The Smartthings app seems to believe the state of a device is the last command that the hub sent to it. The device states are ON/OFF. The Hue Bridge on the other hand has three states for bulbs ON/OFF/OFFLINE. This is because bulbs are often turned on and off from old fashion switches, bulbs die or loosen, outlets can lose power, and cords can become unplugged.
We often combine manual light switching with app/Alexa-driven state changes for several reasons:
- not everyone has a smartphone in their hand
- sometimes we forget to tell Alexa to do it
- it’s faster and more expedient if you’re standing next to the switch/lamp to switch it on/off
- one switch controls multiple devices
- my parents come to visit and they are old fashioned
- old habits
- my 11 year old wants to disable the motion detection in her room
- we rent and cannot install connected switches or outlets
- we don’t have remote control outside of Alexa or smartphones
For the Hue Bridge, offline is a state which indicates that the hub cannot currently reach the bulb. Smartthings really needs a third state.
Currently, the Smarrthings device state is often wrong. If someone turns the light off from a switch, the app says it is ‘ON’. If someone then turns on a light that was off from a switch, the app says it is ‘OFF’. If a bulb was last switched manually, I to click the on/off button in the app several times to get the app to sync up with the actual state of a bulb. This is also true with other devices. I have a Aeon Labs switch which is currently unplugged and not utilized. But Smartthings happily thinks it is On and working.
Furthermore, a status of OFFLINE would let me know there is an issue with one of my devices. Today a bulb became loose in it’s fixture. It wasn’t turning on. I would not have known it unless I was standing in the room because the Smartthings app kept telling me it was ON and then OFF depending on what message it sent to the bulb last.
I’m surprised that the hub doesn’t not ping devices periodically and reflect ON/OFF/OFFLINE. Showing if any devices are offline seems like a primary feature in a connected home.