What is the problem with Philips Hue light bulbs?

New to SmartThings and am having nothing but challenges with my Philips Hue light bulbs.

First problem - they just lose connection all the time! I have 5 of them in two separate locations (2 in the bedroom for lamps, 3 in the kitchen pendants) and both locations lose connection to both SmartThings and Alexa constantly.

Second problem - this is a weird one. I just installed another Lutron switch for the bedroom closet. For some reason, every time the light is turned on, the Hue lamp lights turn on! I thought this was initially because of the motion detector I have in the closet, but they also turned on when I just switched the closet light on.

Would love to know if others have experienced similar and what they did to resolve

Are you using them connected to a Hue hub or are you trying to connect them directly to a SmartThings/Aeotec hub?

While it is technically possible to use them without a hue hub, neither company recommends it or will provide support if you choose that option. For one thing, this can lead to lost Zigbee messages on your network.

See the following:

FAQ: Do I need the Hue Bridge/Hub to Use a Hue Bulb with SmartThings?

The other thing is that if you are using them without the Hue hub, a number of community members have reported Zigbee issues since the most hub recent firmware update and they would be subject to the same issues.

Devices randomly switch On / Off after 0.45.9 Hub upgrade

If you are using them with a hue hub, I’m not sure what to say: most people find them very reliable in that configuration. The most common explanation would be local Wi-Fi interference. So you might need to change channels. :thinking:

You will probably be asked if the hue bulbs are being powered off… turning off the lamps or using a switch that powers them off :slight_smile:

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Regarding the Lutron situation…

Are you saying that you have a Lutron switch which controls a light in the closet but does not control the circuit for the hue bulbs in the main room, there is a motion detector in the closet, and when you turn on the light in the closet the bulbs turn on unexpectedly?

If so, one common explanation for this kind of situation is that the heat from the light turning on in the closet is triggering the motion sensor.

So the first thing to do is just put a box over the motion sensor, or remove it all together, or take out its batteries, and then see if turning the closet light on still triggers the hue bulbs.

If it does, unscrew the hue bulbs and put dumb bulbs in their place. Now see if turning the closet switch on manually causes the dumb bulbs to turn on.

If it’s neither of those, you will have to start looking for forgotten or unknown automations. :thinking:

Thanks JD.

To, one of the other question - yes, I am using a Philips hub.

I have removed the motion sensor and the switch still turns on the lamp. And given it’s a smart bulb in the lamp, the lamp is turned on always and just controlled by the “smart” system.

What’s odd is that I literally just installed this closet switch yesterday, and this is happening. The only automation with the switch is the motion sensor, but since the lamp lights turn on just by physically turning on the switch, I’m at a loss to understand.

Lastly, what’s the general problem with the hue bulbs always losing connectivity? They often show “unreachable” in the Hue app.

I changed the channel to see if that might help with the connection. Everything seemed to go with the channel change, they blinked when I selected them. Yet, Alexa says they aren’t responding… SMH

Is your Alexa control through the native Hue integration or through SmartThings?

If it’s through the native Hue integration and THAT’s not working, there’s a local mesh strength issue. Contact Hue support in that case.

I’m unclear on where the Lutron switch is connected (Hue/ST). I know if you add any switch to the Hue hub directly, you are asked to connect it to a light, room or zone on setup. If this is where you connected the switch, I would go into the settings on the Hue app and verify the selections there.

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Lutron uses its own proprietary frequency for its Caseta switches, Clear Connect, at 434 MHz. It does not connect with the hue bridge directly.

They do make one device, the Lutron aurora dimmer, which is Zigbee, and does connect directly to the hue bridge.

Oh so as always, the model number matters. :wink:

Exactly. I was thinking of the aurora switch/dimmer. If it’s a Caseta setup, then I would guess it’s connected to ST. I think they do have a Hue integration as well though. Haven’t played with a Caseta setup.

Another possibility for the Lutron switch and hue bulb is the OP uses Alexa so could Hunches be the culprit?

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Quick update on the issue of the motion sensor turning on our lamp lights as well as the closet light.

The desired result was, motion detected in the closet, light turns on. No motion for 1 minute, light turns off (because for some reason, my wife doesn’t realize switches can turn both on AND off…)

What happened was, I set up a routine in SmartThings to do exactly what I wanted - motion = light on. what happened was, it also turned on our Hue lamp lights that were in our bedroom (note that both the motion sensor and lamps were in our SmartThings bedroom group).

After doing all that everyone mentioned above and still experiencing this, I found that if you go into the Hue app, Settings - Accessories - select the motion sensor, the app has default behaviors for the motion sensor and the lights in that room (whether you programed them to do so or not). So I simply disabled those and everything works as it should.

Thank you all for your thoughts and patience. As I navigate deeper into smart home technology I continue to hit many bumps that make my system not operate as I’d hope. It’s nice to know we’ve got a community like this one for support. THANK YOU!

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Where did you pair your motion sensor? Hue app or SmartThings? You can’t pair it to both. It sounds like you have automations in both apps, which shouldn’t be possible if you are using zigbee connections.

In post #5, the OP says

In the original smart things/Hue integration, accessories, like the hue motion sensor were not exposed to Smartthings.

Then, last summer, they changed it, so that if you were using the cloud to cloud integration, the motion sensors did show up in smart things, even when they were attached via the hue hub.

And even more recently, they added this feature to the LAN official integration.

So now it is indeed possible to set up an automation for a motion sensor connected to the hue hub in both the hue app, and the Smartthings app. So you do have to be careful about that. :thinking:

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Thanks for clarifying. So it is coming through via the DTH integration with both cloud and local. Good to know. I wasn’t aware that they added that to the DTH.

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I didn’t know, either, but @automated_house had a post about it a little while ago. :sunglasses: