Hue Philips is Lightify Osram are two competing solutions not only for the competition between the two leading companies in the field of lighting systems but also because they both use a similar system and protocol to build their management environment for lamps and accessories: a wireless gateway that acts as a bridge between Wi-Fi and Zigbee, low-consumption wireless protocol for home automation.
The war between the two systems has seen many ups and downs including a period in which Philips communicated that a specific release of its firmware would no longer be possible to manage third-party Zigbee bulbs with the Hue system. In reality, in recent months the story has evolved and Philips seems to have returned to its footsteps at least in the possibility of managing the controlled outlet of Osram within its system.
Philips had introduced a similar device at the time, a slightly less elegant socket. which is no longer available on the market and so evidently, rather than buying yet another competitive gateway, it is certainly more convenient to have someone who already has a Hue compatible Zigbee socket purchased.
Apart from this Osram Lightify Plug has a very low cost and competitive with Wi-Fi, Z-wave and even Chinese controlled sockets: it costs a maximum of 29 Euro including VAT to the public and can be made compatible with a simple procedure. All this clashes with the long-standing history of Zigbee which has seen an interesting range of products that are only apparently compatible but with several interoperability problems.
A look at Osram Lightify Plug
In this commented gallery you can see the socket that we purchased for our tests.
How to include an Osram Lightify Plug socket in Philips HUE
Very simple operation. Just connect a load to the receptacle of the socket (lamp, charger, something that requires a power supply and it is turned on) and insert the socket into a Schuco type wall receptacle by keeping the on / off button pressed if you keep holding it after a few seconds you will hear the classic "click" of the relay activation and in theory you could try to couple the socket from the Hue application on the smartphone.
In reality both to us and to other "geeks" the first reset did not have much effect and we repeated it 3 times (c who arrived at 6). In any case, after a few seconds or a repeat of the reset, you can try activating theinclusion socket in the Hue system.
The procedure to be used is not the one reserved for the accessories (switches etc.) but for the lights: in fact, the socket will also be seen later as a light that can be controlled only in the off or on state even if the cursor indicating the possibility of adjusting the intensity will be active.
Below the screens that will follow each other in the Hue application (iOS and Android) during the operation. At the end we will be able to change the name of the socket and assign it the room in which it was installed to easily include it in the scenes. Obviously not being able to make a continuous adjustment as for a dimmer, its use in awakening or resting scenes where it is possible to gradually illuminate or darken it is not recommended.
Compatibility ensured with Lightify Plug sockets with a single button sold in Europe and the HUE system with gateway 2.0 (the square one) purchased in Europe. Not guaranteed to work with other combinations of products bought in the USA or other continents.
Contraindications and conclusions
At this point the socket will be managed directly from the interface of the HUE application and you can turn it on and off manually with all the other lights in the room. But be careful! It will not be seen by Homekit when the information to be passed to the Apple framework does not seem to be valid.
Basically what you can do to check if the connected device receives power and turn it off and on individually with all the lights in the room or home.If these options are sufficient and you do not want to add other home automation hubs to your Hue system at the moment the purchase is certainly convenient , otherwise it is advisable to expand the system in another way by combining the Hue hub with a home automation hub that can directly manage the sockets with Zigbee technology or purchase an alternative socket with Wi-Fi technology (higher standby consumption – double or triple compared to Zigbee – but also compatible with Homekit) or Bluetooth (compatible with Homekit and other home automation gateways) or Z-wave, compatible with various gateways such as Zipato, Fibaro etc.The purchase price which, as we said, is 29 Euros makes it an excellent candidate for small lighting control systems where you need to manage a lighting system with socket or an accessory (type fan, electric heating system) easy to connect.
In the coming weeks we will check the integration and the possibility of interaction of the Lightify sockets with home automation Hubs that directly support Zigbee or the Hue system through a plugin.