With Zigbee binding, they must be on the same network. And I will say that even with the fastest possible hub out there, binding will provide faster and smoother control every single time. My experience with binding is that the control is on-par with hard wire lights. Literally instant. I’m thinking of my office as a prime example. I’ve got 2 zigbee bulbs bound to a button, and 4 other bulbs turned on through the hub. You can visibly see 1 pair turning on/off before the other. It’s only like a half second difference but the eye can see it for sure.
So my plan for the blue would be to bind as many bulbs as possible (this is going to get expensive for me LOL) for on/off/dim control, and then run multi-tap commands to change colours and such through the hub.
If you use home assistant, you can pair the Hue Hub directly to HA. There is ZERO delay with Home Assistant in calling with a remote - like a Lutron Pico or Aurora/Aqara Cube, etc. - and I would imagine this switch as well.
The biggest advantage of pairing via the Hub is you can use a specific button to rotate scenes from Hue directly, just like an Aurora switch but at significantly less cost! Hue has great scenes, including ones that mimic incandescent mode when dimming - warmer as you dim down. HA will auto import any scenes you select for Zones, Groups, Bulbs into HA. So selecting the scenes is just point and click.
Here is an example of automations using a button to rotate scenes in one of my groups. The automations are all blueprints, luckily there are much smarter people than me using HA configuring these for others!
I’m hoping to replace all my Pico’s with these, the led bar is a nice touch.
Just put in the EnOcean chip, change the price to $95.00 and the hue people will be happy(same people love $6.00/gal gas). For us lowly peasants we’ll take a standard Silabs chip with all the fantastic features, at a fair price.
All kidding aside, I’ve sworn off Hue due to what I consider price gouging. Compare prices across all HA vendors, Hue is at the top. Why don’t you create a poll, if you haven’t done so already?
I’ve been convinced to try Home Assistant and wish I would’ve jumped in sooner. Really cool what you can do.
In this example, I double-tap the Blue Series 2-1, which turns on my Google Home Speaker and plays my YouTube Music playlist.
SmartThings as my primary hub
Home Assistant runs the automation behind the scenes
I know you really don’t need SmartThings to do this, but for those of you who still want the UI and simplicity of SmartThings, but want some crazy automations on the back-end, this is definitely my recommendation. I’ll write up a tutorial shortly… it wasn’t too bad (and this is coming from the guy who swore off HA bc I’m not technical at all – literally zero coding skills).
DISCLAIMER: Sorry about the messy house. I will take a better video when I create the tutorial. Also, sorry for cutting the video short for those of you that like AFI.
OTHER DISCLAIMER: The diffuser you see on the 2-1 is one we’re trying out that was printed by one of our beta testers. It looks pretty cool (but this is not how the switches will be shipped – just throwing that out there)!
This is great. I have something similar setup currently with the Home Assistant dashboard. But, I need my phone or computer to trigger it. A hard button will add another layer of usefulness that I am eagerly anticipating. I know there are currently stand alone buttons that can do this, but I don’t need more stuff like that, but a fixed light switch with the ability to trigger events like this is one of the best use cases for these switches (aside from lighting and lighting scenes).
Glad you took the leap to Home Assistant. I’m no expert at this point in my journey but I’ve found it very useful and once you get over the initial hump of difficulty, things make a lot of sense. It has also improved a TON in just the last 4 or 5 months with tons more things being configurable with the GUI rather than code.
There is ZERO delay with Home Assistant in calling with a remote
I think this needs to somewhat be caveated as I find it difficult to believe there is zero delay. The chain of events in what you’re describing is:
Button press on remote/switch
Wireless signal sent out from remote/switch and received by your hub (HA)
HA processes the signal and decides if any automations should fire
HA sends a command to the Hue hub to tell it what commands to send to your lights
Hue hub processes those commands from HA and sends new commands and your lights receive them
I have a lot of hue lights and do exactly what you’re describing (via several different models/manufacturers zigbee and zwave switches) as well as the alternative method of directly binding my hue lights to a few Aurora buttons. Any time my hub/HA acts as a director of traffic between my switches and the Hue hub/lights: there is a perceptible delay. It’s probably on the order of <250-500ms (not always consistent), but it’s absolutely there. I recognize we all have different hardware and latency will vary between setups, but I’ve yet to experience or have anyone really even claim that the chain of events above has zero delay- especially when comparing to direct binding or hard wired lights.
In contrast to the above, when I use an Aurora button (that is directly bound to the Hue lights), there is truly no delay- it’s instant- it’s perceptively no different than a hard wire. The zigbee signal is sent directly from the Aurora to the bulbs ~10ft away. I can dim the bulbs in real time by turning the knob on the Aurora because my HA instance and the hue bridge are left out of the picture. This is simply impossible when doing anything other than direct binding- there is always a delay with a hub, even when you get used to it and sort of forget that it’s there because it’s small enough.
Of course, that minor 250ms delay is absolutely not a deal breaker for most people with smart homes- many would say “who cares” and move on- and that’s fine. The problem for me is when my parents or in laws stay with us and start hitting switches multiple times because they feel broken to them when they’re used to the hardwired lights in their homes and that 250ms delay of my lights is flustering- you expect light switches to “just work”.
I’ve built all the power into my smart home that I need- I’m chasing polish at this point. To me, the next big polishing point is to truly remove any delay from my switches and enable real-time dimming on them all: both of these things are (AFAIK) impossible without direct binding to lights today.
While I agree it’s not always going to be the case, I also have a Pico remote that talks to its Lutron bridge, which is integrated into HA, where I have automations that control Zigbee, Zwave, and wifi devices and there is no perceptible delay between pressing the button and any of the programmed automations happening. So I’d lean very much towards your mileage may vary depending on your setup?
I would definitely think that being able to bind directly would have a more reliably quick experience though and obviously the more devices you have and the more load on your hub as well as the hardware at play could increase latency at each step, but like you said it’s going to depend on the environment and also your tolerance for any delay if it’s introduced. Especially with what sounds like a lot more devices, I can see where you’d want/need direct binding.
(I think ultimately we’re in agreement here, I just wanted to point out another case where the lack of binding is also not causing any noticeable delay and appears instant)
I have a similar setup with Hubitat and a RadioRA2 Main Repeater, including an automation where the up/down buttons on the Pico remotes dim the Hue bulbs up or down while held and stop when released (like the middle buttons on a Hue Dimmer or like turning the Aurora left or right), as well as simpler automations like turning on or off from button presses. Like you, I notice no perceptible delay here, and that’s even comparing this to other products I mentioned and also have, like the Hue Remote and Lutron Aurora, which as far as I can tell use a group broadcast the bulbs hear without the Hue Bridge involved.
Besides Picos, I also have a variety of other button devices: Zooz ZEN34 remotes, Inovelli Red Series swtiches and dimmers, another product I can’t mention yet, and a few Zigbee buttons/remotes I’ve tried over the years. The Red Series are only a bit slower because of the native multi-tap feature, where they will wait some pre-determined time after the physical tap before sending a Z-Wave command in order to determine if you did a single tap or some kind of multi-tap. Early firmware had this set to something like 700 ms, but it’s configurable with more recent firmware, and I find something around 200-300 ms to be usable for me (I really think I’d prefer 250, but it’s multiples of 100). So, yes, there is that slight “delay” there, but that would also be the case with a hardwired load for the same reason. We’ve all seen people complain about the 700 ms thing, but even 200-300 may be confusing for people who aren’t used to it. No way around that if you also want multi-taps, I don’t think, but they can be disabled if you truly don’t. (But I do.)
All this to say that the only delay I can actually notice is the one inherent to the button/remote/switch/dimmer device. There are undoubtedly at least a few more milliseconds, but that is truly not noticeable to me. I know everyone’s setup is different (and if anything is likely to make things slower, it’s probably Z-Wave…well, that or using a cloud-based automation), but I think it is possible to get something acceptable without direct binding. Not saying it wouldn’t be great, just that it isn’t a dealbreaker for me.
Great posts @BertABCD1234 and @chack - I have a Lutron non-pro bridge integrated with Home Assistant, and I have automations that use pico buttons to turn on/off and dim Hue lights. The on/off action is basically instant, it must be less than 200-300ms of delay, and is actually perceivably faster than the native Hue dimmers (both V1 and V2) connected via the Hue bridge. It’s remarkable how fast the action is considering the chain of events is the pico > Lutron bridge > HA > Hue bridge > bulb in the basement. If I wasn’t able to experience this first hand I would seriously doubt any accounts of “zero delay”.
By contrast, I have Flic buttons, which connect via bluetooth to the flic hub, and the hub connects to the Hue Bridge. Using a flic button to turn on and off the exact same lights, takes what feels like 1-3s of delay. The shortest feels like at least 500-750ms.
I think my question here is, for those of us who already have HA and Hue bridges all set up, whether the Blue series is superior to the Red series at all. Since the Blue series looks like it cannot connect to the Hue Bridge, I’m considering getting the Blue Series to connect to HA via Zigbee USB device, and rather than redo my entire Hue setup I would just use HA automations to control the lights that I want.