Emulated Hue Bridge


The emulated_hue component provides a virtual Philips Hue bridge, written entirely in software, that allows services that work with the Hue API to interact with Home Assistant entities. The driving use case behind this functionality is to allow Home Assistant to work with an Amazon Echo with no set up cost outside of configuration changes.

It is recommended to assign a static IP address to the computer running Home Assistant. This is because the Amazon Echo discovers devices by IP addresses, and if the IP changes, the Echo won’t be able to control it. This is easiest done from your router, see your router’s manual for details.

Configuration

To enable the emulated Hue bridge, add one of the following configs to your configuration.yaml file:

# Amazon Echo example configuration.yaml entry
emulated_hue:
# Google Home example configuration.yaml entry
emulated_hue:
  type: google_home
  # Google Home does not work on different ports.
  listen_port: 80

Configuration variables:

  • type (Optional): The type of assistant who we are emulated for. Either alexa or google_home.
  • host_ip (Optional): The IP address that your Home Assistant installation is running on. If you do not specify this option, the component will attempt to determine the IP address on its own.
  • listen_port (Optional): The port the Hue bridge API web server will run on. If not specified, this defaults to 8300. This can be any free port on your system.
  • off_maps_to_on_domains (Optional): The domains that maps an “off” command to an “on” command.

    For example, if script is included in the list, and you ask Alexa to “turn off the water plants script,” the command will be handled as if you asked her to turn on the script.

    If not specified, this defaults to the following list:

    • script
    • scene
  • expose_by_default (Optional): Whether or not entities should be exposed via the bridge by default instead of explicitly (see the ‘emulated_hue’ customization below). If not specified, this defaults to true. Warning: If you have a lot of devices (more than 49 total across all exposed domains), you should be careful with this option. Exposing more devices than Alexa supports can result in it not seeing any of them. If you are having trouble getting any devices to show up, try disabling this, and explicitly exposing just a few devices at a time to see if that fixes it.

  • exposed_domains (Optional): The domains that are exposed by default if expose_by_default is set to true. If not specified, this defaults to the following list:
    • switch
    • light
    • group
    • input_boolean
    • media_player

A full configuration sample looks like the one below.

# Example configuration.yaml entry
emulated_hue:
  host_ip: 192.168.1.186
  listen_port: 8300
  off_maps_to_on_domains:
    - script
    - scene
  expose_by_default: true
  exposed_domains:
    - light

With additional customization you will be able to specify the behaviour of the existing entities.

# Example customization
homeassistant:
  customize:
    light.bedroom_light:
      # Don't allow light.bedroom_light to be controlled by the emulated Hue bridge
      emulated_hue: false
    light.office_light:
      # Address light.office_light as "back office light"
      emulated_hue_name: "back office light"

The following are attributes that can be applied in the customize section:

  • emulated_hue (Optional): Whether or not the entity should be exposed by the emulated Hue bridge. The default value for this attribute is controlled by the expose_by_default option.
  • emulated_hue_name (Optional): The name that the emulated Hue will use. The default for this is the entity’s friendly name.

Troubleshooting

You can verify that the emulated_hue component has been loaded and is responding by pointing a local browser to the following URL:

  • http://<HA IP Address>:8300/description.xml - This URL should return a descriptor file in the form of an XML file.
  • http://<HA IP Address>:8300/api/pi/lights - This will return a list of devices, lights, scenes, groups, etc.. that emulated_hue is exposing to Alexa.

License

Much of this code is based on work done by Bruce Locke on his ha-local-echo project, originally released under the MIT License. The license is located here.