HomeKit Can a Philips hue tap or dimmer be used on other branded lights.

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by justperry, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
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    In the core of a black hole.
    #1
    The header should already say quite a lot, I have LIFX bulbs, I can control them with my iPhone using the
    Home app or with siri commands.
    I do however want to have physical buttons to control those lights, there are a few options which are too expensive or just not practical, like the eve button, it's too limited and too expensive for what it does, the Fibaro button, way overpriced and the logitech which is also too expensive.
    The Hue tap or dimmer are cheaper, the tap can even be opened and then use this one in the wall with adjustments/hacks, but, do it need a philips hub or can it connect directly to an iPhone or an AppleTv which I also own?

    Cheers
    Perry
     
  2. cyclingplatypus macrumors 65816

    cyclingplatypus

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    Mar 15, 2007
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    Earth
    #2
    I can't speak directly to LIFX since I don't have any of those but I have a few non-philips bulbs in my hue network and I use two of those with control switches - you do need a philips hub (or you did when I set it up). Maybe there is someone who has sucessfully done my setup is about a dozen hue bulbs and four non-hue bulbs - the integration with homekit was easy though.
     
  3. justperry thread starter macrumors G3

    justperry

    Joined:
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    #3
    Thanks for your reply, guess I have to buy the hub, or just go philips all the way.
     
  4. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #4
    The short answer is "no." The medium-length answer is that the Tap and Dimmer can be used on anything paired to the Hue hub, even if the bulbs are other brands (e.g., Cree Connected, IKEA Tradfri, etc.), but this doesn't include LIFX since they don't use ZigBee. The long answer is that you can actually use the Tap or Dimmer in HomeKit, which might be able to do what you want since LIFX can be connected to HomeKit as well, and then you can configure buttons on the Tap or Dimmer to perform something in HomeKit (say, turning on a LIFX bulb you also have connected). However, you'd still need the Hue Bridge for this since Hue works with HomeKit via the bridge (not supported in the v1 bridge) rather than on the individual devices themselves. (Want an even longer answer? Some ZigBee home automation controllers like Hubitat or SmartThings are able to pair directly to the Hue remote without the Bridge, and they also can integrate with LIFX, so you can use something like that instead of HomeKit, but then you'd still be adding another hub, and neither supports HomeKit without workarounds, so if you already have HomeKit, it's probably more work, despite ultimately being much more powerful. Or if you want even more hubs but prettier switches: Hubitat plus a Lutron Pro Bridge will work with Pico remotes that you can make do whatever you want, including control LIFX bulbs, and they're the size of a standard rocker switch but totally wireless, which might make them easier to mount than the Hue dimmers that use their own plates.)

    That being said, they'd probably work a lot better if it were all Hue since you wouldn't have to use HomeKit as a middleman...but there are options. :)
     
  5. justperry thread starter macrumors G3

    justperry

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    #5
    Nice writeup, just what I needed.
    I might go all the way philips, I just bought my own appartement and I want it to be as smart as it can get.

    Thanks, much appreciated.
     
  6. Feenician macrumors 601

    Feenician

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #6
    The hub is required for Hue HomeKit controls period I’m afraid. You can get started with a couple of white bulbs and the hub for not much money if you want to pilot it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Equivalent-Assistant-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B07D2GW55C

    One you have the hub you can add Hue switches/dimmers and motion sensors (which have temp and light sensors bundled in them) if you wish too. At that point you can include them in Automations. There are some caveats

    - A switch can either be programmed in Home or the Hue app. Not both.
    - Some of the switches have less functionality in the Home app (at least without back breaking workarounds)
    - All of the switches and sensors are a little slower when controlled by HomeKit, because they make a more circuitous round trip through whatever your HomeKit hub is.

    With all of that said, the switches and sensors work pretty well. Occasional unreliability in the bulb communications which I always think I’ve “solved” but then, boom, 6 months later everything is “Not Responding”
     
  7. justperry thread starter macrumors G3

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
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    In the core of a black hole.
    #7
    Thanks for your post, much appreciated.
    I think I'll go for new stuff, I can afford it.
     
  8. Feenician macrumors 601

    Feenician

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #8
    Glad to help.

    I actually didn't notice what I found was refurbished! Yeah, I'd go new too.
     

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