For better or worse, I am heavily invested into a Philips Hue Ecosystem in my home. As it’s not just me in the house, and I’ve taken care to make things easy for people to use who aren’t tech savvy or really don’t want to use their phone to control anything, I’m looking to add a SmartThings hub without changing any configuration of the Hue system I’ve already built. I’m sure I will find many uses for a SmartThings hub in time, but my first goal is this… I have a Hue Dimmer switch at the main entrance, and a Hue button by the bedside. Both of these are programmed to shut off all the lights in the house with the push of a button when either leaving home or going to bed. I have two light fixtures that cannot be replaced by any kind of smart bulb, Hue or otherwise, so I need to get a smart switch to control these lights. 1) Can I link a smart switch (like a GE or Lutron) with a SmartThings hub so that when pressing the off switch on a Philips Hue brand dimmer switch, it can also shut off a smart switch made by the other company? 2) If this is possible, is there a preferred smart switch that works best with the SmartThings hub for integration? (or are there brands to avoid). I was looking at the Lutron Caseta switches, but honestly, I’m not attached to anything in particular.
There are several entirely different ways to approach this.
- Use Apple’s HomeKit Without homebridge. By far the easiest, alThough not the least expensive, is to use Lutron Caseta switches. Both Hue and Caseta work with both HomeKit and SmartThings. You use HomeKit to use the Hue buttons and switches to Control the Caseta devices. (Very easy.) and if you want to control either the hue bulbs or the Caseta switches From smartthings you can do that too.
Smartthings will be unaware of the existence of the hue “accessories” (anything other than a bulb or a light strip), but it probably won’t matter. The accessories are a parallel means of control and everything will work fine.
If you already have iOS devices, in particular if you have an iPhone and either an Apple TV 4 or an iPad that stays home all the time, then there actually isn’t extra cost. But if you don’t, then you do have to pay for the iOS devices.
This is the set up I have at my own house.
- use Apple’s HomeKit with Homebridge. Homebridge is software that lets you fool Apple‘s HomeKit into thinking there is an extra hue bridge attached to it and that all kinds of other devices are hue devices. This is how people connect Nest protects or SmartThings itself or other non-HomeKit devices to HomeKit. You have to have another small computer, usually a raspberry pi, To run homebridge and do all of the work To keep HomeKit fooled. And set up is very technical.
This is certainly doable and has the advantage of bringing your other smartthings devices into HomeKit, but if you aren’t already a programmer, you may find this both confusing and hard work.
- Group the switches with the hue bulbs in SmartThings. An alternative which doesn’t require using Apple HomeKit is to create a linkage between a specific hue bulb and a specific light switch Using a smartthings automation. You can definitely create a rule so that every time the hue bulb goes on the light switch goes on and every time the hue bulb goes off the light switch goes off. This is very easy to do but it doesn’t fit all use cases. And there may be a slight “popcorn effect“ where you see the hue bulb come on first and then a second or two later the switch comes on.
I do use this method in my own home in a few places, specifically where I have a link to a table lamp with the hue bulb and a physical device which turns on a wall switch. There is a popcorn effect, but it’s not bad. It just means that the table light comes on before the overhead light.
If you want to do this, you can use anything you want for the wall switch that can be added to your smartthings Account.
So those three are the main ways Using your existing Hue accessories.
If you would be willing to swap out the hue accessory for a button that works with smartthings, Then again you could use any wall switch that can be added to your smartthings account and just use smartthings to tie the two together.
It might even be possible To take an existing hue dimmer Or Tap switch and have it talk to the smartthings hub directly, but I hesitate to recommend that method because many people have found that it just isn’t very reliable. But it is something you can try if you want. I do have more confidence in the first four methods, though.
Curious where this ended up? I’m not interested in connecting up to HomeKit here…I would, however, like to either use my Hue dimmer switch as a trigger in SmartThings or find a GOOD replacement that’s SmartThings friendly. My use case would involve the switch / button being a trigger for automations in WebCoRE. Suggestions welcome!
It’s ended up in the same place it was a year ago, only a little worse. There is no way at present for the smartthings hub to recognize the Hue dimmer switch whether it is connected to a hue bridge or directly to the smartthings hub.
(The old beta method which had reliability issues now doesn’t work at all, And the developer has moved on to other things.
So if you don’t want to use homebridge, then I’m afraid there just isn’t anyway. There are some alternative devices which have a similar form if you’re just looking for a multi button Device.
Which SmartThings hub do you have?
Just to note: webCoRE will probably cease at the end of this year when groovy is phased out… or whenever that may occur. I say probably because it is unknown if a replacement for it is forthcoming… doubtful.
I’ve got a v2 I believe…it’s a few years old but not the first one. Will take a look at the linked switches and buttons. Thank you for the update
Oh wow…thanks for the heads up…had no idea. Yikes!
Good news: with the announcement of the new edge driver architecture, a community member has just released a new beta version of an edge driver for the hue dimmer switch.
Note that if you use the hue dimmer switch in this way, it will no longer be connected to the hue bridge and it will not show up in Hue app.
Also, I don’t know if this will work with Webcore or smartlighting: you might have to use the automation creator in the smartthings app. But you can ask the author.
And this is very early days for the new architecture, it is still in beta, so there may be glitches or changes over the next couple of months.
Finally, it doesn’t work with all smartthings hubs because Edge drivers don’t. For example, it won’t work with the Samsung Wi-Fi model. it should work with the V3 model or the new Aeotec hub.
But if you are interested, check out the following thread: