Lights flashing


(Bryan Fleming) #1

Has anyone else ever experienced random flashing of lights around the house. This primarily seems to be happening with Z-Wave devices.

I’m using the http://www.amazon.com/GE-Z-Wave-Wireless-Lighting-Control/dp/B006LQFHN2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424486718&sr=8-1&keywords=ge+zwave


(Gary D) #2

If you were in my house, I’d suggest it was me messing with you. (I do this to my kids on occasion.) Otherwise, the GE/Jasco switches seem to have a reputation for acting strangely if the power isn’t stable in your house.

One person, I think it was @JDRoberts, compared it to how your lights might flicker very slightly when your turn on a high power appliance on a non-dedicated circuit (such as a hair dryer.)


(Bryan Fleming) #3

Interesting. I’ve only noticed this issue with ST however. Previously, I’ve used the switches with Revolv :’-( and Vera without any problems.

The issue is presenting itself as a brief flicker, off then back on, every few minuets. As far as I know no one is messing with me, and as far as I know the power is fairly stable coming into the house. I’ve never noticed any fluctuations before.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

LED bulbs? (just guessing… I’ve only had this problem with Z-Wave switches on LED bulbs…).


#5

LED bulbs, as well as fluorescents, were definitely a problem with the older GE dimmers, but the model the OP linked to is a newer one that’s supposed to be OK with them in most cases.

@Bryan_Fleming

I hesitate to ask this, but since the same lights worked ok with Vera, are you running any custom smartapps that do polling or refresh more often than every 5 minutes? Polling can cause dimmers to reset their internal timers. When then combined with LEDs, you can get unpredictable results even with the newer switches.


(Bryan Fleming) #6

It’s a mix of LED and incandescent bulbs, the one I’m noticing most frequently is an incandescent.

This may be it… I’ve been attempting to get the Intermatic CA3750 relay to work with ST and I believe the beta device type I’m testing is polling more frequently that normal.

@cooperglee do you have any insight on this?


(Gary D) #7

That might be it. That link USED to point to the older dimmers (without neutral wires.) Amazon recently updated the product ID (and they are now shipping the newer model.) The reviews are a mix of people getting older ones and people getting the newer ones.

@Bryan_Fleming, on those dimmer switches, did you have to wire a neutral wire?

(Of course, if they worked fine with a different hub, then it isn’t likely to be the dimmer switches themselves, is it? hmmm…)


(Todd Whitehead) #8

It happened to me the other day. I just chalk it up to one more ST fail.

I’ve tried to stay positive throiugh it, but I’m done. If ST can’t fix their problems, they’re probably going to eventually ban my account.

-Todd


(Cooper Lee) #9

There is not any reason that polling the state - at any interval - will cause it to revert to a previous state. In the particular code for the CA3750 we are merely “testing” the “level” at this point because documentation states that it is “supported” which is related to Z-Wave… If there are different models out there which are using different Z-Wave protocol releases on the implementation this will cause problems within ST but not of the type described - they would be more related to functionality or the app representing incorrect values


(Nathan Cook) #10

I experience some periodic light flickering with GE/Jasco dimmers in my living room (6 14w LEDs) and saw it the other day in my kitchen (6 60w incandescent). Seems to only happen when dimmer is on 100% and if I dim a little they stop. It is odd because its not a pattern or anything just random light flickers at random times. I can sit there for hours with nothing and then sometimes its every few seconds in random timing. I would think its a hub thing because it have a number of dimmers that dont do it.


#11

Some of the older GE dimmer switches, networked or not, were famous for being very sensitive to current changes elsewhere on the same circuit. This is similar to the situation where your kitchen lights flicker because your microwave is running. But the GE switches would do it even with fairly small draw changes on the circuit. Typical problem was someone would turn the bathroom fan on and the hallway light would flicker.

So it typically has more to do with where the dimmer is on the circuit and what else is on the circuit with it. Nothing to do smartthings.


(Chris) #12

I too have the same issue. Aside from other antidotal evidence that the flickering is related to ST, when I run a z-wave repair the flickering almost always increases.


#13

When you run a zwave repair, you’re activating every device on the network close together, so you’re increasing current draw on every circuit with a networked device. You might well get the same effect by unplugging the SmartThings hub and then going around the house plugging in a hair dryer.


(Chris) #14

A hair dryer produces more of a brownout effect. I’ve in fact tested that theory, because I was certain that it was ludicrous that ST was causing the flickering, by plugging in a 800W hairdryer already turned on to full in the same circuits w the flickering lights. I also repeated rhe experiment with a 1500W space heater. No noticeable flickering. It could very well be the dimmer, true, as I have not unplugged the hub to test that theory.


#15

I just posted about something similar in one of my threads. The GE Kit and my LED hallway light have been working just fine for the past few days. I came home today to the light flickering when all the way on as well as when I try to switch the light off, it only goes very dim and never turns off completely. Very frustrating. Especially after spending several days…days…trying to figure out how the wiring should work in my electrical wiring setup.


(Chris) #16

I also noticed as @natescook1, that if you dim the light even slightly, the flickering never happens. For whatever the reason it is happening, I am not about to rip out 70% of my dimmers and replace them right now. So to work around the issue, I’ve been using @baldeagle072 's excellent “Dimmer on Bright” app to set my problematic GE dimmers to 80-90% brightness on startup. Hope this helps someone else…

What I would like to do next is add a little conditional logic to the app so that it only makes the the dimming change if the light is currently set for >96 brightness. I’m sure it is just a simple conditional if else statement after querying the brightness, but I just started learning groovy and don’t know the ST event handlers well yet. While the Dimmer on Bright app is great, a use case for the conditional logic above is if the dimmer was previously set to say 30 for reading, shut off shortly, then upon returning to the same light, you get blasted by 90.


(John Morrison) #17

I have seen this issue as well, the lights are not flickering but turning on and off.

I am trying a z-wave repair, but it does not look to change anything yet


(David Cox) #18

I’m having the same issues with the same switch. All incandescent bulbs, tried flipping the breaker. The electrical panel was recently redone and is brand new. I have polling elsewhere on my z-wave network (because general SmartThings fail), but set that to every 10 min, still get blinking. The whole IoT landscape is full of fail (esp. SmartThings itself). I just wish it didn’t extend to hard-wired devices like switches that are a PITA to swap out to test.


(Bryan Fleming) #19

I’m beginning to think that the GE switches are going bad… I’m experiencing random light blinking all over the house now. :fearful:


(Chris) #20

I’ve been experiencing an uptick in this activity lately… Still not entirely convinced that ST doesn’t have something to do with this issue.