Mixing Hue and Innr Smart Lights

by @edent | , , , , , | 2 comments | Read ~1,020 times.

I really wanted to write a rant about how incompatible smart lights are ruining the world. But... errr... Everything just works.

Previously on my smarthome adventures, I kitted my house out with LIFX Bulbs and some WisQo Switches. I've moved home and none of my bulbs are compatible with the existing sockets!

What else am I going to do except BUY MORE LIGHTBULBS!

As much as I enjoy LIFX, they're bloody expensive. A single GU10 bulb is FIFTY QUID! Our new kitchen has 17 bulbs. Even if bought in bulk, that would cost me £765. Forget that noise!

So, I've gone with the Philips Hue system. The hub was just under £50 on Amazon. The bulbs use Zigbee rather than WiFi - which makes them cheaper and more energy efficient.

But Hue's GU10 bulbs cost about £20 each - that's still quite expensive.

Luckily, Zigbee is an open protocol, and there are loads of manufacturers of compatible bulbs. I found a fourpack of Zigbee GU10 for £40 - a tenner per bulb. A fifth of the price of LIFX.
A lot of boxes.
Would they work together? Yup. I don't have anything to rant about. I configured the hub, installed the app, plugged in the bulbs, and - boom! - they were instantly discovered and started working.

There are three very minor niggles.

  1. Amazon Alexa went absolutely bananas. Discovering all those bulbs at once prompted her to keep saying "I have discovered a new light bulb. You can use it by saying..." Imagine that close to 20 times.
  2. The Innr bulbs don't support firmware updates unless you have the Innr hub. That's probably not a huge problem. Their website says: "so far it has never been necessary to do a firmware update. All Innr lamps have the latest firmware approved and certified by Zigbee Alliance."
    I guess I'll buy and return a hub if necessary.
  3. The dimming curve is slightly uneven. Using the Hue app's manual control, I can fade the lights out gently. When I turn them off, they dim quickly to about 25% brightness and then shut off. Bit weird, but not a dealbreaker.

If you can recommend a cheap supplier of Zigbee lights - or any other Zigbee gadgets - please let me know.

2 thoughts on “Mixing Hue and Innr Smart Lights

  1. If you Google for 'Xiaomi Zigbee', you'll find lots of pretty good and affordable Zigbee devices. Ikea also sell a few now. However, I don't think many are directly supported by the Hue hub, sadly.

    I run Home Assistant on a machine that has a Conbee USB Zigbee stick plugged into it. That talks to all my non-Hue Zigbee devices, and Home Assistant makes it fairly easy to have, say, a Xiaomi motion sensor turn on a Hue scene. (The Hue motion sensors are good, and I have several of those too, but they cost three times as much).

    Many Home Assistant users dispense with the Hue hub altogether and just control the Hue lights directly. I haven't done that, just because the Hue hub has been so reliable for so many years that I'm reluctant to replace it with something more complex that my wife might have to deal with in my absence 🙂 But I may go that way eventually, and then all my Zigbee devices (dozens, now!) would be on the same mesh...

  2. Rob says:

    I’m trying to figure out where to invest my home automation money, and am also trying to steer towards open standards, and I’m sure many others are also stuck in a maze of contradictory advice and testing - so it’d be really good if you were able to put together a post outlining what you’ve selected so far and why.

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