After my eureka moment I solved my problem!
So after the frustrating issue I talked about here, I put some thought into the best way to resolve my issue. The biggest issue I was having was Google Assistant on my Google Home devices wouldn’t operate my smart lights. Half the time when I would request Google to turn lights on or off, I would get “That device isn’t available” or “Sorry that device hasn’t been set up yet”.
After troubleshooting all of my devices and the different apps I was using I discovered it wasn’t Google that was the issue. I discovered it was how I had my integration between Google Home and my SmartThings account.
So what was the issue?
I had several ZigBee devices connected directly to my original SmartThings Hub since that was my only ZigBee hub. I decided to have my Philips Hue lights and devices connect directly to my SmartThings account. I removed my Hue devices from my Google Home since they’re now synced through SmartThings.
The integration between SmartThings and Google Home changed with the new SmartThings Station, pictured above. It went to a web-based connection instead of the old hub-to-hub connection. I tried but couldn’t get them to connect. Over time that connection became less reliable and that’s what was causing my issue. Google Home wouldn’t see some devices online at random times so it couldn’t control them.
I open my Hue app to make sure all lights were connected, which usually isn’t an issue. Then open my SmartThings app to re-syncing the accounts. After that, I would open Google Home and verify they were connected. That got really old really fast. Below is an example of what the SmartThings app would look like, even though they were not offline.
Why did I switch SmartThings hubs?
Good question. The new device is a much smarter and versatile device, and it looks better. It can now connect to the network via WiFi instead of hard wired with an Ethernet cable. That in itself is a great upgrade as it allows me to put it anywhere. It’s also helpful since it is also a QI wireless charger. I keep it on the stand next to my chair in the Livingroom so I can charge my device while I watch TV.
In addition to that there is a button on the device which allows you to locate a Samsung phone if you have one. How many times have you left your phone laying around and didn’t know where lol.
So how did I fix it you ask?
Another good question. I removed my Hue account from my SmartThings, then added it back to my Google Home account. So now my Hue devices are being sync’d directly to my Google account instead of through SmartThings.
I know that seems like a simple process and it is, but it’s time consuming one. The reason is it removes all the lights and devices from the rooms you had assigned. Then when it re-syncs with Google from Hue it just dumps them all in as “linked to you”. Then you have to manually, one by one, add them back to the rooms they belong to. That can take some time when you have 70+ devices.
Switching how the devices sync did resolved the issue, Google hasn’t lost connection again and they respond much faster. There was an unexpected consequence of doing that, all of the automations and routines no longer worked. They are directly linked to the devices Google Home sees and even though the device names have not changed, how they connect has.
I had to go back through all of my built-in and custom built automations and routines and re-add all of the devices back in. You have to do that one by one unfortunately, you can add in bulk, and it takes a long time with a lot of devices.
Another unexpected issue was with the sensors I used on our closet doors. I have open/close sensors on each closet door so that the lights would turn on and off automatically, which is really convenient lol. I left my SmartThings linked to my Google Home account so that Google would be able to see and control the Samsung Smart TV’s and other devices I have connected.
They don’t work now because even though I can see them in my Google Home app, they are not available to add as a “Starter” when creating new automations. I tried everything to see if they would allow me to use them but it won’t, so even though Home can see them they are basically useless.
Why not use SmartThings to automate that? Well remember I removed my Hue account link to my SmartThings so it doesn’t see the smart lights, ugh. You see now how easily things can get a little out of control when you have to change things after your original setup. This is why planning and preparation is a very valuable and potential time saving thing to do.
I didn’t want to have to buy another device to replace the sensors on the closet doors I had to think of an alternate solution. I remembered I had a Philips Hue Motion Sensor that I wasn’t using and put it in my closet to basically do the same thing.
Now it turns the light on when we open the door and I have it set to turn off the light after 15 minutes of no movement. Problem solved!
So now everything is working as intended!
Keep in mind if matter were widely adopted and in use, this wouldn’t even been an issue. Google is making all of their Hubs matter compliant you won’t need a separate hub. The Google Home device will manage it all, can’t wait for that day to come!
Please leave me a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions. You can also visit my Contact page to send me an email or visit my social media accounts as well. Thanks for reading!
Below is my YouTube video discussing this so if you would rather watch and listen please do!