GE Link Bulbs vs TCP Bulbs

Ok @wackware I went out and picked up a GE Link bulb to test and it works to perfection with ST’s. I’m thinking about selling all my TCP bulbs and replacing them with the GE Links, but first I need to test the brilliant minds in the ST’s community. My question have you or anyone out there compared the 2?? I don’t care about price point since it’s not much difference. In the end I’d probably save some money if I went to the Links and got full price for the TCP’s.

I am the self proclaimed TCP master and had them for over a year now. I currently have close to 40 bulbs waiting (patiently) to be connected to ST’s, but that patience is running thin. They work flawlessly with the TCP app in iOS and if they’re going to work that well in ST’s once the bug is fixed then it’s worth the wait.

The GE Link was connected right to ST’s without any issues. It took me 10 seconds or less and I was in ST’s toggling the light to perfection. You don’t need the Wink Hub if you are using them with ST’s and that’s a nice bonus. I do however notice the GE doesn’t dim as well as the TCP does.

Any input you have or anyone out there has please share. I don’t want to migrate until I have some info. :smile:

Thanks to all!!

My TCP hub was never updated to the firmware people are having problems with so my TCP bulbs work just as well with ST as my GE Link bulb. I had to recently uninstall then reinstall the GE bulb after it stopped communicating with ST.

For someone just buying bulbs, yes the GE bulbs are probably the way to go since they are cheaper, do not require a second hub and do not depend on a link / API to an outside Co.

@Dave well aren’t you a lucky duckling lol? My problem was I couldn’t control more then 3 bulbs (a known issue) to work. Now I can’t connect anything until the new issue is resolved.

How many GE Bulbs do you have?? Do you prefer TCP over the GE Link?

Thanks for responding!

I thought you had the original problem worked out. I have 6 TCP bulbs and 2 GE bulbs (only one connected and it’s outside).
The TCP and GE bulbs are about the same to me, the light might be a little better from the TCP, both control fine for me. The Watts display on the TCP SmartApp is nice.

I’m somewhat in the same boat. I haven’t tested/used the GE Link bulbs, but definitely wishing I kept the boxes for my TCP bulbs. Attempts to control them via SmartThings and/or Harmony is pretty much a fail. I get different results every time I try. I’m also seeing them randomly dim after they have been on for 30 minutes or so. No idea why that is happening. Do we know if a fix for this stuff is in the pipeline?

I had the same problems with TCP and Harmony. Are you by chance using fixtures in your TCP setup? I ended up replacing the TCP bulbs in my home theater with GE Link bulbs. The only thing I miss are the fixtures. I am using the dim with me and a virtual dimmer, but the results are not the same. Also, the GE bulbs do not get as dim as the TCP.

Nope, no fixtures…just regular old, I think, A19 bulbs.

@Dave no sir I’m sitting in the same holding pattern. My issue goes back to April when this was released, then took a complete nightmare turn with this latest firmware problem. I do like that the watts are displayed with TCP. Guess I need to wait this out.

@jodyalbritton I think the TCP bulbs are the way to go also. Maybe go with the GE Bulbs outside and TCP inside for dimming purpose.

Thank you all for the input!

I meant the fixtures that the TCP app provides. You can group a set of lights into a fixture and all commands to dim or toggle happen simultaneously.

Ahh, I understand you now. Yes, I am using that now because of the integration working like crap. If that wasn’t an issue, I don’t expect I would use the TCP app at all.

I picked up the GE Links (15 in my basement, so I can zone off different areas) because I didn’t want to worry about another hub (probably saved $100+ too). I’ve seen the TCP bulbs in action, and I think they have a nicer light and better dimming (I wish the GE had a diffuser).

My take on the GE’s is that they are great lights, especially for the price, but have their issues. I have had several lose their connection to the hub at times and need a reset, remove, re-add process. Typically this seems to happen when my lights are off at the wall switch for extended periods. The reset isn’t too painful unless you have a lot of SmartApps installed. Occasionally I’ll have a bulb or two that gets missed on a mass off/on command. I usually chalk that up to interference on the 2.4ghz spectrum and manually fix it.

The device type isn’t the most stable. Even with the good work done by ST and @twack, it’s not the best at recognizing the state of the bulb. I don’t know if this is a hardware issue or with the zigbee device type. I’m trying to continue working on it. @kelchm added transition time to level changes, so they don’t just instantaneously switch states, so they’re kind of a work in progress.

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As far as groups and simultaneous commands go, the GEs show the Group and Scene clusters of the Zigbee library, so I’m trying to build a SmartApp to take advantage of those. It’d be GE specific, but imagine the DimWithMe app using a virtual master, but instead of cycling through the selected bulbs and sending commands; it’d assign a groupID to the selected bulbs and send a single command to the groupID for simultaneous actions. Sending the proper commands shouldn’t be too hard, but managing device responses and setting up reading attributes properly might be a nightmare.

I’m a novice at best at coding, so it’d be great if ST could expand their Zigbee documentation in the developer section.


@Sticks18 I enjoyed reading that and got exactly what I needed. Thank you for taking the time.

The GE Bulb I bought last weekend as a tester does everything you’ve described. I need to face reality here and be patient. It looks like TCP is the way to go. I really hope when everything is fixed, this works as good as the outdated TCP app.

Thanks again!

Best Offer I can make for the TCP bulbs is a dollar a piece! I’ll buy them all. If interested ping me… :wink:

@smart I’m sure you would. If you get any bites let me know.

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I’m pretty happy with my GE bulbs. I occasionally have one not respond to a command but that seems to have gotten better over time. I leave mine on at the switch and have them controlled by motion sensors. When one stops responding, I just turn off the switch for 10-15 seconds and then all is good.

I currently have 10 of them connected and two more lying around.

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Does anyone know if either the TCP or GE bulbs come in BR 40s?


GE all the way. Direct connection to the hub via zigbee cannot be beat.


@tslagle13, couldn’t agree more. The only thing I wish would be for the bulbs to report an ON status when manually turned on. I’ve been playing with my own device type that turns on logging at a very detailed level to see what the data from the bulb shows, and I can clearly see in the live log a state change when manually turned on. I’m just not smart enough to figure out what needs done in ST to reflect that state in the app.