Issues getting and maintaining connectivity to Hub

Hello. I am a newbie to this community so please pardon me if I am asking already answered questions.
I have just started building parts of a smart home and am having problems with everything staying connected.
My components are……SmartThings Hub V3, SmartThings app V1.7.65.43 (for Android), Sengled indoor flood smart bulbs BR30 2700K 650 LM E26. I also have 3 Meross Smart plugs and a Smart Ceiling Fan/light from Modern Forms. I have a Netgear Nighthawk router (2.4G and 5G)
I have everything ultimately controlled via Alexa for voice control.
I have 2 rooms set up – kitchen and master bedroom.
Here is the issue I have in the MB where I have an Amazon Dot, A Modern Forms smart ceiling fan and ceiling fan light. I also have 2 reading lights equipped with the aforementioned Sengled smart flood bulbs – I will refer to these as Light 1 and Light 2. The issue is that Light 1 is always going off line. Sometimes Alexa is aware of it but it sometimes loses it’s coupling to the group called Bedroom 1 (all 4 components are grouped together in the Smartthings Alexa skill in a group called Bedroom 1). And sometimes Alexa tells me that Light 1 is not connected. This all happens without anything in the room changing (meaning no mains powered light switches are turned off, etc.) Power to all the 4 devices remain on. I can go into SmartThings, then Alexa and delete the device and re-install it. And for a while it works great. A few days later, alas the connections issues come back. I have “rebuilt” Light 1 7 or 8 times. I have also switched out the physical bulb with a new one, testing to see if that one bulb was the issue. And FWIW, Light 1 is closest to both the SmartThings Hub and the Netgear router (although not important). The MB is on the 2nd floor while the ST Hub is on the first.
The issue in the kitchen is a little worse and quite similar. I have 8 Sengled bulbs in there – all the same as the ones in the MB. There are 4 Sink Lights (named Sink Light , respectively) and Stove Lights . There is another Amazon Dot thee as well. I have 2 groups in Alexa called Sink Lights and Stove Lights and those 2 groups are combined into a higher group called Kitchen. All of these bulbs from time to time have the same issue as Light 1 in the MB. It happens to any of the bulbs and there is no apparent pattern as to which ones get disconnected. The kitchen is on the same level as the ST hub and is only about 30 feet away. FWIW, the kitchen is the farthest from the router and has the weakest WIFI signal. Here, as well, I am constantly having to “rebuild” these devices and reconfigure the groups.
At this point I am at a loss of what to do next. Has anyone experienced similar issues? What might be the problem(s) and what can I do different? I don’t mind purchasing additional and/or better hardware if that fixes the problem.
Thanks in advance for any help with this.

Bob Behnke

Welcome! :sunglasses:

You almost certainly need some zigbee repeaters. While most zigbee smart bulbs Will act as repeaters, passing along messages for both each other and other zigbee devices on your account, Sengled is unusual in that the manufacturer has decided that none of its devices will act as repeaters. So you have to have some other brands’ Devices in order to “strengthen the mesh“, a fancy way of saying that there will be enough devices who can pass along messages that they don’t get dropped.

Start by reading post 11 in the following community FAQ, then go up to the top of that thread and read the whole thing and you should have a much better understanding.

I will link directly to post 11. The topic title is a clickable link.

Also, how many total Sengled devices do you have? You can get into a sort of “musical chairs“ situation with zigbee Devices because they do a check in about every hour and if they don’t find an available “parent“ they will drop off the network. Each repeating device can parent anywhere from 3 to 12 children, typically 3 to 5. (The hub can handle up to 64, after that it depends on other repeating devices.)

Anyway, if there are too many children and not enough parents what will happen is that when one drops off the network, another one may grab an available parent, and this can happen kind of randomly so that you keep getting different ones going off-line.

The solution to this is the same as the solution to the range issue: adding more zigbee repeating devices to strengthen the mesh.

BTW, the Ikea Tradfri plug in pocketsockets are inexpensive, available in many countries, and happen to be very good zigbee repeaters in a smartthings set up. You don’t need to get the device that says it is a repeater: just the regular smart plug will do. So those are often a good choice if you just need to strengthen the mesh.

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One more thought: “closest to the netgear router“ also means “most likely to have zigbee drowned out by Wi-Fi.“ :disappointed_relieved:

See the following FAQ:

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Hola perdón no se mucho Inglés y no tengo tiempo de traducir
Gracias

Thanks for the quick response. So it sounds like my number 1 problem is a lack of repeaters. I live 10 minutes from an Ikea store so I will use your suggestion for getting those plugs (and acting as repeaters). I assume these can be used as both a plug and as a repeater.

My other problem appears to me my choice of bulbs (Sengled). These were recommended by a friend which is why I went with them. Do you have a recommendation for smart bulbs (I need indoor floods, BR30) that work well with SmartThings? First, though, I want to try the Sengled bulbs after I install a few of those repeaters.

Thanks again so much for your help. I am technical (been in IT for 40 years) but some of this stuff is new to me. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Bob

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Yes. Repeating is an intrinsic network function in Zigbee, it happens automatically regardless of the other functions of the device. You can’t turn the repeating on or off, it just happens. But the plug will work as a regular smart plug as well.

Almost all mains powered Z wave and Zigbee devices other than alarm devices like a smoke alarm will also work as repeaters. Sengled is unusual in this regard.

I’d echo what JD said: move your ST hub at least 5 ft away from your netgear router and add some repeaters.

The sonoff zigbee plug is also a zigbee repeater, affordable and has a little better form factor that the ikea plug IMO. (This is an affiliate link)

As for bulbs that repeat, I use Sylvania Smart+ zigbee bulbs and find them to work well. Looks like the full color model is on sale right now

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