SmartThings Community

SmartThings, Hue, and Alexa. A better way?

alexa
hue

(Joshua) #1

Hi

I’m looking for ideas from the community about the best way to implement these three systems and use them together. The Hue bulbs can be setup in all three apps, but the scenes only work in the Hue app and Alexa. Also if I have Alexa pull my Hue bulbs from SmartThings I get double bulbs in Alexa. I’ve disabled this by not allowing Hue bulbs from SmartThings to show in Alexa. The rooms are messy too because Alexa will pull rooms from the Hue app which only has Hue bulbs but Alexa can create groups/rooms with multiple devices, but you cant have a Hue room and an Alexa group with the same name or you can, but it will say it failed and then do the request anyway. I’m a techie and have been doing the Smart home thing for a while, revolv before ST, but this is getting messy. I have to stop and contemplate which system, which device, in which room or group, I’m talking to! Advice? Ideas?


#2

It definitely takes a little planning! :sunglasses: And I don’t think there’s one best way: different things work for different people.

I personally don’t use Hue bulbs with the SmartThings system unless I want to automate a Hue scene coming on ( which can be done either with core or through IFTTT). So I don’t expose the hue bulbs to Alexa through the SmartThings interface. I just use them with Alexa with the direct Alexa/Hue interface.

We have three housemates, everyone has friends who come over, and I also have health aides. We haven’t run into any particular confusion over the room names. We just name groups as we want them to be. Since Alexa lets you put a device into more than one group, it hasn’t been a problem if one person calls a particular room “the study” and someone else calls it “the office.” We just make a group for each.

Since it sounds like you have a technical background, if you haven’t had a chance to take a look at core yet, you might find it interesting. It’s essentially a scripting language for SmartThings and has a lot more features than the official options.


(Joshua) #3

Thanks JD

I’ve considered leaving the hue bulbs out of smartThings but I would like to have them in some routines. I have a mix of zwave wall switches, hue bulbs, and door locks. If it weren’t for the scenes in the hue app that Alexa can trigger I would remove the hue connection in Alexa and just control them from smartThings. I have two rooms with color bulbs so the scenes are nice. I’m also considering just using a hue tap to control the scenes


(Glen King) #4

My thought process is this: I generally don’t ‘need’ a particular color scene to fire automatically. If I want lights to alert me to something, I make them flash… and I have android tablets that provide audio alerts to accompany that. So I don’t have the Hue bulbs in any automations. The Cree bulbs handle that.

The Hue lights are ‘mood’ lights IMO. At any moment I might want them any given color. I do that through Alexa groups. For example, one of the stock Hue scenes is called Savanna Sunset. So in Alexa I made a group called ‘sunset’, and put into that group all the Savanna Sunset scenes in my downstairs. I tell Alexa “turn on sunset” and that scene comes on in three rooms at once. Or I say “turn on normal light” and those lights change to the Hue ‘Read’ recipe.

Alexa can dim groups that contain bulbs, but not groups that contain recipes or scenes. But you can have as much overlap in the Alexa groups as you want, and can include non-hue lights or other voice-controlled functions in those groups. It provides a high level of flexibility.


#5

Stupid question… where/how did you do that? I JUST got a samrtthings hub, which I’m using with some Z-Wave Wall dimmers, but on Smartthings I also have HUE Integration, so all the bulbs are there… once I integrated Alexa with Smartthings and I start discovering devices, all lights showed-up twice. I since manually “forgotten” them via the Alexa Webapp, but next time I want to add another device (e.g. another dimmer), I’m pretty sure the lights are going to show up at Alexa again.

Is there a way on Smartthings to not allow Alexa to see the Bulbs?

Thanks!


#6

Open the Amazon Alexa SmartApp under Automations / SmartApps and turn off the ability for Alexa to discover All SmartThings Devices. Then specifically select the SmartThings devices that Alexa can’t discover on her own. (Alexa discovered all of your Hue bulbs on her own, so you don’t need to select them in the Amazon Alexa SmartApp).

Then the next time you run Discovery in Alexa, only the devices you selected in SmartThings will be added to Alexa.


#7

Super easy! Thanks!
I was looking under https://graph-na04-useast2.api.smartthings.com but I couldn’t find it there.
Thanks a lot for the quick reply. Now I can add my Ecobee to smartthings too, I was afraid I was going to make things worse.


(Eric) #8

Yes, I just found out about that setting the other day. Don’t need two lists of Hue lights in Alexa, lol.


(Realy Living Dream) #9

Never, never, never allow Alexa or Google Assistant access to any devices in ST that there is already a native connection, like Hue, Harmony, Nest, Ecobee, Lutron, etc etc.
I just had to deal with this over the weekend when the daughter set up a GH Mini and linked it to her own ST, Hue, Ecobee etc accounts to her Google account. . Suddenly I had not only duplicate devices, but 3 and 4 copies of every room, since our Google accounts are linked as family and Google assistant found every Google device on my LAN. " You have 198 devices that are not in rooms, would you like to assign them now" I had to go into her ST account and disable the devices. I am baffled how Google imports rooms and imports devices, but it does not put those devices into those rooms.


#10

Think we all have like 100+ posts like this across the board in the community and yet it comes up everyday about devices not responding or why do I have device duplication. I myself have posted instructions in many posts on how to remove the duplicate devices and how to disable discovery of all ST devices from ST.

Think a big FAQ / How To should be created for Device Discovery with Alexa / Google Home with complete instructions and how to would be a great thing if it doesn’t already exist.

@JDRoberts do we have something specific to this already? Not just a bunch of consolidated posts from all of us.


#11

Haha, I knew why, but not how to block! :slight_smile:

Great forum though, very quick help, which is awesome. I’m actually loving the smartthings hub so far. I can even control all my Harmony hubs from Alexa via Smarthings (not possible with Alexa direct integration to Harmony, as that allows only one Harmony Hub to be controlled). Anyhow, I digress…

Thanks again guys!


#12

Trust me, my post wasn’t made to knock anyone because we have all been through this at one point in time for something.

When you walk in the ST door, there are 1500 things you have to learn whether it is a workaround or a 3rd party integration, and you have to go searching endlessly through 1000s of threads to find a specific item to address and even then advice is different in certain instances, and I know @JDRoberts has put a lot of effort in trying to consolidate a lot of the common type stuff into either wiki, FAQ, or How To documents / topics to make these tireless searches a lot easier to find and follow. :sunglasses:


(Realy Living Dream) #13

Not completely true, there’s more than one Harmony Skill for Alexa so you can connect one skill to one Harmony hub and the other skill to a different hub.


#14

I didn’t really think one could, but I guess there are other skills out there, which I haven’t tried. But again, with the actual Harmony skill, only one hub. Good thinking though… a lot of possibilities, but I found the smartthings integration quite good. Again, I haven’t tried any other way, I got the Echo for Xmas and the smartthings yesterday. So really know to both.


#15

We had one back in 2016, but it went out of date, and I can’t update anything that needs screenshots. :disappointed_relieved: And based on our previous experiences in the forum, the screenshots really help because otherwise people keep getting confused between the SmartThings mobile app and the Alexa app.

If somebody wants to do one, they’re more than welcome to, either in the community – created wiki or in the wiki section of this forum.


#16

If you wanted to draft up something new with as many changes that these products have gone through since 2016. If you want to put the initial framework/verbiage in place, i can update with all the screenshots for everything between ST and Alexa (no Google Home here). Probably be better to have two separate documents between both products with all the differences between them.


#17

Sorry, I can’t contribute to this one since the SmartThings mobile app doesn’t work for me at all right now.