Alexa+Phillips Hue+SM: same lights listed under two controllers - which is better to use?

I’m enjoying my new setup, but having some connection issues now. I think it might be because my Philips and SM hubs are not directly connected to my router.

That said, I wondering about my list of devices in my Alexa app. I have 8 Philips Hue colored bulbs. Each one is listed twice under the devices, 8 controlled by Phillips, and 8 controlled by SM. Could anyone tell me if there’s a functional difference between the two? Does anyone notice better responsiveness when assigning one set of lights to their groups, or is that something I should just experiment with?

Also, if I do find that one set works better than the others, does it make sense to delete the other set of bulbs? My device list could get rather lengthy as I add more lights.

Ok… Hues lights were going haywire, so I tried something. (I had already switched to a different channel the other day)

First, I unplugged my SM hub (and pulled the batteries), just to see if they were interfering with each other. Didn’t help.

Then I pulled the Phillips Hub from my wired access point+additional switch, and plugged it directly into my main router. Didn’t help.

So, I left the Hue Hub unplugged (no more flickering lights), and in my Alexa app, I replaced the “Phillips-controlled” lights in my lamp with the “SM-controlled” lights. Alexa wasn’t able to control them. So, I guess even with SM control, it still goes Alexa -> SM -> Hues.

So, does anyone know if it’s better to go Alexa->Hues vs Alexa->SM->Hues? I still need the SM for my Z-wave light switches, but can/should I exclude Hues from SM altogether?

Anyways, since I bought two Hues colored light sets, that means I have an extra hub, so I’m going to redo the system with that and see what happens. Wish me luck!

I can only tell you what I’ve done…and it works for me… Others may have come to a different determination based on their circumstances.

What I chose to do was to only let my Alexa know about the Hue lights from the Hue Bridge. I do not let it see (by way of device permissions) the same lights that are attached to the SmartThings hub. I do still allow the ST hub to see all the hue lights though. All of them.

Here’s why I did this…

#1 - Fault tolerance. Lately the ST network has been having some “challenges” so if you only had your lights connected to ST then you wouldn’t be able to use the Alexa to turn them on. Having the Alexa see the Hue Bridge allows you to still control them when ST is down. Likewise, if only your Alexa can control the lights and there’s a problem on that side then ST can be the backup plan (from the app or some smart button/motion sensor/whatever).

#2 - Scenes. I had already created some scenes in the Hue setup and I found it easier for the Alexa to know about those by getting them from Hue than to recreate all that effort in ST. That could be just a lack of understanding on my part with how ST works in that regard, but it just seemed easy to get the Hue scenes in to Alexa this way.

#3 - Like you I did not want to see the devices in the Alexa app twice. So I went through the steps to exclude those lights so that it could no longer see them on the ST hub, and then I removed those devices from the Echo. I found it easier to do that from the website interface.

#4 - keeping the Hue bulbs in ST also allows me to manipulate them with the new rules engine that I’m using (webCoRE). That way I can change the color temperature of the lights or the actual color of the lights based on certain conditions (like the laundry is done, make this light red).

So that’s basically what I chose. It’s working for me. I’m not well-versed enough to say that it’s the absolute best way to do things, but I’ve not had any issues with this setup…and that’s rather important to me.

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Thanks for your input. I have a few questions:

Now I’m confused. I thought you excluded them from ST? Is this an “if” scenario?

[EDIT] Not sure what happened with the quote tags. Sorry…

For Devices discovered in Alexa and to prevent duplication:

  1. Alexa will directly discover devices such as Hue Bulbs attached to a Hue Bridge, A Nest Thermostat, LIFX Bulbs, Wemo devices outside of SmartThings. I call this native discovery.

  2. You shouldn’t allow Alexa to discover any devices from SmartThings that she has already discovered elsewhere.

How do I do this? In the Amazon Alexa SmartApp in SmartThings, you turn off the ability to allow Alexa to Discover All Devices / Routines and then you specifically select all devices that are in SmartThings only that Alexa can’t discover on her own, and then you can also include the Routines. This will prevent unnecessary duplication of devices in Alexa.

How do I remove these duplicate devices? You can remove them from You have to do this from the web, not from your Alexa app. If you are doing this from a cellphone and you use that url, after you login, you need to select Desktop site otherwise it will redirect you to the mobile app. When you login via this method you can goto Smart Home / Devices and then forget ALL of the SmartThings Devices.

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@WB70 gives a much better description of the actual steps, and that is essentially what I am doing (did) too.

I don’t want dupes, so the Echo is not allowed to see all my ST “things”. It only gets to see the ones I want it to see. But I give my ST hub the ability to see all everything on the Hue Bridge so that I can automate it.

[quote=“WB70, post:5, topic:113815”]
How do I do this? In the Amazon Alexa SmartApp in SmartThings, you turn off the ability to allow Alexa to Discover All Devices / Routines and then you specifically select all devices that are in SmartThings only that Alexa can’t discover on her own, and then you can also include the Routines. This will prevent unnecessary duplication of devices in Alexa.[/quote]

Is this a setting in the Alexa software, or do I simply not click on “Discover Items”. What happens if I add more Hue lights in the future? Wouldn’t discovery find all those other items in addition to the new Hue bulbs?

[quote=“Mike1616, post:6, topic:113815”]
I don’t want dupes, so the Echo is not allowed to see all my ST “things”. It only gets to see the ones I want it to see[/quote]

I just haven’t seen a setting where I can select/prevent this. And how do you get the Echo to see only the things you want it to see?

[EDIT] Man, the quote function here doesn’t work like I’ve seen it work on other websites.

Quote works fine if you highlight the text and press Quote

Go into the Amazon Alexa SmartApp in SmartThings and turn the option off so that Alexa will not Discover anything from SmartThings:

After you have performed this, then follow the steps to Forget All of the SmartThings devices.

Then go back into the Amazon Alexa SmartApp again and select only the devices that Alexa hasn’t already discovered (non SmartThings). If those devices were already discovered by Alexa, you don’t select the same ST Device.

Then you can go back to Alexa app and have her Discover Devices. This time she will only add the SmartThings devices you specifically selected in the Amazon Alexa SmartApp inside SmartThings.

Ah, so the setting is in the ST app. Makes sense. I’ve reinstalled my Hues lights, but haven’t reinstalled the ST hub/app yet, so I’ll have to remember to look for that in the future. Thanks!

Ah, didn’t see the “Quote” button pop up. I’ve been using the Reply button or copy/pasting.


I’m reconnecting my ST hub after swapping my Hue bridge. How do I install the Amazon Alexa app? Does that happen automatically when I add the ST skill in Alexa?

Would you recommend that I add my Echo devices to ST? (Or does that happen under the Alexa skill also?)

I guess what I’m wondering is…I should limit what Alexa sees, but I should go ahead and add everything I have to ST? Am I understanding this correctly?

Yes - When you add the skill

Your Echoes won’t be added to ST

Without ST Skill enabled, let Alexa discover All devices in your home. Then whatever devices she doesn’t discover that only exist in ST, you can specifically define those from the SmartApp in ST and then have Alexa discover again and she will pull in those additional devices you gave her access to discover.

In other words after you have your Hue Bridge and Hue bulbs running / connected to your home (Not in ST), Alexa will discover those bulbs automatically. So now after you have added all the Hue stuff to ST, you don’t want to let Alexa discover those bulbs again from the ST app because Alexa already discovered them natively. If there in there once, you don’t need them in there again.

Ok…I just asked because ST lists that as an option under Add A Thing

“Want to add an Echo, Arlo, or other devices? Add Device Manually”

I was just wondering if there was an advantage to that, or should I not bother? I recall seeing something like this in Alexa, and was wondering if that was related (although I never saw them in my ST app, so maybe they weren’t). No one I’ve asked knows what this setting is for.

Got it!

You just helped me clean up a lot of devices with these steps. THANK YOU!



Okay, Amazon app is installed, and I got it to only detect my two Z Wave light switches. Weird thing…the Amazon Alexa app shows up under automation in my ST app, and on one section the ST website (My Locations → Home → List Smartapps), but not under “My Smartapps”.

ikr? I just into all this Smart Home stuff last week. There’s a lot of little things to keep track off. Definitely not for the faint of heart, lol. It’s tough to set up, but awesome when you get it going!

It might say “My Apps” but that’s not what it means.

The Marketplace of “+ MyApps” shows any custom SmartApp that you created code for in IDE that you can select and Install. It doesn’t mean your Apps. It means custom SmartApps that are available for you to install.

Any SmartApp that has been “installed” (a couple of exceptions) by you from the Marketplace will show up under Automations / SmartApps <----- Those are your SmartApps.

Ya - Ignore this. It’s a misleading statement. You will find the Echos listed under Voice Control but you don’t physically add them (not now anyway). It just has references to instructions. The Amazon Alexa SmartApp being installed via the Alexa Skill you added / enabled is your Alexa integration with SmartThings.

I had a feeling this was the case.

I’m just wondering why each echo is selected individually in the Alexa software (and cannot be unselected afterwards). Does this change something, or is it simply a “feature” that has yet to be fully implemented? Weird.