Philips Hue bridge with other ZigBee products

Hi experts,
has anyone tried to integrate other vendor ZigBee products with hue bridge ? The official app doesn’t provide the option. But I don’t understand why a standard ZigBee hub can’t connect to other ZigBee products( not light). I read somewhere that hue uses ZigBee LL whilst others sensors usually use ZigBee HA. Does that mean those are in different frequencies? But the documentation says, ZigBee radio should be utilizing 2.4 GHz channel.

I recently bought orvibo motion sensor, they are cheap and importantly used ZigBee HA and should work with their standard Hub. But I am reluctant to buy their hub as it is not supported in Hass. The intention of using Hass was to create an universal gateway for controlling every devices from one place. So, if I have to use another app , that doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I bought a hue bridge though I don’t have a single hue bulb :slight_smile:

So, someone please enlighten me why the different vendors can’t communicate even though they are on same standard protocol e.g ZigBee? Secondly, if there is a barrier, what should be the best way to integrate some motion/door sensors along with Hass so that even though that particular brand don’t have IFTTT, Hass can trigger the other integrated devices in Hass…

Thanks & Regards

I use E14 osram lightify bulbs with hue, works perfectly!

Thanks mate for the reply. Yeah hue bridge can control some other 3rd party lights but I was thinking of its capability to integrate with motion sensors or door/window sensors.

Hue is designed for lights, and nothing else. Unlike Home Assistant which is an open automation platform for all IoT, Phillips is all about lights, so although it uses Zigbee, it also uses its own command structure. Zigbee is just the transport technology it uses to communicate with its lights, but they still send their own proprietary commands. Its much like using wifi to transfer data. Its a means of communicating information, and it is used by Apple iMessages as well as Facebook Messenger, but you can’t send a message from iMessage to Facebook, even though they both transport over wifi.

I know, its a broad analogy, but the point is there just the same.

3rd party bulbs work with Hue only because the manufactures of those bulbs captured the stream Hue uses to communicate with its bulbs, and they simply emulated the commands so that Hue thinks they are certified Hue bulbs, so they are masquerading as something else just to get Hue to play along.

I wouldn’t expect to see Philips open up the Hue system to control anything that they don’t own. In fact, they put out an update to the firmware not too long ago that stopped 3rd party bulbs from working, because they are money grubbing fools, but the blow back from Hue owners was so massive, and the press they were getting was so negative, they reversed their stance nearly over night and pushed out an update to reverse the block.

So you see, Philips doesn’t want to be open, and work with other technologies, which is why their Hue systems is lagging behind other all inclusive hubs. Sad thing is, most of your average users who don’t know any better find out too late, as most of them start out in automation by investing heavily in Hue bulbs, which are overpriced compared to the 3rd party “masquerading” bulbs, and find out later they want to do more, like monitor alarms, or when doors and windows are opened, or lock their front door remotely, etc, and in the end, they end up with a bunch of hubs and gateways and other boxes cluttering up their living room, all trying to talk to each other.

The best way to go about automation at present, is using something like a raspberry pi with home assistant and jumping onto more open standards, like Z-Wave, or even Zigbee, as long as its not made proprietary like the likes of Philips.


Thanks jbardi for your detailed reply… I agree, unless several hundred bucks don’t bother someone,there is no point on investing heavily in hue lights.

Currently my setup consist of HASS running on Pi3 and all my lights are from MiLight (The cheapest lights out there), I do have several Smart Plugs from Orvibo (Orvibo because those are cheap and supported in HASS). I do have the Chromecast and Synology NAS which is also integrated with HASS. So, pretty much every systems in my house currently controllable from HASS. And those are somewhat automated with rules with mainly time/presence and sunset/sunrise. But I can’t do something triggered based on motion detection. That was the reason why I was looking for cheap options out there and not powered from mains source (unlike Wemo Motion). And I found orvibo motion sensor to fulfil this requirements. Now, I know they have a Zigbee hub which can ofcourse control the motion but that HUB is not supported from HASS. So, no point of using that one. My tinkering with these things are more of fun rather than necessity…

Now comes the Zigbee devices, I know home assistant doesn’t have the Zigbee support at the same level of Zwave. But I cant invest on Zwave due to unavailability in my country and over pricing of those devices. So, I am left with the Zigbee products. To bridge my hass with zigbee environment out there , I need a good HUB/Zigbee Radio which then communicate with the devices. I know Wink HUB/ SmartThings would be the best product to deal with. But, again I am out of luck for the availability of those two. Thats why I wanted to test with philips hue as a zigbee hub and act as the extension of my Home Assistant.

In fact, I found some guys were able to root the HUE bridge, I am not sure, what he did after rooting. Basically, software wise, hue bridge has a version of Linux OS. That made me hopeful, as there are brilliant people out there. So, I thought, if this box can be rooted, why not flashing it with a custom Firmware and running hass on top of that. so that, HASS can use the in built Zigbee radio to communicate with other devices.

The reason for my post was to know about the possibility if someone had already tried this and if not if there is any technical hindrance like freq band or different protocol etc.

Looking at the progress of Home Assistant, now I have come to a point that these developers are more than awesome and if some idea they think they can work on… I am pretty sure that it would be a success.


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Can you see these bulbs in HA? Philips seems to be shiedling them off from the outside - HomeKit and Alexa can’t find them. I guess this is another attempts to partially block out other vendors…

If you can control the Osram Lightify bulbs in HA, did you have to do anything special to discover them? (For the Hue bridge to discover my Osram Plug, I had to get it very close to the brige, press button, then plug in the Osram plug, turn on and off…)

@Klaus Yeah I saw the bulbs on ha, at least 4 weeks ago before my rpi crashed.

Homekit indeed does not see the lightify bulbs by default when you directly connect hue to homekit, I experienced the same. But when you use homebridge home assistant homebridge plugin then they were are in homekit.

So try to install homebridge with the home assistant homebridge plugin and connect homebridge to your homekit, then you can see lightify bulbs :smile:

Thanks a lot, p0nts!
I’m not using Homekit, but Alexa, and hope that HA will help me the same way… but I’m struggling to get HA running on my DiskStation (see. Installing HA on Synology DS - "cannot import name 'coroutines'")

I’m still reluctant to buy the pi just for that (and without knowing 100% it will actually help)…

Sry man cant help with that, all i can see is that a rpi is worth buying. Even if it does not work for you with home assistant, there is always another use for it because you can do so much!

I’m getting tempted :wink:
I guess the dual-core pi3 is powerful enough for HA, right?
How big should the microSD be?

Its more then enough! Ha is very light.

You can run a media center on the pi if you want, compared to ha then ha is nothing.

I have 8 and 16gb both is fine, depends how much you want to store next to the OS.

Also depends which os you take, raspian with or without pixel.

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I even installed Kodi in same pi 3 that running hass. It was almost flawless… however, I am not quite sure if the z-wave stick is being used if that does draw some more power.

advantages/disadvantages between Z-wave and Zigbee (non philips)?

So I know I’m resurrecting this from the grave but this question kind of relates to the topic that was already discussed here I found this link to an article:

I was wondering if these might work with the Philips Hue system? I have the Philips Hue system right now and although I do like the Simplicity of it I’m not super excited about the cost of things. I don’t generally get stuff other than the white light bulbs on the trying to find something cheaper

I saw this article as well. My guess is these will be zha bulbs where hue pretty much only support zll bulbs. I got some of the original Lightify bulbs in the US after reading they were compatible with hue. I ended up having to get the US Osram support to flash my bulbs with the euro firmware to get the to work.

Hue has said they won’t keep other lights from connecting. I have some GE Link lights that connect just fine. Sometime soon, IKEA bulbs are supposed to be upgraded to connect to the Hue hub as well. If you had a decent return policy where you get them, it would be worth trying. Perhaps posting this to one of the Hue forums might get some hints.

I read above where someone said the hue lights were overpriced compared to others. I am brand new to Echo. I bought one last week. After a lot of looking, searching and reading, I bought a bunch of Hue color and white bulbs because they were significantly cheaper then any other bulb of equal quality. There were a couple of exceptions pricewise but the reviews overwhelmingly were that they either didn’t work or the output wattage on the color settings were too low and very much unacceptable. I just picked up 2 four packs of the white for $49.97 each (just over $12 a bulb). The closest while alexa compatible I could find was $16 to $19 a bulb. For the color I picked up 6 (but only keeping 2) 4 pack white and color bulbs with hue bridge for $139 each. That is less then $30 a bulb depending on how much value you put on the bridge which currently is about $52 on amazon. Those bulbs are going for $49 each. the generic color that I found all had horrible ratings for the cheap bulbs. The comparable bulbs ran from mid $30’s to over $50 and all needed a bridge to work. So it was much more financially sound to go with the Phillips hue system.
I have picked up cheaper Lightstrips. One for $12 which I found was not WIFI compatible. The other was about $30 for 16.4 feet and works perfectly with the echo dot. I love the light strips better then the bulbs and plan on spreading out the bulbs and adding more strips.
My only debate right now is do I purchase another echo dot or to go with the Echo plus. I don’t need the speaker so I don’t need the echo. But I can hedge my bets for using things like dimmers, thermostats, dimmers, and 3rd party products by getting the echo with the built in bridge. That was what led me to seach for this question. I realized that I had the hue bridge and it should work with all zigbee products and just wanted to confirm.
It is possible that the post that said hue was very expensive was from a long time ago and they might have had a price shift since.


What a long thread and timespan since it was started… understandably, as all the questions posed are fair, worth answering properly and it looks like there are some interesting interpretations of the facts.

I will share with you some research I have done which lead to the direction I took. The link below takes you to the Homebridge server plugin I have setup on a Debian Linux - Hyper-V VM on my homeserver. It implements the Homebridge-Hue plugin which effectively maximises the accessories I am able to control via my Hue Bridge (Square One) syncing back to HomeKit for control on my IPhone via the Home App/Siri.

Whilst the direction (ie. Homebridge >> Homekit) is probably not for you, have a look at the Wiki docs on the site regardless, as the analysis shows the capability of the Hue Bridge and the workings of the supported protocols are clarified.

I hope this helps someone, sooner ask than assume.

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What kinds of Zigbee devices are you using? I have considered this as my solution for adding more Zigbee to my life but success stories of using homebridge-hue are scarce so I’ve been on the fence. I had a CC2531 running Zigbee2MQTT in HA but didn’t like the way it interacted with the Hue bulbs that I already had so went back to the hub while I don’t have any 3rd party devices. Trying to decide if I should just do the CC2531 again for non-Hue devices.

What was the pairing experience like? Have you considered adding the Homebridge Homekit device to HA though the Homekit controller?

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