Porch Light Won't Turn On/Stopped Working with ST


(Mike) #1

Night before last my front porch lights failed to turn on at dusk, it has happened before but this time they would not come on when I tried to turn them on with the SmartThings app. At that moment I thought it would not be possible that one of my devices closest to the hub had lost connectivity as many others have? So true, the blue light of death was brightly illuminated when the device was off as had happened on several other switches farther away when they resorted back to the blue led illuminated when off status indication. There is nothing more simple in home automation than turning a simple single pole light switch on and off. I have been through many timeclocks and other smart devices to enable this functionality successfully and reliably now this most fundamental piece of automation has failed in Smart Things. I believe this is the definition of failure, if I were responsible to deliver a stable platform as a Smart Things employee I would be ashamed of myself as I had failed to deliver what is promised to the customers of my product.

It’s not the failed back porch light, not the 3 failed occupancy sensors, not the 2 failed locks, nor the box of devices I have not installed because I lost faith in the product system, it’s the darn porch light. It’s the porch light that makes me regret I ever invested a minute of my time in this product. It’s the porch light that makes me regret recommending this product to my friends. It’s the porch light that will irritate my wife as I now embark on an alternative solution for a reliable solution to my home automation failure.

For all of the things I like about this product, the garage door application, the open door notifications, the ease of programming, the wide variety of compatible devices, none of these can make me want to keep it if it cannot turn on the doggone porch light reliably.

Very, Very, disappointed.

A soon to be Ex Smart Things customer…


(Tim Slagle) #2

Hey Mike!

Glad to see you on the forums my friend!

Always sucks when something doesn’t work as expected… Sorry to hear that man!

Just a few things you can check to make sure your network is running at peak performance.

  1. Is your hub close to your router? If so, how close? 1-2 feet? Can you move it farther away?
  2. Have you tried another hub location? Sometimes being close doesn’t matter if there is a interfering signal bouncing around between the hub and the device.
  3. Have you tried repairing your z-wave network?
  4. Have you tried hard power cycling the hub?
  5. Have you worked with the incredible SmartThings support team to see what they have to say?

I agree with you, the single pole switch is the simplest form of automation and why I suspect there may be something else in play here. With the 100s - 1000s of signals traveling through your home a little restructuring might not hurt.

This article can definitely help you sort out if it is a signal interference issue:

It would be sad to see you go… but if you do, please do your research… I’ve had all the other systems and they are dog meat compared to SmartThings.


(John S) #3

Yep. Something directly wired to the switch wins every time.

Is your device zwave or zigbee? Are all your devices using the same wireless tech? How many devices do you have? Did you repair the network(s) after everything was installed?


(Mike) #4

Update: I moved the hub away from the hub to a place where it’s far from the router, kitchen, microwave, and most other electronic devices. Surprising how hard it is to find such a place in a modern home but the guest bedroom seems to be a good place. While its farther away from most devices it seems to be responding better and more stable now. I guess it deserves a second chance. I actually added the other deadbolt locks and those are even working now where the previous deadbolt was responsive only about 50%.


(April Wong) #5

Hey, thanks for following up and letting us know. I’m very glad to hear that this was one of the ways to solve some of it.

:frowning: I too, like to keep my routers and hubs in one location - Alas- it’s terrible for the connections, as some of them share the same 2.4ghz band.


(Mike) #6

Update #2:

The cat 5 cable to the guest bedroom has issues. It works for some devices and not others, it will work for my computer but not the smart things hub. I had to move it back into the noisy area but I moved it as far away in the same room and it’s working OK. It did work better when it was connected to the internet in the other room. If we can get the standalone hubs I think this in the spare room will be the best solution.