OpenHAB2 (2.3.0) and Hue Philips

Hi everyone,

I want to begin my home automation system and I decided to try openHAB , as on paper it seems to give me the flexibility I need but I 'm struggling with what maybe are trivial concepts.

I just installed OpenHAB 2.3.0 on a Raspberry to begin testing, I installed the Hue Binding from PaperUI and I followed the directions in the docs to install the Hub as a Thing, everything went ok, it was different from what the docs said, i.e. there was no necessity to get the authentication user from the log and put it in the things file, the binding has taken care of everything, then PaperUI read and installed the bulbs that were already registered in the hub, everything seems ok…


maybe the problem is that I approached openHAB only recently so I’m not very expert in all the 1.x and 2.x differences, anyway all the tutorials and tips I found refer to hue integration when the hub and the bulbs are defined using the .things file, so I don’t quite get how to move forward.

So the question(s) are:

  • as of now hue things are all correctly defined in paper UI, how do I continue the configuration ?


  • even if the hue binding 2.3.0 seem to operate very well with the hub, is it better to stick with the file-based configuration ?

Thank you

Welcome.! Unfortunately you are finding what many before you have discovered and that use OH is kind of hard to wrap your head around. There are a lot of concepts to that all interrelate, sometimes in unexpected ways. Added to that OH being somewhat in a state of transition (completely new architecture in OH 2 but backwards compatiblity mostly retained) and we have two and sometimes more ways to configure just about everything.

I don’t use Hue so I’m afraid I can answer you specific questions about it. I would expect it would work similarly to zwave and other 2.x version bindings with a bridge though. First you add the bridge. Then you go to the inbox and scan for new devices and select hue. All the devices connected to your Hue hub should show up as new Things in the inbox where you can accept them and make them part of your OH config.

Ok, it looks like you after at least this far. The next step is to create Items and link those Items to one or more Channels on the Things. Items are where you model you home automation (see the Concepts and Items pages of the docs). Everything else in OH (Rules, Persistence, UIs) operate on Items. If you selected Simple mode when you first started OH, Items will be created automatically for every Channel. The Item name will match the Channel ID only replace the : with _. If not you will have to create Items yourself.

Then you will probably want to create a Sitemap or HABPanel as you User’s interface. PaperUI is the administration UI and the Control tab will only show Channels that have Items linked to them. You will almost certainly end up using an OH 1.x version binding at some point and those items will not appear under Control. Plus, you don’t want day-to-day users mucking around in your OH config. :grinning:

As for UI versus text config, I personally manage my Things in PaperUI but everything else in text based configs. That gives me the benefit of automatic discovery of Things but the full flexibility to manage and organize my Items how I want. Plus I’ve been using OH since 1.5 or 1.6 do most of my config was already text based.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions if you get stuck or need help.

Hi Rich, thank ou for your reply,

My trouble with the current test is that I found some tutorials on how to manage hue things and items and channels with text based configuration, but what I don’t seem to get is how to do it in paperUI and if I can do Hue in paperUI

I installed the expert mode, so the items do not create automatically, and I can’t find any documentation about setting up hue in paperUI, I’ve tried to mediate the file-based config examples I found with the paperUI , but when I try to change the sitemap, it is not liked by OH, so at the moment I’m thinking about erasing the paperUI part and start playing with Hue only using file-based config, and when I’m better at this game I’ll try the paperUI way :slight_smile:

Since you mention you use paperUI and text config, one concept I think I haven’t grasped completely is how paperUI and text-based config interact: are they two different ways to put stuff into OH so that at the end I can interlink them , or are they some kind of two different worlds…

Thank you again


Welcome Claudio to the wonderful (and some very frustrating) world of OH2
I am using Hue quite a bit (about 15 Hue bulbs and LEDs) and am loving it, integrates rather nicely with OH. They can be configured through PaperUI or file-based, your choice, nothing wrong with either, it is just a question of preference. Personally, I am using file-based configuration for everything. But as you are reading the forums, you may have noticed that others prefer PaperUI, in particular for things definitions. (As a side note, I find most resources outside this forum very frustrating, as often the version of OH is not mentioned and it does make a huge difference).

Just a watch-out: the file-based system and PaperUI can happily co-exist, but do not interact much. Things, Items, etc that you define in PaperUI will not be written to your files and most entries of your files will not appear or interact with PaperUI (maybe except that if you define things in files, you will see that they automatically disappear from your list of things that you can accept). So I would describe them rather as two different worlds or maybe better two different ways to interact with OH.

So, for things in particular, it is really a matter of preference. In fact, personally I have been using PaperUI to identify how OH2 detects new things, copy this info into files and use it this way. The PaperUI is extremely helpful in these cases. I just find it easier to read the files…just a personal preference and maybe not even the most effective way of using OH2.

Of course, if you want you can define some things, items in PaperUI and some in files. Just do not use both for the same thing/item. Personally, I would find this confusing…

Hope this helps

Hi, thank you

I had the feeling the paperUI and text config were in the two-world category.
At the moment I’ve been able to create the items and connect them to the channels, all in paperUI, so in the control tab I can use the lights, so the basic stuff at least is working, now I will need to read a lot for the next steps (sitemaps, groups, scripts, habpanel) , but I will be able to experience a little before going further (I have some z-wave stuff I decided not to connect at the moment , the first tests led me to a couple of reformat…)

Thank you for the clarification