Need help naming lights for routine notifications


(John) #1

I am trying to neaten up my lighting automation and clean up phrasing in routines. I have a bunch of Hue bulbs that I use throughout the house. In the living room, I have multiple lights (lamps + ceiling). So when I setup my hue bulbs, I named them ‘Livinghjue1’, ‘LivingHue2’, etc. Same goes for the dinning room. I have one fixture, with 5 bulbs, so ‘DiningHue1’…‘DiningHue5’.

It’s been fine since I know what they mean. However, I started working with Routines. For example, I created a Virtual Switch called Good Night, which triggers the ‘Good Night’ routine, which in turn sets the house into “Night” Mode, while performing said actions (I attached the lights to this routine to turn off). I then use Alexa and say ‘Alexa, Turn on Good Night’. In turn, it turns off all of the lights and locks the door.

With that said, when I look at ‘Notifications’, it will say “Good Night…I turned off the LivingHue1, LivingHue2, DiningHue1…etc”.

What I would love to happen is for the message to read: “Good Night…I turned off the Living Room Lights, Dining Room Lights…etc”

Is this possible using the Phillips Hue system? The only thing I have though of is possibly using a Virtual Switch called “Living Room Lights” and trigger that in the routine. However, what I don’t know is how to map the individual bulbs to that Virtual Switch. I’m not sure if I need to do this in a SmartApp or Rule Machine, etc.

Any help or ideas on this would be appreciated!


(JP) #2

I do this with a virtual switch for specific rooms and then use rule machine so that when that virtual switch is turned on/off it takes care of individual bulbs. Much easier and clears up your room naming question.


(John) #3

So in this case, I would set it up something like this…?

  • Create Virtual Switch named “Living Room Lights”
  • Create a rule that when switch “Living Room Lights” is turned on > turn on LivingHue1, LivingHue2 (what do I do to turn off?)
  • Set the “Good Night” routine to turn off the virtual switch “Living Room Lights”, which will in turn, trigger Rule Machine to kill the lights.

Does that sound about right?

Thank you!!


(JP) #4

With RM you can use the same rule to turn on and off. All the things you mentioned will work. Good luck!


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #5

Using rule machine you can have it send you a text or push message, or even speak a custom message. You do not have to have it say the device name.


(John) #6

That is pretty neat, however, what happens if, say, it couldn’t turn off the lights? Since the push is a preset text notification, I would think that if the rule executed but one piece failed, you will still get the Push message. Where as, with a routine, it will actually modify the notification to state if something didn’t work.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #7

True, so if you move that slider over that says “include device name” it will tell you what devices were affected. But that leads us back to your naming issues.

For instance, your dining room lights. You could make a virtual switch and create a rule that turns ask of the bulbs off and on. You could then have your routine turn off the vs, which in turn will turn off the bulbs. The push message would then trek you the vs turned off.

But, you are still not notified if some of the bulbs did not turn off. Leading us again back to your original question.

The only way to be certain that the bulbs turned off would be to check then in the app. But that could also be reporting wrong, unless you refresh the app for each device.

But… There’s always a but… That could still be wrong. So the only actual way to be 100% sure would be to physically look at the bulbs. But that negates the automation process.

So, when I was using a whole lot of bulbs I just named mine dining room light 1, dining room light 2, and so on. It got rather repetitive and cluttered… Which is another reason I changed over to switches.

I really didn’t need five smart bulbs in a chandelier… One switch accomplished the job well.

So, it would seem that you might want to simplify the process…

You know which bulbs are hue bulbs and which bulbs are white. Do you really need to put that in the names?

In my living room, I have a chair light, a couch light, and a ceiling fan light… I banned them like that because that is the closest piece of furniture to the light. Maybe try something like that.


(John) #8

Thanks for the suggestion! Moving toward a practical scenario, I’m less concerned with lights being forgotten about then I am with doors being locked. That was my real concern with the pre-baked message. Should a door fail to lock, I wouldn’t know.

However, I did create a VS for the dining room lights and set up a rule in RM. However I’m not sure if I set it up right. I’ll admit that I am a newb when it comes to creating rules! Here’s what I did…is that the proper way to set the rule up for “If VS is on, turn on these bulbs. If off, turn off these bulbs.”?

In regards to the messaging, I wonder if a re-evaluation check can be done after the rule runs. Therefore if a rule runs, and the doors do t lock, it re-evaluates to check that the actions executed. If they didn’t it could either try again or simply send a push notification to alert you. Hmmm, not sure if that would be possible but I may post it up in the features thread.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #9

The rule for the dining room lights looks good. Best way to know is just to test it, but I have set some up that way. I use a rule just like this for my kitchen lights. I have 6 smart bulbs in there and because of a bug in the GE Link bulbs they do not turn on at 100%, even when commanded. So, My rule is turn on the VS and that rule then sets the bulbs to 100%. Works like a charm.

As for the messaging, I came up with an idea.

Set up a Trigger called “Door is locked”

Trigger Event - Door locks
Conditions - During a certain time, say between 9pm and 6am.
Actions - Send push message or text message to your phone.

What this will do is this. When your routine runs and locking the door is part of your routine, that action of the routine will cause this trigger to fire. Thus, when the door locks, you get a notification.

Therefore, you run your routine, if you get a message saying the door is locked, you know it locked. If you run your good night routine and you do not get a message… the door is not locked.

Checks and balances!