How do I make lights and buttons work without an Internet connection?

Hi,

Depending on how you look at it, I started my smart home by getting Hue lights. It then got me into Homey, Home Assistant and I ended up with SmartThings for UI and convenience.

Instead of having for example Shelly, Fibaro or similar installed behind my wall switches (buttons for lamps) I am going to use IKEA Trådfri buttons (they call them Dimmers, these ones are the square ones).

However, for this to work I need the buttons and bulbs to work when I don’t have an internet connection. As I understand it, SmartThings have support for local processing for lights and automations as long as they don’t require a cloud connection - for obvious reasons.

Just before creating this topic I disconnected my internet and my buttons didn’t work.

I have a Philips Hue bridge and a SmartThings hub (v3, 2018 version).

One of the buttons I tried controls a Trådfri outlet on short presses, and a Hue bulb on long presses. Neither short or long presses worked.

The Trådfri button and Trådfri outlet is both connected directly to my SmartThings hub.
The Hue bulb is connected to my Hue bridge.

I was under the impression that SmartThings could talk to Hue locally (they are both on the same network), and I assumed that Trådfri connected directly to SmartThings also worked locally. Perhaps that’s not the case?

I also have Trådfri bulbs but I didn’t try them because I don’t have a button connected to them - I use my voice to control those for the moment.

Long story short - TL;DR: What is the best way to use both IKEA Trådfri and Philips Hue bulbs together with Trådfri buttons and SmartThings locally, in case my connection drops?

You can probably do it with the devices you have, but since you didn’t specify the automations you were using, that could be the issue.

The first and most obvious thing is that only automations created with the official “smart lighting“ feature are eligible to run locally. To create those, you use the three horizontal bar menu in the upper left, not the + in the upper right.

Then choose smart apps, then smart lighting.

The second thing is that The devices themselves have to be using a “device type handler” (DTH) which is eligible to run locally. In the case of the Phillips hue, you could add that either as a cloud to cloud integration (normally for people who don’t have a hub) or as a local integration. So you have to have chosen the local option.

The devices themselves have to be using a “device type handler“ (DTH) which is eligible to run locally. In the case of the Phillips hue, you could add that either as a cloud to cloud integration (normally for people who don’t have a hub) or as a local integration. So you have to have chosen the local option.

For the ikea dimmer button, You would have to be using the stock DTH which is automatically selected when you add a device, not one of the custom versions available in the community.

You can sign into the web interface to your smartthings account, called the IDE, at

The URL: https://account.smartthings.com

And confirm that your devices are eligible for local operation.

And that should do it. As long as you are using a local automation and your devices are eligible to run locally and your hub is still on power they should work without the Internet.

Note that the smartthings app will not work without the Internet even if it is on the same Wi-Fi as your hub and hue bridge. It always has to go through the cloud. They didn’t have to design it that way, but they did.

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Thank you for your reply! Your solution was probably quick, because I haven’t used the “Smart Lighting” feature at all when creating automations. I’ll give that a shot and hopefully report back with good results.

Would you personally pair Hue bulbs with the Hue bridge or directly (if possible) with SmartThings if you were to make sure things work locally?

I’ll also make sure that my Hue integration is local and not cloud-based. Hopefully I don’t have to re-do everything. Good thing I still have 3 weeks left on my vacation. :slight_smile:

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I’ve stumbled upon an issue that is likely super easy to solve:

I don’t have Smart Lighting as SmartApps and can’t seem to add it?

Always use the hue bridge for Hue brand devices. You can mess up your entire Zigbee network if you don’t. :disappointed_relieved:

See the FAQ

FAQ: Do I need the Hue Bridge/Hub to Use a Hue Bulb with SmartThings?

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Very well, that is how it’s set up right now. Except for a couple of IKEA Trådfri bulbs, those are directly connected to SmartThings. As I understand it, they can be connected to the Hue Bridge as well, but which would you recommend?

Also, as I mentioned earlier (you might have missed it with all my edits), I don’t have an option for anything “Smart Lighting”.

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  1. tap on the + in the upper right
  2. tap on “smartapps“
  3. choose “smart lighting“ from the list

Connect the IKEA devices directly to the smartthings hub, not the Hue Bridge. You only need the hue bridge for the Hue brand devices.

That’s what I’m doing but there is no “Smart Lighting” from the list.

Screenshot: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4oFXSkU1P7u9m8TT8

Good, all IKEA devices are connected directly to my SmartThings hub directly.

Not sure what to say then, hopefully someone else will know why you don’t have smart lighting.

@Brad_ST

@nu1mlock Based on the screenshot you provided you likely are not in a region that supports Smart Lighting in the SmartApp catalog. Generally that SmartApp is available in regions where SmartThings Hubs have launched such as the US/Canada, UK, and European countries that offer SmartThings through Vodafone.

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I’m not quite sure I understand. I live in Sweden and, while Vodafone doesn’t exist in Sweden any more, the SmartThings hub is officially available and supported here.

Why would such a basic feature only be available in select countries even though the hub is officially available in Sweden?

@Brad_ST I would like some clarification on this. I live in Sweden and Samsung SmartThings was officially launched in Sweden in 2019.

Edit: I called Samsung Support in Sweden and the person I spoke to didn’t have Smart Lighting either. Not on his work phone or personal phone. There’s gotta be more to this than “Sweden doesn’t support local processing”.

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Smart Lighting would probably only be a temporary solution for you anyway. it’s a Groovy smartapp and Groovy is being deprecated in 2021. At some point I suspect the automation creator in the new app will be updated to use the Rules API which will eventually run local. But unfortunately that doesn’t help you in the present day :frowning:

I found out by going to the IDE that the IKEA Trådfri button is executed in the cloud, so what I was hoping to do isn’t possible anyway.

It seems I need to rethink this whole thing. I’m currently on a 4G connection and have been waiting for fiber for years. If all goes well I might have it before Christmas and I’ll have a more stable connection. However, one would think that being able to turn on or off lights shouldn’t be an issue without an internet connection.

I think my specific issue is twofold; Firstly because I don’t have access to the Smart Lighting SmartApp so no matter the devices, I am still unable to use local processing.
And secondly because the IKEA Trådfri button is executed in the cloud despite being connected directly to SmartThings (is this because of IKEA or Samsung?).

In either case, it would be interesting to know why there’s absolutely zero support for local processing in Sweden (again, officially launched in 2019).

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You can still create an option which runs locally either just with Hue compatible devices or with Z wave direct association or via a device which also works with HomeKit if you happen to have iOS devices.

But you couldn’t use the Combination of devices that you listed.

So you could use any of the Hue accessories that work with hue bridge and those will run locally. But you can’t use the IKEA buttons with them.

Used in this way the Hue accessories would not be visible to smartthings, they would work as a parallel means of control. but smartthings would know when the lights came on. I know they cost more than the IKEA devices, but they work well and would give you local operation for now for devices connected to the Hue bridge

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Also, you probably already know this, but both the Phillips hue app and the HomeKit app will continue to work when the Internet is out as long as your local Wi-Fi router is still operating. :sunglasses:

That’s a problem.

In the bigger scale of things I want to switch all my wall light switches to -whatever it is that works best without costing a fortune-. Since all my light bulbs (not my LED spots (are they called that?)) in my house are 95% Hue and 5% Trådfri they are all Smart bulbs, which means I need a “smart button” to control them.

And of course, I want to do this locally if possible (which seems hard to do in my specific case).

You mentioned the Hue Dimmer Switch and I actually have three of those. Unfortunately, my personal experience isn’t as good as yours, because while most of my bulbs are Hue and my Hue-network covers my whole house, the two (out of three) Hue Dimmer Switches that I have only work half of the time.

I’ve tried what I can, resetted them, re-paired etc. but they still work half of the time, the other half they blink red. The third Hue Dimmer Switch is still in its original box.

Maybe there’s something that causes this issue, but I’ve made sure my WiFi is on a different channel and I have no neighbors with WiFi that could be in the way either.

The IKEA Trådfri buttons, however, always works for me and haven’t failed a single click, but obviously that’s just anecdotal.

On top of all that is another issue - I need -whatever button it is- to replace my current wall switches. The IKEA Trådfri is small and has a great 3D-printed “thing” that is made specifically for my wall switches.

There’s one for the Hue Dimmer Switch as well, but it’s an “extension” for the regular wall switch, and the whole point is to replace the wall switch.

There are other alternatives like Shelly Dimmer 2 behind my current switches, but those are cloud-based. There’s also other alternatives from I think both Fibaro and Qubino but those are close to €50 (500 SEK or more) each. I have a lot of switches, so it quickly adds up.

Ah, yes, of course. Since my lights are connected to my Hue bridge instead of SmartThings, I can control them with my phone when my internet connection is down (my local network still works of course). However, a phone is not a replacement for wall switches. But yes, it works.

I can’t connect the Trådfri buttons directly to Hue either, otherwise that would’ve been an option specifically for the lights.

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Well, I got the Shelly Dimmer 2 that I ordered two weeks ago and after having my brother over to install it (he’s an electrician) it seems to work exactly as I need it to.

The status of the dimmer updates to both SmartThings and Google Home quickly with official support. Of course, the Shelly Dimmer 2 is cloud-based, but since my regular wall switches/buttons now work offline, that’s as good as it can be.

Obviously, without a working internet connection I wouldn’t be able to use Google Home or the SmartThings app anyway, so this is as good as it gets.

Of course, this means that I’ll have to switch all bulbs in the house from Hue and a couple of IKEA Trådfri back to “regular” LED bulbs, but in the end it comes up to about the same price but guaranteed local access from wall buttons in case anything goes wrong with my network or internet connection. And I can keep my current wall buttons of course, that saves some time as well and has better aesthetics.

I’m still interested in learning about why local processing is disabled for SmartThings in Sweden though, @Brad_ST.

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When I checked today, the Smart Lighting SmartApp was suddenly available. So I am just casually going to take credit for mentioning it here and during a long call with Samsung Support. I’m glad that’s solved at least!

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