I have 4 SmartThings Buttons that I’ve been using since they were released. Some are used more than others - some not used much at all. All of them have stopped working over the past 2-3 days. Usually, when this happens, I just disconnect the battery and then reconnect and I see a green light on the button and it connects back just fine. This time the battery trick is not working and some of the buttons are showing OFFLINE in IDE.
I find it odd that all stopped working at around the same time, I can’t imagine it’s the battery since some of the buttons hardly get used at all. Is anyone else having issues?
If you only have one zigbee repeater, and it’s up in the attic, then it may just be local interference. One of the things that happens as the weather gets warmer is people tend to use the ceiling fans more, and it can be very difficult for a zigbee device to get signal past the moving blades. Same issues with the whole house fan, particularly if it’s up in the attic where the lightbulb is.
What brand is the bulb? Some are a lot better at serving as repeaters than others. Also, is it on power all the time? Some people don’t realize their zigbee bulbs are acting as repeaters, cut the power to it more as the sunlight part of the day gets longer, and end up disrupting their zigbee network.
Also, if the kids are out of school, your Wi-Fi usage probably goes way up in the house, and wifi can drown out zigbee Especially when there aren’t enough repeaters in the mesh. Even if it’s your neighbor’s kid, if your houses are close enough together. If your neighbor’s Wi-Fi shows up on your list of possible Wi-Fi networks on your phone, then increased usage by them could affect your zigbee devices.
What do you use the buttons for? Are they typically in a fixed location, like always live on a nightstand or the coffee table? Or do they get put in a pocket or backpack and move around the house?
The first thing to try might be just to get one of the IKEA Tradfri plug-in pocket sockets. These are very simple devices, just one socket on or off, but they are very good zigbee repeaters and cost under $10 if you buy them directly from IKEA. ( The plug-in and the smart bulbs both work well with SmartThings, but the handheld buttons and remote don’t, so there’s not much point in buying those models. )
If you have an upstairs and a downstairs, maybe try one of these on each floor. After adding them, unplug your smartthings hub, including taking out any batteries, and leave it off power for about 20 minutes while all the other devices are on power and all the buttons are home in their usual locations.
This will cause all the other devices to go into “panic mode“ and when the hub does come back online they will rebuild their routing tables to find the most efficient route, so they will start using the IKEA outlets if they are within range. You may not see the full effect of this for a day or so, but it’s one of those “can’t hurt, might help“ things.
Just a thought, but lifestyle routines do change as the seasons change, and if you don’t have a really solid mesh network, that can impact you.
If you’d like to learn more about that, see the community FAQ. Start with post 11 in that thread, read that, then go back up to the top of the thread and read the whole thing. (The topic title is a clickable link)
Thanks for the very detailed reply and suggestions.
However, I guess I’m the idiot here, because it ended up being the batteries. I put some new ones in all 4 of them and they all started working again. It’s just odd that they would all go out at the same time even though some are used way less frequently than others.
In any case, thanks for the advice, I’m sure it will come in handy at some point in the future!
In the zigbee protocol that smartthings uses, the devices have to check in on a regular schedule with the hub. In battery operated devices that don’t also produce sensor information, the bulk of its activity might be that check in. ( unless, of course, you have a four-year-old who likes to play with the button all day. )
So it’s not surprising that they would all use up the battery at about the same time, probably just the checkin is the high majority of all of their activity over that time period, and that would be the same for all of them.