LED Bulb Hub alternative


#1

I have a total of 11 LED bulbs connected to my ST hub (4 Wemo, 7 GE) which work perfectly until… the dreaded power failure. Once the power is restored each LED is on (even though the app may say differently) and it is an enormous task getting to turn off and respond properly to subsequent command. I first reported this problem back in March

We had to turn off our power today and after we turned it back on I spent nearly 3 hours trying to get the LEDs working again. I got all but one working. This is driving me crazy. All it takes is a spike in the power and each LED comes on and will not respond to the app without endless fiddling . As I stated in previous post, this is not an issue with the wemo link hub (it by no means is a great product though) but I would prefer to find an alternative. I really dont want to trash 11 bulbs but the maintenance of these devices is insane. Any one have any proven alternative??


Phillips Hue Hub + Wemo LED Bulbs
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

I have GE Link bulbs connected via a Hue Bridge and it takes only a single toggle (i.e., two attempts) to get the bulb to turn off and/or reset brightness, etc., after power restored.

I know the Hue integration itself has plenty of quirks, but the basic question and principle is the same. i.e.,

  • When power is restored to each popular brand of ZigBee bulb, does it send an event to SmartThings so that SmartThings will have the correct state of the bulb (usually… “switch:on”)?

Has anyone checked? Is this a software / Device Type Handler issue, or a limitation of particular vendor(s) bulbs?


Regardless … I don’t find it particularly onerous, frankly, to have a SmartApp reset all the bulbs to some pre-defined state for “power restored” (i.e., off for most, on at a certain dim level for a few) … not?


(sidjohn1) #3

Yikes, i feel your pain… I can only offer you an alternative but one that comes with it’s own issues. I helped kickstart LIFX and jumped in with 10 bulbs (i REALLY, REALLY liked the music vis feature) ;). Anyway… i have some connected to smart switches as their primary function is on/of and this works well. I have had no problems with LIFX bulbs recovering and reconnecting after loosing power. I have others that are connected to always on dumb switches that i use for notifications (doorbell, dryer done etc). The SmartThings/LIFX integration is cloud to cloud and works… most of the time. Mainly due to LIFX’s cloud going down on occasions (2x that i know of) and the well documented scheduling issues on smartthings side. All in all the cloud to cloud part works 90% of the time.


#4

Yeah, I dont really care whether they are all on or all off after a power restore. What has got me looking for alternatives is that with ST it takes me hours to get them back to a state where they respond to on/off from the app. In some cases they never respond and I have to do a reset. Ugh…


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

It’s difficult for me to know, but I have never experienced this.

Do you use a Hue Bridge or not?

It seems like a diagnosable problem. That’s certainly not “in spec” behavior.

Hue Bridge integration has been improving… And I’m using its code as a good educational example for experimentation.


#6

No I am not using the Hue bridge. All my LEDs are connected to the ST Hub. Is this hue bridge available by its self or do I have to buy the starter kit? Really dont need 3 more bulbs :smile:

Please explain how (if at all) this hue bridge fits into ST or is it a system all on its own.

Thanks in advance

UPDATE: During the course of the evening we had a thunder storm with an obvious power spike. This time though only my GE LEDs are misbehaving. They are all on (even though ST says they are off) and I am unable to control any of them. This is the last straw. If I dont get an alternative they are all going back to the Wemo Link hub. Not a great alternative but at least a power outage doesnt create such havoc.


(Ron S) #7

Buddy, not a good idea to bypass the hue hub. This has been discussed in several threads. Search the forum.


#8

??? Who is by-passing what??? Don’t understand what that means?


(Ron S) #9

If you do not use the hue hub/bridge, your hues may forever be married to the ST hub.

So, hue bulbs -> hue hub/bridge -> ST is the right way to go.

Hue hub/bridge is not sold by Philips as a standalone device. So you have to basically grab a starter kit and keep adding bulbs. The GE links are detected by the hue hub too.

In simple terms, don’t directly connect your hues to ST. Connect the hues to the hue hub. And then use the ST mobile app to discover your hue hub which will discover your hue bulbs in the next step.


#10

Again, I ask. What Hues??? I have 4 wemo, 7 GE LED bulbs connected to my ST hub. . I do not own a hue bridge. Is the hue bridge a good alternative to my current configuration??


(Ron S) #11

No. You do not need a hue hub for your GE links. You mentioned hue bridge in one of your posts above. I cannot comment on Wemo’s as I do not use them.
If you ever decide to go the hue route, then the hue hub which comes in the starter kit will also detect your GE links along with hue lightstrips, lux, GO, bloom etc. basically the entire friends of hue family.

Also, some of the issues that you mention about your GE links misbehaving is a known problem. Again search the forum. Incorrect status on your ST mobile app is once again a known issue and I am sure future releases will be fixing these. As such some of them are not “issues” but how it works as explained by @JDRoberts below.


#12

The Hue bridge is needed for smartthings integration if you have Hue bulbs. The reason is that unlike many other zigbee lightbulbs, Hue bulbs cannot be reset with a blink method where you turn the power to the bulb on and off several times. Because the bulbs cannot be individually reset, Hues become much more dependent on the bridge.

Bulbs that can be individually reset with a blink method, including the GE links and I believe the Crees, can be connected directly to smartthings without using a bridge. If you want to move them to a different controller, you can just reset the bulbs individually.

So you shouldn’t need to add a hue bridge to your current set up since you don’t have any Hue bulbs.

Most Zigbee bulbs do come on to full bright after a power outage. That’s a manufacturer specification, not anything to do with smartthings. It’s possible to put an energy monitor on the circuit, and have the bulbs turn off again but that may not necessarily be what you wanted. Most manufacturers feel that their customers prefer, for safety reasons, that bulbs come on after a power outage and can then be turned off again, rather then not coming on.

Adding the ability for the bulb to remember its last setting before a power outage would greatly increase the cost and complexity of each bulb so it’s just not something manufacturers have chosen to do.

As far as making it easier to manually reset after a power outage, do you have a shortcut group that includes all of your bulbs? That way you could toggle on and off with one tile press each way and hit all the bulbs, rather than having to do each one individually.


#13

Obviously my description of the problem is lacking clarity. I do not care what state the bulbs are in (on or off) after a PF. The problem is I can not change that state after the power is restored via the ST app or any other SW interface. This morning I spent over 3 hours trying to get 7 LED bulbs to respond to my app. (hub shutdown for 15 minutes, reboot, manually switching of LED via light switch off then on, etc) Nothing worked. In final frustration, I removed each bulb from ST, reset them then re-added each to ST. Only then could I once again control each LED.

Hydro folks are once again working on the poles just outside my house. I am awaiting for the power to once again go out. How many LEDS will fail to work again after the power is restored will be the question. Maybe tonight I will have the pleasure to reset all 11 of them :sweat:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #14

Right… I understood this after your second message :wink:.

I have both Hue bulbs and 3 GE Links. I don’t get many power outages, but have never needed to resort to extreme measures after one; just a couple state toggles.

Perhaps this is because I run all the bulbs, unnecessarily, through Hue Bridge (available very cheaply on eBay as folks buy multiple kits), but there’s no “scientific” explanation for the behavior you are experiencing.

The use of a bridge puts a layer of isolation between the bulbs and SmartThings, which could be the magic solution, even though it is accurately “more complicated”.

Are direct GE Links officially SmartThings compatibile? If so, then a support ticket is worthwhile.

Otherwise (or anyway!), take one bulb and put it in a lamp with a switch and see if you can consistently recreate the problem. Then the problem can be traced.

Adding a Hue Bridge for the chance at a miracle may be worthwhile, though.


#15

Hi @cdikland,

I have suggestion for you. I use CREE Connect LED bulbs and they come back on after the power outege a few weeks on and don’t report their status too.

What I did instead off running myself ragged turning them on and off is simple. Install the “DIM WITH ME” app.
You will be prompted to designate a master dimmable light or a dimmer switch and add other dimmable bulbs/dimmers.
After that, you can just tuggle that master switch from the ST app or the SmartTile dashboard and you are Golden.


(Ray) #16

Get a hue bridge especially status is not a big deal for you. I moved all my ge links to the bridge and I regret for not moving it earlier. Couple of power outages here and not a problem reconnecting.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

eBay "$30 or best offer"

It’s worth noting that Cree Bulbs are listed by SmartThings as officially compatible (!), so they are your best chance for getting tech support. Very odd that GE Link’s are not certified yet… maybe their certification lab has encountered problems.


#18

Yeah, seems odd as the GE bulbs were available here (canada) well before the Cree.

The problem is not isolated to GE though. Two PF ago it was the WEMO that needed resetting.

Anyhow, if I can find a cheap bridge on ebay that is what I will try. Thanks for the input.


#19

Thank you for your purchase
Order Summary
View and print your order details. You will receive an email confirmation shortly
Estimated delivery between Friday, Aug. 21 and Friday, Aug. 28

Lets hope we get no more PF until then :smile:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #20

Be sure to have the seller forward me my commission! :moneybag: