Problems with on/off with Hue

I have two rooms, one with 6 lights and another with 13 lights. When controlled with the Smartthings app I have lights that are missed, virtually all the time. I’ve done some experimentation and wanted to share the results and see if anyone has any advice.

  1. Via the Hue apps and Hue tap I get 100% rock solid execution. Never misses a light.

  2. In either room, if I reduce the number of lights by deselecting them in the app I get better results. For example, in the 6 light room. If I have 3 lights the execution is rock solid. If I have 4 lights it is 90%+, when I add the 5th light then the same light from the original 4 will stop responding completely. Drop the 5th light and that light from the original 4 is fine again.

  3. Execution via the “lights and switches” app in the dashboard and modes is problematic. I suspect those are both using and suspect that there is some timing or latency issue. To test this theory I created an app which used and had the exact same results. The same lights were missed every time. I then modified the app such that it iterates through each switch, turns it on/off and then calls pause. I started at 100ms and increased the pause for each test. As I increased the pause I got better results. When I reached 350ms I now get 100% rock solid execution on all lights.

So I have two questions.

  1. Does anyone have any idea what the root cause of this problem is?
  2. Is the code for “lights and switches” available? Was thinking I could rewrite it in the same manner as my test switch/app. Not an elegant fix, but would get by until the real root issue can be resolved.


The SmartThings Hue integration (it is really bare bones at best). While I don’t think they’ve touched it in months, report the issue and maybe they will.

I don’t think the issue you described is normal, I’ve been having some intermittent issues with ST-HUE over the last 24 hours.
HUE’s not going on or off when the app tells them to, or the on event is delayed from normal.

Funny you write about this. I’m having the same exact issue with TCP bulbs. If i control them individually they work fine. As soon as I try to change them via hello home changes I might get one or two of my four to work. Very frustrating!

wayne5w, I’m having the exact issue you described. I just set mine up so I cannot compare it to previous operation. As you describe, my rooms with 5 or 6 bulbs invariably leave 2-3 on. It’s extremely annoying and basically makes the Hue integration worthless.

I was also hoping I could get the code and help make it more robust. The Hue API is pretty simple so it shouldn’t be hard. My gut is telling me it’s something to do with SmartThings sending too many API calls at once. Maybe some rate-limiting would help. That’s pure speculation though. I’ll follow up here if I find any kind of solution.

Hey Guys, quick update. I got home today and did a quick test and everything is rock solid. While I agree the Hue-ST Hub integration is minimal at best, I am thinking these issues are caused by the ST cloud and ST Hub latency. Can’t figure out a way to prove that or diagnose further.

Today everything is perfect for me. Single hello home action (lights on at sunset) with an offset of 10 minutes before turned on 13 hues without a miss. For the morningsi have written my own shabby app which checks if my wife and I are away and both of us are out it looks for open doors, and any hues in on state and if yes…turns it off. Never fails and sends notification on two phones. In fact when we leave we intentionally leave it on so that I can work on the code to make it elegant. I can share the code if you guys don’t laugh at its shabbiness.

@ben Just see probably people will be happiest if hues integration comes out of lab and works as expected. It is probably the most non techie oriented product that everybody loves (besides the price) and most complaint about product in this community. If we can get this right (like the others including most of the free apps on iOS), we will have one big happy non techie fan base and WAF at the highest.And specially during this holiday season).

Sorry to report though that the manual triggering of Good night failed to turn off all lights. This coming week I am only going to keep hues and ST along with just the holiday lights via GE outdoor outlets/ST power outlets on and see what happens. Plugging off all sonos, Apple TV etc. And see what happens.

Mike (and anyone else with same problem),

Another update. I checked email and found a response from support. I had logged an issue with support this morning and they got back to me. Here is their response ;

“One of our developers is focused on making this integration better. That said, your hub was on an older version of firmware. I just sent you an update that includes several LAN performance fixes, including better responsiveness when sending a command to multiple bulbs.”

So that upgrade definitely was the fix, working great now. Hope this helps others.

Great, responsive support from ST.


I contacted them yesterday about getting the latest firmware. They updated me and I’ve tested last night and again today. Didn’t help with the TCP bulbs unfortunately.

Thanks for the heads-up, Wayne! I have emailed tech support to request the firmware. Keeping my fingers crossed. :smile:

  • Mike


Thanks so much for offering to share your code. That’s really nice of you. I may take you up on it. However, before I go that route I want to see how the firmware update mentioned by Wayne below works out. I’ll let you know.

Have a great day!

  • Mike

I’ve been having issues with Hue over the past few days as well. One specific bulb isn’t working with a bunch of my SmartApps, though it occasionally works with other ones.

This SmartThings stuff is like magic when it works right, but I feel like over the past few months I’ve had it, something has gone on a day more times than the days that have been perfect.

I’ll email support about it too though.

Yeah, same problem here…I just opened a ticket as well…

On top of that I am getting connection failed errors every few minutes. Opened ticket. Internet is blazing fast. Tried LTE instead of wifi and same thing. Recycled and rebooted router and st hub several times.

This is to regretfully announce that one of my New Years resolution to dump this home automation thing unless some miracle happens. And let this be known that it’s not the Sonos or any other interference causing it. If this was the case my internet is blazing fast, any iOS app turns up the hues instantly.

And yeah, talk about the mesh. This is what I have within 20 feets (powered only).

13 Philips Hue family of products.
4 ST Smart Power Outlets (always on)
1 ST motion sensor (powered and always on)

If that’s not a strong mesh tell me what is. Any iOS app gets it right EVERYTIME AND INSTANTLY.

Forget about all bulbs in a shot, even 3-4 bulbs In a shot is not working.connection errors and unexpected errors forever (support has been informed several times) And please don’t give me the stuff about recycling and rebooting the hubs, routers and other interfering devices. Have tried it all forever. Not sure what’s going on anymore. I don’t care anymore. And for the records I won’t be switching to any other platform… I am done.

Just an addition: never had issues with zwave devices. I have about 59 total devices right now. Zwave working fine and zigbees not!!! So, please don’t scream interference. If it was the case it would have affected the other apps from doing the same thing that ST is trying to do at least for the hue part: how come I can switch all of them on and off using my own shabby app.

Sorry to hear that, Ron. Hey, just a thought, if your Z-wave is working fine and you have no problems controlling Hues using Hue app, just do that. I know it’s tempting to integrate everything into a single system, but you don’t have too. I got Hue recently and can attest, it’s nice product on its own even without SmartThings integration and I’m in no rush to tie them together, particularly after reading about your frustrations.

@geko you are wiser than Bill Gates! :)I will be separating the two… Will need yours and other veterans to get me up again to get me going. I am here just because it all. What started as fun became a hobby then a deviation from my heart problems to a passion to a heartache again and go on reverse cycle is not I want. A successful ST is good for my heart! They can quote me! :slight_smile:

FWIW, I have 14 active HUEs connected to my ST environment (13 via Hue Hub, 1 directly to ST that I can’t get disassociated). I have ST turn them off every night when my house transitions to Night, and I have yet to have a problem with this.

Now, I don’t use ST to change colors or scenes with the Hues, but I do use IFTTT as a broker for setting the Hues to photo colors at sunrise/sunset every day. ST turns on a virtual switch if the house is in Home mode, IFTTT sees that switch and turns on the Hues from a photo.jpg - all works reliably and consistently.

So, one might consider adding IFTTT to the mix, since its (cloud-based API linkage) seems to be more reliable than STs.