Cree Connected bulb reliability to automate, or lack thereof


(Kevin) #1

As with most people, my entrance into this automation thing was basic lighting. So I started with Cree Connected bulbs in soft white. Mostly cause of the quality/color of the light and how it patterns very much like a ‘regular’ bulb. Now to think how long before the idea of ‘regular bulb’ doesn’t mean incandescent bulb.

Since I started about 8 months ago with ST, right before the v2 came out, I have about 20 connected bulbs in my house. I went that way partially for the dim function, but also ease of install. Problem is after I got to about 4 or 5, it is really hit or miss on if they properly function.

Scenario: 2 connected bulbs in one fixture in my laundry room controlled by motion sensor. I’d say less than 75% of the time both bulbs turn on, and less than 50% of the time do both turn off. I see the automation in the logging but its like the bulb just ignored it or something I dont know.

So I thought maybe my zigbee mesh was bad. I can never get a clear answer of do the bulbs themselves act as repeaters. So I’ve now got a bunch of Iris smart plugs dotted around the house mostly all within eye shot of each other and wrapping around corners. Still that hasn’t helped much either.

Same goes with my bar lights, 2 bulbs, most the time its like the bar had a stroke and only one light works.

Before it becomes a ‘range issue’. Same room, less than 10 feet from the hub each, are 2 bulbs. I’d say 25% of the time, only one will turn on instead of both.

I’ve tried everything that I can think of. I didn’t want to go the route of replacing every switch with a zwave switch, but at this point they are more reliable than these bulbs. My osram lightify rgb stuff seems to work more reliable as well. And like the range or interference issue, why does the smart plugs work dang near 100%, same room as a couple bulbs and like 10’ away and then the bulb fails.

Is it the device type? I’ve seen one post someone saying they changed it to one of the dimmable smart outlets and got better reliability out of them? I cant be the only one having this issue. I’ve been debating doing the ‘reliability graph’ like others have started to maybe get the attention of @slagle on this issue. But so far, these bulbs are the only thing giving me issues here.

I do a routine for go to bed that turns off all lights and smart outlets. Its a nightly thing for me to hit the button in the app, then go one by one on each bulb, hit refresh, wait 5 seconds, hit refresh again and then it shows that the bulb is indeed still on, then i can turn it off. When you go into a bulb it will show off and 0%. Hit refresh it will jump to 99%. Then refresh again it will then be controllable. Only on these Cree bulbs.

Luckly I am a single guy that can see light shining from my bed. So most the time I dont have to get up to check each bulb. Is this just a device handler issue cause my zigbee mesh at this point has to be pretty good, everything else is working fine. Window sensors on the far side of the house past the bulbs all report on schedule and reliable. Motion sensors in same room as the bulbs report and function fine. Smart Outlets work fine in the same room… Ideas?


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(Christopher Masiello) #2

Yeah, I notice that the more I add, the more they disappear and flake out. It’s too bad, because they are really great bulbs. Nice warm light.


(Kevin) #3

I’ve had really good luck using the SmartPower Dimming Outlet device handler. That device handler also runs locally, but the default Cree device handler doesn’t.


(Kevin) #4

By using a different device handler just screams to me that its something with the default code. Like how now the look of the ‘thing’ view is back to the very old device view. It has changed looks 3 times in the last month. If this bulb is officially supported, I would hope they would not let this sorta issue continue.

Out of all the smart bulbs out there, I can’t see any others that I’d consider switching for. Hue would be the first thought but then you should be using the hub…which I think makes that whole situation more stable. So far Ive liked the osram offerings but not sure it would be any better.

The cree connected is like the cornerstone of generic white bulbs.

Oh so started a note of failures. Just tonight in the last 2 hours I’ve had 6 ‘failures’ of bulbs not working correctly. All but like 1 automation has had a ‘failure’ of some sort like one of 2 bulbs turning on. These arent great odds.


(Kevin) #5

Have you tried a different device handler to see if it makes a difference?


(Kevin) #6

Not yet. Getting a baseline for a day or two. Then I think I’ll try the different handler. Ive tried to be a ‘typical user’ for so long, then I dig in like this, then I say screw it and go back to typical user. My friend who got me into ST absolutely refuses to login to the ide and look around because he says he just wants things to work. And honestly he hasn’t complained to me hardly at all. But he has 700sq ft apartment with like 4 bulbs.

So I’ll play with device types in a few days maybe.


(Kevin) #7

If there are some bulbs worse than others, you may want to try factory resetting them. I believe you use the switch to turn it on for 1 second, off for 2 seconds and repeat that about 4 times and it will start flashing on its own once it’s been reset.


(Kevin) #8

Lol I’ve reset every bulb at least once since getting them. There is one chronic one that does this more regularly but for the most part any bulb in the house is suspect.

And look there. The new look thing view is back again in the app. This is about 4 changes in a month.

Last night as I was going to bed the good night routine failed completely with the cree bulbs. It turned off all my osram bulbs, Zwave switches, and zigbee smart outlets. The 6 bulbs that were on, all failed to turn off. Now that I’m logging this it’s getting kinda humerous. One day and I’ve had more partial controls than fully working. Only once did it fully work.


(Kevin) #9

Spoke too soon. Just went back to a bulb in the app. Back to the old looking device.


(Chick Webb) #10

It might just be that, since the “SmartPower Dimming Outlet” runs locally, you don’t run into timing issues in the cloud. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.

BTW, yesterday and this morning I had issues with these (and other) lights. Since it seems like there were fairly widespread issues with the platform last night and it affected other lights as well, I’m still hopeful that the problems I was having with the Cree Bulb DTH are going to be largely solved.


(Kevin) #11

Thing is chick is that “runs locally” means nothing to me as I’m on V1 hub. Only way that makes a difference is just how the handler is coded. It might make a difference but I doubt it.


(Chick Webb) #12

V1 is old and busted, man! V2 is the new hotness! :stuck_out_tongue:

[apologies to MIB]


(Kevin) #13

There’s no coding difference between devices that run locally and devices that don’t. I’m pretty sure it’s basically just whether or not the DH has been included in the hub firmware.

Since you’re on v1 of the hub, you might not see any difference by switching device handlers.

It could be that no one else will see a difference and it’s just a coincidence that they’ve been working better for me since I changed them to that other DH.


(reacean) #14

I am also on v1 of the hub, with a grip of Cree bulbs that are often uncooperative. I changed the device handler, since nothing else I have tried has solved my issues, but I saw little to no difference in their behavior. I still check in to the community every few days in hope that someone finds a solution to this, since contacting support (several times) has not produced any results either.


(Kevin) #15

This ‘feature’ is single handedly making me want to pull all this automation out and go back to the switches. So far just by noting all this, its come to my attention that more or less… its failed more than its worked. Since monday I think its only did 100% correct automation for like 3 times. Simple motion sensor on, then 2mins after motion stop turn off, thats only worked 3 times out of at least 20 interactions. Piss poor reliability if you ask me. Working up good documentation of this setup just to show that I’ve done dang near everything I can at this point. I also worked up how much I’ve spent on this hobby, and it does kinda make me mad.


(Michael) #16

I have about 10 Cree Bulbs and don’t have any issues with them, using the stock device handler. I did have a couple drop off the network and require re-pairing but I think that was during the major ST issues, those issues seem to be slowly getting fixed. The one thing I will note is that I am on a V2 hub and I am using the daylight version instead of the soft white version of the bulb.


(Kevin) #17

I didnt get really detailed like down to the min/sec on what failed. But this is just since monday. These are Cree Connected soft white in a 2200sq/ft house. So far its only the cree bulbs I’ve had problems with. This is on default handler, v1 hub, that was rebooted monday night, which is the first thing in this log. With pretty much everyone at ST out of the office at SDC I doubt anyone will notice. But I’ll just keep logging.


(Michael) #18

I am going to make a bet that the issues are due to the cloud issues that exist and the fact that you have a v1 hub which relies completely on the cloud. Since my Cree Bulbs run locally on the hub it may be helping with the issues you are seeing. I hate to say to just buy a v2 hub but it seems that everyone that agrees there is an issue is on a v1 hub so to me it seems like a v1 hub issue.


(Kevin) #19

I wouldnt go so far as saying v2 fixes it… as like 3 things run locally on the hub since local processing is a joke. Are you 100% sure your bulbs are running locally with your automations? Have you checked that?


(Michael) #20

I am using Smart Lighting and Button Controller, both of which do run locally as long as the device handlers they are setup with is local as well. Since I am using the stock device handler everything is running locally, at least for some of my bulbs. I do have a few bulbs that are setup to work with a custom smart app so that automation is not local but I have also not seen any issues there that cannot be attributed to the widespread ST issues with the cloud.

I am not trying to say that v2 will definitely fix the issues, I am just saying that it seems that everyone agreeing that they see the same issues are on a v1 hub (and conversely a couple of v2 users say no issues) so that has to say something. I would be interested to see if anyone running a v2 hub can confirm that they do see the same issues.