SmartThings, Philips HUE, Alexa and sharing access input

I was wondering if I could get some opinions from those with experience on which way to take this. Admittedly, I don’t know exactly how it would all work, but once I decide what I’m going to do, I’ll figure out the steps to do it. I’d just like to have a plan in place first.

The house is almost filled with connected bulbs, but my son would really like a colored HUE bulb, So, I got him two white ones and a colored one (with the HUE Hub, or whatever the proper name is) for his upcoming birthday to replace the three white connected bulbs in his ceiling fixture.

He still has about four years before he heads off to college, but the plan would be for him to take the HUE hub and bulbs with him when he does, if he likes them.

We haven’t had a chance to both sit down and look into sharing access to the SmartThings account, but he’s had issues getting it set up on his own. Before I put too much effort into it, I wanted to get this feedback.

And the final preparatory detail is that I do have an ex to deal with and I’d prefer for her to not have any possible access to anything while my son is with her. From the little research I’ve done, it seems like I can’t share specific items with another account, so that might rule out the ‘sharing’ aspect of this altogether. I realize there are some 3rd party apps that help sharing, but I’d prefer to stay away from 3rd party stuff until I investigate it a bit more.

So, I was wondering how anyone with experience might handle this.

Ideally, I’d love to stay within the SmartThings app for everything, but if there’s not a way to only share specific items, that wouldn’t be the way to go. We’re only dealing with lights now, but locks are the next items on the list.

Even though I’d like to stay within the SmartThings apps, would it be easier to just set the Philips stuff up on its own and work everything through Alexa? When it comes to turning lights on and off, 99% of it is done by voice using the Echos. Since these HUE lights are only going to be in his room, I figured having the second app to use wouldn’t be a big deal. I just wasn’t sure if we could group SmartThings bulbs with the HUE bulbs in the Alexa app if the HUEs weren’t going through SmartThings first. I don’t care if he’s the only one with the color functionality through the HUE app as long as I could still control the on/off side of things through the Echos.

I tried looking at different threads and didn’t feel secure coming to any conclusions on my own, so if I missed something, I apologize. Feel free to point it out to me. Like I said, I’m not so much concerned with the how now as I am the opinions and input, so I’d appreciate any that you have.

Philips intentionally made their Philips Hue Bridge API available to multiple integrations at the same time. I haven’t run into a practical limit yet. So you could have the exact same bridge linked with SmartThings, Wink, directly to echo, Logitech Harmony, control 4, and a bunch of other things all at exactly the same time. The bridge just processes one request of the time in the order that it receives them. So there’s no problem putting only the Phillips hue app on your son’s phone and not the SmartThings app if you want to do that. Then he would have access to the hue bridge but nothing else.

Also, I recommend that people use the native echo/hue integration rather than trying to connect hue bridge through the echo/smart things integration. You get a few additional features that way and everything just works much more smoothly.

Echo is really nice because it will let you set up a group of any of the smart home devices that you have linked to Echo and then turn them on or off all with one command. So for example, I have a group called “Family Room” that has a SmartThings switch, a Lutron Caseta switch, some Hue bulbs through the hue bridge, and a Wemo plug in and we can just say “echo, turn on the family room” and they all come on.

Echo also allows you to put the same device into multiple groups, which is very convenient as well.

So I’m not entirely clear on all the aspects of the use case that you’re describing, but in general, if you use the Phillips hue bridge, you can have it connected to all sorts of different systems at the same time. And therefore limit access to just the Phillips hue devices by only giving a particular person the app for Philip Hue.

Hope that helps a little. :sunglasses:

1 Like

That helps completely!

Thank you very much!

1 Like

Hi @JDRoberts,

I know there is a specific thread for this in here, I’ve seen it, but I couldn’t find it, and since it’s kinda related, I will just ask this here: I have Hue and Alexa and ST all connected, though how they all interact is still a bit of a mystery to me. You mention here what I would agree form reading here and elsewhere is the “proper” way to connect them, but I wouldn’t even know where to start sussing out how they are connected now and how I get back to having just Echo/Hue integration and not Hue/ST integration (hope I have that right). As it is, in the Alexa app, when I look at the list of smart home devices I see duplicates - one connected through ST, another connected through Phillips Hue. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Happy holidays,