Controlling Hive smart home devices with Arduino

I'm looking to fit my house with the Hive smart light bulbs. The issue with these is that really you have no choice but to only control them using the app as if you switch them off with the light switch, you can only switch them back on with the light switch, therefore rendering the smart features pointless.

So, what I'd like to do is build a set of smart light switches which when pressed, send a message over wifi to turn specific Hive devices on or off.

Has anyone come across any research into this or any previous projects?

ByteTech:
I’m looking to fit my house with the Hive smart light bulbs.
The issue with these is that really you have no choice but to only control them using the app as if you switch them off with the light switch, you can only switch them back on with the light switch, therefore rendering the smart features pointless.

So, what I’d like to do is build a set of smart light switches which when pressed, send a message over wifi to turn specific Hive devices on or off.

Has anyone come across any research into this or any previous projects?

Lets see if I understand your proposal correctly. You want to remove the current wall switch and permanently wire the light to always be on. Then in the electrical box, add electronics to send a wifi message when it’s switch is pressed. Correct?

Will your new device be battery powered? Will it work while enclosed on three sides by a steel box, or are your electrical boxes all plastic? Will your wifi connection work that close to the existing electrical wiring?

Paul

Paul_KD7HB: Lets see if I understand your proposal correctly. You want to remove the current wall switch and permanently wire the light to always be on. Then in the electrical box, add electronics to send a wifi message when it's switch is pressed. Correct?

Will your new device be battery powered? Will it work while enclosed on three sides by a steel box, or are your electrical boxes all plastic? Will your wifi connection work that close to the existing electrical wiring?

Paul

Hi Paul, thanks for such a quick reply. A preference would actually be to produce a switch which I can screw in and fit directly over the front of the existing light switches using longer screws so when I move and sell the house i don't need to re-wire the whole houses light switches, and (not being particularly experienced in mains electrical work) means I'm not potentially setting up fire risks in every room. That said, I understand battery life may mean I don't have any choice but to wire into the light switches anyway.

Either way, whether I power the new switches from the light switch or not, it will likely all be housed inside a 3D printed case which slots onto the outside of the existing switches so won't be housed inside a metal case and wifi shouldn't be an issue.

If battery was an option, I was wondering if there was some way I could have the device completely powered off until the physical button is pressed. This powers it on, sends the signal, then powers down again, but I fear as this would require connecting to the wifi network etc that this may not be a realistic solution.

How does this scenario work for you?

You wake in the middle of the night and go to the kitchen for a snack. You push your light switch for kitchen lights and of course nothing happens because you smart phone is back in your bedroom closet. So you stagger back to the dark bedroom and push the light switch button in order to find your smart phone. No lights, because your smart phone is in the closet. You finally find the smart phone and there are several messages to tell you to turn on a light. Which light? Oh, you forget to code into your new device, which light switch it was for.

Finally, you turn on the kitchen light, but, just go back to bed, and leave the light on all night. Your smart phone still has a message to turn on the bedroom light. Do you turn it on, or just forget it.

Oh, there are a bunch of messages on your phone you have to scroll through to find one telling you to turn a light on.

Paul

Paul_KD7HB: How does this scenario work for you?

You wake in the middle of the night and go to the kitchen for a snack. You push your light switch for kitchen lights and of course nothing happens because you smart phone is back in your bedroom closet. So you stagger back to the dark bedroom and push the light switch button in order to find your smart phone. No lights, because your smart phone is in the closet. You finally find the smart phone and there are several messages to tell you to turn on a light. Which light? Oh, you forget to code into your new device, which light switch it was for.

Finally, you turn on the kitchen light, but, just go back to bed, and leave the light on all night. Your smart phone still has a message to turn on the bedroom light. Do you turn it on, or just forget it.

Oh, there are a bunch of messages on your phone you have to scroll through to find one telling you to turn a light on.

Paul

Hi Paul, I'm not quite sure how this scenario plays into my proposed setup. The whole point of the smart switches I want to make is that the app would not be required at all for standard light operations. The advantage of the smart lights is the ability to have pre-set settings/moods and for automation when away from home.

ByteTech: Hi Paul, I'm not quite sure how this scenario plays into my proposed setup. The whole point of the smart switches I want to make is that the app would not be required at all for standard light operations. The advantage of the smart lights is the ability to have pre-set settings/moods and for automation when away from home.

Then you are changing your design: "So, what I'd like to do is build a set of smart light switches which when pressed, send a message over wifi to turn specific Hive devices on or off.".

Paul

Paul_KD7HB:
Then you are changing your design:
“So, what I’d like to do is build a set of smart light switches which when pressed, send a message over wifi to turn specific Hive devices on or off.”.

Paul

No that’s still what I’m suggesting. The app doesn’t act as a hub for the bulbs.
Ok, let’s look at it in a more simple fashion. I want to build a physical button which, when pressed, tells the wifi connected smart bulbs to turn on and off.

ByteTech: No that's still what I'm suggesting. The app doesn't act as a hub for the bulbs. Ok, let's look at it in a more simple fashion. I want to build a physical button which, when pressed, tells the wifi connected smart bulbs to turn on and off.

Ok, that seems to be a BIT more complicated. Your push button switch will have to be logically linked to a specific light bulb's wifi address and only to that bulb. And it will have to be able have a new link established IF that particular bulb gets replaced.

If that right?

Paul

Yes that is correct, though presumably the it wouldn't be limited to just one bulb. For example, the ceiling light in my living room features 3 bulbs. Whilst each have their own address, it would surely be no more difficult to have a single switch affect all three bulbs together as it would be to only control one?

However, the API is actually more of the thing I was hoping to get help with here. I could work out the switch itself without too much issues.

Now whilst the bulbs don't use the app as a central control system, there is a hub which is connected to the wifi network. Through the app you can make collections of devices so you can switch groups on and off together. With this in mind, I don't know if when controlled externally (eg by alexa), the bulbs are directly contacted individually, or if the hub is contacted and a unique identifier of the group is referenced, then the hub contacts the separate devices itself.

The more you explain, the more complicated it gets. More research is needed. Perhaps you can contact the manufacturer and sign an NDA as a developer and get all your questions answered.

Paul