Philips Hue


Philips Hue support is integrated into Home Assistant as a light platform. The preferred way to setup the Philips Hue platform is by enabling the discovery component.

Once discovered, if you have a custom default view, locate configurator.philips_hue in the entities list ( < > ) and add it to a group in configuration.yaml. Restart Home Assistant so that the configurator is visible in the Home Assistant dashboard. Once Home Assistant is restarted, locate and click on configurator.philips_hue to bring up the initiation dialog. This will prompt you to press the Hue button to register the Hue hub in home assistant. Once complete, the configurator entity isn’t needed anymore and can be removed from any visible group in configuration.yaml.

Restarting Home Assistant once more should result in the Hue lights listed as “light” entities. Add these light entities to configuration.yaml and restart home assistant once more to complete the installation.

If you want to enable the component without relying on the discovery component, add the following lines to your configuration.yaml:

# Example configuration.yaml entry
light:
  platform: hue
  host: DEVICE_IP_ADDRESS

Configuration variables:

  • host (Optional): IP address of the device, eg. 192.168.1.10. Required if not using the discovery component to discover Hue bridges.

  • allow_unreachable (Optional): (true/false) This will allow unreachable bulbs to report their state correctly.
  • filename (Optional): Make this unique if specifying multiple Hue hubs.
  • allow_in_emulated_hue (Optional): )true/false) Enable this to block all Hue entities from being added to the emulated_hue component.
  • allow_hue_groups (Optional): (true/false) Enable this to stop Home Assistant from importing the groups defined on the Hue bridge.

Using Hue Groups in Home Assistant

The Hue API allows you to group lights. Home Assistant also supports grouping of entities natively, but sometimes it can be usefull to use Hue Groups to group light bulbs. By doing so, Home Assistant only needs to send one API call to change the state of all the bulbs in those groups instead of one call for every light in the group. This causes all the bulbs to change state simultaniously.

These Hue Groups can be a Luminaire, Lightsource, LightGroup or Room. The Luminaire and Lightsource can’t be created manually since the Hue bridge manages these automatically based on the discovered bulbs. The Room and LightGroup can be created manually through the API, or the mobile app. A bulb can only exist in one Room, but can exist in multiple LightGroup. The LightGroup can be usefull to link certain bulbs together since.

The 2nd generation Hue app only allows to create a Room. You need to use the first generation app or the API to create a LightGroup.

Example:

To create a LightGroup named Ceiling lights that contains the lights 1, 2 and 3, execute the following command:

$ curl -XPOST -d '{"name": "Ceiling lights", "lights": ["1", "2", "3"]}' http://<bridge>/api/<username>/groups

The <username> is the string that is used to register Home Assistant on the bridge, you can find it in the phue.conf file in your configuration path. <bridge> is the IP address or hostname of your Hue bridge.

You can find out the ids of your lights by executing the following command:

$ curl http://<bridge>/api/<username>/lights

Home Assistant will automatically detect your new LightGroup and add it to the interface.

To support Hue Light Groups, your bridge needs to have at least firmware 1.13 (released on June 3, 2016).

More information can be found on the Philips Hue API documentation website.

Using Hue Scenes in Home Assistant

The Hue platform has it’s own concept of Scenes for setting the colors of a group of lights at once. Hue Scenes are very cheap, get created by all kinds of apps (as it is the only way to have 2 or more lights change at the same time), and are rarely deleted. A typical Hue hub might have hundreds of scenes stored in them, many that you’ve never used, almost all very poorly named.

To avoid user interface overload we don’t expose Scenes directly. Instead there is a light.hue_activate_scene service which can be used by automation or script components. This will have all the bulbs transitioned at once, instead of one at a time using standard scenes in Home Assistant. For instance:

script:
  porch_on:
    sequence:
      - service: light.hue_activate_scene
        data:
          group_name: "Porch"
          scene_name: "Porch Orange"
Service data attribute Optional Description
group_name no The group/room name of the lights. Find this in the Hue official app.
scene_name no The name of the Scene. Find this in the Hue official app.

Note: group_name is not linked to Home Assistant group name.

** Finding Group and Scene Names **

How do you find these names?

The easiest way to do this is only use the scenes from the 2nd generation Hue app. That is organized by Room (Group) and Scene Name. Use the values of Room name and Scene name that you see in the app. You can test these work on the dev-service console of your Home Assistant instance.

Alternatively, you can dump all rooms and scene names using this gist. This does not tell you which groups and scenes work together but it’s sufficient to get values that you can test in the dev-service console.

** Caveats **

The Hue API doesn’t activate Scenes directly, only on a Hue Group (typically Rooms, especially if using the 2nd gen app). But Hue Scenes don’t actually reference their group. So heuristic matching is used.

Neither Group names or Scene names are guaranteed unique in Hue. If you are getting non deterministic behavior, adjust your Hue scenes via the App to be more identifying.

The Hue hub has limitted spaces for Scenes, and will delete Scenes if new ones get created that would overflow that space. The API docs say this is based on Least Recently Used.