Real idiot here (used Hue bulbs without a hue bridge and now they don't work)

Ok, I’m really a smart guy, but do not understand anything about what anybody in these forums are saying. I bought the SmartThings hub thinking I can buy wifi bulbs (Philips Hue), turn them on and presto, they would show up in the app and I would be able to control them. NOT!
I did get them to pair, but now I have “tiles missing” and have no clue what to do now.
I tried unplugging the hub (no batteries -so truly powered down) and turning off the lights. nothing
I have no clue how to delete the devices and start over to see if that would work.
PLEASE, PLEASE - someone direct me to a link that has a step by step guide to this.
I would be most grateful.

@JDRoberts can say more, but I believe that there is no way to reset Phillips bulbs unless you have the Phillips Bridge or a ZLL controller. If they’ve paired then had that information deleted I’m not sure you can fix it just with the SmartThings Hub.

At least part of the problem might be that you don’t seem to have a good understanding of the wireless communication protocols used by the ST hub.

Hue bulbs use Zigbee, not WiFi, to communicate wirelessly.

Here is an article that describes a few wireless protocols used by iot devices. ST supports z-wave and zigbee for direct pairing of devices to the hub. Other devices can work with ST but they go through your LAN or the cloud.

There’s also a lot of information on the ST support website about products that are certified to work with ST.

This is the comprehensive list of certified devices (in the US at least, UK is different).

And here is the support page for hue bulbs, which includes very detailed instructions for adding and removing. However you’ll notice that the official integration with ST makes use of the hue bridge, the bulbs don’t pair directly to the ST hub.

Since you apparently added your bulbs directly to the ST hub, you may need to take extra steps to remove them.

Edit: and as @jhamstead pointed out (posted while I was composing my post :grin:), it might be difficult/impossible to do so.


It’s not impossible to reset them, but you may or may not find it easy to do.

As other people have said, the official integration between Hue and SmartThings requires that the bulbs be connected to the hue bridge, not directly to the smartthings hub. This is included in all of the official documentation

That said, if you want to have them working without the hue bridge and you did get them connected, it may be that all you have to do is Link them to the correct device type handler (DTH). Because there are some people who use them that way. It’s not recommended, but some people do it.

OK you are going to need a custom device type handler. That’s not as scary as it sounds, when you use custom code it’s mostly just a matter of copying the author’s code and pasting it into your own account. Here’s the FAQ for that process (this is a clickable link)

If after reading that you decide you want to go ahead and try to use a custom device type handler, you need to find the right one. Again, that’s easier than it sounds but the first thing we need to know is exactly what model bulbs you have. Are they the hue white? The RGBW? light strip? So if you do want to try custom code, give us the model numbers.

If you decide to heck with it, you don’t want to use custom code, and you want to go with the official integration, The easiest thing is just to return the ones you got and buy a starter kit with the bridge. Follow the directions to add the new bulbs to the new bridge, then follow the directions to add a bridge to your SmartThings account and you will be all set.

Oh, and you are not going to be able to add your old bulbs to the new bridge, unfortunately, without a lot of extra work. But if you really want to do that, let us know, and we’ll get started on that process.


Ok, Thank you.
Luckily, I still have several bulbs I did not pair, so safest thing is to just get the Philips Bridge and be sure to work with getting only Philips bulbs.
As for the two bulbs that I paired I ask you to explain your statement (patience please)
"First you need to go into your account in the IDE and see what zigbee channel your SmartThings hub is using. If you are lucky, it will be one of the subset of channels which can also be used by the hue bridge: 11, 15, 20, or 25. In that case, you will be able to move the bulbs to the bridge in one of several ways."
IDE? which account?
And, if that doesn’t work, then I don’t see buying another device just to fix two bulbs… Right?

You need to read JD’s linked post that describes custom code, because it explains what the IDE is and how to access it too.

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If you are planning on purchasing more of the same bulbs in the future (I have a ton of the A19 colored), I highly recommend that you purchase the Hue Bridge now and save yourself future headaches of pairing, removing, resetting. Just sayin’ :slightly_smiling_face:

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There are several different brands of bulbs which will work with the hue bridge and any of the bulbs (but not the other devices like switches or sensors) that work with the hue bridge will then work with SmartThings through the official integration. The big news in this area recently has been IKEA has come out with a new line of less expensive bulbs that will work with hue bridge. So you aren’t limited just to the Hue brand.

Secondly, there are some brands, notably sengled element, which don’t work with hue bridge but which can work when joined directly to the smart things hub. Although they have their own bridge, that bridge doesn’t work with SmartThings (sorry, I know that’s confusing, it has to do with some technical details so you just have to check each model you might be interested in). So with the Sengled the only way to use them is with the smartthings hub directly. But they will work for that.

So those are the three easy choices:

One) Phillips hue bulbs with a Phillips hue bridge

Two) other bulbs which can work with hue bridge, used with the hue bridge

Three) other bulbs like sengled which can work directly with The smart things hub without a bridge.

But not a Hue bulb without a Hue bridge. :sunglasses::bulb:

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Very new to this whole thing but I recently tried to connect two Hue bulbs without the Hue bridge and ended up with “Tiles Missing” devices in the ST app. I was only trying to compare dimming of the Hue Ambience and Sengled Classic bulbs and although I did have a Hue bridge that I had packaged up to return from color lights I no longer wanted I didn’t want to go through the hassle of setting it back up. What I learned after trying several things unsuccessfully, including reconnecting the Hue bridge and also factory resetting my ST hub, was to go into my Samsung ST account and find Thing 1 & Thing 2 and just selected them and deleted them. And now they are gone from the app as well. That may help you with reconnecting them and hopefully help you if you haven’t figured out how to delete the Tiles Missing in the ST app.

Still don’t know which bulb dims lower but I know the Sengled doesn’t dim enough for me for movie watching. The Hue color dimmed way low though. Just can’t justify that kind of $ for dimming. The Sengled developers did say they are looking into it so fingers crossed.

You can delete them from the account, but that won’t reset them, so then you will have the issue of what do you do with them after that. Hence the discussion above. :sunglasses:

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If you have a Hue Bridge and Hue bulbs, always use the bridge. If you have Hue bulbs and no bridge, buy one. It was created for a reason. The $50 cost is well worth it, especially as you continue to add more devices to it in the future. Some things aren’t worth skimping on cost.

As for having to reset the ST hub back to factory, this should not be something you ever have to do or ever recommend that someone do. Worst case if you find yourself in a hole and you can’t dig yourself out, either reach out to the community to see if you can find an answer, and if not, get in touch with support as they can more than likely troubleshoot and resolve issues like this before you take it upon yourself to make the situation worse. :slightly_smiling_face:

I was able to use the 6 digit s/n to reconnect one of them and then just removed it before I reboxed it.

This may not be the direct answer to the question here : SmartThings has released a direct Cloud to Cloud integration for Hue
This would mean that users who don’t have a SmartThings hub, they can on-board their hue integration directly with all the key functionalities.
A hue bridge is required.
This integration can be found under - SmartThings app home page > Philips Hue brand > Tap on Lights > Tap on “Philips Hue without SmartThings Hub”