GE Link Bulbs no more useful than standard LED's?


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #1

So I have about 13 or so of these bulbs and little by little they are losing programming. I am unable to control them by the app and they do not report correctly (using pollster and shared ge link app).

It’s next to impossible to keep others in the house (or guests) from using the standard light switches which apparently causes the bulbs to eventually lose programming. Understanding that this is how the bulbs reset themselves (in a particular pattern of course) than are they resetting or is there something else going on?

Thus far I’ve been able to exclude / include and get them working again, but it isn’t long before manual activity of the switch causes them to lose control via the app.

I am on the most recent firmware for zigbee…very frustrating.


Why is this system so broke
(Andrew Cockburn) #2

I came to the conclusion that any smart bulb should be used tactically - smart switches and dimmers are far more user friendly to the rest of the household who just want a working light switch. Telling them to leave the switch alone and use their iPhone makes the whole thing seem pointlessly complex to the uninitiated. Having smart switches gives you the best of both worlds. Since I learned this the hard way, I have about 5 GE Link bulbs sitting idle in my garage. One possible use is in lamps that don’t have their own physical wall switch. My only grumble there is that my wife much prefers the diffused look of Cree LED bulbs so I ended up putting wall plug dimmers and switches on the lamps instead of the GE bulbs.

To answer your question - I think it is definitely possible that turning them on and off with the switch could revert them to factory settings. The official way is to turn them on and off 5 times in succession with a pause in between. In my experience it took more times than that, but I don’t know how long the pause has to be, maybe it could be 30 minutes, and just the action of someone turning the bulb on and off several times over the course of the evening could reset it.

FWIW, for the time I did have GE bulbs, they worked fine and didn’t lose connectivity with the hub at all, but I did leave the power switched on to them at all times.


(Elijah) #3

I found the humans to be the biggest problem in my GE Link set up too. In another post someone suggested switch guards and they have done a fine job of deterring the inhabitants from leaving switches in the off position or using the switch at all.


(Alex) #4

I think humans should be eliminated from any HA setup. They keep messing up everything!


(Scott G) #5

I generally agree that smart switches are better than bulbs in most cases, but my GE Links have been rock solid since moving to the new device type. I think this new product from Centralite (manufacturer of most ST devices) will help for people that have bulbs and need to prevent the human factor. It’s basically a switch guard that is smart itself and can be used to trigger the bulbs.


(Dave N) #6

I only use Link bulbs in switchless applications (lamp sockets etc.) Then, I remove the switch and hard-wire it on; damn humans keep turning them off. I usually program Double Tap to the closest real smart switch to control the ones I have permanently wired.


#7

@Drewbert34, just like Sticks18, my bulbs are rock solid with the updated device type. Are you using it, or is that what you meant by “shared ge link app”?


(Tina Caron) #8

I’ve had good luck with my link bulbs too. I also have other people in the house from time to time (cleaners, pet sitters) that are notorious for flipping switches off that they never touched in the first place to turn on. Infuriates me because then I come home to outside lights turned off, no lights on inside, etc. And this was before I dove into Home Automation.

I googled and looked over several switch guard options and they all seemed more expensive than I thought they should be ($7, really??) or intended to keep a switch in the permanent on or off position. That might work in some cases, but I personally have found a need to flip on a light that I was standing right next to, but didn’t have my mobile in my hand. It’s possible to throw the switch off then on and the light comes on just fine. I haven’t had a problem with loss of control via the app, but admitedly I also use this switch flip option rarely.

But I digress a bit, in the spirit of giving some background to my DIY switch guards. I ended up in Lowe’s in the electrical and plumbing aisles, and settled on two items that I thought would work. One is a roll of pipe hanging plastic that has small holes at regular intervals. Holes are perfectly sized for the same size screws used to mount a switch plate. I screwed one end in place, bowed the plastic tape over the switch, and then bent it so that a lower hole lined up with the mount screw. This leaves a curved piece of plastic strapping bowing over the switch but leaves it accessible to use from the side. This has been enough to break even my own habits of throwing a switch to off when I leave a room. Hopefully it will do the same for others.

Like this, only made out of white plastic:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Master-Flow-Perforated-Metal-Hanger-Straps-3-4HS/100396917?MERCH=REC--SearchPLPHorizontal1_rr--NA--100396917--N

The other item that I found that works well is copper pipe straps. I think the ones I ended up using were 1" straps.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_301303-26043-301303_0__?productId=3736643&Ntt=pipe+strap&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dpipe%2Bstrap&facetInfo=


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #9

@johnconstantelo

I am using the new device type with pollster. I am chasing my tail with these things!


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #10

One thought…

Recently I did some home improvements which required turning off breakers. Could that cause the issue?


(Greg) #11

I’m having issue with one of my GE’s that I updated to the most recent community device type. It is missing a lot of commands. My other GE’s are doing fine. I haven’t gotten around to really looking at it in depth but the one thing I saw in the activity log was a lot of set level commands compared to the other bulbs. The bulbs are in the same fixture and are receiving the same on command from the same event, but only one was getting a set level command. I change the device type for the one problem bulb back to the ST version. I will investigate more at some point.


(JimMay3) #12

Purchased 3, at HD, $14.97, great deal with the dimmer feature built in.

Out of all the gear I tested, these never failed once on Wink or ST.

Set up 3 of these within minutes on either system.

Friend had a problem connecting, it appears once they are paired, they can not be added to anything (like most gear), thus there is a manual rest (if I recall in was like 5 power cycle with the lamp switch, then it flashed on it’s own).

Always unpair your gear if not going to use it, when ever I have suspect pairing issues I use the GE 45600 remote to reset it, simple and visual. Lets you unpair any device from any hub or comment. Worth getting one just for this for only $8-10.

GE, great job…



(Brandon) #13

I agree with everyone else, and have 5 or 6 of these in lamps that aren’t tied to switches and they work absolutely great in that use-case. Tying them to a physical switch and telling people not to use the switch is a disaster waiting to happen. I know it’s more expensive, but just get the Z-wave switch in that case and have it work both ways.


(Dawn Fairbro) #14

First, let me apologize upfront if this sounds like a dumb question to ask. I am fairly new at this and stumbling my way around. If I get the Link bulbs do I need to purchase the Wink hub to make them work or will it work just with the ST hub. Also does the Wink hub plug into the router or just into an electrical outlet. Having a hard time finding information on it. Thanks for the help


#15

I have frequent issues with some of my GE bulbs not receiving the “off” command. Most of my light fixtures have 2 bulbs and frequently, one of the bulbs will stay on. I can manually turn it off from the app so it seems that sometimes they just don’t receive the first command.

I would prefer to install Z-Wave wall switches but my house has aluminum wiring and the AlumiConn connectors that I’m using everywhere are bulky; I doubt I would have room for a bulky Z-Wave switch.


(Brandon) #16

You do not need the Wink hub but you do have to contact ST support to have them upgrade your ZigBee firmware in order to support the bulbs.

Have you seen these? http://www.cnet.com/news/third-party-smartthings-device-maker-gets-retail-product-line/ It was linked in the CES thread but it might suit your application well.


#17

Yeah, I just saw those. I have been installing “decora” style switches and that looks like it is designed for toggle switches. :frowning:


(Brandon) #18

We also prefer the decora style switches. Theoretically, it wouldn’t matter what was behind this device but the toggle switch does add some additional height to the device that a decora switch would not require.


(Greg) #19

I’m having the same issue but for both on and off. Support told me it is an issue with group commands.


(Scott G) #20

Did they have a solution or did they mention a fix in the works?