Help (Re)Connecting Hue Bulbs - No Hue Bridge

I posted this earlier, reviving an old topic, probably in the wrong area of the forum.

I have been using a Hue White bulb for several months without issue, connected directly to the hub. Today I went to the store and bought 2 more. Upon trying to add these, not only did these not get discovered, the one I had been using for months stopped working as well. I rebooted the ST hub from the IDE, and ended up removing the bulb from all smartapps and from the ST hub configuration altogether. Now I still cannot get any of the bulbs to be discovered by ST.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Smartthings recommend only using Hue bulbs via the Hue bridge for a very specific reason.

Many brands of zigbee lightbulbs allow you to factory reset them through a blink method. Phillips has chosen not to do that, maybe out of fear that kids playing with the light switch could cause the bulbs to reset.

In any case, they can’t be reset just by blinking.

The problem is that there isn’t any way to reset them from a SmartThings hub.

Even worse, when they do attach to a SmartThings hub, they may be set to a zigbee channel which doesn’t work with a hue bridge. This meant people could get stuck with a bulb that they had no way of resetting. That’s probably what’s happened to you.

Fortunately, there is a device that you can buy that will allow you to reset the bulbs. It works even on the channels that a Hue bridge does not work on.

This is the Lutron “connected bulb remote.” Note that it must be this exact model. The Lutron pico remote which looks very similar will not work.

You can also pick one up at most Home Depot’s.

This device itself does not work with SmartThings. But it is capable of stealing the zigbee bulbs from SmartThings and resetting them. Once you get them reset, you can then add them back to the SmartThings hub if you want to. Or to a Hue bridge. :sunglasses:

Instructions for using the device to reset a bulb are on the Lutron page

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It’s also possible that there’s an issue with the device type handler. Again, SmartThings only officially supports these bulbs when used with the hue bridge, so the official device type handler doesn’t work with them. You need to use the generic zigbee bulb or one of the community created handlers. So it’s possible that while you were working with the new ones you accidentally change the device type handler for the other one that you had.

Try using the Cree or GE link device type handlers once you do get the bulbs paired to the hub.

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JD, thanks for the replies–Much appreciated. I was already considering buying the Lutron remote to reset the bulbs, but the 2 new bulbs were sealed, so I was pretty certain they had not been added to another Zigbee network previously.

I read pretty much all threads which relate to Hue bulb problems prior to posting. I don’t know how I missed that the Hue Bridge was the only supported method several months ago when I bought my first bulb; all I seemed to recall prior to yesterday was that it could work with or without the bridge.

Home Depot is 10 minutes away, and they have 4 remotes in stock. I may also try to pick up a Hue Bridge on eBay if I am unsuccessful in adding them directly. Is there a compelling reason to get the newer version 2 of the bridge, or can I go with the much cheaper version 1 of the device?

Well, my lights work, but my wallet is lighter too. I bought the Lutron remote, as well as the Hue White Starter Kit. I’ve gotten the bulbs connected to Hue. Will connect Hue Bridge to Alexa and ST after lunch.

Should I integrate Hue Bridge with Alexa, or only with ST? I have some rooms with both smart bulbs and smart switches.

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Version 2 of the Hue bridge has HomeKit capability, seems to do a little better with the newest gen 3 bulbs when used with SmartThings (probably because of the way ST polls the bridge), and may be better at staying connected to the Hue dimmer if you don’t use the switch every day. But lots of people don’t notice any real difference between gen 1 and gen 2 other than HomeKit compatibility.

As far as Alexa/Hue bridge vs Alexa/ST/Hue bridge , that’s how I did it, but different people make different choices. Both work, you just shouldn’t do both at the same time. If you want to have voice control of scenes set up on the hue bridge, then you should use the Alexa/Hue integration. :sunglasses: