Echo + Hue Bridge + GE Link Bulbs + SmartThings Glitch

Ran into a weird glitch with echo, and just wanted to pass along a workaround in case anyone else is seeing it. I have reported it to support as well.

I have a hue bridge with two hue lux bulbs and five GE link bulbs attached to it. In the Hue native app these are all described as Lux bulbs, but they actually have different behaviors.

A couple of months ago, I had successfully discovered this bridge with echo, and was using it for light control, and everything worked great.

When I added smartthings as a service to echo, I did not authorize the same hue bridge. I just left the Hue bridge with its native connection to echo, and only authorized devices for smartthings that were not already known to echo through other services.

So far, so good. However, for various reasons I ended up having to do a new discovery of the hue bridge from SmartThings. And that’s when things got weird.


After I did the discovery of the Hue bridge in the smartthings mobile app, the following things happen:

  1. The smartthings mobile app could toggle all the bulbs connected to the Hue bridge on and off, no problem. However, if I unplugged the Hue bridge, ST could no longer toggle the bulbs, so it wasn’t that ST stole the bulbs.

  2. both the Hue native app and the echo app thought all the GE link bulbs were off-line. However, they could still control the Lux bulbs.

So ST could use the Hue bridge to control the GE link bulbs, but the Hue native app could not, and neither could echo. Like I said, weird.


What you get the situation where the hue app thinks the GE links are off-line, but the smartthings app can control them, the workaround is annoying but simple.

Just cut current to each orphaned bulb and turn it back on. If you have dumb switches, you just flip the switch on and off. You only have to do this once, you are not re-pairing the bulbs or healing the network. Just getting the already identified bulb to say hello to the bridge once.

After that, the Hue bridge will identify the GE link bulb as being online, therefore echo will also be able to control it, and smartthings will also still be able to control it.

Why this problem only occurs with the GE links and not the Hue lux bulbs, I have no idea. The weirdest part of the whole thing is that the ST mobile app can still turn the bulbs on and off using the hue bridge, even though the bridge itself thinks the bulbs are off-line.

Obviously the Hue bridge/GE link integration isn’t perfect.

But I just wanted to mention this in case anyone else is having a problem with echo not being able to control certain bulbs because the Hue bridge thinks they are off-line after smartthings has done its own separate discovery of the hue bridge.

@juano2310 any thoughts? Or is this just a case of “too many cooks spoil the broth” and it’s the Hue/GE link integration that’s fragile?

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Thank you, I have the same set up and have not noticed that behavior YET – but when i do i will appreciate the heads up

Same setup here as well. Thanks for the info.

I think that your GE bulbs might be connected directly to the st hub now and that is what is causing the confusion.
Try removing the GE bulbs from both hue and st and re discover them with hue if that’s what you prefer :smile:
Let me know how it goes.

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I thought of that, but if I unplug the hue bridge, then I can no longer toggle the GE links through the smartthings mobile app.

And once the bridge is back on if I just turn the light on and off a single time, without pushing the discovery button on the hue bridge, then I can control them from both the smartthings mobile app and the Hue bridge app again.

A controller shift would make sense, but it doesn’t seem to fit the app behavior that I’m seeing.

Unfortunately my GE bulbs pulled this stunt about a week after adding them to the Hue bridge. Long before Alexa could control them. I thought it was one of those things that could just happen since they aren’t Hue bulbs.

Why would you ever have your GE Bulbs attached to your Hue hub anyhow? Am I missing something? All of my GE Bulbs are connected only to the ST hub.

A lot of people do this to get additional third-party integrations that happen through the hue bridge. Maybe there’s a particular scene creation app that you like. Back when the hue bridge first had integration with echo and smartthings didn’t, that was another reason.

It just depends on the specific use case. There’s no one right answer. :sunglasses:

The newish Hue Dimmer remotes work great with the GE bulbs and at $24 with an included wallplate with magnetic attachment, are a total steal. I’m running into some issues because I want Hue to host the bulbs so that I can use the dimmers and get access to Homekit, but I also want to be able to program them with SmartThings, and I’ve also added Homebridge on a RaspberryPi so that I can access SmartThings via Siri.

Everything was cool until the GE bulbs dropped out of my setup out this morning… Hm. Back to the drawing board.

My Links dropped out today after the platform update. They were paired to the ST hub. I moved them to the Hue bridge and they are working now. I like the dimming better, it seems smoother, without seeing the stepping.

Other benefits are faster Alexa response when I turn off a room and I can use Hue geofencing. The Hue app also shows a.! when the switch is turned off and shows up as an event in ST.