Zigbee bulbs (thinking out loud)

I like zigbee bulbs, I like color, I like color temperature and I like how color is implemented in the Zigbee spec, and I also like that Zigbee supports group commands.

I know specific manufacturer bulbs can cause routing issues on dense networks, this thread isn't about problem solving that, there are many threads with options for dealing with that problem.

This thread also isn't about which bulbs we support and or why...

This thread also isn't about Z-wave color support, its frustrating and in my opinion hopeless at the spec level for any serious deployments.

It also must be said that this is not a Hubitat engineering high priority, it is a personal quest that I've been trying to poke at for the past 6 months at least...

This thread is about brain storming ideas and control concepts for directly connected zigbee bulbs towards the following goals:

  • Unify on off transition times across different brands. (Every manufacturer has a different transition time)
  • Uniformly support setLevel(0,xx), ie transition to off.
  • Implement default transition time preferences that uniformly work across the entire capability command set.
  • Implement command transition time parameters for all color commands (currently only setLevel supports this)
  • Implement level prestaging

My end goal for all of this specifically regarding levels and color temperatures is to only use on off in the various lighting automations, then create another app that specifically deals with staging levels and or color temperatures based on Lux, time of day, this would vastly simplify level and color temperature management if those are important to you.

Those are my thoughts, before I get started on some ideas I have on how to implement these, what are your thoughts?


Unifying color/CT/Level prestaging has been one of my biggest wishes for a while.

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Realised that I’m trying to teach granny to suck eggs..

Ignore all this :slight_smile:

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I can't be one of the few thinking of these things can I?

Some of us don't like color changing lights, or smart bulbs at all. So can't help much with this conversation. :smile:

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I think you are on the right track. I have given up using Zigbee bulbs in Hubitat and went to all Philips Hue, due to operation. If I dim a Sengled all the way down, it turns the leds off, so then it is a button push up/down/up to try and find the lowest light level. Hue dims to its lowest setting, but stays on. Hue also seems to have a more uniform set level and colors/whites. If Zigbee lamps directly paired to Hubitat could operate as consistently and easily as Hue lamps on a Hue bridge, connected to Hubitat, I would be using them. Just my 2 cents.

Singleds are bastards, they will dim to 0, and turn off, however when you turn them on the level remains zero...
Internally they have no minimum level, other bulbs will dim to 0, turn off, but will pick some minimum level to turn on to.

Singleds are one of the reasons I decided to re visit this.
2.1.3 has a dedicated classic driver that behaves properly, including reporting power on off when operated by a wall switch. 2.1.4 will have a dedicated driver for the color plus bulb.


I ordered some Sengleds on the Prime day sale, but they did not impress me. I ended up returning them and buying some more Hues for the bathrooms. I didn’t like that they did not dim low enough, the difference between 100 and 10 percent was not much, and then the dimming down and shutting off problem was it. It would be nice to use some lamps directly with Hubitat.

Unfortunately I switched most of my CT bulbs to LIFX Day/Dusk for the wider CT range. It's a 3rd party driver, not directly supported by HE. It doesnt do CT prestaging so there's a moment of adjustment when they turn on. I don't know if supporting these bulbs are in your plans Mike, but I'll be watching this and might consider doing a big changeover if things get moving here.

We have talked about building this in, not to the point of adding it to the wip list though...

Curious if there's any particular reason to not include it. It's one of the most popular brands of smart bulbs, way more popular than a lot of the currently integrated brands, and a community user (@rob) has already done most of the legwork to get it going locally. Maybe it's more complicated than I realize though.

I would like to see level prestaging on my Sylvania color lights. I use color prestaging to have them come on at a certain color temperature depending on what the current mode is. I’m assuming that SmartThings has this. The first thing I noticed about hubitat was that I couldn’t just turn off the lights and have them turn back on at the same level. Without using a setlevel command to turn them on, a group of lights will come back on a different levels with alexa or Button controller. This becomes a pain point when you have to use rule machine for these settings in order to have alexa control the lights smoothly.

No, they dont have anything like this out of the box.

I'm not following here, every device I've ever used when turned on restores it's previous state.

I’m assuming that SmartThings has this

No, they dont have anything like this out of the box.

Ken_Fraleigh:Sorry for my ignorance. Maybe it’s the driver? When I was using SmartThings, my Sylvania RGBW lights behaved better. They would all come on to whatever the previous level was, and would come on to the proper CT and level when using the circadian daylight app, which is what led me to believe this. I thought capturing the previous state would work, but the lights come on to a color (usually a harsh blue/white) instead of CT.

If I just send an off command and an on command with button controller or Alexa, I will see a variety of dim levels. My solution, especially since my wife uses Alexa mostly, is to create rules for every Sylvania light in the house, which is around 40 lights.
I don’t think the fingerprint for the newer lights is in the driver since I always have to change it after it joins.
Also, whenever I cancel a HSM alert, the lights change to a harsh color instead of the previous CT, even when they weren’t changed in the first place, which has led me to using RM for my custom alerts.

Everything you've mentioned sounds great to me. If I had an item to add to that wishlist, it would be uniform startLevelChange and stopLevelChange behavior. For example, I've noticed that directly-paired Hue bulbs don't respond to these commands if they are not on, but a Sengled bulb will turn on if off (and I think back off again if you don't stop the start soon enough, but I can't remember anymore). I'm not sure how much Hubitat has control over this versus just the bulb, but I see that's true for a few things on the list too, so I assume you're looking for "magic" to do behind the scenes to create a uniform experience regardless of brand.

"True" scene support would be my other wishlist item. I understand the bulb has to support that, but I'm not sure how common it is for Zigbee bulbs to lack scene clusters. I think it would definitely improve the user experience. (I also understand it's technically possible for custom code to implement this as-is, but I don't think anyone has.) The "pseudo" scene support now is versatile in that you can include any type of bulb/switch/dimmer, but for scene-capable Zigbee bulbs, this would undoubtedly make things faster, improve the "popcorn effect," and ideally eliminate the problem where some bulbs just don't respond at all (using groups helps with this, but too many groups still seems to cause problems and personally there are times when I want to modify individual bulbs in a group--e.g., several of my Hue scenes just turn on one bulb in a room rather than all).

These wishes are in part based on my experiment of trying a Hubitat hub dedicated to smart bulbs, mostly (directly-paired) Hue with a mix of Cree, Sengled, Ikea Trådfri, and Osram. Frequently, I had to activate the "pseudo" scene multiple times to get every bulb to the right state (on/off usually worked; color temperature was problematic). I eventually moved almost everything back to the Hue Bridge they came from, save for two rooms so I can test how my custom apps work with directly-paired bulbs. The biggest downside there is Hubitat doesn't support activating Hue scenes, and it can only use "true" group if created and exposed via Hue--but even addressing a lot of individual bulbs at once (which I generally try to avoid) has never caused me a problem (besides the "popcorn" I expect).

In related news, though no fault of Hubitat's, several of my Cree bulbs fell off my Hubitat ZHA "bulb" network. I started moving these back to Hue as this happened, where (on ZLL) it has never had this problem.

PS - I've often seen caution recommended against directly pairing Hue bulbs to a ZHA network due to the difficulty in resetting them (they have no in-built procedure like flicking the switch so many times as other bulbs do). A Lutron Connected Bulb remote was often recommended as they way. These are no longer available (except on the used market) and I think have therefore often been regarded as a hot commodity in this area. But you don't need one. The Hue Dimmer can do the same thing--hold buttons 1 and 4 (on and off) for about 10 seconds within a few inches of the bulb until it starts and finishes flashing. I've read that the Eria Dimmer can do something similar, but I've never tried that with mine. Also, you don't need to do this at all if they are "politely" un-joined from the Hue or Hubitat (or any) network they belong to--they will be ready to join another after that in my experience.

I use the Hue remote to reset hue lamps. I have purchased many kits on clearance and use it to reset the bulbs so I can pair them to my Hue hub. Well worth having one if a problem arises from a ZLL bulb.

That and they're also fantastic to use as intended on the Hue system. :slight_smile: Obviously, they're more versatile if you pair them to Hubitat, but on Hue they are incredibly responsive (you can press the "On" button 5 times in under a second to get to your fifth scene if you have that configured--but on Hubitat it has to go through the hub first and I wouldn't press it more than a couple times per second or you're asking for trouble, compounded by the fact that Hubitat "scenes" are a hub emulation of "real" scenes).

Resetting the bulbs is handy, too. Seems a lot of people on other forums don't know this, though I'd still recommend using the Bridge at this time if you have one.

I use some with the Hue system also. I have on each night stand and one for the main light in the master bedroom. I can turn the bed side lights on from the main and turn off the overhead from the bedside, and opposite bedsides etc. really good WAF on those...

Maybe allow for the user to input variables for each device when the generic Zigbee drivers are used.

Is that even a possibility

Just swapped out my old CREE 4-Flow for a Trådfri color bulb. While it's not the best as transitions go on Hue, it's noticeably better. Is this not a hardware limitation for the most part?