fixed : replacement HUE lamp not working properly in Google Home group

Question :

I had a Philips HUE lamp that went rogue after 4 years of working without any problems, so I had to replace it with a new one. Installation was easy (as always) : it was immediately recognised by my HUE Bridge and there is no problem when I use it with the HUE.app (I am not using the HUE(Bluetooth).app since I have an HUE Bridge). Even the HUE Remote that controls to the group of lights that the old HUE lamp is in, immediately integrated the replacement HUE lamp.

But when I want to control my HUE lights from my Google Home devices and apps, all lights are still controlled properly, but not the newly replaced HUE lamp… I can’t control it from Google Home… What is wrong ?

Answer :

After connecting the new Philips HUE lamp to the HUE Bridge and the HUE.app, you need to also reconnect it to Google Home manually… Philips HUE doesn’t automatically update in Google Home (or the other way around)… To get things working in Google Home, do this :

  • make sure that the new HUE lamp is working properly with the HUE.app and all HUE Remotes as intended
  • then, make sure the group of lights that the new/repaced HUE lamp is in is turned on (so all lights of the group should be burning)
  • now, open the GoogleHome.app on your iPhone (or iPad)
  • when the “Home” page opens, click on the “Settings” button (the one with the sprocket/gear-icon)
  • in the “Home settings” page that opens, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Works with Google”
  • in the “Add Devices” page that opens, you will see a “Linked” chapter and a “Add new” chapter below ; since you already have your HUE lights set up in Google Home previously, you can click on “Philips HUE” in the “Linked” chapter
  • in the small popup menu that opens, click on “Check for new devices”
  • when the auth.meethue.com online login page opens, login to your Philips HUE account using your eMail address and your password
  • in the “Grant permission” webpage that opens, scroll down to the bottom and click on the blue “Grant permission” button
  • now the “Add Devices” page in the Googlehome.app opens, and at the bottom a message saying “Philips HUE is linked” will show
  • then, the “Choose device” page will automatically open where you see all your HUE lights and devices that are currently not connected to Google Home, so select the HUE lamp’s icon tile that you have replaced and click “Next”
  • in the “Connect Home” page that opens, drag&drop the HUE lamp’s icon tile onto the correct HOME icon tile (usually the HOME location that you have setup in Google Home) [ note that you can only connect the lamp to one home ] then click “Next”
  • in the “Connect Groups” page that opens, drag&drop the HUE lamp’s icon tile onto each and every GROUP icon tile (of lights and devices) you want the HUE lamp to be in, one after the other
  • when done, click “Next” and the GoogleHome.app will update
  • when done, back in the “Home” page, scroll down to the proper group and test what happens when you turn the group of lights off and back on
  • if everything works properly, you’re done
  • if you run into a problem (now or maybe later on), try this :
  • turn on all HUE lights
  • turn off all running GoogleHome.apps on all devices you have and unplug all Google Home speakers, Google Home displays and Nest Hubs
  • after at least 30 seconds, plug all Google Home speakers/displays and Nest Hubs back in and wait for them to restart
  • now, test if the group of HUE lights that includes the replaced HUE lamp works as intended when using one of the restarted Google Home speakers/displays or Nest Hubs (if it works on one Google Home device, it will work on all the one that have been restarted)
  • also test if the group of HUE lights that includes the replaced HUE lamp works as intended when using the GoogleHome.app on your iPhone (or iPad)
  • now, everything should work as intended (in the very unlikely event that it does not, redo all of the above)

that’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

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solved : Matter-compatible Smart Thermostats that are already for sale

Question :

I am considering buying new Smart Thermostats for my home, but now I heard that an all New cross-platform standard for home automation called “Matter” will be introduced later this year, I am thinking about postponing my purchases… even though I should start using Smart Thermostats as soon as possible since energy prices ar rocketing…

Now I heard that some of the Smart Thermostats that are already available right now will be upgradable for integration with Matter, but I can’t seem to find any… which ones are sure to work with Matter ?

Answer :

Yes, Matter (formerly known as Project CHIP – Connected Home over IP) will be the new communication standard in home automation. Matter will unify all new home automation by Apple (HomeKit & Siri), Google (Google Home & Nest), Amazon (Alexa), Samsung (SmartThings), Comcast, CSA – Connectivity Standards alliance (formerly known as The Zigbee Alliance), IKEA, Huawei and Schneider. Others like Philips HUE, EVE Home, WiZ and TP-Link (Kasa & Tapo) are working on Matter-certification, and more and more brands will follow.

At the moment of writing (January 2023) only 2 Smart Thermostats that are already available on the market are confirmed to be Matter-compatible / Matter-upgradeable :

We expect to update this list soon when new Matter-compatible Smart Thermostats are confirmed.

fixed : Smart Thermostat is too large for the space I have next to my radiator

Question :

I want to install Smart Thermostats on all my radiators, but some of our radiators are in a cove where I a regular smart Thermostat won’t fit because it’s too bulky. There just isn’t enough space to screw the Smart Thermostat onto the radiator valve, there’s only 78mm of space.

What options do I have ?

 

Answer :

Most Smart Thermostats are bulky because you need to install 2 AA penlite batteries inside the Smart Thermostat. The TP-Link KE-100 Kasa Smart Thermostat is 88mm in length and even the Tado Smart Thermostat is 80mm in length. So, even if your radiator valve is M30x1.5 the space you have is too small… so, you only have 2 options :

(1) the Fibaro “The Heat Controller” FGT-001 which is only 75mm in length, because it isn’t powered by AA penlite batteries, but by a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged through a mini-USB cable

Note #1 : the Fibaro FGT-001 comes in 2 versions : an Apple HomeKit-compatible version and a non-HomeKit-compatible Z-Wave version that is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa

Note #2 : the Fibaro FGT-001 (HomeKit version) is rather easy to install and program, but the Fibaro FGT-001 (Z-Wave version) is slightly more difficult to install end harder to program, and you will also need a Z-Wave Hub (a.k.a. “Z-Wave Controller”) but it’s extremely programmable

(2) use a perpendicular M30x1.5 angle adapter to get your Smart Thermostat pointing in a more convenient direction, like this one :

Oventrop Angle Adapter for M30x1.5 radiator valves

That’s it – you choose πŸ˜‰

enjoy !

fixed : adapter for Smart Thermostat on slightly smaller Comap radiator valve

Question :

I want to install Smart Thermostat knobs onto my radiators, and on most of my radiator valves I succeed without problems, even without adapters, but on some the thread just won’t fit, even with the adapters that are included with the Smart Thermostat. These radiator valves seem to have a slightly smaller thread and the original head is branded “Comap”. Still, I can’t find adapters for “Comap” anywhere…

Which adapter do I need ?

Answer :

Most Smart Thermostats can be screwed onto any M30x1.5 radiator valve (which is sort-of the standard these days) and most Smart Thermostats come with some adapters (usually for RA, RAV and RAVL valves) but the “Comap” head you are talking about is a M28x1.5 (usually referred to as a “Heart” (or “Herz” in German) valve.

So all you need to do is find the right adapter. For your “Comap” valve that is a M28x1.5-to-M30x1.5 adapter. All Tado Smart Thermostats do have this adapter included, but if your Smart Thermostat is from a different brand, you will need an adapter like this one :

Heimeier / Herz adapter (buy it on Amazon)

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

fixed : problems installing Fibaro Z-Wave Smart Thermostat and Room Sensor

Question :

I have chosen to install the Fibaro “The Heat Controller” in my home, and even though I have the Fibaro Z-Wave Home Center 3 Lite controller/hub already installed, I can’t get The Heat Controller (Z-Wave version) Smart Thermostat to connect to it. Whenever I try to connect from the Fibaro Yubii.app it can’t find the Smart Thermostat.

How do I set up the connection ?

Answer :

To install a Fibaro “The Heat Controller” (Z-Wave version) FGT-001 Smart Thermostat (that also comes in a Starter Pack combo teamed with the Fibaro FGBRS-001 Room Sensor), do this :

  • make sure you have the Yubii.app installed on your iPhone
  • make sure you have a ‘Z-Wave controller’ (a Z-Wave protocol hub/bridge device) set up, the most basic one that Fibaro offers is the Home Center 3 Lite
  • to prevent connection problems temporarily unmount/unscrew the Smart Thermostat from the radiator and make sure you have the Smart Thermostat near your Z-Wave bridge
  • >> if theSmart Thermostat is completely new, you will need to charge it first ; so plug in a micro-USB cable and power that using any USB (phone) charger, USB battery pack or USB wall outlet ; if the Smart Thermostat is fully charged it’s LED ring will flash in green
  • then, in the setting of your wireless router, make sure the WiFi is (temporarily) set to “2.4GHz only”
  • then, open the Yubii.app
  • in the Yubii.app on the main page, click the More button (bottom right)
  • in the MENU page that opens, click Add Devices
  • in the Z-Wave page that opens, wait until there is only one huge “Z-Wave protocol” button, then click on it
  • in the Add Device page that opens, click the blue Start button (bottom right)
  • on the next page, you will see a countdown circle of 60 seconds (so you now have 60 seconds to add the Smart Thermostat)
  • now, on the Smart Thermostat, long-press the small bubble button (so, press it for at least 1 second)
  • the LED ring on the Smart Thermostat should now light up (in blue)
    • >> if not, try again
  • if the LED ring is blue, triple press the small bubble button (so, press it for 3 times in a row)
  • the LED ring on the Smart Thermostat should now start blinking (in white)
  • >> if it does not, triple press the small bubble button again (and again, and again) with 1 second pauses until the LED ring starts blinking (in white)
  • >> if the circular countdown timer in the Yubii.app reaches 0 seconds before you get the LED ring blinking (on the Smart Thermostat) just try again
  • when the Smart Thermostat is recognised, just wait for the connection process to finish
  • when the connection has been established, the LED ring on the Smart Thermostat will change to let you know it was successful
  • >> if it was not, just try again
  • basically you’re ready now, so you can screw the Smart Thermostat back onto the radiator and start setting the scenes (operation programs) for the Smart Thermostat
  • do not forget to switch your WiFi setting back to “2.4 & 5GHz”
  • >> note #1 : in the Yubii.app you can only select scenes that you have already programmed ; all new scenes need to be programmed on the ‘Z-Wave controller’ first ( using the local web interface that you need to access from your browser ; if you have a Fibaro Home Center, access it by going to https://find.fibaro.com )
  • >> note # 2 : if screwing the Smart Thermostat back onto the radiator is difficult, turn the head knob of the Smart Thermostat until the LED ring flashes in red and you hear it buzzing (that will take the pressure of the valve inside the thermostat knob)

If you also want to connect the Fibaro “Temperature Sensor” FGBRS-001 Room Sensor (if you already have the Smart Thermostat installed) do this :

  • make sure you have the Yubii.app installed on your iPhone
  • make sure you have a ‘Z-Wave controller’ (a Z-Wave protocol hub/bridge device) set up, the most basic one that Fibaro offers is the Home Center 3 Lite
  • to prevent connection problems temporarily unmount/unscrew the Smart Thermostat (the one that you want to integrate the Room Sensor with) from the radiator and make sure you have the Smart Thermostat near your Z-Wave bridge
  • then, in the setting of your wireless router, make sure the WiFi is (temporarily) set to “2.4GHz only”
  • now, take out the plastic battery initiation strap from the Room Sensor (if it’s still there)
  • >> if there is no strap, the Room Sensor may have been used before and/or the the battery may be dead so the next installation steps will not work until you resolve this
  • >> if the battery is dead, use a coin to twist open the battery compartment and replace the battery first ( you will need a 3.0V CR2032 battery cell )
  • >> if the Room Sensor has been used before, it might still be connected/paired to other Smart Thermostats so you will need to reset it first, so use the F-marked pin to long press (press and hold) the button inside the hole for at least 2 seconds ; if the LED light on the Room Sensor blinks 3 times, the unpairing has succeeded (just try again if unsuccessful)
  • to continue the installation, open the Yubii.app
  • in the Yubii.app on the main page, click the More button (bottom right)
  • in the MENU page that opens, click Add Devices
  • in the Z-Wave page that opens, wait until there is only one huge Z-Wave button, then click on it
  • in the Add Device page that opens, click the blue Start button (bottom right)
  • on the next page, you will see a countdown circle of 60 seconds (so you now have 60 seconds to add the Room Sensor)
  • now, on the Smart Thermostat, press the small bubble button (so, press it once) for at least 1 second
  • the LED ring on the Smart Thermostat should now start blinking (in blue)
  • if not, just try pressing the small bubble button again
  • while the LED ring on the Smart Thermostat is blinking, use the F-marked pin that came with the Room Sensor to press the click button inside the small hole on the back of the Room Sensor
  • clicking the Room Sensor’s button is successful if a small light on the back of the Room Sensor lights up
  • if not, try pressing the click button inside the small hole again
  • Now, the LED ring on the Smart Thermostat should blink 5 times (in green) to indicate that the connection was successful 
  • if not, try pressing the click button inside the small hole again
  • if the countdown circle in the Yubii.app hits 0 seconds before you have the connection set up, just try again
  • That’s it
  • Do not forget to set your WiFi back to “2.4 & 5GHz”

enjoy !

fixed : switch Hue light bulb to different Room in GoogleHome.app

Question :

I have installed a new Philips Hue light bulb and for some reason it ended up in the wrong Room in the GoogleHome.app

How can I move it to the right Room ?

Answer :

To move a Hue light bulb (of any other light bulb or connected device) to another Room in the GoogleHome.app, do this :

  • open the GoogleHome.app on your iPhone
  • click on Settings (the circular button with a sprocket/gear on it)
  • now the “Home Settings” page opens, click on “Rooms and groups”
  • now the “Rooms and groups” page opens, find the group that the light bulb that you want to move is still in and click on it
  • in the “Room settings” page that opens, click on the name of the light bulb you want to move
  • in the page that opens (called by the name of the specific light bulb), click on “Room”
  • in the “Choose room” page that opens, click on the name of the room you want the light bulb to move to, so it will be highlighted with a the checkmark and a blue color
  • then click “SAVE” (top right)
  • now the light bulb will have moved from the old room to the new Room
    • if it wasn’t moved, repeat the above

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

Note : if you have trouble updating the new settings from the GoogleHome.app to your Google Nest Hub (or any other Google Home controlling device), try this.

fixed : Rooms not updating on Google Nest Hub

Question :

I have a bunch of Philips Hue light bulbs and one of a group of three had to be replaced. I have installed a new one and connected it to the Philips Hue Bridge using the Hue.app on my iPhone. And that works properly. But it turned out that in the GoogleHome.app the new one was not in the same group as the other two. I figured out how to fix that, so it’s now working properly when using the GoogleHome.app also.

However, when I am trying to control the Hue lights from my Google Nest Hub, the new Hue light bulb is still in a separate room… I looked for an option to sync the settings of the Rooms on the Google Nest Hub and it’s settings, in the GoogleHome.app and in the Hue.app, but there is none… I’ve also looked this problem up online, and the only solution given is to completely reinstall the Hue light bulb (and if that doesn’t work ‘just’ completely reinstalling multiple or even all Hue light bulbs…)

Isn’t there any easier solution ?

Answer :

Yes there is. And it is extremely simple : after you have made sure that the settings are the way you want them to on the GoogleHome.app, just unplug the Google Nest Hub from power, wait about 30 seconds and reconnect the power… now the Google Nest Hub will restart and fetch the updated settings from the cloud… so, everything is synced.

That’s it !

enjoy πŸ˜‰

Note : if anyone reading this also wants to know how to move a Hue light bulb from one room to another in the GoogleHome.app, read this post.