Alexa + Hue + Smartthings V2

Hey all!

I’m helping my uncle setup his Smartthings V2 hub. I’ve done two other Smartthings installs and configurations before however none were using the Echo. We got the Hue bridge and Echo paired with Smartthings but are running into a small issue. Naming.

For example, he has a Hue bulb in his bathroom. He configures it in the Hue app and names it “Bathroom”. We then import that into Smartthings. ST has full control over the light - awesome!! We now use Alexa and say “Alexa, turn on the bathroom light”…she responds with “More than one device have the same name…” And doesn’t perform the action.

For testing purposes, I rename the Bathroom light to “Bathroom1” within ST and sure enough, then next time I give Alexa the command, it works without issue.

So, my Alexa + Hue + ST friends, how do you handle your aynchronization and naming. Do you use the Hue software and name it from that? Or do you use ST? What’s the best practice in getting all three to play nice with each-other?

Thanks in advance!

Alexa will need a distinct name to control the device. Establishing that uniqueness globally across SmartThings/Hue hub might provide for a simpler implementation, however it doesn’t mean you have to.You can setup a group in Alexa app even if its only one device. So you could setup a group called “Bathroom Light” in Alexa that has the “Bathroom” or “Bathroom1” device in it. In that case while “Bathroom” may be too ambiguous, so long as Bathroom Light is unique enough you’re good.

It depends on the exact set of group and device names that you have, so Sometimes you just have to experiment.

And to see what other people have run into:

Thanks for the reply’s guys, however I’m not sure if I’m explaining this correctly, or if I’m just not understanding your responses.

So I buy Hue and I configure a bulb with their hub. I name this bulb “Bathroom” as I only have one bathroom bulb. Alexa is linked to Hue and it can control the “Bathroom” light without issue.

Now I want to sync Hue with Smartthings. I follow the guide Smartthings has to connect the Hue Hub and bulb as a thing. When I do this, it finds the “Bathroom” light bulb and imports it into Smartthings. I have also configured Alexa to work with Smartthings.

Now, Alexa see’s a “Bathroom” bulb for the Hue hub and a “Bathroom” bulb for Smartthings. It is the same bulb, but because Alexa is synced with both Hue and Smartthings, it see’s two bulbs with the same name and errors out.

My question is, what is the best practice in the scenario? Should I just not have Alexa control the Hue Hub so it only does voice commands through Smartthings which is paired with Hue? In this case it should only see one Bulb.

Or Do I need to go into Alexa and create a “Bathroom” group for the ONE bathroom bulb that lives on both hubs?

For those that have Alexa, Smartthings and Hue, what is your workflow when making the three work together? Do you omit Alexa from controlling the Hue Hub to solve this problem? Is there any point for Alexa to be paired with the Hue Hub when all of the Hue bulbs are paired with Smartthings?

Does that make more sense?

If I had all three (I don’t) I’d have Alexa interact with the things primary controller. If bulb was added to hue then when authorizing smartthings devices to Alexa I’d leave out its version of the bulb. Primary controller is going to be involved anyway so cut down on latency in asking Alexa to talk to smartthings which will talk to hue bridge which will talk to bulb. Just go directly to hue, further if using hue that should be all LAN after Alexa’s AWS voice stuff so one less cloud services to rely on.

Now I’m not sure how long it takes smartthings to tell that bulb has changed states when done externally. If the integration is some kind of pub/sub should be pretty quick. If smartthings has to poll the bridge then there could be some synchronization issues if bulb is managed between polls. If that occurs and is an issue for you then having Alexa go to smart things only should alleviate.

As I don’t use the Hue myself (this setup is for my uncle) I’m not too familiar with the Hue + Smartthings import. If I want to be able to control the virtual switches and dimming functions via the Smartthings app, you’re saying I only need to pair the Hub not the bulbs to Smartthings?

For example, If I wanted to make a room called “Room1” and I wanted the Bathroom Bulb to show under this room so from the ST app I can control it, I would need to add the bulb to ST right?

When you authorize SmartThings-controlled devices for echo to use, do not include any devices that are already authorized to echo from other controllers, including any hue bridge which you connected separately to echo.

That’s all there is to it. :sunglasses: Echo will only list the device once. It doesn’t matter which controller echo gets the device details from, it will still work.

Each controller will still be able to use the device. And nobody gets confused about names.

And, yes, you pair the hue bridge to smartthings, not each individual bulb. The individual bulbs controlled by that bridge will still show up as lights that can be selected for SmartThings routines and SmartApps. That happens automatically after you pair the bridge.

So in your example the bathroom bulb will be available in SmartThings once you’ve paired its Hue bridge to SmartThings. You’ll be able to put it in a room and all that. You don’t need to pair the Hue bulb directly to smartthings, and in fact you shouldn’t.

Then assuming that you already paired that same Hue bridge to echo, when you go to authorize smartthings-controlled devices for echo to use, just ignore any Bulbs for that bridge that are on your list of SmartThings devices. They’re already in echo, so you don’t want to add them a second time. Only authorize devices that echo doesn’t already know about. Everything will work fine.


Yes, this is the response I was about to type out. Thanks for doing ask the work for me :smile:

Sorry I was gone for a bit! Thank you for the very detailed response! I think I may have mis-spoken, and since this isn’t my setup, I don’t have direct access to everything so I am so sorry to drive you all nuts.

When he paired the hub to smartthings, he can see the individual bulbs listed. Therefore, I was under the impression they were paired. However, it seems that they are seen in smartthings through the hue hub.

Based on what you stated, I’m guessing the entire issue here is what is authorized inside of echo. I bet he just went in and authorized everything.

To make sure I’m understanding this correctly:

Pair the Hue hub with Smartthings.
Pair the Hue hub with Echo
Do not authorize the Hue-hub/bulbs in echo, under the “My device list” for the Smartthings integration

In this case, Echo will talk directly to the Hue hub and any updates on bulb status will be communicated from the Hue hub -> Smartthings Hub. Then, any manual control will be sent from Smartthings -> Hue Hub.

Did I get it right?

Thank you again!

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Yes, please. Is that correct or do you want Google assistant / echo to communicate with Philips Hue for the bulbs? And if so is there a way to link with SmartThings but only allow voice control through Philips Hue so the devices are not duplicated for the GA / Echo?

And what is the advantage of even linking the Philips Hue with SmartThings? Is it just so you can have mixed brands of Lights in the same group/ room?