Would I need to keep my Hue Bridge?

Hello - I’ve got a Hue Bridge and about 12 Philips Hue lights and 12 accessories (dimmer switches and light/motion sensors). I’m now considering Home-Assistant because the Hue Bridge can only handle 12 accessories (I wished I had realised that before).

If I set up Home-Assistant for my home (probably running on Raspberry PI), would I need the keep the Hue Hub (and therefore still be limited to 12 accessories?) or would the lights and accessories connect directly to the Home-Assistant, in which case there would be no such limit anymore?

Follow-up question if Home-Assistant can control the lights and accessories directly: what would be the best way/protocol to establish such connection? Would it be done over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? Or would I require a Zigbee hub?

Thanks in advance.

I use a pi4, zigbee2mqtt and a Conbee 2 usb stick to handle all of my zigbee devices. A mixture of Philips hue, aqara, sonoff and tradfri (ikea)
No other hubs are necessary.

Conbee II is replacing the hub (there are other sticks but I too am happy with this one)
I am having zigbee: hue, sonoff, innr, tuya…then again, I also have wifi, bluetooth and rf devices all depending on what I had, what was available or more priceworthy. If you browse more topics you will find people that have over 40 zigbee devices (possibly even more)

1 Like

Are you certain about the 12 accessory limit? I’ve got 13 motion detectors and two dimmer switches running happily on a single hub. Philips themselves are saying a bridge can support up to 50 bulbs and accessories. All told I’ve currently got 25 bulbs in use, along with the accessories mentioned and no problems encountered.

Quick answer: no. I ditched the Hue hub a couple of years ago and connected the devices via my Zigbee hub (Conbee II).

Quick answer: maybe
You need a hue approved way of updating the devices.
If you only have newer devices with BT connectivity, then you have a way through that, but older devices with only Hue ZigBee needs the hub.
You can choose to ignore the updates, but there can be both feature additions as well as security patches

:+1: indeed… I forgot about that one…in fact, I have kept my bridge so my kids could continue to use their bulbs with the HUE app and added new bulbs/stuff on zigbee2mqtt/conbee. Honestly, I have see updates pass by but never knew why (never had issues)

Security holes and bugs are something you never expect to encounter, but a few will still do just that.
When they patch for it, then it is because they did not see the situation beforehand and that means you will be in a situation with little to no help to get.

I think what we notice the most are the feature additions.
The first couple of versions of the bulbs had a safety feature when the power went away and then returned. They turned on at their brightest settings.
The feature update where you could decide what happend at the return of power is probably the one feature update most noticed.

Yep…security I indeed did not think off and I have little risk here … unless drones would be flying over :slight_smile: … but I have not seen any need for fixes (yet)

From what I think to understand, it might also depend on the ‘rules’ and scenes associated with each dimmer switch. If using default settings, you might be fine having more than 12. But if using custom timing and scenes, then it requires more memory on the Hub to save the settings. When I added the 13th accessories (an indoor sensor), it appeared in the app (despite the error message about too many accessories), however, I had lost the custom settings for one of the existing switch. This thread seems to confirm this assumption: https://www.reddit.com/r/Hue/comments/ausovz/comment/ehcuxr9/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

fair enough. I’ve my motion sensors all set to turn on their associated lights, but home assistant does the rest, including turning lights off etc. I’ve seen no reason, for me, to mess around with custom settings within the hue app, so perhaps that’s why I’ve had no issues.

it’s not true. I use zigbee2mqtt with older devices (non BT bulbs) being able to update them from within Z2M

1 Like

Hi Maxym - This solution is really interesting to me. Without going too much into details, could you please explain the steps to update bulbs via zigbee2mqtt and without the Hue Bridge? Thanks.

Open the z2m dashboard, there’s an “OTA” in the menu

When a FW is available, the blue “check for new updates” will become red “update device firmware”. I did that a couple of months ago to the hue dimmer switch, and I do not have any hue bridge.

More details in the doc
OTA updates | Zigbee2MQTT


It seems that both ZigBee2MQTT and ZHA does have update capability now.
ZHA might require some manual steps to download the firmware for Philips Hue, since Philips does not make the firmware public available as such.
If ZigBee2MQTT also require manual step is a bit unclear to me, but update seems possible.

tbh I don’t know where those firmwares are hosted and how and who keep them up-to-date. I just use OTA feature of Z2M.

Hello - I now have HA up and running and I’m in the process of doing the migration. Unless I’m missing something, it seems the scenes can only be defined in the official Hue app (and then requiring the Hue hub). I can trigger a scene from HA, but I don’t seem to be able to edit an existing one (like changing colour for instance) or creating a new one. Am I missing something? Thanks.

Not sure why you would not be able to adjust color/temperature. See attached image. Most of my Common Area lights are HUE, and I am able to adjust as needed - without HUE Hub.

Alex - I have a feeling that when you say “scenes”, those are what you defined in the Hue app, with Hue hub, on hub bulbs. So those scenes are in the Hue cloud. Don’t have Hue so I’m not sure HA could edit those scenes in the cloud.

By removing the Hue hub from the HA setup, you would likely have to recreate those old scenes in HA, so the new scenes (new in HA) are local and can even expand to non-Hue stuff all in one scene - for example a “movie night” scene can now handle lights and TV and video sources and volumes from speakers and thermostat and… popcorn machine.

Just a guess. But hope this makes sense.

Brilliant! Thanks @Zoriontsu and @k8gg that’s exactly what I was hoping for. I’ll persevere and I guess I’ll eventually find where to do it from the UI.