5

I currently use my 4th generation Apple TV as my smart home hub.

The only accessories connected at the moment are Philips Hue lights, but I plan to increase this - hence the need for a more integrated voice activation system in the home rather than doing everything from an iPhone.

As Apple's HomePod is likely to cost around six times the price of an Amazon Echo Dot 2, I was wondering if the Echo would be a viable solution since my devices are controlled from a HomeKit hub, rather than the proprietary hub that comes with the Hue lights.

Could the Echo Dot 2 connect to my Hue lights through my Apple TV hub? If not, would it be possible to use a proprietary Hue hub in conjunction with the Apple TV? In theory that would allow independent, yet synced, control of the lights through either one of the systems?

Would either of these solutions be possible?

8

Philips Hue Bulbs are controlled by the Philips Hue Bridge or other ZigBee compatible bridge. HomeKit and Apple TV don't function as a true bridge or hub as it requires other hubs and bridges to connect to smart devices. The Apple TV simply gives you a remote connection from Apple TV to iOS over internet via iCloud.

Hue Bulb --(ZigBee)--> Hue Bridge --(LAN)--> HomeKit via Apple TV --(LAN/WAN)--> iOS device

Now, you can't use Amazon Echo with HomeKit, but this doesn't matter. Amazon uses Hue Bridge's built-in APIs to connect to Hue. Amazon and Hue can connect regardless of your HomeKit setup.

Hue Bulb --(ZigBee)--> Hue Bridge --(LAN/WAN)--> Amazon Echo

You can use both HomeKit and Amazon Echo (including Dot, Plus, Spot, and Show) in conjunction with HomeKit via iOS and Apple TV, provided you have the Hue Bridge as your controller.

  • That's perfect. Thanks a million for the help. I do have a Hue bridge connected at the moment, but I didn't think it actually did anything since I only use the HomeKit app rather than the official Philips Hue app. You've cleared it all up though :) – Andre Dec 29 '17 at 18:34
2

My partner and I were looking at this this morning. She's just buying us a house and wants to go Smart Home.
The Echo Plus contains a built-in bridge that will talk directly to Hue, but can't (yet) do some of the higher functions like colour cycling.
So to add to @drivec's answer, it looks like this:

Hue bulb --(LAN)--> Amazon Echo Plus.

I don't know whether the cost of the Echo Plus (~£140) is better or worse than the cost of an Echo plus a Hub, but there's certainly less stages to the connection where something could go wrong. As to whether the same bulb can take commands from more than one source (the AppleTV and the Echo) I don't know.

And of course, trying to Google that gives me a much better answer: https://digitized.house/2016/08/idevices-bridges-apple-homekit-amazon-alexa-worlds/

Use the iDevices app. This allows you to talk to HomeKit via Alexa on an Echo.

  • The key thing about the Echo Plus acting as a bridge is that it makes it so you can't use HomeKit, since the Hue Bridge v2 is HomeKit enabled, where Echo Plus is not. If you use the Hue Bridge as your bridge, you can still control the Hue bulbs with both HomeKit and Amazon Echo. If you use Echo Plus as your bridge, you cannot control the Hue Bulbs via HomeKit. – drivec Dec 29 '17 at 17:50
  • @Andre - no problem. – UselessInfoMine Dec 29 '17 at 19:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .