’s get started, shall we?


** I am running OSX El Capitain so your instructions may change slightly
** make sure you have java latest jdk, sdk installed
** make sure you have the latest xcode for your os (10.10, 10.11, etc)


  1. Install MacPorts if not already installed
  2. Download HyperCon and Hyperion and put in a safe place
  3. Create a development account for your HUE lights in order to access them from Hyperion
    1. follow these instructions to get your hue bridge ready for api access:
    2. For my settings I entered in
      {"devicetype":"huelight#macmini matt"}

      and got (after button press and refresh)

       "success": {
       "username": "253b32e51a5939e7288e66b11ddff113"
  4. Now install some stuff on your mac if you already have some of these they’ll be skipped
    # sudo port install screen findutils git cmake qt4-mac libusb doxygen
  5. Get Hyperion
    # cd ~/Documents
    # nano ~/.bash_profile

    add the qt path, by adding the following lines to the end of the file

    export PATH="/opt/local/libexec/qt4/bin:/opt/hyperion/bin:$PATH"
    # export HYPERION_DIR="hyperion"
    # git clone --recursive "$HYPERION_DIR"
    # mkdir "$HYPERION_DIR/build"
    # cd "$HYPERION_DIR/build"
     -DENABLE_V4L2=OFF \
    # cd ..
    # make
    # mkdir /opt/hyperion
    # mkdir /opt/hyperion/bin
    # mkdir /opt/hyperion/init.d
    # mkdir /opt/hyperion/effects
    # mkdir /opt/hyperion/config
    # cp ./bin/hyperiond /opt/hyperion/bin
    # cp ./bin/hyperion-remote /opt/hyperion/bin
    # cd effects && cp * /opt/hyperion/effects && cd ..
    # cp ./bin/ /opt/hyperion/init.d
    # cp ./config/hyperion.config.json /opt/hyperion/config
    # chmod +x /opt/hyperion/bin/*

    Note, that you may have compile problems with it saying it can’t find COPY_ONLY, this was apparently due to a typo in some documentation, so it made it into this. Here’s how you fix that;

    # cd ~/Documents/hyperion 
    # nano cmake/qt4/Qt4Macros.cmake

    Now just find the instance of COPY_ONLY and replace it with COPYONLY. Close and save the file. Then re-try compiling the program

  6. Create a configuration file, mine is attached below (which is the same as their example, except I changed bootup to Knight rider effect instead). Download my hue.json configuration file here. Copy it to your /opt/hyperion/config directory and change the username, as well as the IP.
  7. Start Hyperion like this
    # sudo /opt/hyperion/bin/hyperiond /opt/hyperion/config/hue.json.txt
  8. Now you should see the lights come on, and do the initial boot sequence. Yay!

Now, because I don’t yet have the Lightberry, I can only test with Kodi / XBMC or the Hyperion Free app for Android for it to get it’s color data from. I primarily (only) use PLEX so, this was a problem but I assume it will be solved once I have the frame grabber, and use the tools provided by Lightberry.

So, for now if I want visualizations to the music played, I open up Kodi / XBMC and play music from there and the lights pulsate to it as expected.

Once I get the lightberry, I’ll remove Kodi from the equation, as everything going through my receiver has one output to the telvision, which I’ll capture and use instead. Much easier!

I will post any updates when I continue the setup and integration.



  1. Hey Matt,

    I’m just going through the same process – although starting from the Lightberry setup and THEN progressing onto the Hue integration BUT I can’t get the Lightberry to capture external video at all. So whilst everything illuminates in Kodi lovely, there’s not even a whiff of external (mainly Plex) action.

    I wondered, did you ever get yours working? Was there any issues at all? I’m starting to think that I may have a faulty box.

  2. Hey Steve,

    I never actually got a lightberry, just the software running on my mac mini. I haven’t really played around with it since I wrote this article either so I’m probably not very much help :/ Have you tried reaching out to lightberry? They were very helpful and responsive last time I talked with them.

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