Yes, how you name your Philips Hue lights is highly important when you are connecting them to a Smart Assistant (with voice commands). Get things wrong and you end up with your Amazon Echo constantly spouting off “I’m sorry the Master Bedroom doesn’t support that.” You could also get plagued with your devices randomly becoming unresponsive with Alexa. Oh fun. Nothing to piss you off more than your lights just not working. I know first world problems right?
If you are just using the Hue app with no voice assistant you can get away with naming them whatever you want because it doesn’t really matter. When the voice commands are added the names of the rooms or groups you have them in as well as the names of the individual lights matter greatly. Not only will your smart assistant constantly just not fucking work with your lights, you may also get tired saying a particular phrase for a light or it may turn out you never actually called that light that name to begin with. Spend some time thinking about light names, seriously.
In my previous home I had a shit ton of Hue lights. When you have that many lights they end up becoming numbered. “Master Bedroom One,” “Living Room 3,” etc. Then when you have the rooms/groups of “Master Bedroom” or “Office” the lights with numbers in their names wont ever conflict with each other and their groups/rooms. Now that I am solo and in an apartment I only have a small handful of lights so I don’t need to number them anymore. Now I was getting conflicts with my names.
With my most recent struggles I have noticed, and eventually found the cure with the problem and the names I had chosen. I thought I picked them simply and perfectly because I honestly do not have that many lights in my apartment. As is turns out the biggest thing that was causing constant strife with my Echos and lights was the names I had chosen for the Echos themselves, along with the same conflicting name for the rooms they are in. For example, I have an Echo Dot in my master bedroom which I had named simply “Master Bedroom” because I was only thinking of my Echos at the time and not in conjunction with the light names; “Master Bedroom,” “Office,” and “Kitchen.” Well I had also made some rooms with the Hue app with the same names of “Master Bedroom,” “Office” and “Kitchen.” Same names as the Echo names, damn it. The lights worked initially when I set them up but after a few houros or day or so they all stopped and my Alexa started rebelling.
The Simple Fix
So there is a simple fix, which took me hours to figure out in the middle of the night I hate to admit. I ended up renaming the Echos first. “Master Bedroom Echo,” “Office Echo,” and “Kitchen Echo” to separate them from the name of the groups/rooms for the lights. I also figured out that I was getting multiple devices with the same names in my Alexa app because of the scheme I had originally chosen. So I removed all groups and rooms from the Hue app. I don’t use the Hue app much as it is, primarily just the Echos with the lights or Apple Homekit. So my Hue app has just one group now called “All Hue Lights” so they are easy to get to in the Hue app if I ever need to use it. Then in the Amazon Alexa app I did a device discovery and it pulled the one group and all the lights and Echos. Then in the Echo app I created the groups of “Master Bedroom,” “Office” and “Kitchen.” No more conflicts now, the lights all work and no more unresponsive remarks from Alexa or the apps.
Finally the shit works.