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Thread: Philips Hue

  1. #11
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Andrew -

    curious to know ... will your route allow control of both colour & brightness of each bulb, both individually & in groups, with full Cortex integration ?

    and so, when prices come down, could we be replacing all our existing mix of dimmer- & relay-driven CFLs with Hue bulbs - in existing fittings ?

    Chris

  2. #12
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    will your route allow control of both colour & brightness of each bulb, both individually & in groups, with full Cortex integration ?
    Sort of. Using the web API in Cortex for this is somewhat clunky in that each request requires a web api "action". So if you want to "set living room light on" that would be an individual API request. Likewise for turning it off. You can combine actions with the API so you could have cortex send a request for "turn living room light on, set brightness to 50% and set the colour as blue" but each of these combos would need to be set individually and assigned to connections in other cortex objects such as switches/occupancy outputs etc. Some real life examples might be easier to follow so see below.

    could we be replacing all our existing mix of dimmer- & relay-driven CFLs with Hue bulbs - in existing fittings ?
    I'm already most of the way there.

    Here's a progress update;

    Thanks to Karam and Vivian the PUT requests are now working. What I've done is add a web client API object for each room with hue lights and then added an API request for on and off for each hue lamp. I've blurred out the API key which forms part of the URL

    api requests.jpg

    An individual request looks like this with a json encoded body...

    individual request.jpgbi

    I've then added a legacy relay node with 6 connections here so I can set up some "virtual" light objects that aren't under Cortex hardware control. Make sure they are not set as network enabled.

    Legacy relay node.jpg

    The light behaviour is now as for any other Cortex controlled light and gives access to the light level and occupancy features

    light behaviour.jpg

    Finally I've set up the connections for the virtual light objects so that the on/off output sends the API requests to the hue hub.

    light connections.jpg

    The actual physical lamps are connected to a mix of cortex relay controlled, DIN mount dimmers and circuits not under cortex control. All of these are set to always on and in the case of the dimmer circuits at 100%. I'll likely remove the dimmers from the circuit at some point and just hard wire them.

    So in practice all of the electrical circuits are always on and cortex is sending on/off commands over the software API.

    Provided they are not totally disconnected from the mains the bulbs retain their last brightness and colour settings with the on/off API requests. If the power is totally disconnected, when it is switched back on the bulbs default to a warm white at 100% brightness (presumably a sort of safety feature).

    Up to now we're back to the same functionality that cortex offers but without any dimming capability. Setting of colours, dimming and scenes is now handled on the hue side of things and particularly useful is the Apple Siri integration, especially in combination with the Apple watch. I can now have cortex take care of the occupancy and have the lights switch on to the last scene automatically and then press and hold the watch rotary dial and say "set the relax scene" or "turn bookcase purple".

    I've set button number 8 on the digital panel to toggle all the lights on/off.

    The next step will be add a scene menu connected to button 9 that mirrors the scenes I've set up in the Hue app that will be connected to new API requests to set those scenes. This will be useful for those that don't have the hue app or siri capabilities.

    I haven't had any missed requests from Cortex in case anybody is wondering about reliability. The only issues I can forsee are if somebody uses siri or the hue app to toggle the on/off state then Cortex will become out of sync. So long as distinct on and off outputs are used rather than the toggles then it should catch back up on the next request from cortex. For example if I go to bed and have siri "Turn all lights off" they will temporarily be out of sync in Cortex until the room occupancy and light timers cause cortex to resync them into the off state. I've not encountered a real life scenario where it has caused a problem yet.
    Last edited by Andrew Millne; 27th January 2016 at 12:00 AM.

  3. #13
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
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    As an added bonus, hue integrates with Logitech harmony remote activities (dimming only, no colour). So selecting watch TV on the remote dims the light group and turning off the TV brings the light level back up to normal.

  4. #14
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks for the insight, quite tempted to try a few Hue bulbs, though the available shapes are not really suited to our set-up, so far, anyway - we mostly have bare bulbs, and also they look too large for the few globe & drum fittings we have ...

    aha, wondered what the Body text segment was for ...

    BTW, the WebAPI Client is a lot easier to use that we thought it would be - so, if anyone's holding off after a quick look, as we did, it could be worth diving in & giving it a go !
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 27th January 2016 at 02:21 PM.

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