GE Links are the least expensive big brand zigbee bulbs you can buy, and, for whatever reason, they seem to sometimes have trouble reconnecting to the SmartThings network after power has been cut, whether it’s from a whole house failure or just someone flipping a switch. Or even just randomly from time to time.
(SmartThings staff have confirmed in the forums that the reason the GE links are not on the official “works with SmartThings” compatibility list is that they have a firmware problem which causes them to stop responding to the Cordinator from time to time. Supposedly GE is aware of the issue and there may be a firmware update from GE in a few months, but no specific timeline and they can’t be certified as compatible yet. Meanwhile, they’re very inexpensive, but they do drop off from time to time, regardless of whether they’re connected through the hue bridge or directly to SmartThings.)
The following was in response to one of many questions on this topic, where a number of GE Links dropped off after visitors have been using dumb switches that were supposed to stay on.
STEP ONE: UNPLUG THE HUB FOR 15 MINUTES
Before you start doing that, though, the first thing to try is just unplug the smartthings hub for 15 minutes. This will be long enough that all the bulbs will panic and decide they need to find the hub. Well, technically the network but same idea. Then just plug the hub back in. This should pick up a bunch of the missing bulbs.
STEP TWO: IF ANY INDIVIDUAL BULBS ARE STILL LOST, POWER THEM OFF THEN ON JUST ONCE.
At that point the hub is online and it knows where most of the bulbs are, but there may still be some that don’t have a good connection. So the second thing to try is just to turn off the power to any lost bulb and turn it back on again. The bulb won’t flash in a pattern, you won’t see anything fancy, it will just try to reestablish the connection that it had before. This is often all you have to do to fix things.
STEP THREE: FOR THE LAST FEW ORPHANS, RESET THE BULB INDIVIDUALLY WITH THE BLINK METHOD, THEN TRY “ADD A NEW DEVICE” IN THE MOBILE APP
So that was stage two. Now the hub should be talking to almost all the links. If there are still one or two orphans, you need to try the blink method to individually reset those lights and then go through the pairing process again with the Hub, but save that for this step because it’s the most work and it’s quite likely that phase 1 (powering off the hub for 15 minutes and restarting it) or phase 2 (powering off an individual bulbs and just turn it right back on) will solve the problem for many of the bulbs.
Note that you do not need to delete the orphan bulb from the smartthings network, or remove it from any smart apps, or rename it, or anything like that. All you’re going to do is physically reset the bulb with the blink protocol and then hit the + in the mobile app to add a new device.
If you have tried step one and step two and you still have some bulbs not responding, you will need to individually reset them.
The GE link bulbs are ZHA profile bulbs. You should be able to reset any individual bulb using the blink method where you flip it on then off then on than off.
Here are the reset instructions for the GE Link. ( note that the required blink pattern may be different for other brands.)
Once the bulb is reset it will flash two or three times quickly to let you know that it’s ready to find a new network.
STEP FOUR: if the bulbs continue to drop off over the next couple of weeks, you probably have to try looking for interference or adding repeaters
If after a week or two you continue to have some bulbs drop off after you’ve gotten them all online again to the hub, then you may have to start looking at Range or repeater issues. See the range topic:
Sometimes a remodel introduces new physical barriers in the home, whether it’s new water pipes, a new refrigerator, tinted glass–there are a lot of things that can reduce signal strength that aren’t obvious. Even some kinds of in wall insulation and some kind of wallpaper.
Also because these are zigbee bulbs they can run into interference from Wi-Fi at both ends of the message transmission. Make sure your SmartThings hub is not right next to your Wi-Fi router, and preferably about 3 m away. If you have recently added Wi-Fi access points or change the Wi-Fi channel that might also be an issue, but that discussion would belong in a different thread.
But save all of that until you’ve tried the first three steps above in case the problem is just something specific to the GE links, rather then a range issue.