I hope this will be an easy answer but I’m not sure what the best solution is.
I have a smart things hub as well as for GE link wifi bulbs.
The bulbs are in the hub and working great but here is what I would like to do. These bulbs are in my basement, 3 of them are on outlets with pull strings and one is on a switched outlet. What I’d like to do is have the switch control all 4 instead of just one. I was thinking of using a z-wave or zigbee switch that would on/off all four bulbs but wasn’t sure if this was the best way to go. I tried to trigger events off the powering on or off of the switched bulb but couldn’t seem to get that to work.
It’s generally not a good idea to have a switch that cuts the actual current to smart bulbs for two reasons. First of all, when the current is cut, the bulbs will not be able to hear the next “on” command from any scheduled automation. Second, the inrush current each time the power is restored can damage the radio in the bulbs over time, significantly shortening their life. These bulbs are intended by the manufacturers to be on power all the time. An occasional power outage isn’t a big deal, but you don’t want that to be your main way of turning the lights on and off.
There are many alternative ways of handling the situation, detailed in the following FAQ:
OK, that said, it sounds like your other question is just that you want to group the bulbs together so that they will all come on at the same time and all go off at the same time. That will work fine as long as you are not actually cutting power to the bulb but rather just using the normal networked commands.
There’s a how to article in the community – created wiki grouping lights together.
Group the lights together. Then find a switch device to control them that does not actually cut the current to any of the bulbs. And then you should be fine.
Many people like the smart switch cover now made by go control which is a battery operated Z wave device that fits right over your existing light switch. Very intuitive for visitors, easy to use, and avoids the inrush current problem. It doesn’t matter what protocol the bulbs are because the switch will talk to the hub and the Hub will talk to the bulbs. But there are several other alternatives as well.