Detecting if a HUE lamp connected through the HUE hub is unpowered

I have a technology tolerant SO that insists on using physical switches on a couple of lights in the house.
When the lamp is turned off from the power source, it registers as “on” in the ST system. This makes it difficult to sense when it is turned on again for mode changes and the like.

Does anyone know of a way to sense if the bulb is non-responding? I had a couple of ideas on this.

  • When the lamp is turned on, automatically dim it to 99% and acknowledge the ON mode in software
    • This would help for telling when the lamp becomes powered but does nothing for indicating it is not powered.
  • Poll the lamp with a power toggle (99% to 98% or vice versa) and wait for a status change message
    • Is this possible within the app? Or would it require a change in the driver?
  • There appears to be some extra traffic in the logs when a bulb is non-responsive could this be exploited?
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Does the Hue hub report the light as on when it is not getting power? I am guessing if the power is killed from the source, Hue does not know the state and just assumes last known is right. Which is what ST will report on.

You could probably write a smartApp to report on those extra log messages, not sure if one exists yet. CoRe may be able to do this type of check.

This is the main reason I went to smartSwitches over Hues for most of my house. Using a light switch is often times much easier and even when off you have control.

I did get a Hue Dimmer Switch for the one I still have active, and placed it next to the light switch, was planning on adding a light switch cover to prevent accidental turn offs, but since adding the dimmer switch it has not been an issue.

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People approach the issue of having a physical switch for smart bulb many different ways. In the last few months, the easiest solution is based on a new device class: a smart switch cover. This fits over the existing light switch and has its own buttons. So the bulb stays powered on all the time, but there is a switch right where there used to be. You can see these and many other options in the following thread:

As far as monitoring individual bulbs, it could be done, but I wouldn’t recommend it because the polling traffic will cripple your network and everything will run really slow. Having a physical switch is just a lot simpler.

Meanwhile, here’s the FAQ on what kind of switch solutions people use with smart bulbs.

There are also some wellness check smart apps that you can use to be notified when a device hasn’t had log activity for a while. Those don’t make the rest of the network run slow. But then it’s up to you to do something about it. See the “wellness check” in the smart apps section under the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki.

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It’s an older house is the first problem. Only 2 wires are coming down to the switchbox. So, many smart switches are out of the question.
One of the lights needs to be all the way off (where no power cycle can switch it on, it’s in the sleeping area.) so a smart wall switch is out of the question there.
The other one is on an un-switched outlet, and the SO is using another remote switch to cycle it. I am not looking forward to training her to a new remote.

I didn’t ask the question to be pointed at products. I asked to see if it had been done in software or if anyone had any ideas for running it in software. There are other applications for this than mine.