Devices and Groups - Hue, & Alexa

I have a Hue Bridge, Alexa, and Hubitat. In the Hue Bridge I had created lighting groups and custom scenes. Should I remove these and recreate within Hubitat? Also should I remove all devices from Alexa and have her control rules within Hubitat..such as turning lights on and off?

Hue groups are supported within the HE Hue Integration, but Hue Scenes are not supported.

A choice you can make. You can include or exclude Hue in the HE Alexa Skills app. If you include and you already have the Hue Skill loaded in the Alexa app, then you'll get duplicate devices. I personally do not use the HE Alexa Skills app to publish Hue device to Alexa. Some don't like this because you then have to wait a minute for the Hue device to have the same state on HE if you control the device from Alexa. For me, this isn't a problem and I prefer the Alexa direct to Hue integration since it's going to work, even if I'm experiencing an issue with my hub.

Thank you. I haven't been able to get groups created in the Hue App to function from within Hubitat but I do see them.

It seems that the Dashboard does not show the correct status of bulbs when controlled directly via Alexa as opposed to via a rule. Or is this due to a mistake on my part with the Dashboard?

The refresh isn’t turned on by default. You have to go into the Hue integration settings and turn on refresh. Don’t set it for less than a minute, it won’t do anything anyways. You will always have to wait one minute for it to refresh when you make a change outside of the hue app. This is a limitation of the Hue official API.

This is why some people prefer to publish HE Hue integration to Alexa so that they get instant status changes. But as I mention the downside is if you have a problem with your HE hub, then you can’t control your Hue lights. Since most of my lights are Hue, this is a bad thing for me where WAF is concerned.

Changes made via the Hue Bridge (including other third-party integrations like ST and HE, as well as the Hue Alexa integration), not just changes made via the Hue app, are reflected immediately in the Hue API. Hubitat would get those at the next poll, even if it's been less than a minute (which I think is the default interval, but it is marked as recommended in either case). I'm not sure what you mean here. The only time I've seen Hue not always show the right status is when a bulb is directly manipulated via TouchLink (e.g., a dimmer-style remote or similar device) or sometimes when at the API level a bri_inc command is issued and then stopped, and the device takes about half a minute or so to figure out its new bri value.

I agree with @SmartHomePrimer -- I like using groups in Hue rather than Hubitat and doing third-party integrations like Alexa through Hue instead, with the drawbacks he mentioned. Another advantage is that Hue takes care of things like Zigbee group broacasting for you behind the scenes, something Hubitat can't do over the LAN (how the Bridge integration works). A group or scene in Hubitat will send individual commands to each bulb, so they'll respond in series and create an effect some people call "popcorn" for that reason (may or may not be noticeable all the time); a Hue Bridge group or scene will send a single command that all bulbs receive at more or less the same time and make the appropriate change, which in my experience is faster (I almost typed "more reliable," but that's not really true for the LAN-based integration, which is good; it is true compared to Zigbee bulbs paired directly to Hubitat, in my opinion, which require care even if you follow the guidelines).

Did you add any lights or just groups? I don't think it's supposed to work this way, but some users have reported that groups don't work for them in Hubitat's stock Hue Bridge integration unless they add at least one light.

In related news, I developed a third-party Hue integration for Hubitat called CoCoHue. If you're totally new to Hubitat, I'm not sure I'd recommend custom code at this point, but if you are interested, it supports Hue scenes (you'll still have to wait for the next Bridge poll for light states to be updated) and can work with only groups and no individual lights/bulbs (I don't think that's intentional in Hubitat's own, though). It also supports a few other features lacking in the official integration, like startLevelChange and stopLevelChange commands on groups (for smooth dimming, useful for a "dim while held" effect with button devices; Hubitat's supports this only on individual bulbs). Just something else to consider!

Yeah, sorry. That was a confusing response. What you note is correct. Changes in the Hue app take a minute (if that’s what polling In the Hue Integration is set to) before they show up on HE. Same with controlling from Alexa if you are using the Hue Skill to control Hue lights, instead of exposing the Hue devices from the HE Hue Integration to Alexa via the HE Alexa Skills app.

Anyone know if its quicker to use the alexa hue skill to control lights or use HE to expose lights via the HE echo app?