HA SkyConnect questions

Hi All,

Because Philips Hue will change their way. (require user account) and we don’t know if local API on bridge will still be available after those changes. HA have the SKyConnect stick. I know you can connect your HUE Bulbs to this Zigbee dongle. But there are some other questions that I didn’t find online. The way how it works after everything is paired.

  1. In Philips HUE app you can create “rooms” and “zones”. This was extreme fast when you turn on a room or zone. All lights went on or off simultaneously. (So not bulb 1 then bulb 2 etc)
    Will SkyConnect dongle have this also? Can you create rooms and zones in the zigbee network?
    And will this be same as HUE bridge that all bulbs simultaneously go on/of/change color/kelvin etc?

  2. The bulbs can be updated via HUE app. I guess this will end when you use the SkyConnect Dongle?
    Ok for me. If the bulbs work correct then there is no need to update them. (Expect when HUE implement new features) but that’s not the case for now for me

  3. How about the Sync Box. I have this one and use bulbs to sync with my HDMI input. Is there any way to this with SkyConnect Dongle also? (I guess this will end because Sync Box need a Bridge)


  1. You can of course create rooms/areas in Home Assistant and you can also use them in the integrations. I recommend ZHA (ZigBee home automation) integration for that. Important to know: There are two ways of creating groups in Home Assistant, one is directly over (main) HA in the “helper” section and the other is in ZHA. The advantage of using ZHA groups is they are more reliable, faster and they switch on simultaneously while HA groups work sequientally. So my second recommendation is to create ZHA groups for everything that you want to switch on at once.

  2. True, no (official) OTA updates over HA or any of the integrations. For some manufacturers yes, for Hue unfortunately not. But the good news is you can download updates from trusted (!) sources and install them over HA manually. So if a new feature is available or for security updates you should do this - with the risk that you have to trust the source.

  3. As far as I know Sync Box needs a bridge, you can google that to verify, I only read it somewhere and don’t own one.

What I can tell you is that after a week of intense learning and practicing I got all my Hue bulbs and switches connected over my SkyConnect connector in ZHA and it works better than ever before (even better than with Hue). Some devices are a pain in the ass to set up and program, especially when there are no blueprints available (for most devices there are) but for me it was absolutely worth it. Felt great to finally get rid of that bridge. For Alexa I use a cloud tunnel (Cloudflare) and created my own skill.

Thank you for the great information. Happy to read that you can create groups on the ZHA and all light simultaneously work. Question based on groups on ZHA: Can you add bulbs in multiple groups?

for example:
Bulb 1, 2, 3 and 4 are in group: Livingroom
Bulb 5, 6, 7, and 8 are in group: Diningroom
Bulb 2, 4, 5 and 8 are in group: Scene_appletv

The Sync Box question I will investigate on the net what is possible. But I think the bridge is needed.

Yes, of course, absolutely possible. I have done it like that for different scenarios. :+1:

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What Zigbee doodle do you use? Also de SkyConnect from HA?

SkyConnect, yes, same as you. Best on the market in my opinion.

I don’t have it yet. Im using Philips Hue Bridge with Sync Box. But with all the stress of Philips Hue changes whit usernames etc… Im check what I can do in future.

I already have an Account with HUE. Hope the API on bridge will still exist otherwise now I know what I can do … migrate to SkyConnect :slight_smile:

I am not sure so forgive me if I am wrong but controlling many lights in a group is Not the same as controlling the Hue created light entity based on the group of lights in the App.

I’ve made several test groups in Ha including the helper group with lights and compare that the light entity the Hue integration creates for ‘Room’ in the app

The latter switches as 1 single entity, all lights turn on/off at the same time. Nice transition included.

The HA group clearly has a different result: the lights are sequentially switched on/off. A group of 14 lights in my ceiling takes about 4 seconds to iterate them :wink:

Not a real problem of course and only noticed when sitting under them, but it’s truly another experience.

I suppose (can’t yet say I experienced it) a ZHA group would behave likewise. Simply because the Bridge is not in control and that bridge is the huge advantage of Hue.

Except for the new cloud limitation that is….

Cybershout is talking about ZHA Groups. So groups created on the Zigbee network and not created in HA itself. Maybe that is the difference of a better experience how the lights will react?

Might be yes, let’s hope so, would be nice indeed !

No need for the bridge, ZHA groups solve exactly that problem. All commands are sent simultaneously to ZigBee devices included. Even my ZigBee sockets from innr react at the same time. So for a little bit more convenience I did the following:

I created a ZHA group for all the ZigBee entities I want to address and then I created a helper group in HA for that ZHA group. Why? Because ZHA entities don’t have the option to put them in a specific room (like “office” or something), they always have the room of your coordinator (if you set one there).

So this method that I came up with has two benefits:

  1. Your ZigBee devices react instantly and simultaneously
  2. You can put the Helper group that is now only a container for your ZHA group in a room like “office” and then do something with the whole room or just simply find your stuff better in the entities section if you go by room.

And you can add Non-ZigBee lights/sockets in the helper group too, which gives you maximum possibilities. I didn’t experience a delay because at first I feared it would create unnecessary overhead which could result in low performance. From my short term test of about a week I have to say that my lights behave exactly like they would with the Hue bridge. :slight_smile: Fast, reliable and smooth.

By the way just a little hint: You can set the transition of your lights in your coordinator configuration. Set it to 0.4s (400ms), that’s the standard Hue transition.


Did you ever figure out if the sync box works with a sky connect or similar zighee device? Was thinking of purchasing one but don’t really wanna get another hub.

The Hue Sync box only works with a Hue hub.

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Thanks so much!

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