SmartThings Community

Best way to change intensity and colors in bulbs


(Aldo) #1

Hi. I have the SMARTTHINGS hub and I want to be able to change intensity and color of some bulbs. I have read that PHILIPS HUE is an option but I would have to buy their hub which is expensive so I am trying to do it with a FIBARO dimmer controller but I am not sure what bulb I should use to make it work with SMARTTHINGS HUB. Any ideas or suggestions?

(Robin) #2

A Fibaro dimmer cannot control a smart bulb… It would probably just break it!!

You can also get Fibaro RGBW modules, but those will only controll dedicated RGBW circuits like LED strip lights.

If you want RGB bulbs in you light fittings then Hue is an option… I think most people reccomend using them with a Hue hub though due to resetting issues.

Other options:

Osram do an RGB bulb also, but when looking for a link I saw a lot of people having issues!

(Aldo) #3

Thanks for your respone Robin. Do you know if there is a way of using PHILIPS HUE without the need of their HUB and instead only using the SMARTTHINGS HUB ?

(Robin) #4

I don’t have any Hue bulbs myself, RGB or white, so I couldn’t confirm either way.

I just own a single, dirt cheap, unbranded (Chinese knock off) zwave bulb (white), which I hang from a pendant fitting in my roof space. Everything else I do with Fibaro Dimmers and a few cord switches… But then I’m not trying to achieve RGB within existing fittings like you are.

The following post from @JDRoberts suggests that Hue bulbs can work directly with a ST hub, but with some big caveats:

It’s an older post so maybe things have moved on? I’m sure @JDRoberts will be happy to confirm / offer some device recommendations (he’s the device guru around here)

(Aldo) #5

Thanks Robin. Lets see if @JDRoberts could advice on best ways or devices to achieve it. Tks

(Robin) #6

Talking about my dirt cheap bulb in the loft… I just ran (my first ever) Zwave network repair and what do you know, out of 50+ devices, it was the only one to throw up an error!

Note to myself… Don’t buy cheap crap from eBay / China :triumph:


As @RobinWinbourne said, it’s possible to connect Hue bulbs directly to the SmartThings hub, but it’s definitely not recommended. For one thing, you may find that the bulbs are stuck on a channel where they can’t be easily reset, so you can’t move them on to something else if needed, or even if you just trying to reset because of a problem.

You’ll also have a lot more features if you keep them on the Hue bridge, including the ability to use hue’s own scenes through IFTTT or some other integrations.

And there are ongoing problems with zigbee bulbs attached to the smartthings hub using messages that other zigbee devices ask them to repeat. This is true regardless of brand. Many community members have ended up moving even non-Hue brand bulbs onto the hue bridge just to avoid this problem. ( The hue bridge forms its own mini network with the devices attached to it. They will repeat for each other, but not for the other devices on your SmartThings account.)

So you can do it, but most people who do end up wishing they had just stayed with the bridge.

@RobinWinbourne or one of the other core experts can probably tell you if hue scenes are available through core. Because I now rely on text to speech, I can’t really follow the coding discussions.

But as far as setting colors and intensity for individual hue bulbs or groups of bulbs, as long as you have them attached to the hue bridge, I think core can do it very well.

(Robin) #8

CoRE doesent have any built in commands or attributes specifically for Hue bulbs or Hue scenes… Instead it can accurately control colour, level and hue of any RGBW device that shows up in the ‘things’ list utilising all the documented attributes.

If a specific device type handler (DTH) has specific custom commands built in, CoRE can however detect and utilise these so if ‘activate scene 1’ is a listed command in a Hue Bridge DTH, then core will be able to activate scene 1 etc.

The following thread links to a DTH and a smartapp for the Hue Bridge… I haven’t checked if it contains custom commands visible to CoRE but the Hue Smartapp itself looks promising on its own, based on the description!