FAQ: How Can I Use a Philips Hue Dimmer Switch with Hue Bulbs Already Controlled By SmartThings?

Hi all,

I know there is countless forums on this switch (because I’ve been researching for about an hour), but conversations seem to drift very quickly in this arena so I just want to ask a quick question - in hope that I get a quick reply.

Without using a Philips Bridge, how do I connect a Philips Hue Dimmer Switch to two philips bulbs?

Turning the bulbs on and off a few times and holding the on button doesn’t work. Connecting the remote to ST works but because there is no handle that doesn’t work either.

All I want is to use the functionality of the dimmer switch I bought!

Are you just asking how you would use it without smartthings at all, just use it with the one dimmer switch and two bulbs?.

If it’s not working for you, you probably need to reset the bulbs first. And for that you should be talking to Philip support.

You can start with the videos at the bottom of the following page. If they don’t help then contact Philip support.

Since apparently you have already connected the dimmer switch to SmartThings, if you want to use it without smart things you will need to:

One) reset the dimmer to factory specs

Two) then use the dimmer to reset each of the individual bulbs

Three) then set up the dimmer to control those bulbs

There are instructions for how to do each of those individual steps on the Hue page.

If instead you were asking how you can use the dimmer switch with SmartThings so that it shows up as a thing in your SmartThings account that’s a very different question with a much longer answer. So before we get into that, I just wanted to check exactly what question you were asking.


@JDRoberts Thank you for your reply. The bulbs I have connected to my ST network are linked with Smart Lighting so I fear that if I reset the Philips Bulbs they will no longer function like they have been.

My aim was to use the remote as an addition to the group so that we could control the light in the hallway and override lux levels/motion.

From the videos it looks like I need to reset the bulbs and take it away from the ST network, which isn’t what I wanted. Ideally, I would be after a handle that would allow me to use the Thing and control the bulbs via. the dimmer switch.

OK, that requires the long answer.

Method1: Hue Bridge, Bulbs work with SmartThings; Dimmer is invisible to SmartThings but works with the bulbs via the bridge

Are you currently using the bulbs via the hue bridge? That is the only officially recommended way of using them with SmartThings.

If you are, things are pretty simple. You just add the Hue dimmer to your hue bridge and use the Hue app (not the SmartThings app) to set the dimmer up with those particular hue bulbs (which also have to be connected to the same hue bridge as the dimmer switch).

Then the Hue dimmer becomes an alternative means of Control. Smartthings won’t know that it exists, but you can continue to control the bulbs via the bridge through smartlighting or any other smartthings feature. And you can push the buttons on the dimmer switch and have them control those particular bulbs without changing how the bulbs work with SmartThings.

So with this method, smartthings will see the bulbs but not the dimmer switch; the hue bridge will see both; and you can use the Hue app to set up the dimmer switch to control any bulbs which are controlled by the same hue bridge.

This is how we have things set up at my own house so that guests have a physical switch to use with the nightstand lamps. It works very well.

So the key to this method is don’t add the Hue dimmer to your SmartThings account. Since you already have, you would just reset the dimmer switch, then add it to your hue bridge, use the Hue app to set up the bulbs that it will control, and you’ll be all set.

Method 2: Hue Bridge, using custom code to make the dimmer switch visible to SmartThings

There are some people who are getting to their bulbs through a hue bridge but who want to use the Hue dimmer switch to do things beyond what you can do with just the Hue app. They still have the Hue dimmer switch and Hue bulbs connected to the same hue bridge, but they want the dimmer switch to be visible to SmartThings. There is some code to allow you to do that, but it’s fairly complicated and it doesn’t work for everybody. But if that is what you want to do, then see the following thread: and ask any follow-up questions there .

Method 3: no Hue bridge

If instead you are trying to use the hue bulbs without a hue bridge, it’s technically possible, but it can mess up the rest of your zigbee network. But you can search the forum for discussions by people who have done that. My understanding is that this group has been less successful in getting the Hue dimmer switch to work reliably than the ones who do have a hue bridge, but check the threads to see the current status. I don’t really follow those projects very closely because of the problems with the zigbee mesh when you try to use Hue devices without a Hue bridge so I just stay away from that approach. :sunglasses:


Wow @JDRoberts what a response. I’m doing it without a bridge and have got as far as uploading the external Philips Hue Handle you mentioned but so far I’m getting no where.

I do feel slightly closer to achieving my goal than I did before so thank you for your help.

Hopefully one day the wife won’t say “I told you so!”.

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You’ll need to ask any follow-on questions for that particular DTH in the author thread that I linked to. When you post there, the code author will be automatically alerted that there’s a new post and other people who are using the same code may also be able to help. :sunglasses:

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Fantastic! What a wonderfully detailed response! Kuddos for your efforts!