What connected bulbs/lights do not requrie a seporate gateway?

I like the idea of connected lights, I just don’t like to have more devices. Seems like all the lights require some type of “gateway”.

What bulbs/lights do not? I would love to have something like a Phillips Hue without a separate gateway.

GE Link

These are Two i know of

Anything that’s a Z-wave bulb should be able to communicate directly with the Hub. And Zigbee bulb that supports the HA (Home Automation) protocol should also work.

Here’s the list of officially supported devices:


A quick look through shows that the Cree, GE Link, OSRAM Lightify, and some TCP bulbs can connect directly with the Hub. I don’t use these bulbs myself so please make sure you look at 'em and verify. Also there may be some that I’m missing.

All the lights that have some color options like the OSRAM Lightify seem to require a gateway. =(

As someone who doesn’t use bulbs, I can’t say for sure on that, but I suspect you’re right.

I’m just guessing here, but it might be that there just isn’t any commands in the z-wave or zigbee instruction set to allow for color control. If that’s the case, then any controlling of color would need to be a cloud-to-cloud thing rather than a direct communication… which means a hub for the lights.

All OSRAM Lightify products will direct connect to ST. There may not be official devicetypes yet for the regular RGB bulb, but they do work. They will probably connect as Zigbee Hue Bulbs, but you can use the devicetype at the link below for better control.

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Zigbee has a pretty comprehensive color control instruction set. All Hue bulbs use these zigbee instructions, which is also why Hue bulbs can be connected and controlled directly by ST; but it’s not recommended.

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Why is it not recommended?

That uses the Zigbee LightLink protocol, right?

Yes. Most ZLL devices will join a ZHA network and “fall back” to that profile. The difference is really in the commissioning process and node communication layer, with some enhancements to the actual commands/attributes; but it’s built on top of ZHA. Upcoming Zigbee Pro will consolidate these into one, so it has better interoperability like zwave.

Hue bulbs do not have an easy method to factory reset them (most zigbee bulbs can be reset by physically powering them on & off in succession), so they need a ZLL controller to reset them. Since ST is ZHA, it’s possible that they get stuck on your ST zigbee network with no way to remove/reset. This concern has been alleviated somewhat by the new Lutron Connected Bulb Remote, which can initiate this reset even for ST connected bulbs on a non-ZLL channel.

Still, the bulbs will have better overall performance using the Hue Hub especially for controlling groups and scenes. There is also robust 3rd party apps to do things like sync your bulbs to music. This is because the Hue Hub is ZLL and zigbee only, so it makes use of the full power of zigbee including groups and scenes. It’s just a tighter integration.

Here’s a whole thread dedicated to the discussion of direct connecting…Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are pretty technical and really understand the tradeoffs. The Hue product is by far (IMO) the best performing lighting system in the HA space.


Hue Bulbs Don’t Use the Blink Method to Reset

Most Zigbee bulbs have the ability to need to be factory reset with a “blink method” where you just turn the bulb on and off in a repeated pattern and eventually it resets itself. But the exact pattern is up to the manufacturer.

Phillips was worried that a kid playing with the light switch might accidentally reset the bulbs to factory. So their bulbs do not have an individual reset method. You have to do it with a different device.

That part has nothing to do with SmartThings, it’s also an issue if you have a Hue bridge and it breaks and you want to add those bulbs to another Hue bridge.

The SmartThings Hub may use a Channel that a Hue Bridge Never Will

What was an issue specific to SmartThings is that SmartThings uses a different set of channels than hue bridges uses (SmartThings has more) and if it happened that the SmartThings hub put the hue bulb that was directly attached to it on a channel that hue bridges never use, things got really complicated if you then wanted to move the bulb to a different controller later.

In fact, if you even just wanted to move your Hue bulbs from, say, the V1 SmartThings hub to the V2 and the two happened to have been set to different channels at the factory, you could have a problem.

Lutron to the Rescue! Individual Hue Reset on any Channel

However, in September 2015 Lutron released a device called the “Lutron connected bulb remote.” It’s not a bridge itself, it’s a lightswitch that goes on the wall, but it has some bridge functionality. And, the really interesting part is that it is able to individually reset a Hue bulb no matter which channel it is on. :sunglasses:

So for the first time, there is in fact an easy way to reset Hue bulbs that were directly attached to the SmartThings hub.

However, you still have to buy a separate device for $30. (Oh and by the way the very similar looking “Phillips hue dimmer switch” cannot reset individual bulbs this way. ) it is a device that you can use for a switch, but it’s not fully integrated with SmartThings yet, either. You can turn a group of smart bulbs on and off with it, but SmartThings won’t know that you did that. And it’s not like a minimote, you can’t use it to control zwave devices or other things. Just zigbee smart bulbs.


There are people in the community, particularly @Sticks18 , who are working on getting more functionality for it, but we’re not there.

Different choices work for different situations

So, it’s a matter of choice.

Personally, I think the Hue white color bulb starter set, with the hue bridge and two Hue White lightbulbs, for $79 is a good deal. That would be my personal recommendation. That gives you the Hue bridge, lets you use a lot of third-party integrations, the bulbs work fine, it’s just a smooth Integration.

But if you really don’t want the Hue bridge, you can connect the Hue bulb directly to the smartthings hub and buy the $30 Lutron remote so you can reset the bulbs later individually if you need to. But be aware this is not the official recommended method, so if you run into a problem, SmartThings support may not be able to help you.

( I think the main reason why some community members do connect directly is not because they don’t want to pay for the Hue bridge, some of them also have other bulbs on the bridge, but rather because they want to use those specific bulbs as ZHA repeaters.)


Back to the original question:

Any ZHA bulb can be connected directly to the SmartThings hub. The biggest issue is their method to reset it again.

Currently, there is official support for

Zigbee bulbs that don’t need a gateway

Belkin WeMo LED Bulb

Cree Connected

Osram Lightify

Sylvania IQ Led


LIFX (cloud to cloud, no gateway needed)

TCP and Hue have official integration, but using the gateways.

The trouble with GE Links

GE links connect just fine, but they tend to lose connection with the network every couple of weeks and after a power outage, which is all very frustrating. SmartThings staff have said that there is a firmware problem, that GE is aware of it, and that this problem is why these bulbs are not on the official “works with SmartThings” list.

People used to jump on the GE links because they were so cheap, it was easy to get them on sale for about $12. Now the question is whether the aggravation is worth saving a couple of bucks as cost for both the Cree and the Hue white lightbulb have come down to around $15 each.

I used to buy GE links, but at this point I would go with hue whites or Cree instead.

Other Possibilities

Osram Lightify is more expensive than Cree, but they have just introduced a brand-new, less expensive line. There isn’t an official device type for that yet, but I expect there will be pretty soon, given that there is one for most of the other Osram products. But you never know for sure.

And there are some Z wave light bulbs. Normally these just pair as a dimmer switch. There’s one from Linear thats get sold under a couple of different names.

Generally pairs fine with SmartThings, but these bulbs are much bigger physically then regular bulbs and not everyone likes the look of them. They can be useful if you need a Z wave repeater someplace, like going down the basement stairs.

Aeon had a new zwave color bulb that we’ll probably see eventual official support for, but there are still some issues with it right now in getting all the features to work.


Using osram lightify directly with my ST V2 hub and Cree and GE link.

Also it is reported with verification from a couple of members that HUE bulbs do act as brand agnostic Zigbee repeaters for all zigbee devices. That means hue bulbs will make your network stronger, and it’s the only bulb that does this. Sadly manufacturers refuse to tell consumers if their bulbs do or don’t repeat, or their tech support has no clue and makes things up.

Lifx uses wifi, so in this case you already have the needed gateway :slight_smile:

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I have a GE Link A19 bulb and an Osram RGB LED Strip, both work perfectly and directly with ST.

I’m more interested in the RGB bulb, but I’m assuming if the strip works the bulb would as well.

Thank you, i’ll try it.