OpenHAB Suitable Smart Bulbs UK

HI, Guys new at this automation stuff and has anyone got any recommendations for smart bulbs which are compatible with openhab. Don’t really want to buy Phillips hue due to cost and the extra bridge. any help appreciated

OH is used to combine all the home automation services into a single control point. At the moment I don’t know of any bulb with an API that allows OH to use HTTP for control. Maybe searching the forum you can find some. If not you’ll need some kinda bridge or way to allow OH to control your bulbs. One example is to use a zigbee or zwave USB stick for this. If you have an Echo or Google device you can use these as well.

Thanks for the update I have a echo will go with that

For a decent overview of what’s available in the UK, I’d suggest a look at:
https://www.vesternet.com/

I’ve no connection other than being a customer, but they do have a lot of help materials to show differences between options.

I’ve been automating parts of several homes for over 25 years, and have tried several approaches. My personal opinion is ‘smart’ bulbs have too many problems, and replacing the switch is always better as that way you have a single point of control and can use any bulb.

‘Smart bulbs’ cram a bulb and control radio into a very small package meaning they may not be as bright or as reliable as separate devices. The main problem though is they can easily be switched off by other family members rendering them useless!

There are rather inelegant hacks to hide the mains switch behind a ‘smart’ switch, but unless you are renting so can’t make any changes, the result is a bit ugly:

Worse, cheap and nasty no-name bulbs likely come with a big security health warning and a poor quality app both connecting to an unknown off-shore server to avoid NAT firewall issues.

For a scary view from a well respected security researcher, look no further than EMF which has a lot of background to ‘smart’ bulbs:

I don’t use bulbs, but Ikea’s offering is a lot cheaper than Philips Hue and both are supported.

In the UK, switches are installed in single gang back boxes which can be as shallow as 16mm, and only have Live and bulb - no Neutral. This means the best place to install a ‘proper’ switch is behind in the ceiling rose as this is the one point where Live, Neutral, switch, and bulb wires can be accessed.

Low-cost Sonoff devices work well with the alternative Tasmota firmware installed, but their nice looking glass wall switch needs a Neutral wire, so isn’t that much use for UK lighting without rewiring with triple and earth.

The Hue bulbs are not cheap, but they work really well. Do you have Lifx in the U.K.? They work over WiFi but each one uses an ip address on your lan. A zigbee dongle can replace the hub if you want for the Hue bulbs but I use a Hue hub

Hi, My son redecorated our hall, landing and stairs with the intention of buying Hue colour E27 bulbs to complete the effect he’s after. We already have three in the sitting room with the Philips hub, but need 10 more. No problem I thought - easy to integrate with openHab via the hub … until I realised that for the 800 lumen bulbs the price would be £400! Of course Philip now offer 1100 and 1600 lumen options too (£550 and £650 respectively) - ouch!

Amazon have Innr Hue compatible bulbs at £20, but what really grates is that wifi version is half that, and many other generic wifi 800 lumen bulbs seem to cost significantly less than that again.

So, what would folks recommend? IKEA are out of stock in the UK at the moment (their Hue compatible 800 lm offering seems to be £15). Wifi is an option if there’s a binding of course. And another hub is possible if really necessary. What’s your favourite?

Hi John,
I’ve kept well away from Hue in production use due to poor light output, ruinous cost, and (you’ll get sick of hearing this!) bulbs just get turned off at the wall switch. Personally, I’d stick to standard LED bulbs from a UK supermarket and a hard-wired controller (like Fibaro Z-Wave, or Shelly as-is or running Tasmota).

You occasionally see re-branded Zigbee or Tuya WLAN bulbs in Lidl (Livano Z-Wave), Aldi, or other UK retailers. The most information in one place on UK bulbs is Paul Hibbert’s YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/PaulHibbert

He can be ‘an acquired taste’ with a search optimised presentation style, and usually skates over issues like unknown foreign cloud support and the lack of local control by using Alexa/ Google hubs. He does cover a lot of ‘budget’ kit with fair reviews, and regularly calls out Hue for being pricey.

My suggestion would be to pick a budget bulb, buy ONE and see if it can be made to work. Z-Wave devices have a reasonable chance, WLAN IP-based kit using random foreign cloud servers less so. The Matter / Thread IP-based protocol is coming “real soon now” to fix all this, but delays have hit all aspects of the release (another reason for new products being held back).
TTFN,

James

Personally, had 3 Wiz G125 E27 bulbs, which were initially pretty good. They were a fair bit cheaper than Hue and integrated into Alexa just fine.

Literally, within days of them been out of warranty, they began to fail (would sometimes not turn on until they were reset). Eventually even trying to reset them wouldn’t work either.

Bit the bullet and put in Hue, I’ve always found them to be really reliable and was able to get like for like replacements