Losing Link Bulbs

Hey guys,

I’ve got a load of Link bulbs in the house, which used to work perfectly until a remodel. The contractors never really understood the system, and used them as traditional switches to turn them on and off. That should be okay, but it’s caused issues. Most of the bulbs are now unresponsive unless I reinstall and reconfigure all of the switches and triggers. SUPER irritating…

Anyone else had this issue? Is there any way to reconnect/get the bulbs back online the bulbs without having to reinstall them? Is there a way of manually forcing individual devices to reestablish connectivity – and verifying it? I’ve spent a good amount of time already reinstalling, and I’m starting to lose it…

Bueller?.. Thanks.

The GE link bulbs are ZHA profile bulbs. You should be able to reset any individual bulb using the blink method where you flip it on then off then on than off. I don’t remember the exact pattern for GE links but you can look it up. What’s the bulb is reset it will flash two or three times quickly to let you know that it’s ready to find a new network.


Before you start doing that, though, the first thing to try is just unplug the smartthings hub for 15 minutes. This will be long enough that all the bulbs will panic and decide they need to find the hub. Well, technically the network but same idea. Then just plug the hub back in. This should pick up a bunch of the missing bulbs.


At that point the hub is online and it knows where most of the bulbs are, but there may still be some that don’t have a good connection. So the second thing to try is just to turn off the power to any lost bulb and turn it back on again. The bulb won’t flash in a pattern, you won’t see anything fancy, it will just try to reestablish the connection that it had before. This is often all you have to do to fix things.


So that was stage two. Now the hub should be talking to almost all the links. If there are still one or two orphans, you need to try the blink method to individually reset those lights and then go through the pairing process again with the Hub, but save that for phase 3 because it’s the most work and it’s quite likely that phase 1 (powering off the hub for 15 minutes and restarting it) or phase 2 (powering off an individual bulbs and just turn it right back on) will solve the problem for many of the bulbs.

Note that you do not need to delete the orphan bulb from the smartthings network, or remove it from any smart apps, or rename it, or anything like that. All you’re going to do is physically reset the bulb with the blink protocol and then hit the + in the mobile app to add a new device.

STEP FOUR: if the bulbs continue to drop off over the next couple of weeks, you probably have to try looking for interference or adding repeaters

If after a week or two you continue to have some bulbs drop off after you’ve gotten them all online again to the hub, then you may have to start looking at Range or repeater issues.

Sometimes a remodel introduces new physical barriers in the home, whether it’s new water pipes, a new refrigerator, tinted glass–there are a lot of things that can reduce signal strength that aren’t obvious. Even some kinds of in wall insulation and some kind of wallpaper.

But save all of that until you’ve tried the first three steps above in case the problem is just a damaged network, rather then a range issue.


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I’ve been through stage I, since the hub was offline and unplugged for the better part of 24 hours yesterday. I’ll give it a try again, and see if that resolves the issue, though I suspect it may not. I’ve also gone through your phase II, flipping the switches off and then on. To no avail… I suppose though, if phase I connection has not yet been established, this way of fixing them wouldn’t really work…

The remodel actually removed walls, so I don’t think that was the culprit. I think, rather, that the hub is being fickle. The router is the same, sits in the same locale, and is fully functional throughout the property to the same extent it was. Strong signal all around.

I’ll do a 15 minute reset and see if that helps. Thanks again for the help.

And as a side note, this isn’t a ST issue, I get the same problems with the Wink hub, I cringe the instant I accidentally turn off a light switch connected to a bunch of GE Links… hoping that they’ll start responding when I turn it back on.

I recently had a power outage and ‘lost’ all 22 GE Link bulbs except one, no amount of leaving the Wink Hub off for 15 minutes or power cycling the bulbs is bringing them back… Interestingly the Cree Connected bulbs all work just fine…

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I have the same problem with GE AND Wemo bulbs. No consistency with this problem. One power outage and all but 1 (Wemo or GE) may come back online without much issue. Next power out all wemos and 1 GE bulb fail to respond and must be reset. Next power out and all is well within 30 minutes after power is restored.

Ish, that sucks. The unfortunate thing is that it all manifests itself into a smartthings problem to me, and makes me secretly dislike many things about SmartThings. It’s the same thing as an issue I had last fall…

I moved 2 miles down the road, and Smartthings would intermittently say I left and came home. Ultimately it had to do with Google and Apple Maps storing my ‘known location’ (according to their MAC ID address locations) in their server caches as my old address. So, all of my things would go haywire when I was at home from thinking I had left suddenly. I had to buy a new router to solve the issue… This certainly wasn’t ST’s issue, but all of the tech ST leverages wasn’t running right, and it made for a terrible user experience… This situation isn’t as bad, but reprogramming bulbs sucks in its own right. Lots of work uninstalling the devices from programs, and reinstalling them again…

Side note: I just gave my hub chest compressions and pulled the power for 15+ (until it was ‘inactive’), and the lights still won’t work. Ugh…

Try the Belkins Wemo Link hub :smirk:
Last week I was so frustrated with my LED bulbs on ST I decided to dust off the Belkin Link and move half of my bulbs to this lhub. I can tell you that when the power goes out and restored, all bulbs on this hub work as well as they did before the outage. No restore needed. I can also tell you that the same bulbs have been reset and reconnected to the ST hiub :smiley: In short, when you think things just cant get worse with ST, try Link hub. Now I rememebr why it was collecting dust in the first place :grinning:

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Yeah honestly try not to put this one on ST, it really isn’t their problem. Though nicely designed and seemingly ‘better’ designed than the Cree Connected, I think the Crees may be WAY more stable and having taken one apart and seen what is required to take the GE Links apart, I’m starting to think the Cree Connected is better in design by the simplicity of it.

They seem a LOT more resilient…

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Unpopular fact: the GE links are a cheap bulb. Listed $15 typically on sale for 12. There’s a reason they cost less than half of the competition. And it’s not economies of scale. They have a tendency to overheat slightly. Nothing unsafe, but it does cause loss of connection more often than other brands.

I still use them and like them. I like the color temperature. I like the look and feel. I like the value. But it’s like buying IKEA furniture. It’s just not the same quality.

They do much better, I find, in a denser zigbee network, so I’ve added a couple of extra bulbs I didn’t really need just to get more repeaters. That did solve my own drop off problem. But like I said that’s where I would start looking at A phase four: examining the range and quality of the mesh.

Not me, I’ve got 22 in a relatively dense area and it isn’t helping at all.

Like I said, the Cree Connected bulbs which cost the same and for me personally are at the ‘extremes’ of my mesh (all outside on the front and back of house), are significantly more reliable in working through power outages and accidental ‘switch offs’…

You got Cree connected bulbs for $12 each? I’ve never seen them for less than $25 each, while I regularly see the GE links for 12 or $13 each. I just checked on Amazon the cheapest price for Cree Connected was $26 and the cheapest price for the GE link was $11.

I’m certain the cree connecteds are better engineered then the GE links, but I’ve also always seen them at near double the price.

If I could get Cree connected’s for $12 each I’d switch immediately. :sunglasses:

$25?! Where on earth are you buying them from?! They are $15 at Home Depot!


Based on a suggestion from another thread I’ve started using a different method for re-connecting lost bulbs. For the bulb in question, do not remove it from ST. Go through the reset procedure (on/off cycle every 3 seconds until it fades) and then just have ST search for new devices. You will see the bulb flash 3 times, but the app probably will just keep spinning and not find any new devices because the bulbs reconnect under their old bulb name. No need to reconfigure SmartApps or anything.

I agree that it seems to be an issue with the bulb as the same 2-3 bulbs (out of 17) seem to disconnect after power outages. Sometimes just turning the power off to them for 5 minutes or resetting the hub will make them fix themselves, otherwise I do the bulb reset and repair as above.


BEST ADVICE YET. That worked like a charm. Thanks!

That’s the same as my stage three above, I don’t remove the orphaned bulbs from ST either, just reset the individual bulb with the blink method, then do “add new device” search again. Works well most of the time.

Good to know, I didn’t realize Home Depot was discounting Cree. Thanks!

Looks like I should have read through your response more carefully! I follow the same steps as you suggested!

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Never been discounted, always been $15 for the Cree Connected :smile:

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So these GE zigbee bulbs don’t like to be turned off :frowning: I realize the switch has to be on for them to e controlled wirelessly via Zigbee/ST. I envisioned a more mixed use though where I would try to leave them on and control with app while my family would probably just turn the switch off frequently. Glad the Cree seem to work better because $40-60 per zwave lightswitch is out of my budget (compared to $15 per bulb)

I’ll chime in since I have a slightly different experience with these. In my setup, the bulbs that occasionally get toggled manually with a switch are the ones that behave the best. It’s the ones that rarely see a power cycle that seem to have a tendency to fall off of the network every now and then. Although it was more common earlier in the year, I can’t say I’ve lost one (out of like 15 or so) in the last few months. Were there any ST firmware changes that might have helped improve the reliability of this device?