Logitech Harmony Switch/Plug/Scene Control

Just want to clarify for the Harmony community that Logitech has no plans to update their cloud connect from Groovy to the new method. This means that we will lose the ability to control lights and switches from the Harmony remote and app via SmartThings. Direct integration from Harmony for Hue and LiFX will solve that problem. You will lose the ability to have Harmony Activities turn lights on or activate SmartThings Scenes as a part of your Activity.

The ability to control Harmony from SmartThings will continue with @lmullineux’s Edge driver. You can create routines to trigger ST scenes based on status of a Harmony switch in ST. I guess this highlights the true end-of-life status of Harmony.

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Thanks for getting an answer on this @RJGill84

For controlling lights, when you activate an activity - you could fake something like this from st using my driver e.g make a scene that puts your lights in the correct state and then enables the corresponding activity - but that has the downside of needing to be initialised from st not harmony (which means you cannot use your remote control to do it) and it also won’t do the off sequence when you stop the acticity.

How would IFTTT work? ( I don’t think it would, but happy to be proven otherwise)

My initial thought was that you could use Harmony Activities as a Trigger in IFTTT to push a virtual button in ST that triggers a scene. You wouldn’t be able to control lights and such individually of course. But it appears Harmony can’t be used as a Trigger in IFTTT.

This is a big deal for me as a lot of my automations that matter are based around what Harmony is doing in my home theater room. I have a lot of devices and lights and a powered screen that need to be triggered by the Harmony Activity. Even things such as locking the front door and turning on the HVAC when starting the “Watch Movie” activity. May have to jump ship to Hubitat as much as I don’t want to.

I did see @RBoy mention offloading Groovy apps to maintain them, so perhaps that will be an option.

I don’t think that will work in this case, ultimately when you setup connectivity in harmony it goes to a Samsung server - the only people who can change those addresses on the harmony end are logitech themselves.

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Does your driver have the ability to show the currently active Activity? Maybe that could be utilized to trigger Scenes.

I have some ideas worth further investigation though…

  • I investigate the possibility of detecting when an activity is changed on the harmony directly, and have some kind of component on the edge driver that states the current activity - you could then trigger automation in ST of of this. This should be doable as it looks like the node-red has something similar with it’s H-Observe feature - node-red-contrib-harmony (node) - Node-RED - but does this meet your needs?

  • Somebody builds a modern smartthings smartapp using the new technologies that will remain supported. Now it would not be possible to get harmony to recognise this directly, but what could be possible is if this new smartapp had an interface on your local lan that emulated a phillips hue bridge, this is the approach taken by emulated-hue on HA and a few other OS home automation platforms. This will be tricky from a network perspective, as to harmony it will need to appear like it’s on your local lan, whereas to samsung it would need to appear like it’s in the cloud (with a public ip and ssl - not insurmountable - just tricky). This would need to be hosted on a device such as a raspberry pi.

  • You investigate what options are available to expose your existing lights and switches in ST to HA, and use HA’s emulated-hue to connect it to harmony - should in theory be doable now

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I think the first option would largely meet my needs as most of the things I’m doing would be able to be done as Scenes/Routines if those could be triggered based on an Activity being on/off. Of course it would be nice to have control of lights through the remote but that’s not the most important thing. I’ll take a look at the ST>HA>Harmony route as far as controlling individual devices from the remote, that’s a great idea.

Looking @ the Harmony smartapp code it looks like it just connects to ST using OAuth with the addresses coded into the app itself - wondering if that changes whether it matters where the Groovy app is hosted.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/SmartThingsCommunity/SmartThingsPublic/master/smartapps/smartthings/logitech-harmony-connect.src/logitech-harmony-connect.groovy

I’d be very surprised if it works hosting that elsewhere, ultimately the connectivity during the authorisation phase (harmony → st direction) is initialised from Harmony - there will be an URL on the harmony side that points to a samsung server to kick that off (it looks something like this SmartThings. Add a little smartness to your things.) I suspect that is going to stop working when ide goes away. And you have no way of changing it to something different different as that will be stored on the harmony side.

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I have been using a bunch of virtual switches to kick off “Scenes” using the home automation buttons on the bottom of my Logitech/Harmony Elite remote. I was able to replace all those virtual switches with new edge driver virtual switches fairly easily and it is working perfectly. Am I to understand that even after changing to the edge driver virtual switches that it is not going to work going forward once the IDE goes away?

Here’s a hack for the home control buttons.

First, to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing, this only applies to the Harmony remotes that have the special “home control buttons,” special buttons that don’t use the Harmony activities paradigm. These buttons have light bulb and plug socket icons.

image

Harmony provides integrations from the Harmony side for LIFX, Lutron, Philips Hue, and SmartThings for these special buttons, but the SmartThings integration is a groovy smartapp and, as mentioned above, that dies when the groovy cloud is shut off.

But the other brand integrations should still work, at least for now.

So…you can use a hue bridge with real hue devices as a proxy for ST integration. Or you can even use a hue bridge emulator, of which there are many, but of course then you have to have something running it.

I’m not saying this is a good solution, and the cost and complexity depends on the details of each use case, but it’s definitely doable. In fact, a hue bridge emulator is exactly how Home Assistant integrates with the home control buttons on a Harmony remote.

I wouldn’t think this would be worth it for most people, but if it’s really important to you to maintain that functionality (say you have a child on the autism spectrum who uses that remote to turn lights on and off), it can be done for now. :sunglasses:

@lmullineux

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I now do exactly as suggested above with a hue bridge.

I have a smart lighting action that nominates a ‘master’ light that is mirrored by a selection of other lights. This ‘master’ is then assigned to a harmony button.

Works well :+1:

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Thinking outside the box here…

What if you took an Infared relay from Amazon, taught the Logitech the infared command to control that relay, then use a Zooz relay/sensor to detect the inputs.

When the Zooz detects that the relay was closed, you then trigger a routine.

It would be a 100% way of disconnecting from all integrations and simply using the core infared remote functions.

Something like this… YWBL-WH Infrared Remote Control Relay Module 1CH 12V IR Wirless Receiver ON/Off Relay Switch with LED Indicators https://a.co/d/c8MTLvO

Correct. Control of SmartThings switches via the Harmony remote will cease entirely. Some of that functionality can be gained back via the Harmony Bridge driver and creative routines/automations.

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@RJGill84 Thanks for the confirmation. I already have the bridge installed.

So net is that it is a one way communication from ST to Harmony. That is disappointing as it makes the home automation buttons at the bottom of the Harmony Elite basically useless in a ST environment. I’ll have to think thru options.

As @TheHundredthIdiot mentioned above, you can get control from the home automation buttons by using a hue bridge emulator, so that Harmony thinks it’s controlling a hue device and you set up smartthings routines to trigger when that fake hue bridge turns on a fake device. But that’s a lot of work and you have to have a server device to run the emulator.

Alternatively, you can just use a real device that is visible to both harmony and smartthings. A real hue bridge, a real LIFX device, or a real Lutron Caseta device. Hue is probably the most versatile and ends up being the least expensive unless you only need one use case.

Anyway, the point is that it is doable, but it takes this kind of workaround. Which may not feel worth it. :thinking:

That is not entirely true. Activity status, using @lmullineux’s driver is 2-way - if you press an Activity button on the remote it will turn on the Activity in SmartThings, and vice versa. That means you can create a Routine such as “IF Activity1 turns on THEN set lights to 35%”

Also, if they are LiFX or Hue bulbs you can enable control using the remote buttons by connecting Harmony directly to those services rather than using SmartThings.

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@JDRoberts I think before I do all that I’ll just use a physical 4 button switch that connects directly to ST. It’s not as elegant as just using the home automation buttons on the Harmony remote but it will work. I can use the bridge functionality to solve a quarter of my problem but not all of it unfortunately. I’m going to wait to see what exactly breaks though…

@RJGill84 I’m already using the bridge driver to solve a quarter of my problem (setting my theater lights to the proper state when I start Activities and turn everything off). I may take a look at a LiFX bulb if I can do that without another hub. If I can figure out the right logic that may work for how I use the home automation buttons on the Harmony. It’s either that or just use a ST compatible 4 button switch. I’ll figure something out once I see what no longer works.

@JDRoberts I took a look at the Hue Bridge on Amazon and it’s only $50 so that might be an option. I don’t have any Hue devices though. Can you create virtual devices on Hue like you can with ST? If I could just install a Hue Bridge and then create virtual Hue devices and then turn them on/off using the home control buttons on my Harmony Elite and then use those on/off actions to kick off ST Scenes that would replace my current Harmony/ST functions for controlling lights in my HT.

Update - Well I think I have come up with another work around. Turns out I have a LiFx bulb laying around that I stopped using some time ago. If I buy one more LiFx bulb ($10 on Amazon) and just set them up in my equipment room (using these - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09SB31RB3/) I can use them with the home control buttons on the Harmony Elite to kick off ST Scenes. Basically use the physical LiFx bulbs as virtual ST switches that are controllable by my Harmony Elite. Seems cheap and easy if it works.

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Not officially, but if you use a Hue bridge simulator like Homebridge you can. Of course then you have to have a server device to run homebridge.

I had no idea LIFX had bulbs that cheap, I was only aware of the $35 RGBW ones. Those are WiFi bulbs, no hub required, but they do have a cloud dependency when used with ST if you don’t have a ST/Aeotec hub. So a good option if you’re ok with that or if you do have a ST hub.

Feit (which recently bought LIFX) has promised there will be Matter support in the future for some LIFX models, but not necessarily all. Still, if they come through on the $10 model, that might offer future local operation for those without ST hubs. No promises, but it’s something to watch for.

@jkp @automated_house

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