My GE link bulbs go CRAZY

Hello everyone. I am pretty new to smartthings and unfortunately I am not very impressed so far. I had x-10 devices for the last 10 years and it worked ok. I have the newest V2 Smartthings hub and several GE link bulbs connected to it, for example 2 in daughter’s bedroom (same overhead fixture) 2 in sons room, 2 in my room and 2 in the living room. From time to time when we turn them on they flash on/off rapidly over and over again for about 1-2 minutes. You can even watch the app on the phone turning them on/off. What in the world could be going on? I have searched and do not see anyone having a problem like this. Do I need to forget the bulbs and do switches? I have noticed where I only have one bulb installed, utility room, hall way and reading light this does not seem to happen. Any idea’s

Thank you

I’m sure that was frustrating! The GE Link bulbs are not on the official “works with SmartThings” compatibility list for a reason–they have some firmware issues which can cause various issues. I originally had a couple, they kept dropping off the network for no reason, I ultimately replaced them with $15 Hue White which have worked very well.

So it could be the network, but it could also be that particular brand of bulb.

1 Like


I am in the same boat as you, Although I only have 4 GE bulbs. I bought a Wink hub and 2 bulbs to test out. In my excitement I only tested them for a couple of days and promptly went to get 2 more because in my living room I have 4 can lights. Well they kept getting bumped off the zigbee network. I would delete them and then re-add them. They work for a couple days to weeks and then die again. I finally got fed up and purchased Lutron Caseta switches and then turn the bulbs into dumb bulbs. That worked like a charm.

Fast forward to now, where I’m on Smartthings and the bulbs got put on that hub and it does the same exact things. I had already bought dumb cree led bulbs for the living room so I decided to use the bulbs I invested in, in other places. Only one has work reliably for 6 months now. The other 3 die. One of which, can not be seen by wink or smartthings hub. They still work as dumb bulbs but I just bought a cree smart bulb and am using that in the same place the GE bulbs died and it has worked so far with no issues.

I suggest if you can return them, do so. The cree smart bulbs are the same price at my home depot. Now please keep in mind. I have noticed 2 cons with the cree. The Cree’s don’t get as bright at 100%. The second con is that it doesn’t tell my hub its on when used with other switches. I been using them with Lutron Connected Bulb Remotes which works with Smartthings. I’ve been very happy with this setup and I will not be purchasing any GE branded Smart bulbs ever again.


I’ve never had a single problem with GE Links connected to SmartThings via Hue Bridge.

I highly recommend them, actually. Personal experience only.

I’ve had just the opposite experience. I currently have 4 Link bulbs that have been in use since November. In that time they have never dropped of the network. I started off with them on a Wink Hub and had a variety of issues with the Hub so in January I replaced it with a new V2 ST Hub. I have had issues with getting the Link bulbs to initially pair with ST but once they are paired they work like a charm. I have three more of them on my workbench waiting for me to figure out where I want to put and I don’t anticipate having any issues with them (once they are paired).

1 Like

It’s not every GE bulb that has the problem. But if a bulb does have the problem there’s no fix for it. GE has acknowledged that the problem exists with some bulbs. And SmartThings has said that it’s the reason why the GEs have not been able to pass their compatibility test.

I don’t doubt at all that the bulbs work well for many people. And there are also things that can cause similar issues with other brands, although in that case they can usually be fixed.

But the drop off problem is real with the brand. So it’s just something people should be aware of, particularly since there are now similarly priced alternatives. :sunglasses:

1 Like

It’s obvious that Zigbee just loves you, dude. It must be your magnetic personality. :wink:


[quote=“blaib, post:1, topic:40324”]
Do I need to forget the bulbs and do switches?
[/quote]I have 5 GE bulbs and one of them occasionally stops working, but I haven’t had any problems with the other 4. I only have 2 Cree bulbs, but I haven’t had any problems with them.

If I was going to buy more bulbs I’d buy Cree because they buzz less for me, they’re lighter and the base doesn’t get as hot.

Be aware that the Cree Bulb Device Handler does not run locally and you’ll see a lot of warnings in the logs, but the warnings aren’t important. I’ve found that the Cree bulbs work fine and run locally if you use the SmartPower Dimming Outlet device handler instead of the Cree Bulb DH it defaults to.

In the long run you’re probably better of getting switches instead of bulbs. At least those won’t turn on automatically when you regain power after an outage.

I have actually seen this problem with my own GE Link bulbs.

This is why it occurred for me.

The switch had been flipped to off. I was in the app and tried to turn on the bulbs. Nothing happened. In the app the icon went green, then back to gray. I kept tapping the icon thinking that would work… haha…

Then my wife went over and flipped on the switch. Boom!!! instant strobe mode!!!

Other than that, I’ve never seen this problem with the bulbs.

This is definitely not the typical GE link dropping off issue. Sounded like you are having wiring or power issue. What kind of switches are you using and possible power surge in your house such as dryer, compressor etc running during the bulbs cycling?

1 Like

I really do not think it is a power surge, I replaced the switches with some cheapies from lowes recently.

Are you using smart switches? With smart bulbs at the same time? If yes, that’s a big no-no.

In my part of the world, these bulbs, at HD Canada, are actually $5 less than the GE bulbs. I have mine connected to a hue bridge which is connected to ST. Just curious… do these bulbs connect directly to ST with the hue bridge??

They can with a community created device handler. Connecting them through the hue bridge is the officially recommended method because there’s no good way to reset a Hue bulb that has been directly connected to SmartThings unless you buy an additional device like the Lutron remote. I keep mine on the Phillips bridge so that I can use additional third-party apps with them. But there are a number of members who have connected them directly.

You may want to try updating the firmware of the GE Link bulbs with a Wink hub. I do not own one, but people report improvement after the update, which unfortunately ST does not support.

[quote=“tgauchat, post:4, topic:40324, full:true”]
I’ve never had a single problem with GE Links connected to SmartThings via Hue Bridge.

I highly recommend them, actually. Personal experience only.
[/quote]The one thing I don’t like about this approach is that you depend on Philips will. They already changed their policy once and they might go ahead and do it again:

Just my humble opinion, though.

1 Like

You are not talking about the GE dimmer or Non LED smart switches are you? Those would definitely could be the cause. Also try rebooting the hub by removing plug in power and battery.

Thank you everyone for the ideas. It does seem like they have been commanded to “strobe” watching phone. And they are not smart switches just cheap on/off switches from lowes

Has someone actually officially confirmed there has been an update yet? There has been rumour but I haven’t seen any confirmation yet.

Wouldn’t know, Benji. I just own one of the Daylight GE Links, and those have a different firmware. Never had an issue with those. I’ve just read from other people here and in the Wink groups.

I’ve got (15) of the GE Link bulbs installed inside and outside (open at the bottom fixtures) and, like you, in 3 months I’ve not had a single issue with any of them turning on or off, dimming or ever dropping off the network. I don’t even have a Hue Bridge either. Go figure. I highly recommend them too.

1 Like