Power outage – Big problem

Maybe this will help others. I called GE Wink 800 number and they told me if the lights do not auto pair I should turn the lights off and put the hub in pairing mode. Then turn the lights back on. This worked for 3 of 4 bulbs.

The last bulb I had to power and off 5 times to get it in reset mode. After that I put the app in pairing mode and it found it using the same name.

In the scheme of the internet that is nothing. Google site goes through that many events every nano second.

Could not agree more. All this is super low tech. Looking sunset up based on your zip code and turning a light on could have been done 40 years ago with a small microcontroller and a relay.


And yet the unsolved problem clearly exists and persists – nearly 1 full year since the “mega crunch outages” in November 2016 (and we’re off Topic, oh well).

And NASA is 20 minutes drive from SmartThings’s headquarters … plenty of rocket scientists nearby.

So if it’s not an engineering issue, what is it? We should probably take this to a new Topic or move to a Sunset or scheduling Topic. Or drop it as purely unproductive speculation. Dunno.

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I think it’s a fitting end to this thread, don’t you? Other reason for the problem? hmmmmm, free service maybe?

All the bulbs listed below shown active have a known state in the SmartThings cloud. This data is from the web interface. After a power outage there is no reason a SmartApp can not send commands to all the devices on that list to the last known state.

Here’s the offline FAQ for GE links with the easy workarounds to try before you start redoing everything. Might help, can’t hurt. Make sure you do the steps in the order specified. They don’t work otherwise.

Sunset problems may represent a “musical chairs” issue, similar to networks that have buffer overflows. If you get too busy, you lose some messages and they’re gone forever. It’s like the busy signals you get for cell phones after an earthquake.

Absolutely there are multiple engineering solutions to this, I’m just saying sudden spikes in traffic can cause random localized problems if you don’t have the solutions in place. And “sunset” tends to be a big traffic spike for most home automation systems,

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I am learning more about this stuff every day. Here is what I learned today. There are two ways to re pair the bulb. The first is to turn it on and put the SmartThings hub in ‘Add New Device’ mode. Make sure all your GE bulbs have power when you do this. If not bulbs will fall off the network. It happen to me today. I lost 7 of 9 outside bulbs.

If this does not work you have to cycle power to the bulb for 5 seconds on 5 seconds off until the bulb dims slowly and turns on. Then put the SmartThings hub in ‘Add New Device’ mode. It should find the Zigbee address of the bulb and connect it to the original name of the bulb.

That is how people designed things 30 years ago. Today you send a packet with a CRC to make sure the packet is not corrupt and then an (ACT) acknowledge packet is sent by the receiver to make sure it was received. If the sender does not receive a packet in a predetermined amount of time it is resent over and over until acknowledged. That is how Zigbee and TCP/IP work today.

Please see the FAQ. The methods you give involve joining the bulb to the network again. That’s actually not necessary most of the time.

Instead, you can simply prod the bulbs to look for the Cordinator they already know, without having to do any “add a device” step on the SmartThings side.

SmartThings staff that have posted that the reason that the GE bulbs are not listed as being officially compatible is that they have a firmware problem that causes them to not know what network they belong to when they wake up after a power outage. The information is still stored in the bulb, but for some reason they’re not using it. Apparently GE has said they may update this firmware in a few months, but who knows when. Meanwhile it’s the reason why this is the brand that has this problem more than any other.

You just have to get the bulb to use the information that it already has. That process is almost always easier than doing something through the SmartThings add a device protocol.

But again, see the FAQ.

The FAQ is missing a step before trying the blink method.

The blink method should be your second approach to fix the issue.

This is an easy app to write, and I’d be happy to do it for you. You would need a Gen 1 SmartSense motion sensor. It throws an event when power is lost, and another when power is restored. You’d just select all of these devices when you install the app, and then when power is restored, it would run through and put them back where they were.


The FAQ lists three steps. Of those, the blink method is the third.

I really don’t want to go through all the FAQ steps here but if that is necessary to understanding:

The first step is to temporarily remove the coordinator, not any individual bulb. That alone will recover most of the bulbs.

The second step is just to power any Bulb still lost off and then on once. Not the repetitive blink pattern. Not a reset to factory. Just off and on once. But only do this after you temporarily remove the Cordinator and readd it as instructed in the FAQ. This should cause the bulb to then handshake with the stored Coordinator again.

Only if those two steps, in that order, fail, should you have to individually factory reset any bulb still lost.

The first step in the FAQ causes all zigbee devices on the network to begin searching for the Coordinator.

The second step in the FAQ causes an individual bulb to reestablish a handshake with its known coordinator. This is what the GE bulbs should do automatically after any power outage but it doesn’t.

Once you get to using the blink method, you are removing the stored Cordinator information from the individual bulb. That’s why it doesn’t come until the third step in the FAQ, most of the time you won’t even have to do that. And that’s why you don’t have to do “add a device” again most of the time.

I have a SmartSence motion sensor. Not sure what Gen it is. I went to the device using the web interface and it does not show what ver it is.

I would agree with that, if, SmartThings didn’t have Samsung as a parent. Unless Samsung is being unwise (or pessimistic) and is under-feeding this adopted child, or has an overly bureaucratic budget process (cost center vs. revenu center, blah, blah, blah), then SmartThings should not require new retail revenue streams at this time.

Though, to be clear, the caveats in the above paragraph are more than possible. Current revenue based on Hub sales is hard to know precisely, and the margins (after manufacturing, logistics, sales, and basic support expenses) are hard to estimate – I still think they are far too close to $0.00. Literally. Only scale and side-revenue streams will ultimately resolve that.

Acquired or experimental technology / product units fail or are killed for many reasons – and, at least from an outside perspective, many of these deaths or resales look like they could have been prevented in hindsight or they lead to better things eventually (Apple’s history is filled with fun examples: Lisa, Newton, …, And HP’s acquisition of Palm, eBay’s Skype, …).

My current opinion is that SmartThings is in MVP - Minimum Viable Product mode (unofficially an ongoing repaid refresh Beta). It is also under-resourced or mismanaged for its current legacy complexity (i.e., it is “under-engineered”).

Meanwhile, the bean counters are mostly focused on the marketing side (including internationally, for whatever reason, even with domestic instability). Those bean counters have timeframe and sales targets in their heads or on paper. If they are not generous or forgiving, then ST is in serious jeopardy as some unspoken milestones and deadlines approach. If I were to do a competitive analysis, I would research past Samsung unit ventures to try to estimate what their risk, time, and spending tolerance is, along with what types of emergency measures they may try if results are not going as planned.

I am sorry I read what you posted in this thread. I did not click on the FAQ. That FAQ is correct. That is what GE told me to do today and it worked.

Today I had 3 bulbs connect after step 2 today. I had to use step 3 for the last one. I did not have to delete the bulb from SmartThings like I did in the past.

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Like this:

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I must have a newer unit.

This one has a mini-USB power port on the right side. It also has batteries. So it knows when it loses AC power, and when it is restored. Very cool. Plus, it’s a zigbee repeater when plugged in.

Unfortunately discontinued, and no one seems to be selling it anymore. I had a friend looking for one about 10 days ago and couldn’t find it anywhere. :disappointed_relieved: