Philips Hue Bulb Grouping


Long time lurker, first time poster.

So my collection of IoT/smart devices has been growing over the last year, and I’ve had a small hurdle that has slowly creeped up on me. I have about 30 Philips Hue bulbs throughout my house. I use 5 SmartThings motion detectors to trigger lights to turn on and off accordingly.

The issue I’ve bumped into recently is that not all lights will turn off or on when motion is detected. For example, I have 11 bulbs in my kitchen. When my kitchen’s motion detector is triggered, all bulbs are supposed to turn them on. What happens though, is I’ll get 5 out of 6 Hue BR30s to turn on, and 4/5 A19s to turn on. It’s not always specific to that…it can be any combination of bulbs that don’t fire. Eventually, after the motion is re-triggered, usually the bulbs that didn’t turn on get caught up and are turned on. The same thing happens for the Off function…after about 3 minutes of “Things Go Quite”, the bulbs are supposed to turn off…but maybe 9 or 10 out of the 11 are turned off.

Also I have noticed that SmartThings will turn bulbs on in a sequence…like BR30 #1, then BR30 #2, and so forth until they are all supposed to be on. It’s kind of like a chain of events. Whereas, on my Alexa, if I say, “Echo, turn on my Kitchen”, all lights get turned on immediately. With Echo, it never fails to turn on a bulb.

So I was curious to see if I could get an app or setting that will allow SmartThings to turn on my Philips Hue bulbs in a group, like Echo, and not in sequence.

On a side question. Is it SmartThings that sends commands to the Philips Hue bulbs directly? Or is it sent to the Philips Hue Hub, and the Hub controls the bulbs?

Thanks for any info that can be provided!

Communication is to the hue bridge. ( for technical reasons, the Phillips hue device is a “bridge,” not a “hub,” hence the name. :wink:)

What you’re seeing is called a “popcorn effect.” It may even be that the last couple are timing out. :disappointed_relieved:

Easiest way to avoid this is to set up a scene through the Phillips hue app and then activate that scene from SmartThings. The hue bridge will do a group cast to the devices which should reduce the popcorn effect and prevent any messages to individual bulbs being lost.

There’s no way to trigger Hue scenes in the official SmartThings features, but you can do them with core or with IFTTT.

IFTTT is simpler to set up, but may have a little more lag.

Wow, thanks for the quick reply! Hue bridge, I stand corrected :wink:

I’m going to delve into this as soon as I get home from work (maybe sooner on lunch). I can’t wait to get it a shot…thanks a ton!


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