Well, that turned out to be quite the adventure! After the tribulations of getting a Hue Smart Button linked to every light in the house, the next step was to get it configured to turn all the lights off, preferably without it turning them all on first.

My initial theory was that a custom scene could be created, where every light was turned off, and pressing the button would trigger that. This turned out to be wrong; a scene created in the Hue app must have at least one light turned on. So that was a dead end.

I mentioned in the first post that the button isn’t fully HomeKit compatible. This turns out to be a little confusing, but it’s ultimately where I found the solution. The button appears in Home, and it can be set with an action on press, but this happens in addition to what is configured in the Hue app. There’s an option in the Hue app to “configure in another app”. This brings up a menu which specifically says “Home app not supported”, along with a button for any other compatible app you might have (I don’t have any other apps installed). At this point I wasn’t feeling too hopeful about achieving what I wanted.

Figuring I had nothing to lose, I decided to try out what happens if I clicked the option for configuring in another app. No app opened up, unsurprisingly, but something interesting did happen: all Hue actions and scenes were removed from the button. It was effectively a connected clicker at this point. However! The button could still be configured in Home – opening up the option to run the Home “on press” action without also running a Hue scene. This was exactly what I was looking for!

So a few taps in the Home app later, I had the button setting the status of every light in the house to “off” whenever it’s pressed, including the non-Hue bulbs. So simple and straightforward… eventually.

So in summary, this is the steps I needed to get the Smart Button to turn off all my lights (and only turn them off):

  1. Use the Hue app to connect the button to your network.
  2. Make sure the button is synced with HomeKit and appears in the Home app.
  3. Back in the Hue app, go to Settings > Accessory Setup > your Smart Button
  4. Scroll to the bottom. Tap “configure in another app”. Then tap the same option on the menu that opens up.
  5. Wait for the screen to reload. All scenes and actions will have been removed.
  6. Open the Home app, find the button, then long-press to open the button options screen
  7. Assign whatever devices or scenes you want to the Single Press action

The “downside” of this approach is that your button can only do one thing, and it’s not a toggle, so pressing a second time won’t set your devices back to their previous state. That’s exactly what I wanted, but it might not be what you want.

I’ve been scratching my head since yesterday, trying to figure out how to get a Hue Smart Button to turn off all my lights with a single button press. Every night I ask Siri to “turn off all the lights,” and it would be nice to have a physical button to achieve the same thing – especially for those times Siri just refuses to understand what I’m asking it to do. I eventually found part of the solution, I think, but it took some digging.

The Smart Button’s product page on Amazon (affiliate link) specifically calls out switching off all of the lights in the house as a use-case for the Smart Button, so I was surprised it wasn’t completely obvious. If the Smart Button had been fully HomeKit-enabled (disappointingly, it’s not) this would have been incredibly easy to configure in the Home app. Unfortunately it needs to be configured in the Hue app instead, which is an app I’ve tried to avoid using where possible. The main issue I was confounded by was the Smart Button – and other Hue devices – can only be assigned to a single room, which in turn limits what it can control to that room. I looked into creating a custom scene as well – again, it’s limited to a single room.

In the end, the answer to “how do I control the whole house?” was a feature of the Hue app I’d completely forgotten about – Zones. Zones allow you to group multiple rooms, and control them all at once. Creating a Zone is done in the same place as creating a Room, it’s just made less obvious. The Smart Button can then be configured to control a zone (again, buried at the bottom, below the list of Rooms). Prior to this there were no mention of Zones when configuring the Smart Button.

It would have been useful for Signify to include some sample setups/guides in the box, or easily findable through the Hue app; if it took me overnight to figure this out, woe betide anyone coming into the Hue ecosystem for the first time. There are a few How-To’s in the “Explore” tab, but none specifically about this accessory, and the only other possibly-related video is about HomeKit options that don’t exist for this particular button.

I still need to figure out setting it so the button only turns off lights. I don’t want it to toggle the whole house on/off with each press, just turn everything off. I suspect the answer here lies in a custom scene of some description, but that’s still to be seen.

Finally, there’s also the complication that I have a couple of LifX bulbs in the house which should also be turned off by this button. They can’t be set directly through the Hue app, but I think I have a solution for this involving HomeKit Automations.