There are some Philips hue branded Wi-Fi bulbs, which are available in China and Hong Kong, but that’s a co-branding partnership specific to that region, and I don’t believe they’re available anywhere else.
Most Philips hue bulbs sold in the us and uk/eu are zigbee. They connect to a Philips Hue hub through a zigbee network established by that hub. And they are then made available to smartthings through a LAN connection between the two hubs, which is local, or, if you don’t have a smartthings/Aeotec hub, there is a cloud to cloud integration where the Hue hub will use Wi-Fi to reach the Internet to talk to its cloud, which will then talk to the smartthings cloud, which will then use the Internet to reach the smartthings/Aeotec hub in your home.
It is technically possible to use a Philips hue Zigbee bulb without the Phillips hue hub, but it is not recommended, because they have turned out to be poor Zigbee repeaters, and they can mess up your Zigbee mesh. Here’s the FAQ on that.
FAQ: Do I need the Hue Bridge/Hub to Use a Hue Bulb with SmartThings?
Assuming you do use a hue hub, there are currently three ways of using the hue, zigbee bulbs with smartthings. Different ones will work for different people.
use the official cloud to cloud integration by going to link to services in the smartthings app. This works fine, it brings in a few additional devices besides just the bulbs, but you can’t use Hue scenes created in the hue app and of course it’s not local.
use the official LAN integration by adding the Hugh hub through the app. This basically has the same integration options as the cloud cloud method, but it does run local.
if you want to use more of the hue features, like more types of devices, and he scenes, there is a community created edge Driver, which exposes much more. This will require that you have both the Hue hub and a smartthings/Aeotec hub. It runs locally, but it is custom code. Here’s the thread if you want more information about that option, it’s quite popular:
[ST Edge] Philips Hue LAN [BETA] (3rd Party Driver, Not ST Native)
If you want to, you can even use all three of these methods at the same time, but then you will have three duplicates of each bulb in the smartthings app. But some people do do that when they are testing.
If you really do have some of the Chinese region hue Wi-Fi bulbs, Zigbee won’t enter the picture at all. I’m not sure if they’re available through the cloud to cloud integration, or not – – if I recall correctly, they used a different app. So if that is what you have, let us know, and we’ll have to research a little deeper.
(Oh, and the company does have a separate line of Wi-Fi bulbs sold under the wiz brand-name, but those are not hue. They will say wiz on the bulb. And again, Zigbee won’t have anything to do with it.)