C-Life by GE

I just saw a bunch of these bulbs in my local Lowes. They do everything they can to hide the fact that they are incompatible with Iris, SmartThings, etc. They should probably go as far as to mention on the box they are not zig bee or Z wave compatible. Way too muddy the waters, General Electric .

1 Like

Not declaring “Not compatible with X system/standard” on the box is not even close to “doing everything they can to hide” those incompatibilities. There’s absolutely nothing on the package implying that the product implements those standards or is compatible SmartThings or Iris, so why in the world would you assume that they are?

1 Like

Why would you assume that I am not totally aware of all compatibility issues associated with this item? I was merely sympathizing with the newbie whom you had previously dissed. You need to work on your people skills.

5 Likes

No, you were accusing GE of intentionally misleading consumers by failing to proclaim on the box that the switch wasn’t compatible with ST…the implication being that it’s somehow expected that people will assume that it IS compatible in the absence of such an explicit statement to the contrary. And you resurrected a 2 year-old thread to do it in.

You need to work on your regard for honesty.

1 Like

I also recently bought these light bulbs online and becase I have had GE lightbulbs I in my home networkwd rheough the ST hub I made the assumption that they would work with Smartthings as well. I have had zero problem getting them to be networked and recognized by the “C by GE” app but have so far not been successful in getting Smartthings to recognize them. I came here hoping for help but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a snarky unhelpful reply from someone that seems like they are a moderator in this forum. So much for getting help here!

This forum was set up several years ago for customers helping other customers. Unless someone has a badge indicating that they work for smartthings, they’re just another user. Some people are cheerful, some people are prickly, everybody has good and bad days. (I myself am not feeling very well today, and have skipped a lot of topics I would usually find interesting.) But we do all try to help each other. :sunglasses:

Unfortunately, as far as the C by GE bulbs, they are Bluetooth, and do not work with SmartThings. :disappointed_relieved: Completely different model line, I believe even made by a different development team than the one that does the zigbee bulbs that do work with SmartThings.

This is exactly the kind of situation that leads to the “first rule of home automation”: the model number matters. Even when you are buying a device from the same manufacturer, you can’t be certain that it will work with any specific other device without checking the model numbers. You can even get two smart bulbs from the same company and find that, for example, one of them will work with google home and one will not. I know it’s frustrating for consumers: it’s just the state of the industry right now.

The good news is that the C by GE do have an integration with echo, and so you can use Alexa as a “man in the middle” and get some integration that way, at least for on and off. It’s not much, but it may be better than nothing if it’s too late to return the bulbs. But if you can still return the bulbs, that might be the best choice.

If you are interested in the echo method, here’s the FAQ on that. (The topic title is a clickable link)

Unfortunately, as yet there’s no comparable method for Google assistant. Hopefully there will be soon, as Google and Amazon are pretty much leapfrogging each other when it comes to new features. But of course no guarantees.

The safest way to be sure that a new device will work with SmartThings is to check the official compatibility list:

https://www.smartthings.com/products

It’s a little more work upfront, but it can save you a lot of frustration down the road. :sunglasses:

1 Like

Use a simulated contact sensor in (https://account.smartthings.com) as a virtual device. Then use that virtual device to run routines in Alexa. Alexa can see your C-Life bulbs if you have a C-Reach bridge on the same 2.4Ghz wireless network as your smartthings Hub. Now you can control your C-Life bulbs in smartthings Hub by just opening or closing the simulated contact sensor.

1 Like

That method was already listed in the post above yours from last week. It’s discussed in detail in the FAQ linked to there, including the exact steps you have to complete to make it work. :sunglasses:

Sorry to “Zombie” this thread, but it’s the most logical place to put this follow-on question.

C by GE is a suite of products today (2019) beyond just the Bluetooth bulbs. I recently purchased the WiFi toggle switches and they joined to to my network. That said, I’m looking for an integration to the C by GE cloud service (there is one, as I log into it, and I can control these toggles over the Internet).

These toggle switches are a super-convenient way to:

  • Not have to replace your existing face plates
  • Have two separate circuits of lights controlled as a group
  • Not, technically, require any hub, integration, or automation to work

That makes them very “other people in the house” proof, because they “just work”. I haven’t tested this yet, but I suspect they have bluetooth as well, so they’ll even work when the WiFi is down (supposedly).

The only way I know of right now is to use Alexa as a “man in the middle.“ But that’s not two way Communication. You could set up smartthings automations to turn your C by GE bulbs on and off using that method , but if you turn them on in any other way smartthings won’t be notified of the state change.

Details in the following FAQ:

FAQ: WIFI Devices in ST? How can I integrate a WiFi or Bluetooth device that isn’t on the official compatibility list?

Thanks @JDRoberts, just to clarify, this isn’t the GE bulbs, but their C by GE WiFi-enabled switches: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NWB7S86/

I’m going to keep poking around with an integration and see if I can get them working. I like the idea of using Alexa as a MIM, but it’s clunky and as you point out isn’t two-way.

-Rob

Right, it’s the same issue and the same FAQ. :sunglasses: The only available integration at the present time is through echo, and that’s only partial.

Interestingly, I am currently STANDING in Lowe’s in front of a display for this very bulb. I agree with your assessment regarding GE (intentionally?) being “clear as mud” regarding their compatibilities on various products. That’s how I ended up here! Researching this bulb’s comparability with ST.

As for Dan Parker’s snarky comment about Bluetooth connection only, etc. , I am studying the box right now and it mentions NOTHING about BT. The box only says “made for Google” and “works with Google assistant”. So uh DP, you need to take your “Holier Than Though” attitude down two notches! That’s not helpful to anybody and only serves to make you look like a horse’s hind end.

2 Likes

I was in Lowe’s last night and they had to separate c bulbs available. They were banned something a tad different but GE does list on most of its boxes what devices it will work with. One of these two bulbs had ST listed while the other just had Google home and Alexa.

There’s nothing like posting once every 3 years in order to resurrect a long-dead threat just to try and start a pissing match to show what a well-adjusted adult you are.

In other words, it gives no suggestion that it is ST compatible.

2 Likes

I have a question on a similar topic about the C by GE in wall smart dimmer switch and if that is somehow able to integrate with Smartthings directly? I am a newbie so please go easy on me it’s my first time

Welcome! :sunglasses:

Unfortunately, nothing has changed since the previous posts in this thread. There is no direct integration. You may be able to get some partial integration by using Alexa as a “man in the middle,” but that’s it, and this is not usually a very satisfying method for wall switches. :disappointed_relieved:

1 Like

I hate to be that guy but honestly, the best thing to do is to reach out to Savant (General Electric does not own GE lighting anymore) and ask their technical support people.
I have found them to be very helpful in resolving issues (see below for contact information).

Incidentally the box does clearly say that it’s compatible with, and made for use with, Google/Google Assistant as does it say that you need a hub as well.
Google hub does not support zigbee or z-wave protocol.
You can, though, use the C by GE app to control them without any additional hardware.
1-844-302-2943
US and Canada (English):
Monday – Friday 9 AM – 9 PM EST
Saturday - Sunday 12 PM – 9PM EST
Canada (French):
Monday – Friday 9AM – 6PM EST

I realize this thread is three years old now, but since I haven’t seen this solution posted anywhere, I thought I’d throw it out there for anyone who might come here looking for a way to integrate these bulbs into Smartthings. My husband brought a box of them home, not realizing that they weren’t compatible. Here’s how I got them to work with my setup, and depending on how you plan to use them (and if you don’t mind a little extra work), you may be able to get them to work too.

First of all, we use Alexa and Smartthings for just about everything. If you’re a Google Home or other user, read on and see if you can modify what I did to work for you. I turn lights, etc. off and on with Alexa spoken commands and the Smartthings app and routines. To get the C by GE bulbs to not only be seen in Smartthings and Alexa, but also to be controlled by either one and keep the status updated in both, start by enabling the C by GE skill within your Alexa app. Then pair the bulb with Alexa. Give it a name, for example Nightstand Lamp. Next, create a simulated switch and contact sensor in Smartthings (do this through the Smartthings dashboard, not the app - google it if you need instructions). It can’t just be a switch, it has to be both a switch AND contact sensor, because Alexa routines can’t be triggered by switches alone. Using our example, name this device Nightstand Lamp (VD). VD stands for virtual device, to distinguish it from the actual device. This is important because both devices will show up in Alexa and you need to be able to tell the difference. Then go into your Alexa app and create 4 routines: 1) when Nightstand Lamp (VD) contact opens (power on), turn Nightstand Lamp on; 2) when Nightstand Lamp (VD) contact closes (power off), turn Nightstand Lamp off; 3) when I say “Alexa turn on the nightstand lamp,” power on the Nightstand Lamp (VD) and 4) when I say “Alexa turn off the nightstand lamp,” power off the Nightstand Lamp (VD). Now whenever you ask Alexa to turn the light on or off, its status will be updated in Smartthings, and whenever you use the Smartthings app or routines to control the light, its status will likewise be updated in Alexa.

A couple of caveats to this approach - we do have a C by GE smart plug with smart bridge (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NNV4MHS) which I believe acts as a Hub for the C by GE products. Not sure if this is required for this setup or not, but I thought it worth mentioning. Secondly, I don’t ever control the C by GE bulbs from within the Alexa app. Obviously if you do, make sure you’re controlling the VD device, not the actual bulb, otherwise the status will no longer be synced with Smartthings. That goes for turning off a group of lights too. Just make sure the group includes the VIRTUAL device, not the actual device.

Lastly, in the interest of full disclosure, I actually created 6 routines in Alexa, to account for variations in asking to turn the light on and off: “Alexa, turn the nightstand lamp on” vs. “Alexa, turn on the nightstand lamp.” etc. So that’s 6 Alexa routines for each bulb. Multiply that by 4 bulbs, and well, that’s a lot of routines. But the trade off is that I get to use the bulbs with my Smartthings app, routines and Alexa. For that matter, you could use this approach for any smart device that can be seen by Alexa and not Smartthings. Hope this helps someone else.

4 Likes

Nice write up. I bought one of these bulbs for $1 the other day. Like you I run many things via ST and Alexa. Lights are either turned on/off via motion sensors or verbally. We almost never touch a switch. I didn’t have my glasses but saw it said compatible with Google and for $1, I had a new toy to play with. I have been playing with ST for almost 7 years. I enjoy reading helpful comments from the community like yours. The snarky quips should stay on the other side of the keyboard. They server no purpose. I do not have the Smart Plug but I am going to see it this works.

1 Like