Newbie – questions before purchase

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Newbie – questions before purchase 2017-06-18T23:37:11+00:00

Home Forums Hue Forum Newbie – questions before purchase

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  • Kevin
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Hi,

    Just joined this forum and hope to learn from everyone here. I’m near completion on my home renovation and want to be able to control the lights in the house. I have searched and read many articles online but still confused here. I’m mainly interested in daylight (5000K) bulbs that can dim. I’m planning to buy Hue 2.0 Starter Kit along with the dimmer switches.

    My confusion is how the bulbs connect to the dimmer switch. Do I have to buy specific bulbs (be it Philips or another brand) that has WiFi built in since these bulbs must be synced to the dimmer switch. If I must buy bulbs with WiFi, then does that mean all the dimmer switch does is for me to physically control it instead of using the app? Since the Philips WiFi connected bulbs are about $15 each, I rather not spend more on the dimmer switch unless it can control less expensive bulbs. I know there are Cree Connected bulbs as well but they cost just as much.

    I assume I can’t use these bulbs and expect them to connect to the Philips dimmer switch.

    Trying to find the most cost effective way of doing this. I plan on having 6 lights in the living room, 9 in the kitchen/dining area, 6 in the bedroom and everywhere else will just have regular LED bulbs without remote control access.

    I have read up about IFTTT and definitely want to use that if possible since it gives a lot more control on what is needed. Currently, not planning on using this with Alexa yet but may be in the future.

    Any recommendations/pointers for this newbie will be greatly appreciated. This is my first time working with home automation and want to know if I’m going towards the right path. I don’t have to use Philips either if there are other hubs or systems that work just as well and is comparable in price.

    Thanks.

    Kevin.

    Henry
    Post count: 0

    The bridge can only talk to Hue bulbs, it doesn’t have WiFi enabled so it cannot control WiFi bulbs and I would think Philips doesn’t want you to do that anyway. I don’t have a dimmer switch, but my understanding is it simply talks to the bridge and dims whatever lights you have it configured to dim. The power to all the light sockets with the Hue bulbs in them must be on, and you cannot use a dimmer wall switch (if you do, it has to be all the way up, otherwise the lights flash continuously). So the dimmer switch is not working like a traditional dimmer, it simply sends a signal to the bridge and everything is controlled via software. You can’t control regular light bulbs, even from Philips, they must be Hue bulbs to work. The bulb itself has the networking and power control inside it, every Hue bulb does. If you turn off the Hue bulb at the wall switch, it is set to come on like a regular bulb when you turn the power on.

    The most cost effective way is to use the A19 white dimmable Hue bulbs, they are about $15 each or 3 for $40. But you only get the white color. The white ambiance Hue bulbs are $30 each, and you can control the shade of white to add some orange or yellow. The full color A19 Hue bulbs are about $50 each, there is a different part which might be the same light for about $44. Check the bundles to get started, you might save a few bucks initially but the overall cost is going to be in the bulbs.

    Henry
    Post count: 0

    Well, you learn something new every day. Cree bulbs will supposedly work with the Hue Bridge, but some firmware update broke them and not sure if that has been fixed. But Cree bulbs work with ZigBee, which is what the Hue Bridge uses for networking, not WiFi. So WiFi bulbs like the TPLink won’t work with the Hue Bridge.

    Kevin
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Thanks Henry. Looking at other options right now since it seems that the total cost in the end will be very high for me if I stick with Philips.

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