Hints on setting up Echo with ST, Hue and GE Links

My Echo will be here tomorrow. I have seen posts from people saying they linked their GE Link bulbs directly to their Hue hub rather then ST. This is confusing as currently all of my GE Links are connected directly to my ST hub. Why would you connect to the Hue hub?

Also, I have seen posts saying the bulbs could be LOCKED to ST if ST is running on a certain channel. MIne, Version 1, is on channel 24. Again, this is confusing.

Anyhow, any hints on a good setup to Echo would be appreciated.

Welcome! The SmartThings/echo integration is fantastic. I use it all the time, as do many community members. SmartThings makes echo a hundred times better

We have step by step FAQs for this, give me a second to post the links. :sunglasses:

So once you’ve done that set up, you can use echo to turn individual devices on and off and smart things. So far so good, and it’s basically the same integration as you would have if you had Insteon or Wink. Or just the hue bridge.

Going beyond turning a light on or off

But now comes the SmartThings advantage. In smart things, you can create a “virtual switch” which doesn’t really exist, but which is a button in your mobile app that smart things will treat like a real switch. And so will echo. :sunglasses:

Then you can tie that virtual switch going on and off to a whole combination of devices and activities and mode changes and pretty much anything you can do in SmartThings or through the smart pthings IFTTT channel. So that opens up all kinds of options for echo voice control that echo by itself doesn’t give you.

This is why I can have Echo pause Netflix ( using Harmony with SmartThings and a virtual switch) while Amazon’s own FireTV voice control can’t.)

Thanks. I did read that. I guess what I was asking is:

  1. I see some folks are attaching their Hue hubs separately to Echo. I currently have Hue attached to my ST hub. I wanted to know what the advantages/disadvantages there are in doing this.

  2. I see some folks are pairing the GE Link’s with the Hue hub rather then ST when they move to Echo. Again, advantages/disadvantages.

  3. I have seen if you pair your GE Link’s to ST, and you ST is not using channel 20 by default, you will never be able to unpair them and pair them with the Hue hub. My ST hub uses channel 24. Not sure if I would ever want to unpair, but it depends on question #2.

The FAQ’s make no mention of the Hue, nor should they. I just want to set things up correctly the first time if possible.

As far as the bulbs, there’s no problem at all with any bulb which can be individually reset with the blink method. That includes GE links, Crees, Ecosmart, etc.

The only lock problem is with actual Philips brand Hue bulbs, because Philips doesn’t have a method for individually resetting bulbs. That’s why smartthings recommends connecting the specific brand of hue bulbs only through the Hue bridge.

For the other brands, it’s up to you whether you connecting through the Hue bridge or directly to SmartThings.

Usual reason for connecting them through the Hue bridge is because you want to also use them with yet another third-party integration, or maybe a particular set up scene app or DJ app. Phillips works very well with many different third parties, and that let you take advantage of those options.

But it’s a personal choice. For any brand where the individual bulb is reset with the blink method, it’s your choice to connect it directly to SmartThings or to connect it through a hue bridge.

As far as echo goes, just don’t connect the same individual bulb twice.

Can I leave the Hue bridge connected to the ST hub like it is now, but also connect it to the Echo?

Yes, that will work perfectly. Just don’t authorize the Hue devices from your list of SmartThings devices also.

Here you can see my list of echo connected devices. Some are connected via SmartThings, some by the Hue bridge, some via the Wink app.

Both echo and smart things can control them all, but echo has each device listed only both echo and SmartThings can control them all, but echo has each device listed only once.

I read some folks that connect their non Hue bulbs (GE Link) to their Hue hub because it is faster.

I’ve got about 24 GE link bulbs connected to my ST hub. I have 4 Phillips connected to the hue hub which is connected to the ST hub.

I have problems with 1 link bulb - I thunk it may just be bad
I have problems with one switch - it’s a Wemo
I have problems with two Phillips bulbs - connected to my hue hub.

The issues that I have experienced are not related to the ST hub. The Wemo switch is well, let’s just say I don’t like it.

Not sure why the 2 Phillips bulbs act flakey. I think it may be the integration between Phillips and ST.

I am running a 1st generation hue hub and lights. The problems started after the new hub was released and the hue app was updated.