Major Weird Zigbee Issues (July 2016)

This is a message I just sent to support. I thought I would post it here in case anyone has any ideas:


I have been having Zigbee issues for about a month now. I opened a ticket about this earlier.

The issues I am experiencing are affecting a version 2 hub.

Here is what happens.

About a month ago, 6 of my GE wink bulbs (4 regular bulbs, 2 floods) all came on for no reason in the middle of the day. And smart things would not control them.

At the same time that happened several other Zigbee devices stopped working, including:
Smart Things Motion sensor
Lowes Iris 2 Motion Sensor

Eventually, the other zigbee devices started working, but the bulbs never came back.

So, one day I reset each bulb and then added it back. The weird thing is that when I added it back, it went back where it was. For example, when I added the Deck bulb back in, and then went to things and taped the deck on and off it worked.

A few hours later, all the bulbs came back on and my other zigbee devices stopped working. I turned off the bulbs rebooted the hub, and eventually the devices started working again, but the bulbs did not.

So, today, I reset the first bulb and then searched for it. The bulb flashed as if it had been found by the hub, but the app kept spinning like it didn’t find anything. I turned on the next bulb and it immediately flashed as if it had been paired. I turned them all back on one-by-one and each one flashed and I could control them from smart things.

About 2 hours, later, they all came on and now my zigbee devices are not working again.

I have turned all the bulbs off and I just unplugged both cables from the hub and removed the batteries and then put the batteries back and plugged it back in. My motion sensors still do not work. The Smart Things motion says it detects motion, but when I look at Recently, the last update was almost 6 hours ago.

What is going on with these devices? Why are they messing up the Zigbee control?

Anyone have any ideas?


Well, I can say this… I used to have almost 30 of the GE link bulbs. What you’re experiencing is most likely the well known firmware bug in those devices. Which is why I now only have five of them and ask of my other bulbs are Phillips.

As for the other zigbee devices, how close is you’re hub to your router? A common problem is interference from a router.

How many zigbee devices (not bulbs) do you have, how far apart are they, and how far from the hub?

You may be experiencing a weak mesh.

Or, ST just sucks… I’m betting on a combo of ask of it.

@JDRoberts, will you be so kind as to point him to some very good reading?


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It sucks! Been there a while ago and my solution was to move the GE bulbs to a Hue hub. And that stopped many of the problems. But the bulbs do come on when power is restored after an outage. As for other zigbee devices, I get at least one stuck each time after the hub reboots (usually taking a battery out for 15 seconds restores the sensor). I came to the conclusion that this is just another trade off I can live with, for many of the advantages I get by using ST.

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I could point to some references on zigbee, but the SmartThings zigbee implementation seems to have some unique failures.

So I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. I think working with support is the best idea.

I will make one comment about the device that “came back” after it was paired again. That would actually be expected behavior because with Zigbee, every device has a unique identifier. So when you add a device for a second time it just slips right back in to where it was in terms of all the other smart apps and routines since it still has the same device ID.

That’s the basis of the following FAQ

Note that this is very different from zwave devices because in Z wave the hub assigns a network ID to the device at the time of pairing.

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Are osram bulbs “better”? I had a Cree bulb and the experience was not that great and I stopped using it.

Not here. I have one and I am not using it. Sounds like for the same reasons you don’t use the Cree.

Osram and Cree are both better than the GE links statistically, but that doesn’t mean a specific bulb would be better for you either way. The GE links have a known firmware problem which causes them to lose connection with the network occasionally. Not every bulb every time, but more than most other brands. That’s why the GE bulbs are not on the official “works with smart things” list, but the Osram and the Cree are.

I have a bunch. No problems.

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Just throwing this out there. Have you done any tinkering with your wifi lately like changing channels. That one threw me for a loop before. Scan the neighboring wifi signals to see how close they are to your zigbee channel.

I stand by the Phillips bulbs. Mine are connected to the Phillips bridge. Never a problem.

The Phillips bridge may not do a whole lot, but what it does, it does great.


Following I literally have the same problem with the Lightify light strip. It just keeps turning on for no reason. No switch as it is only controlled by the phone application or by amazon alexa. Turned on at 4:30 am today when everyone was sleeping. App just says “Switch turned on”. Not sure how that happens. Driving me nuts.

I can testify on the Zigbee issues. Ever since I moved, it’s like my house was built on Zigbee interference ground. Used to be in the previous house that my Zigbee mesh would be strong and stable. Now, I have a switch, outlet or bulb drop for no reason, something that never used to happen before. Placed the router in a central location and the hub is well 15 feet away and behind at least 3 walls. And in July it got worse. My fear is that I will have to re-pair everything again.

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Support said it is some type of issue they are looking into, but it’s driving me nuts. They said move the hub closer, but that didn’t seem to make a difference. Hope for a fix soon.

I ended up removing and re-pairing the devices. Haven’t had a problem since, but still, this shouldn’t be happening. It is always one thing or another with this HA stuff… :pensive:

Now my SmartThings zibgee motion sensors stopped working. This is great.

Hub update Monday if you are on V2.

I am. I noticed a little blurb but no detail. I knew something was up since I haven’t seen a weekly update in a couple weeks and I am having a lot of issues. Hope this update fixed my issues. They all seem zibgee related.

There are also a lot of threads that you may have already read with helpful advice.

Once someone posted a pic of their hub surrounded by a bunch of metal boxes and electronics. Make sure the simple stuff is ok, wifi routers interfere with ZigBee easily. Hub update won’t fix that.

Side note:. I always thought that maybe some people’s networks were being hosed by a rogue device stuck in some kind of loop but have no evidence. Just a theory.

Did you check your hub event logs in ide for any hub reboots? I am investigating a reboot around 2 pm today that made my zigbee devices go wild. I have other hubs on the same network that are more sensitive to dropped packets and those didn’t blink. So…what gives?

I don’t see any