Amazon Echo+GE Link Bulbs+Smart Things?

It’s close, but not quite there yet, as GE link bulbs must be paired with either the Wink hub or the Link hub or the Philips Hue Bridge before Echo can control them.

I use the Hue Bridge and GE links with Echo, works great.

Unfortunately the ST/Hue bridge integration had problems right now. Support says they’re working on improvements.

If you attach GE link bulbs directly to ST, no bridge, you can control them from ST. To add Echo into the mix you have to use one of the various workarounds.

Echo doesn’t have a zigbee antenna, it can’t talk to the bulbs directly. There has to be a wink hub or a philips bridge or something else with a zigbee antenna to act as the middleman.

1 Like

It’s not possible. Details missing…

2 Likes

Wait I am lost here, some are saying yes some no LOL?

So you 100% need a GE Hub to use the link bulbs with Smartthings/Echo ?

Bulbs ONLY will not work?

Echo itself should not work with bulbs only. Nothing to do with SmartThings. Something has to have a zigbee antenna to talk to the bulbs.

It could be the link hub, not the wink hub, by any chance is that what you have? The link bulbs are often sold in a starter set with the small link hub that plugs into to the wall and then let’s you use the wink app with the bulbs. It’s a different device than the Wink hub, some people even forget that they have it.

The Wink hub is a $50 device that has multiple antennas: zigbee, zwave, bluetooth, and Lutron clear connect.

The Link hub (PLINK-SKIT) is a $25 device with zigbee and WiFi only. It allows you to control GE Link bulbs (and only those bulbs) with the Wink app.

Once you can control something from the Wink app, it appears that Echo can probably control it, even though officially they’ve only verified a couple of devices and say the Wink hub is required.

One thing to note: bulbs connected through the Hue bridge can be dimmed by Echo, but so far bulbs connected through Wink only have on/off control.

I just got my Echo, and have a smartthings hub only, no bulbs yet. Just wanted to see if I could avoid using another hub. And it sounds like the GE Bulbs don’t allow dimming via Echo, So I guess my only option is Hue(which is fine, but they are much more $$$, and a previous set I had years ago buzzed)

1 Like

The Echo -> SmartThings -> Bulb functionality isn’t natively available, but SmartThings has mentioned that they are working on official integration and several community members have it working through alternative means (eg. custom hue bridge emulators).

Here’s some instructions showing how to do this with a custom Hue Bridge Emulator if you are a tinkerer:

I’m personally using the node.js version by @schettj along with forever.js to keep the server running:

Here’s where Ben indicated SmartThings is working on official integration:

I use Echo + Hue Bridge + 2 Hue Luxes + 9 GE Links (connected through the Hue Bridge). So I’m using less expensive bulbs, but Echo can still dim them.

I got the Hue Bridge by buying the Hue Lux Starter Kit which is why I have two Lux bulbs. :sunglasses:.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ME9CDQE/

1 Like

Has there been any update on controlling GE Link bulbs via Echo and ST without an additional hub? I am still unclear if we need a hue bridge or link/wink hub to control the GE Link bulbs based on ST’s current integration with Echo.

You shouldn’t need a separate bridge. Echo should recognize the GE links whether they are directly connected to a wink hub, a GE link bridge, Phillips hue bridge, or the smartthings hub.

I’m actually planning to test a direct smartthings link with one GE link bulb tomorrow, if you want to wait for that report. :bulb: :sunglasses:

That’s good to know. I have not yet picked up an Echo yet, so I wanted to get a sense of what will work with my current setup. I have been adding a few GE Link bulbs, GE Wall dimmer switches and will be getting the door sensor and motion sensor with my V2 Hub. I will be interested to see how your test goes since your other thread seems to rely on the Hue Bridge for functionality.

It depends on what kind of functionality you want.

At the present time, echo will work directly with the following home automation controllers:

The Phillips hue bridge

The wink hub

Anything which uses the wink app, including the GE link bridge which comes in the GE Link starter kit,

Smartthings hub

As it happens, the GE link bulb is the only device that could be attached directly to any of those four controllers.

I have been able to control it with echo using the first three methods, so now I’m going to test the fourth.

I have found some conflict between having a single Phillips hue bridge that talks to both echo directly and to smartthings. Mainly it appears that smartthings keeps trying to steal the GE link bulbs from the hue bridge. So that’s the issue that I have currently solved by removing the Phillips hue bridge from a SmartThings connection. But I’m still testing various setups.

Huh? How is this possible?

Aren’t ZigBee devices tightly coupled to their networks (i.e., the Philips Hue Bridge’s network), and thus there’s no way that SmartThings can “steal” the bulb unless you explicitly exclude the bulb from the Hue Bridge (and/or run a physical reset on the bulb (on 3 seconds, off, on, off, etc.)???

Most zigbee profiles are tightly coupled, but ZLL is a whole different animal. No controller required, and stealing is possible. Hence, you know, the Hue Lampstealer.

http://www.everyhue.com/?page_id=167

I seem to have run into a problem specific to the combination of GE links and Phillips hue bridge. I do not have the same problems with the GE links that are connected to the link bridge.

I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but it was ST staffer Juan Risso who suggested that the GE bulbs were becoming attached to the smartthings hub instead of the hue bridge.

All I know is I can reproduce the problem even though I don’t know what’s causing it.

Hmmm… OK.

I have 3 Hue Bulbs, 3 GE Link bulbs all connected to Hue Bridge, Echo via the Hue Bridge, and SmartThings via the Hue Bridge.

Haven’t experienced any bulb-stealing yet. And I hope I don’t.

I removed my GE’s from hue bridge for no particular reason. I put them in the closets and connected it directly to ST and trigger it by closet door open/close (ST multi). No issues whatsoever and near instant…

I like GE Links via Hue Bridge for better default dimming fade time. Dunno why it’s different.

And… Secondary backup control method, of course… The Hue App(s).

1 Like

Now that I think about it… Echo-ST-Philips hue integration failing for me may very well be related to the hue zigbee channel. For some reason once I came back from India I used to see “bulb may not be reachable” pretty often in hue app even though they functioned from hue and third party apps. I decided to change the zigbee channel on the hue hub and looks like it’s working perfect from all the sources. @juano2310 and @JDRoberts may be interested to know this too…

And I am getting the right status too… I am in night mode now with just 2 hues on as night light and good night routine turned 10 of these off and dimmed these to 10% instantly. Hope this functions this way…

1 Like

Very interesting. I did change my channel at home b cause my hues weren’t responding to the hue app. I wonder if by default ST and Hue use the same zigbee channel.

Smartthings can be assigned any of several zigbee home automation channels, but this assignment, at least for V1, was made at the factory, and could not be changed afterwards. You could see what channel you have been assigned in the IDE. But again you could not change it.

I think, although I’m not 100% sure, that the Phillips hue bridge ships using the ZLL channel 11. (ZLL uses a subset of the channels used by ZHA. ) The big difference is that you can change the Phillips hue bridge channel at any time to one of the other the ZLL channels through their app. This is most commonly done to reduce interference with local Wi-Fi. A lot of people will choose channel 20 or 25, because these have the least overlap with unboosted Wi-Fi. ( Channel 20 however, can run into trouble with boosted Wi-Fi.)

The end result is that you may be able to put intentionally put the Hue bridge on either the same channel as the SmartThings hub or on a different channel from the SmartThings. It depends in large part on what channel the smartthings hub is using.

If, for example, the smartthings channel is using the ZHA channel 14, that channel is not available to a hue bridge.

All of that said, however, that is the channel that these two devices will use for normal message transmission. During discovery, things get more complicated, because the end devices don’t know out of the box which channels the controllers are on. So there is the potential for some channel switching to occur in that vulnerable moment.

1 Like

Bingo! @JDRoberts I was on 20 on the hue hub when it performed the worst.