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CidCock
South Carolina Fan
Member since Sep 2007
Member since Feb 2011
8150 posts

Smart Light questions
Hey everyone,
I've got a few hue bulbs and really enjoy them and am thinking of adding a few more smart items to my setup. I am looking at replacing my recessing lights with LED fixtures and am scared off by the price. I am looking at the Sylvania lightify recessed lights which will require some sort of smart hub.

The question I have, is that if I go this route and buy a hub in order to integrate these items, what other functionality am I adding from a Hub that I don't already have through my Alexa app or my Apple Home app?

ETA: I can by the Osram gateway which should connect these bulbs to my network for like $15. Is that the route to go?
This post was edited on 12/3 at 12:38 pm


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

I am looking at the Sylvania lightify recessed lights which will require some sort of smart hub.

The question I have, is that if I go this route and buy a hub in order to integrate these items, what other functionality am I adding from a Hub that I don't already have through my Alexa app or my Apple Home app?


dont be scared. that lightify hub is like $20 on ebay.

you will use it to pair the lights then add the lightify skill to alexa and you can do all your 'smart home' schedules & grouping of lights through the alexa app to keep things simple.

eta just remember to hide the hub plugged into an outlet somewhere that a busy-body wife won't find and throw in a drawer and you realize 2 days later none of your lightify bulbs are working anymore.
This post was edited on 12/3 at 12:40 pm


junkfunky
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2011
27578 posts

re: Smart Light questions
Can it control the hue bulbs? It picked up all of ge link and Ikea bulbs. I don't use the wink hub anymore.


CidCock
South Carolina Fan
Member since Sep 2007
Member since Feb 2011
8150 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

dont be scared. that lightify hub is like $20 on ebay.

you will use it to pair the lights then add the lightify skill to alexa and you can do all your 'smart home' schedules & grouping of lights through the alexa app to keep things simple.

eta just remember to hide the hub plugged into an outlet somewhere that a busy-body wife won't find and throw in a drawer and you realize 2 days later none of your lightify bulbs are working anymore.



Awesome, so I can still do color combos and all that with the Lightify app or whatever, and use the alexa/apple skill for day to day stuff, correct?

Is there any reason to get a Wink or Smart things hub? I don't have a very complex setup (at least not yet), but I can create groups and all that through Alexa, right?

What functionality am I missing. I can screw around with IFTT and all that without Smart things??

ETA: I am replacing existing recessing lights with a switch. I know my wife will turn it off via the switch. Is a smart switch worth installing?
This post was edited on 12/3 at 12:48 pm


CidCock
South Carolina Fan
Member since Sep 2007
Member since Feb 2011
8150 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

Can it control the hue bulbs? It picked up all of ge link and Ikea bulbs. I don't use the wink hub anymore.


It is my understanding that you have to have a hue bridge to control any hue lights. And the hue hub is little help other than that.

I'd love to go all hue to make it easy, but it's just too expensive.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

Awesome, so I can still do color combos and all that with the Lightify app or whatever, and use the alexa/apple skill for day to day stuff, correct?


yeah and you can use alexa to say 'set kitchen recessed light 1 to blue' or if grouped 'set the kitchen recessed lights to blue'.

quote:

Is there any reason to get a Wink or Smart things hub? I don't have a very complex setup (at least not yet), but I can create groups and all that through Alexa, right?


none right now. dust needs to settle. i have a hubitat but i don't wish the setup on my worst enemy but i have too much invested in zwave & zigbee that i want a local controller for so i'm digging in.

quote:

What functionality am I missing. I can screw around with IFTT and all that without Smart things??


not much. you have to ask what you want to do. IFTTT can change bulbs based on a tv show schedule or the weather, etc. but its kinda shitty to be honest.

quote:

ETA: I am replacing existing recessing lights with a switch. I know my wife will turn it off via the switch. Is a smart switch worth installing?


i'm not sure it is. worst case scenario is she flips it off every now and then if she's unhappy with your pre-existing light routine.

voice has been the killer app for me and the only thing my wife has fully embraced because she's a control freak and no matter how happy i am with my triggers & schedules..being a woman she wants something different every day.


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CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

Can it control the hue bulbs? It picked up all of ge link and Ikea bulbs. I don't use the wink hub anymore.


color and white shading are the 2 issues i've found is common to all hubs.

i use hue hub for all my lights but it required me to set the white color first because hue can't change that.

likewise hue can't change the color on osram bulbs or LIFX bulbs so you'll need their hub for that.

this is true of any of those systems. its not big deal though; i honestly dont even know where my lightify hub is right now i think its in an outlet behind one of the curtains in the dining room. i keep trying to move it somewhere nobody will find it.


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CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

And the hue hub is little help other than that.


i paired EVERY BULB IN MY HOUSE with hue to get it away from wink except the zwave+ bulb I have and the LIFX wifi-bulb someone bought me.

i find the hue hub the most stable of all of them.


CidCock
South Carolina Fan
Member since Sep 2007
Member since Feb 2011
8150 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

i paired EVERY BULB IN MY HOUSE with hue to get it away from wink except the zwave+ bulb I have and the LIFX wifi-bulb someone bought me.


This is interesting. Do you have bulbs, other than HUE, paired with the hue bridge? Can I do that with the lightify?

Sorry, I'm pretty green here.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

This is interesting. Do you have bulbs, other than HUE, paired with the hue bridge? Can I do that with the lightify?

Sorry, I'm pretty green here.


yes. a cree bulb, tons of crappy ikea bulbs, all my ge bulbs, basically any bulb using zigbee will pair.

but you can't control white-shade or color without the native hub for those and you can't pair zwave or WiFi (obviously) bulbs.
This post was edited on 12/3 at 3:27 pm


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RickAstley
LSU Fan
Reno, Nevada
Member since May 2011
1809 posts

re: Smart Light questions
If you're looking into purchasing a hub, Samsung Samrtthings is a good option. I started with a Wink Hub, then a Wink Hub 2, and swapped over to Smarthings 2. We just got all our indoor and outdoor Christmas lighting setup last weekend. All the lights come on and off throughout the day depending on when we are home and simply when the sun goes down. Beyond that I've got a combination of lights, tvs, plugs, and sensors tied to the hub that allow us to broaden our options for automations.

Two big benefits of smart hubs:
1) A hub will tie your devices together to one app.
2) A hub will allow you to build a number of automations that can involve any of your connected devices.

The last thing I'll mention is that you are probably better off long-term investing in one family of products if possible (assuming it is a reliable brand). Primarily because it cuts down on the number of accounts and apps you'll end up having to manage over time.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

Two big benefits of smart hubs:
1) A hub will tie your devices together to one app.


alexa is moving closer and closer to this since everything has a 'skill' and you can build schedules now and sunrise/sunset offsets


RickAstley
LSU Fan
Reno, Nevada
Member since May 2011
1809 posts

re: Smart Light questions
There are a ton of benefits to Alexa. I don't disagree with including an echo in the discussion for a hub. One other alternative for internet enabled devices, IFTTT is a good way to build logic into your day-to-day.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
I'm throwing in the towel on boutique hubs (exception is hubitat since it's 100% local control) and assuming only Amazon, Google and Apple will stand the test of time.
This post was edited on 12/4 at 9:52 am


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
16726 posts

re: Smart Light questions
Have you (or anyone else here) tried setting up a hub with a Pi? Seems like the only sensible option to me at this point.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

Have you (or anyone else here) tried setting up a hub with a Pi? Seems like the only sensible option to me at this point.


i think that's kinda what the hubitat is. just a bit more robust since they're maintaining the code


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TigerWise
USA Fan
13th Ward
Member since Sep 2010
34577 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

The last thing I'll mention is that you are probably better off long-term investing in one family of products if possible (assuming it is a reliable brand). Primarily because it cuts down on the number of accounts and apps you'll end up having to manage over time.


This. The more things that work locally and don’t depend on multiple cloud servers working together the better.


CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
61194 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

This. The more things that work locally and don’t depend on multiple cloud servers working together the better.


and unfortunately google, amazon & apple being cloud companies they are pushing WiFi shite HARD which sucks. they can control a 'hub' through the cloud (like hubitat which mine is doing) and the hubitat can control everything locally but aside from building stuff directly in the hubitat UX, you still have someone's cloud dependency.

and it sucks but voice-control is the only thing that's gotten Mrs CAD invested in our smart home so i can't take that away now..and i have to admit its pretty nice.

all my routines & schedules go out the window when Mrs CAD comes in and changes her mind on lighting and moves all the damn lamps to other rooms.

then she has the nerve to complain that the living room lamp isn't working for her anymore when she is the one that moved it to the basement and moved the foyer lamp into the living room.


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guedeaux
USA Fan
Tardis
Member since Jan 2008
12881 posts

re: Smart Light questions
quote:

Have you (or anyone else here) tried setting up a hub with a Pi? Seems like the only sensible option to me at this point.


I use Home Assistant running off a pi 3B+. Its dope. So much better than Wink. I have z wave, zigbee, and a bunch of wifi stuff. It is amazing how quick local control is.

I am building my own sensors and controllers now with ESP-01S and other ESP based boards.

ETA: I have it integrated with Alexa for voice control, but the developers just rolled out their first version of a local voice assistant running off the same device as he home assistant.
This post was edited on 12/4 at 5:10 pm


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