Direct connect Hue a19 white bulb to ST

I have spent a few days reading and attempting to get my white hue bulbs connected directly with ST with little luck. I will run through my attempts as I remember them.

  • I have a Nvidia Shield TV with the SmartThings Link to act as my hub
  • Hub is on channel 11 which is a ZDA channel (obviously) and a ZLL channel (I got lucky I suppose)
  • I purchased a 4 pack of bulbs from BestBuy (no hue bridge and no remote. just bulbs)
  • Plugged a bulb in socket and used phone app to search for bulb; no luck
  • Tried all the bulbs and searching for them with the app; no luck
  • I purchased a Hue Dimmer Switch from BestBuy hoping that I could unpair the bulb even though it shouldn’t be paired to anything anyways
  • All bulbs react with the dimmer switch. By that I mean I can pair (hold On), unpair (hold Off), and reset (hold On and Off), and even hard reset the remote (button in back)
  • After unpairing and resetting numerous times and having the ST app in different states of searching (the add screen) and the Things screen, I finally had a Thing randomly show up.
    – It was a generic thing. Logged in to the graph.api website and set the device handler to Zigbee RGB light and FINALLY got the bulb to turn on and off via the app
  • Take the ‘working’ bulb out and set it aside.
  • Rinse and repeat resetting remote, pair, unpair, hard reset.

I have gotten 1 more bulb to connect and I have no reproducible steps. I don’t understand why or how I made it happen. Since my ST hub is on channel 11, I thought this would be a lot easier.
I understand that there is a Lutron remote (not the pico) that should be able to reset the hue bulbs and allow me to direct connect but they don’t seem to be available at my local home depots.

I have read the numerous posts about just using the hue bridge but that is not my goal. I am looking for a better insight and possible resolution to my issues.

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As you probably know from other posts, I don’t recommend directly connecting hue bulbs to the SmartThings bridge, in part because they can mess up your network: they will be identified by your hub as potential zigbee repeaters, but like most other zigbee Bulbs they can occasionally run into a kind of “buffer overflow” situation where they will lose messages that they are given to repeat. Which will make it look like your other zigbee devices, such as sensors, aren’t working properly, when in fact it’s the bulbs not passing the messages along. But as long as you’re aware of that risk, obviously it’s your choice.

As far as any additional insight, the only thing I did want to add is that if you are going to use these directly connected to the smartthings hub, you don’t want to use the RGBW device type. That’s for the color changing bulbs. Instead, try just using the generic Zigbee dimmer or a DTH specific to the white only bulbs if there’s one available.

Here is the Lutron device, although if you can make the work the bulbs work with the hue dimmer switch, you don’t need the Lutron device – – they have to be on A ZLL channel in order to work with the dimmer, so you should be fine there since your own hub is on channel 11.

As to why you’re having so much difficulty, it’s hard to say. Neither Phillips nor smartthings officially supports the method that you are trying to use, so there’s not a lot of information on it.

How close were the bulbs to the hub when you were trying to pair them the first time?

I would say 6 feet at most.

I have this nagging feeling that using the Hue Dimmer to pair, unpair, and reset the bulb ends up throwing the bulb on a random ZLL channel and I did it enough that I happened to land on channel 11 which allowed it to work eventually. This is my only running theory.

That’s not really the way pairing works, so that shouldn’t be the issue. Your SmartThings hub will broadcast the “come join me” request on channel 11, but when the bulbs are in pairing mode, they should be listening on all the channels for a join request. You don’t have to lock them into the right channel before they are joined to the network.

When you get a bulb reset, then leave it alone for about two minutes. Then start the join process with the smartthings hub, and don’t touch the dimmer switch atall while you were doing that process.

Oh, and You should never have to reset the dimmer switch as part of this, so you can skip that. :sunglasses:

I figured as much but it was the only thing I could infer that made any sort of sense.

I’ll give this a go when I get home. Won’t be holding my breath though.

Is there any way to see the network requests of these devices? The closest I have come is the graph.api live logs but that never really tells me anything interesting.

Also a thought: Since my ST hub is run via a dongle on my Nvidia Shield, maybe it would be possible to create an android app that could utilize the dongle and run commands (like reset) across the channels. Upon completing this thought though I realize that you would have to have the libraries/access to the dongles functionality which I assume are closed off. Haven’t looked around for documentation though. Not sure how open ST is with their stuffs.

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Not open, except for what is already published in the developer docs. You won’t get access to the dongle, unfortunately.

As far as seeing what packets are sent when a join is attempted, you can do that by looking at the raw data. If you take a look at the following thread, it walks through that process:

To nobody’s surprise, it didn’t work.

  • ‘Reset’ the bulb by holding on and off until the blinks finished. Set the remote aside. Tried adding the bulb and nothing happened
  • ‘Reset’ the bulb. Waited a few minutes. Tried adding the bulb but nothing.
  • Reset the remote. Tried adding the bulb but nothing.
  • Reset the remote. Waited a few minutes. Tried adding the bulb but nothing.
  • Reset the remote. ‘Reset’ the bulb. Tried adding the bulb but nothing.
  • Reset the remote. ‘Reset’ the bulb. Waited a few minutes. Tried adding the bulb but nothing.

The most frustrating part is that I want to believe that it will eventually work since the other two bulbs hooked up at some point.

But this bulb works OK with just the dimmer switch, right?

It’s not likely, but it is possible, that the bulb itself is defective. Internally, these bulbs have two separate endpoints, one that communicates with ZLL devices like the dimmer switch, and one that communicates with ZHA devices like the SmartThings hub.

Just like you might buy a blender which works fine on regular controls, but the reverse button doesn’t work, it’s possible that the bulb itself might be broken in that the ZHA end point isn’t working.

The problem with that is that it’s not a supported feature, so I don’t know if Phillips will be able to help you. :disappointed_relieved:

I’m sure it’s very frustrating, I feel frustrated just reading about it! I wish I had more suggestions, but it sounds like you’ve tried everything already.

Yes, it works with the dimmer.

If I am being completely truthful, I actually had the bulb show up as a thing at one point (when I originally purchased it and before posting here). The problem was I added the DH and yet the bulb failed to respond to any commands. So I removed it. I have yet to get the bulb to show up as a thing since.

I am running low on options it seems. It seems to be that direct connecting Hue was not the way to go and instead I should have focused on other smart lights to avoid the extra hub.

How useful are the live logs? I’ve watched them before and every now and again I see a payload that is different with a bunch of info. Is there any manual/programatic way to add devices other than using the ST app and the graph.api gui?

JDRoberts, has anyone figured out what causes the buffer overload? Or does it just appear to be a random occurrence? I currently have 2 hue bulbs connected to an echo plus, but I’m trying to move everything over to smartthings. Going forward, I’m going to be buying Cree and Sengled bulbs to avoid any problems. But, I still have these 2 hue bulbs. What’s the likelihood that 2 of them would cause problems on my zigbee network? Also, couldn’t I rebuild or heal my zigbee network with my hue bulbs powered off and then add them back to the network after the rebuild/heal? Then nothing should be using them as repeaters, correct? But then I would need to do that again every time I added new devices near the bulbs.