Cree Connected bulb reliability to automate, or lack thereof

Yea the Cree’s are ZLL according to support either saying it officially or by accident. In my support thread they called out ZLL. And with them also saying that the Cree’s will repeat… that still doesn’t seem to make my setup any better. I have 15 or so bulbs dotted around the house. I also have smart outlets dotted along with them. Still my Cree’s still dont work reliably.

And I am now in the part of support where they are going down the script. I’ve been asked to move things closer to the hub. Did that, no major difference. Sitting 10ft away in the same room, still had failures. So now its been ‘can you remove and re-add the device to see if that helps’. All that combined with ‘our bulbs here in the office are not having any issues and no other reports’. Having been in support for many years myself… thats code for ‘your problem not ours’. So I am starting to look at my options. Either osram bulbs, zwave switches…or dump it all and go hue and kick ST to the curb.

An update on my efforts to suss this out, and some info/data in my post on this thread - What’s a cheap zigbee repeater?. Might be of interest to people following this conversation.

Yea I’ve been following your work. Thing is I’ve done what you’ve done in an attempt to make my house more robust. Ive breadcrumb’d around the house the iris plugs. There’s hardly a 10ft gap between them with at most 1 2x4 drywall uninsulated wall between them. I probably will buy 3 more, could use 2 but if the 2 for 3 sale is still going on I’ll do that. So far I’ve had very little need for them for their real use, just using them as repeaters. So that means so far ive spent about 230 dollars on just these outlets.

I really am close to just dumping all zigbee at this point. Another friend is a friend heavily tied to homeseer and has like 0 issues in a much larger house. So thats almost where I’m leaning at this point.

One more test to see if I can affect a change. Have moved the hub to the center of the living room… literaly sitting on the coffee table with ethernet draped across the house. This puts it directly in the middle of the house, further away from the wi-fi and closer to 2 of the most used bulbs.

I still dont understand cause 1, I’ve had it where its been since day one. And at the start of all this it was dang near 100% reliable back last august. I bought the hub July 2015. I dont know exact dates but I’d say I was content until at least Thanksgiving. 2, with all the extra repeaters purchased, placement of the hub should be a non issue I would think.

Doing the 15min power down now, and Ill leave it there for a week maybe. At least Im single with no pets cause this would not work for anyone else…

Over 24 hours after moving the hub to the middle of the living room, no discernible difference. Laundry room bulbs still are like 90% unreliable on if both will turn on or off reliably. Bulbs few feet from hub dont reliably turn on and off. Deleted fully and re-added at least once problematic bulb, no change same unreliable function.

Rest of my zigbee devices are reliable. This has to be a Cree Connected issue at some way. Either the device handler or just the hardware itself. I know I’m still on a v1 hub but I still hear people complain in this thread with a v2 hub. So I dont plan to upgrade hub, if I am told to go that route Im more likely to replace ST as a whole. These bulbs worked from July 2015 till at least November 2015. Sometime around that time frame I really saw a degradation of them.

My osram rgbw strips are still dang near 95% reliable. The rgbw recessed replacement bulb is same. Well other than the broken slider for color temperature. Motion sensors work reliably, these are all ST/samsung sensor. The iris contact sensors are reliable. The iris and st smart outlets reliable. Just these bulbs and/or their handlers. For something that is on their supported list to get ‘works here in the office so no system issue’ is kinda sucky. Oh well I guess that seems to be the MO for ST support now, call us all Dev’s and sell investors on the flash but this dirty stuff just sweep it all under the rug

@KevinH, have you considered this? GE link Bulbs @ hd :slight_smile:

That said, I feel your pain. Still haven’t got some of my bulbs working more than about 80% of the time.

Another 24 hours gone by with my v1 hub sitting in the middle of the living room with the ethernet in the way. Same things happening. Laundry room bulbs more often one stays on…both seem to come on reliably but only 1 turns off after motion stops. Bar bulbs same thing as usual, crap shoot for if they both do the right thing.

Its kinda humorous that I am more surprised when things work right and reliable than not… since it is so rare.

Starting to eye Hue just because they seem to have their crap in line and working reliably compared to this.

Somewhat of an update. Not reported this back to support just yet. But they had me delete some cree bulbs. I’m down to almost the bare min bulbs for my day to day use. I could delete 2 more maybe. But seems like that it has helped. Bedroom automations seem about 80%, they turn on almost always, turning off after motion stopped +10mins still has it where 1 might not turn off. Kitchen bar is almost 100% now. Good night is better but not perfect by any means. And the laundry room 100% on turn off, like 0% on turn off. One almost always stays on. Living room lamps, 1 is like 90%, 1 is like 60%.

Guess I am going to try deleting 2 more bulbs and see if that helps.

Anyone running a high number of Cree bulbs? But then what counts as high number? I was at like 20, now down to 12 automated rest have been fully deleted and its more stable. I could delete my 2 front door lights.

Every time I go to do a reply to support something new seems to happen

I worked with support for a while trying to troubleshoot this problem, and they were never able to provide much in terms of help. The only real troubleshooting suggestions besides the normal move the hub from your wifi router, power down for 15 minutes to reset, etc, was to unpair, then re-pair every bulb (or the misbehaving ones, which were all of mine).

In the mean time, I added a Hue bridge and some Hue bulbs to my setup, since I heard good things about the reliability. After seeing how responsive those bulbs were, and realizing I could pair the Cree’s to the Hue, I went that route. I don’t have a definitive answer as to the cause of the problem, but post migration to the Hue bridge, my bulbs are at 99% reliability. Since I had done re-pairing of certain bulbs from time to time to the Smartthings hub, the only thing I can think of would be that the Hue bridge had a different Zigbee Channel than the ST hub, which works better for my home.

I was about half a day away from selling all of my Cree bulbs at a loss and replacing them all with Hue whites, but if you’re willing to invest in the additional hardware, perhaps a Hue bridge is what is needed, if only for the different (and adjustable?) Zigbee channel.

I only have a single cree bulb, direct connect to ST. It’s worked flawlessly since I’ve gotten it about a month ago (i started watching this thread when i bought it).
I have a dozen+ hue bulbs, and those work well (98% reliable). The times when I have problems with them it seems to be the same bulbs. I have a fan with 4 bulbs in it, and sometimes the same 1 or 2 don’t turn off (even from the hue app).
I’m on the v2 hub. So I don’t think my hue issue is a ST issue, but wanted to let you know the hue bulbs are working great for me.
I also have a couple Aeotec LED bulbs, I tried them as a cheaper alternative to hue, and directly connects to ST (hoping for some latency reduction since it has one less hop). The bulbs have been working flawlessly also, however the color from the bulbs isn’t quite right. For example, I set a mode where ST turns on a hue bulb and my Aeotec bulb to “blue”, the hue bulb is blue, but the Aeotec one is more on the red side (so glowing purple ish). I set a custom rule to set the color manually (Rule Machine FTW), and it works great now.

@reacean how many cree bulbs do you have in your system now? and how many on the Hue hub vrs straight to ST. I dont think repairing or zigbee channel has anything to do with this at all. I gave this the best possible chance… sitting the st hub in the middle of the living room all by itself so no interference from other noisy things. That didnt help one bit. Hub at that point was only a few feet away, line of sight, no barriers to some of my most problematic bulbs and no change.

I am close to getting rid of it all. My problem with going with a Hue hub is that ultimately I am not doing a lot with automation and I think that I prob could just go all Hue and dump ST. All my automation is around lighting at times and a few motion sensors that I could live without for the most part. Sounds like a hue hub is likely a sure shot bet. I just really like the light quality out of the Cree’s the best of almost any LED bulb ive seen. The hue’s are too ‘up light’ like for my tastes. I had hoped to not have to invest in hue but kinda sounding like it now.

@KevinH I have about 24 Cree Bulbs, 4 Hue Bulbs. The ST hub started (with no issues, mind) right on top of my wifi router. As part of support’s troubleshooting, I moved it as far as physically possible away, ~30ft away. Issues persisted with all 24 bulbs, at least from when it started. After re-pairing the Crees to the hue bridge, I have gotten to about 95% reliability with commands sent through ST, with only the occasional light not turning off when motion stops in a particular room (which is also not a big deal for me). More importantly, the status of the lights in the ST app is finally accurate, which it has rarely been while being directly connected to the ST hub. For what its worth, the hue bridge lives on a shelf right above the wifi router with no problems either. Either the hue is just better at controlling these, or the fact that its on Zigbee channel 15 vs 24 that my ST hub is on is what fixed me up.

Well thats both heartening and disheartening at the same time lol. Same deal here, I’m around 20 bulbs I think and until I deleted off about 8 or so bulbs. Seems to me that they have a serious limitation on the bulb because 0 change other than deleting bulbs has made a big difference. Now that im at like 12 bulbs im probably at 80% reliable operation.

Whats even more disheartening is that now I’m back to square one with support with ‘can you delete and readd one of the bulbs having issues’. Thing is, its not one particular bulb and it isnt always having issues. If it was always the same bulb I wouldnt push back so much. So oh well for getting any real help from support as it seems I’m back to page one in the script.

I guess I’ll end up with Hue. I wanted to stay more ‘open’ with my devices and seemed like Osram was that way. What I try to do is keep as few different devices as possible. So I guess either I live with my led strips from osram or do i go hue… If ST goes belly up at least Hue should still work. I dont have the Osram gateway but maybe Im going to have to get one… oh well. More debating of the way I want to go… at least more things work with Hue… which has me leaning that way.

unrelated to this thread… i chatted with support about hue connect, and found out that it’s not locally processed on v2 hubs. which is mind boggling to me… since the hue bridge isn’t externally accessible.
That explains my occasional issue where some lights won’t turn off, or won’t change color, etc in a timely manner.

Just an extra random thought in here. All of the Home Depots near me have a TON of TCP connected bulbs on clearance as well as the bridge. Might be something to look into. Also since you are on a v1 hub, might be better to get a v2 hub rather than the Hue from a cost perspective. Might buy the v2 hub on amazon and if you still have issues, return it and go Hue. Just a thought.

My experience so far is that Cree and GE Link bulbs are more reliable when paired with the Hue hub. With the GE Links now so cheap at Home Depot, that might be the most cost effective way to go. BTW, I have a never-used Gen 1 Hue hub that I don’t need if you’re interested. Say, $20 plus shipping?

Yea I’ll take that gen1 hub off ya for that. Sending PM

Well I can almost 100% confirm that theres a bug with how the Cree’s are handled. I’m guessing something with the device handler. But thanks to chickwebb I now have a gen1 Hue hub. So I deleted 6 of my most used bulbs from ST then added them to the hue hub. Imported them into ST and redid my automations. They work 100% now. Also I am now down to like 9 cree bulbs directly connected to ST…and guess what? They are dang 100% now it seems. Bedroom lights turn on and off from motion without any hiccups. Office lamps are predicable. Good Night routine turns everything off without any nightly refresh dance… I am going to limit the number of bulbs on ST.

Reacean and I cant be the only ones with >10 cree bulbs. I dont know where the break point is, but it was still sketchy at like 16 bulbs. I know we are outliers and all… that the avg ST customer has less than 15 devices TOTAL… but those of us here on the forum push the system, find the limits. Not saying we should be catered to, but its pretty obvious that we find bugs all the time for them. Take 400-500 dollars, go down to HD buy 20 cree bulbs, buy 20 cheap lamps or drop lights, pair them up and find where it breaks. When support says ‘well it works here at the office but we dont have any way to test that many bulbs’ thats a horrible excuse.

I dont have a big house, 2200sq/ft, but hell only 1700 or so if you take out the bonus room that i never use. And i dont have a whole lot of lights, but i bet if you count an average house, you would find more than 10 bulbs in lamps or single socket setups. When a smart switch costs ~35, and a smart bulb is ~14, you do the math there. Then if you live in an older house without good wiring…smart bulbs might be the best solution. And maybe I’m weird that I like to keep everything the same… and honestly the Cree’s are about the best looking in terms of light quality.

But as of today I am about 3 days of reliable automation…well other than when crap was down yesterday…when I wasnt at home so I dont count that lol Will report back. and keep trying to put good keywords in here because as of this post I’d still say you cannot run >10 Cree Connected bulbs without control issues.

@KevinH yeah I’m at about a month now since adding the Hue hub and migrating my bulbs over to that, and have maintained a 95% success rate across my 25 Cree lights and their automations/routines/etc. The only reason I had so many Cree to begin with was that the home I bought was still decked out in incandescents, so why I figured why not take the extra step and get the affordable smart bulbs while I’m already buying all replacements.

Week later from my last reply. I’m dang near 100% reliable here. One thing that did happen was one bulb paired to the Hue Hub said it was unresponsive and started to flash. Power cycled the bulb and that cured it. Other than that my automations here have been 100%. At some point I may start adding bulbs back to ST to see where it breaks…or not. Dont know if i care to do troubleshooting for ST or not.

Recommendation still stands. Dont have more than 10 cree connected bulbs on ST.

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