Perplexing light switch app confusion


(Emily Patterson Kane) #1

I would really appreciate some hints as to what might be causing my bathroom light to refuse to turn off while I am at work.

I have an Osram light. When I leave the house (iphone leaves and/or “Goodbye” routine button is pushed) this and all other lights should turn off.

But it stays on, and if I use the app to turn it off it turns on again shortly afterwards.

I have checked all my other routines and apps. The only other procedures that turn that light on are a bathroom motion sensor (inactive) and a “going to bed” routine that can only be activated by a button push (inactive).

Any ideas how I might have caused this always-on bathroom light scenario?


#2

It’s not uncommon for an LED bulb to come back on with some kinds of switches. But first let’s see what SmartThings thinks is going on.

The first thing you want to do is check the device log for that device which is available in the SmartThings mobile app.

  1. Open the SmartThings mobile app

Two) choose the “my home” icon (four little squares on the bottom row)

  1. choose “things” at the top of the screen

Four) find the mystery bulb and click on its name (not the icon on the left or the right of the name, just the name itself). This will open its details page.

  1. once the details page opens, click on “recently” at the top of the page. This will list all of the recent events for this device. That should tell you whether the device is coming on because of the motion sensor, routine, or something else. :sunglasses:


(Emily Patterson Kane) #3

Hi there!

The Recently log shows the motion sensor turning the light on at 7am when I got up.

After that it shows a series of three “Goodbyes” which should be turning the light off.

It does not seem to show it turning back on but the light was (and is) showing as being back on “On” status


#4

OK, then the problem may be what is sometimes called “LED bleed” although it’s not a very accurate description.

The point is that LED lights draw so little current that older switches and these bulbs can confuse each other and the LED bulb may find there is just enough current for it to come back on where An old incandescent bulb would not have. Although it can also be a defective bulb.

First, just to be sure–the switch controlling the current load to the bulb is just a regular on/off switch, right? Not a dimmer switch? ( you should never use a dimmer switch, smart or dumb, to control the current to a smart bulb. They will confuse each other. )

The easiest way to test that is to move the bulb to a different lamp or fixture and see if the problem occurs again.

if the bulb is fine in a different fixture, then the problem is a mismatch between the bulb and either the switch or the original fixture, probably the switch.

If by any chance the bulb is in a multi bulb fixture, you may be able to solve the problem by increasing the load. Which is to say some older switches require a minimum pull of about 40 W or things just don’t work right. That’s easy to do with one incandescent bulb, but one smart Bulb is only probably around 9 W.


(Emily Patterson Kane) #5

Okay thanks, I think that might be it. Because the also IDE shows me turning the light off, and it not being turned back on, but the light is nevertheless on.

It is a simple on/off switch but in older one in a condo with wiring that is 50 years old and maybe not so great to begin with. (For example the outlets in the bathroom are not the kind with fuses. I keep them taped over).

It is a two bulb fixture but using only one bulb. I suppose the best solution might be to replace the switch with a smart switch, but in the mean time I wonder if adding a second smart bulb might help… still not a lot of pull but it is worth a try as I do have a second bulb I can put in there.

Thanks a lot for you help :slight_smile:


(Bobby) #6

Two things you can check to make sure the routine executed as expected. First, look in the notification, when the routine fired it should be followed by a detail message of the actions it took. Like this:

Second, on the ‘recently’ tab for you device, the routine name should be followed by the action taken. Like this:

If any of the action messages are missing, it means that the routine failed to run.


(Brian) #7

Do the second bulb at least for a test. My LEDs confuse the heck out of some of my older switches. I had to (gasp) put some tiny incandescent bulbs in one socket of a chandelier. I hated doing it, but was the only way it would work at the time.


(Emily Patterson Kane) #8

Since I put a second bulb in the fixture has been behaving properly!