Looking to use Hue and a door lock within needing multiple Hubs


(Pat) #1

I am looking into getting one central hub that allows me to control all other devices without the need to get additional hubs. For example, Hue bulbs come with their own hub, and I have seem some door locks that come with their own hub.

What I ideally want is one single hub to rule them all, and to be able to add multiple devices as I go, all which can be controlled by IFTTT. It seems that SmartThings is one of the only, if not only, programs that integrated with IFTTT.

Will the SmartThings hub allow me to control these devices on it’s own, and set up rules in IFTTT? Or will I still need Hubs like the one that comes with the Hue start pack?

Thanks!


(Chrisb) #2

As far as I know, the Hue bulbs will always require their own hub. The Bulbs don’t communicate over any “standard” communication protocol, or if they do, they speak a language that Phillips has not made public.

There are some light bulb options which use WiFi (Lifx, for example) or that use a wifi screw in base to connect existing lights (Spark, for example). These essentially use your existing Wifi router as a Hub though… they don’t talk directly to the SmartThings hub. Compatibility with these devices is still forthcoming though.


(Pat) #3

Understood. I had thought some hubs were able to talk directly to the lightbulbs, perhaps I was wrong. As it stands, needing two hubs is a dealbreaker for me at the moment. I’d love to have these lights, but needing to plug in two more devices to my already full router, and run two additional power cables, is just not worth it for me at the moment.

In regards to these other bulbs you mention – do any of them have the features Hue does? I have seem some other WiFi bulbs, but they were specifically just white lights that can be dimmed. I really love the integration with IFTTT and Hue, and I would love to take advantage of that.

If the bulbs are just basic, I think I will wait until there is a hub that can talk directly to Hue bulbs, which will hopefully eventually happen.

Thank you for the information.


(Col Hack) #4

Actually, Philips Hue does use standard communication protocol. It’s called Zigbee LightLink. SmartThings hub also uses Zigbee, so theoretically, it could talk to the Hue bulbs directly. However, SmartThings uses different flavor of Zigbee, called HomeAutomation profile and is not compatible with Hue bulbs as it stands now.

It’s a recurring problem with the whole home automation arena. There’re too many standards - Z-Wave, multiple flavors of Zigbee, Insteon, KNX, Enocean, a bunch of proprietary sub-1GHz radio protocols, just to name a few and every little nobody tries to build their own walled garden, hoping to lock the customers in.

@podonnell, you’re not alone who is tired of the hub overdose, but it’s going to take a major disruption to change that.


(Pat) #5

Thanks Colonel. That was the vibe I was getting, unfortunately.

One of the biggest things for me is minimizing the amount of hubs. I was surprised I even needed any when I first started researching, and couldn’t understand why these devices wouldn’t talk over regular WiFi. At this point I’ve accepted needing one hub, but if I do so, I want it to do everything for me.

I think my best option at this point is to sit and wait until some more standardization starts happening.

Thank you.


(Col Hack) #6

@podonnell, You’re absolutely right. The reason this protocol proliferation happened in the first place was that WiFi was too expensive to build into every little light switch or wall outlet. But that’s in the past now. The price of WiFi modules dropped so much in recent years that it makes perfect sense to build them into all automation gadgets. And it’s already happening: there’re already WiFi-enabled thermostats (Nest, RTCoA), light and appliance switches (WeMo), etc. More will appear every day. And prices are already comparable with Z-Wave/Zigbee. So if history is of any guidance, all these “transitional” technologies will go away and everyone will migrate to WiFi eventually. The greats advantage is that the infrastructure is already there and everybody is more or less familiar with this technology. Yes, it may not be perfect, but it’s the least of all evils.