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Building a Local Network for Hue Control with Arduino

I have a fun problem in which I am building a project that needs to live in multiple places. Since I've also decided to add a wireless light to my project, I need to figure out the best system since the project is moving to different locations.

Tom gave me a bunch of different ideas: using the LifX lights which don't need a hub and have an API to work with, or controlling smart plugs, to name a few. Josephine also suggested using Bluetooth lights that can be directly controlled without Wifi. These were all fantastic options that I am eager to look into, but for the sake of time, I decided to buy my own Philips bridge (return it later) and use a light from the ER.

To my luck, the ER had a spare Philips hub and Tom and Josephine helped me set it up. Thanks!!! Josephine helped me set it up with a router to set up a local network.

I borrowed a router from the ER (it was brand new!) and connected ethernet to the bridge, as well as connecting to my computer. Tom's Hue Control repo has notes on how to get the IP address of the bridge, and we plugged that into the Philips CLIP API debugger: http://[your hub IP]/debug/clip.html

Don't forget to setup the user key for the new bridge using Tom's nifty user key dashboard that you have to open locally!

Josephine helped me through the process of setting up a new light, which involves resetting the light by plugging it in and unplugging it for what feels like an eternity. I think maybe 5 or 6 times, before the light will go through a reset mode. We got the light connected to the API debugger and BOOM, I was ready to connect to the lights via Arduino.

On the Arduino side, I tested simple on and off commands, but eventually wanted to build in different light colors for each voting parameter in my project. I wanted to send more light properties at once, so that there was a shorter delay when someone voted. I referenced Tom's Hue blink with JSON example and got it all working!!

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