Options on Hue Lighting Integration - Scenes etc


(hyeung) #1

Hi,

Can anyone point us in the right direction on good options for custom community smartapps available for controlling and importing Philip Hue scenes? Although I dont have an Amazon Echo yet (waiting on next week for uk release?), but would be ideal if the hue/scene smartapp options caters for Echo integration.

Cheers,
Hung


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #2

If you have a Mac laying around, check out HAM Bridge.


(hyeung) #3

No Mac I’m afriad


#4

Echo integration would be handled separately, typically by setting up a virtual switch that turns on the scene you want. Then you can tell echo to turn on that switch. Very similar to what people do with a button controller like a minimote.

As far as smart apps to handle scenes, there are a couple of possibilities. Each one has somewhat different features just depending on what the author was interested in, so you’ll need to look at them one by one to see what best would work for you.

"Hue (re) connect " is probably the most popular, but “simple scene manager” is simpler and some people prefer that. There are a couple of others that might work as well, although I think with the others you have to build your own scenes from scratch in the smart app, they don’t integrate tightly with Hue.

The easiest way to find these is probably to look under lighting smartapps in the quick browse lists in the community created wiki.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

Another possibility is core. This is a very sophisticated community created rules engine. Very powerful although setting up individual rules can be quite complex. There is a peer assistance thread to help with that part. I don’t think it can import hue scenes, but you could set up your own.

The main advantage of core is that it allows stacked conditionals so that you can say “If A or B unless C while D is happening” and that sort of thing. So a lot of setup work, but a great deal of power. ( A “piston” is what core calls an individual rule.)


(hyeung) #5

Thanks for pointing out the wiki link and those suggestions JDRoberts! I’ve just recently started exploring the automation world.

I’ve started looking at HueReConnect today. Like you say, its produces a switch for each scene, which I presume is something that you can tell Echo to run. Overall it works alright, seems to work best when importing scenes from the older Hue App, as I had some issues getting the scenes to work on the latest Hue App? Hopefully its just something I didn’t do right, cos it’d be a shame if it’s only compatible with the older Hue App.

Had a wee quick browse over the wiki link, and for Echo…Ask Alexa seems to be a popular one?
Core sounds pretty powerful stuff as a rules engine will definitely look into that at somepoint.
Anyway thanks, will look into these…

Cheers,
Hung


#6

If you have a strong technical background, ask Alexa is the most popular smartapp to use with SmartThings and echo. It will let you do all kinds of things you can’t normally do with echo, such as asking whether a door is open. It will also let you play announcement through Alexa. What’s the weather tomorrow.

However, it does require that you sign up for your own Amazon Web services developer account and that you set up a host device, typically a raspberry pi.

Not complicated if you are a programmer of any kind, because you can use the code it’s already been developed, but very complicated if you don’t have that kind of background.

So I think the most popular method overall is one of the following, none of which require more technical skill then you would need to install a regular app from the App Store. These give you the usual set of features, that is you can turn things on and off. No status reports or voice announcements.

One) is the official SmartThings/echo integration. This works well most of the time.

Two) use the echo IFTTT channel. You can use this directly with your views or come back in through SmartThings.

  1. use the free yonomi app. This doesn’t work with smartthings, but it does work with hue and with Logitech harmony. Quite a few community members use this app just for the echo/harmony integration because it seems to be faster than any of the other methods.

So it’s up to you. You can use any or all of these depending on your specific needs, and you may find that you use different methods for different individual tasks.

But there’s no question that askAlexa gives you many more features than the others do, it’s just technically much more complex. :sunglasses:


(hyeung) #7

Sounds good!! Will def give AskAlexa a try when I get hold of an Echo!? Being hopeful that next week will reveal a possible launch!

At the moment I’ve had a play with a raspberry pi setup using the open source homebridge (integration w Apples Homekit). Works ok with Siri, controlling all the hue lights, and all devices hooked up with ST i.e. harmony activities, various sensors etc. But reckon the Echo will be much better…?.

Out of interest, do you know if there’s an issue with ST’s (out of the box) custom voice integration? I got hold of a Sonos Play1 last week and was excited in checking out some of the ST integration. But was rather disappointed with the results (it don’t work?) i.e. speaker notify w sound, speaker weather forecast.


#8

Text to speech (TTS) has been broken for about ten days. :disappointed_relieved:

http://status.smartthings.com


(hyeung) #9

Ah ic!! Been cursing over the last few days at this stuff :sweat:
That’s typical…hope they get this fixed soon!! Hope this is not a common occurrence :frowning:

Is there any point in looking at other “working” implementations of custom voice / weather…or is it the case that they all use ST’s TTS anyways. So until ST fix it…none of it is gonna be functional.


#10

The last time it broke, the problem only had to do with new phrases. If you happen to use a phrase it was already in the database before it broke, that phrase would still work. But I don’t know if that’s true this time around. But yes, it’s affecting all code that uses the SmartThings text to speech service.