Emulated Hue Bridge


Be aware that emulated_hue doesn’t work for new Google Home users. If you’re a new user of Google Home, use the Google Assistant component.

The emulated_hue component provides a virtual Philips Hue bridge, written entirely in software, which allows services that work with the Hue API to interact with Home Assistant entities. The driving use case behind for functionality is to allow Home Assistant to work with an Amazon Echo or Google Home with no setup cost outside of configuration changes. The virtual bridge can turn entities on/off or change the brightness of dimmable lights. The volume level of media players can be controlled as brightness.

A physical Hue Bridge is required for Philips Hue lights to function - this virtual bridge will not replace a physical bridge. Instead, it allows Home Assistant to represent non-Philips Hue devices to Amazon Echo as Philips Hue devices, which Amazon Echo can control with built-in support.

It is recommended to assign a static IP address to the computer running Home Assistant. This is because the Amazon Echo discovers devices by IP addresses, and if the IP changes, the Echo won’t be able to control it. This is easiest done from your router, see your router’s manual for details.

Both Google Home and Alexa use the device they were initially set up with for communication with emulated_hue. In other words: if you remove/replace this device you will also break emulated_hue.

Configuration

To enable the emulated Hue bridge, add one of the following configs to your configuration.yaml file:

# Google Home example configuration.yaml entry
emulated_hue:
  listen_port: 80
  # Google Home does not work on different ports.
# Amazon Echo example configuration.yaml entry
emulated_hue:

Configuration Variables

type

(string)(Optional)The type of assistant which we are emulating. Either alexa or google_home. This configuration option is deprecated and will be removed in a future release. It is no longer necessary to define type.

Default value: google_home

host_ip

(string)(Optional)The IP address that your Home Assistant installation is running on. If you do not specify this option, the component will attempt to determine the IP address on its own.

listen_port

(integer)(Optional)The port the Hue bridge API web server will run on. This can be any free port on your system.

Default value: 8300

advertise_ip

(string)(Optional)If you need to override the IP address used for UPnP discovery. (For example, using network isolation in Docker)

advertise_port

(integer)(Optional)If you need to specifically override the advertised UPnP port.

upnp_bind_multicast

(boolean)(Optional)Whether or not to bind the UPnP (SSDP) listener to the multicast address (239.255.255.250) or instead to the (unicast) host_ip address specified above (or automatically determined). In special circumstances, like running in a FreeBSD or FreeNAS jail, you may need to disable this.

Default value: true

off_maps_to_on_domains

(list)(Optional)The domains that maps an “off” command to an “on” command. For example, if script is included in the list, and you ask Alexa to “turn off the water plants script,” the command will be handled as if you asked her to turn on the script.

Default value: [“script”, “scene”]

expose_by_default

(boolean)(Optional)Whether or not entities should be exposed via the bridge by default instead of explicitly (see the ‘emulated_hue’ customization below). Warning: If you have a lot of devices (more than 49 total across all exposed domains), you should be careful with this option. Exposing more devices than Alexa supports can result in it not seeing any of them. If you are having trouble getting any devices to show up, try disabling this, and explicitly exposing just a few devices at a time to see if that fixes it.

Default value: true

exposed_domains

(list)(Optional)The domains that are exposed by default if expose_by_default is set to true.

Default value: [“switch”, “light”, “group”, “input_boolean”, “media_player”, “fan”]

entities

(list)(Optional)Customization for entities.

A full configuration sample looks like the one below.

# Example configuration.yaml entry
emulated_hue:
  host_ip: 192.168.1.186
  listen_port: 8300
  advertise_ip: 10.0.0.10
  advertise_port: 8080
  off_maps_to_on_domains:
    - script
    - scene
  expose_by_default: true
  exposed_domains:
    - light
  entities:
    light.bedroom_light:
      name: "Bedside Lamp"
    light.ceiling_lights:
      hidden: true

The following are attributes that can be applied in the entities section:

  • name (Optional): The name that the emulated Hue will use. The default for this is the entity’s friendly name.
  • hidden (Optional): Whether or not the emulated Hue bridge should expose the entity. Adding hidden: false will expose the entity to Alexa. The default value for this attribute is controlled by the expose_by_default option.

These attributes used to be found under the customize section of homeassistant, however, they have now been moved to entities. Emulated Hue configuration under homeassistant.customize will be deprecated in the near future.

Troubleshooting

You can verify that the emulated_hue component has been loaded and is responding by pointing a local browser to the following URL:

  • http://<HA IP Address>:8300/description.xml - This URL should return a descriptor file in the form of an XML file.
  • http://<HA IP Address>:8300/api/pi/lights - This will return a list of devices, lights, scenes, groups, etc.. that emulated_hue is exposing to Alexa.

For Google Home, verify that the URLs above are using port 80, rather than port 8300 (i.e. http://<HA IP Address>:80/description.xml).

An additional step is required to run Home Assistant as a non-root user and use port 80 when using the AiO script. Execute the following command to allow emulated_hue to use port 80 as a non-root user.

sudo setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /srv/homeassistant/homeassistant_venv/bin/python3

Please note that your path may be different depending on your installation method. For example, if you followed the Virtualenv instructions, your path will be /srv/homeassistant/bin/python3.

License

Much of this code is based on work done by Bruce Locke on his ha-local-echo project, originally released under the MIT License. The license is located here.