Power Outage Hue Lights in Bedroom while sleeping... kind of a mess in my opinion


(Weston T Turner) #1

Hello all!!

Can anyone help me with the subject? Or is there possibly no help to be had with that subject.

Power outage when sleeping, all of the lights come on?-- Seems like an awful idea or at the least, why can’t that be a customizeable “feature” based on firmware.

Can anyone point me to a more impressive competitor based on quality of the light (saturation, hue etc.)? And the features involved (i.e. a memory so that the lights don’t come on after a power outage)


#2

This is how most zigbee lightbulbs perform because it’s what allows them to be turned on with the switch when the home automation system is not working. Some people don’t like it, some people do. (For myself, I actually like knowing that there was a power outage and restore as there are some medical equipment that we need to check in that situation.)

Anyway, there are a couple of choices.

First, you can use smart switches rather than smart bulbs for the bedroom. Smart switches generally restore to the previous state after power restored, although some remain off. In any case, they don’t have to deal with the same issue as the bulbs so it tends to be more intuitive.

Second, you can use the power outage smartapp which will test one bulb to see if it is on when you don’t expect it to be and will then turn off the other bulbs that you have selected automatically.

Much depends, of course, on how often you think you will have power outages. So different things work for different people.


(Bobby) #3

Rather than ditching your Hue devices for a competitor, move into the plan B we were talking about the other day. Get yourself some zwave switches for peace of mind sleep. Hue is rock solid aside from the power outrage inconvenience.


#4

I know that you yourself put smart bulbs on smart switches, but in addition to doubling the device cost, as we have discussed in the past that’s not a best practices recommendation. Check with the manufacturers of the bulbs and they will tell you that these bulbs are not intended to have power cut by a switch, whether it’s a smart switch or not.

I know you personally haven’t seen any problems so far, but that’s like one person smoking cigarettes reporting that they haven’t had any health issues from them. Lucky is good, but it doesn’t make a best practice. :wink:

An occasional power outage won’t be a problem with a smart bulb, but if you are regularly cutting power and then restoring it to the bulbs there is a high probability that you will damage the radio inside the bulb overtime because of the inrush current, shortening the life of what are already very expensive bulbs.

There may be people who consider the additional cost worth it to avoid the issue of the power outage behavior, in which case fine, that’s their choice. But people should know that this is the choice they are making if they choose to put smart bulbs on a switch for regular shut off.


(Weston T Turner) #5

@SBDOBRESCU

Currently, it sounds like we have the same setup. I have smart switches throughout and am starting to “dabble” in the Hue lighting before I go all in…

I agree, they seem rock solid. All except for this poor design choice which they will never change based on my research.

For now, I only have the Hue bulbs in Lamps that are then connected to z wave outlets. And am starting to think about the consequences of using Hue lights in fixtures. Thank you for your comments on my situation, very helpful.


(Weston T Turner) #6

Going against the manufacturers recommendations is what has me in a holding pattern on moving forward with my smarthome additions.

I also see your thought process about using the smart switches only in the bedroom and that is my current setup in the bedroom.

Some of the questions I ask here to you experts are essentially hypothetical and what if scenarios before I go out and waste more money on something that I expected to work differently.

I am so thankful to all of you @JDRoberts @SBDOBRESCU for lending your expertise with the multitude of smart home components that are out there and their usage within the smartthings system.


(Bobby) #7

I am not by any means an expert. Just sharing my personal experience. As @JDRoberts always says, . one’s happy accident doesn’t make the norm. Good luck with your HA adventure. And don’t forget to share your experiences… That’s what makes this community great…


(Weston T Turner) #8

@JDRoberts

So even if I were to change over to the improved Hue ma dth on my Hue bulbs and remove the Hue hub from usage completely. This would still be a problem?

Or would there be an easier way around this situation it by removing the Hue hub from the system?

I guess it’s the firmware of the bulbs is the problem, not really the hub itself.

Also, I looked into that smartapp above, it looks like the community members are saying it checks the light every 5 minutes. This would be good for if the power went out during the day while at work etc. But it seems like at night, this would still be rather unappealing.

I’m leaning towards Hue not being welcome in my bedroom which is a real bummer.

I guess, if bad storms are expected, I could always turn them off at the zwave switch since that would probably only occur a few times a year (if I wanted Hue in the bedroom and definite uninterrupted sleep)


#9

It’s the firmware of the bulbs. Doesn’t matter how they are connected or which DTH they use.

Since this is still theoretical for you, I think you have to walk yourself through the following questions:

  1. how often do you experience a power outage?

  2. Will it really wake you up if the lights come on?

  3. is it that big of a deal if the lights come on for five minutes and then turn themselves off when you know that they’re going to do so?

Many people have a concern about the power outage occurring when, say, they are away on vacation and they don’t want their lights to stay on for days. That’s easily solved with the power outage smart app. Or even just a vacation routine that turns all the lights off once or twice a day.

As far as planning for what to do if the lights come on while you’re sleeping, again, how often is it likely to happen? How much will it bother you if it does if the light to turn themselves off again automatically in a few minutes?

There’s no right or wrong answer to those questions but you’re the only one who can decide how much money and effort you want to invest into the issue.

If the answers are that it happens a lot and it really bothers you when it does, then, yes, I would just use switches instead of bulbs for those rooms. But that’s just me. :sunglasses:


(Alex) #10

My HUE lights are connected to Zwave outlets or switches that are always left ON at all times. When there is a power outage and the power returns, the outlets and switches will remain OFF (normal behavior) until I turn them back on. The benefit of this is that the HUE lights will NOT come back on in the middle of the night (seemingly 99% of my outages). I also created a simple routine called “Reset Outlets” that quickly turns them all back on. When I have time I will change it to webCore so that I can restore power to all the devices AND turn the HUE lights off otherwise restoring power to them will force me to turn them all off again.

While I started with HUE for all my colored lights, I did but a number of LIFX as HUE’s lumen output is really disappointing. I am not a fan of them being WIFI devices though as my pool of 192.168.1.x IP addresses is going quickly and I’d rather keep things simple (no multiple subnets).

Another thing I did was to put all of my Ubiquity Unifi networking equipment, the ST and Hue Hubs on UPS so that recovery from a short outage will not require waiting to boot everything back up. This was an issue the nights power kept going on and off and each time I had to wait a bit for everything to come back online. Then I added the outlets/switches which eliminated the issue all together.


#11

That’s a clever approach. :sunglasses: I can see where the plug-in pocket sockets would work fine, because people wouldn’t generally try to turn those on and off. What do you do to keep people from using the wall switches as regular switches on a daily basis?


(Weston T Turner) #12

@aruffell @JDRoberts

So your saying that I may not actually have a problem at all?

Currently I have the Lamps in my bedroom plugged into an inovelli z wave outlet (dual channel version). The Lamps have Hue bulbs in them.

It sounds like the same setup as yourself. So in this setup, the zwave outlets will default to off? If so, I agree the problem I have been worried about wouldn’t exist at all…

Furthermore, in ceiling fixtures with Hue bulbs that are connected to zwave wall on/ off switch. You are saying that after a power outage the wall switches default to off? Geeze, if this is the case, I don’t have any issues with my setup.-- I am using z wave wall switches and inovelli outlets.


#13

You don’t have a problem if you never intentionally use the Z wave devices to cut current to the smart bulbs.

On the other hand, if you have a Z wave wall switch that you use all the time to control a ceiling fixture, and you put smart bulbs in that ceiling fixture, then you are in very real danger of damaging the radios in the smart bulbs and significantly reducing their Useful life. Which makes these very expensive bulbs even more expensive. Obviously, that’s a choice that some people will make, but you should know that you are making that choice when you do it.

What @aruffell has said is that even though he has the table lamp that has a Hue bulb in it plugged into a Z wave pocket socket, he never uses the pocket socket to turn the lamp on and off. it’s only there to make sure that if there is a power outage, the bulb stays off. You’re paying for an extra device, but you aren’t damaging the bulb.

As I said, different people will approach the situation differently, depending on their own priorities and their own budgets.

The user guides for the smart bulbs will all tell you that the bulbs should always be on power. So if you put a switch on the circuit that you never use to cut the power, OK, that’s your choice. It’s just preparation for a power outage that may never come. It does no additional damage to the bulb beyond what the power outage would do anyway.

But if you have a switch that controls the current to the smart bulb and you use that switch all the time as a regular wall switch, then you are in danger of damaging the bulbs. Which again, is your choice, but it’s certainly not best practices. :sunglasses:


(Mark) #14

Is that true for all z-wave outlets? Could be a parameter that differs among the brands.


(Alex) #15

I really don’t think that smart bulbs are damaged by turning them on and off via a switch. I suspect the instructions say so simply because it defeats the purpose of having a remote controllable bulb if you cut power to it. For the bulbs to operate as intended, they must always be powered so that the user can control them via the app, or zigbee remote, etc.

I do not turn them on or off via the zwave outlet or switches because it makes it impossible to control them as intended (you would have to restore power to them then go to the DTH (or app) to change color, etc). Also, I generally do not use color bulbs for my main lighting but rather table lamps or accent lights so, to answer @JDRoberts question, it is rare that they accidentally get turned on or off via wall switches especially when most are connected to zwave outlets so no switch for someone to mess with :wink:


#16

Inrush current. It’s a real thing.

http://www.olino.org/us/articles/2013/10/22/inrush-current-for-led-light-bulbs

As far as the Z wave pocket socket devices, it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. GE default to off when power is restored, Leviton return to their previous state through a feature called “protected memory.” There may be a parameter setting for this, I’m not sure, you can look it up.


(Alex) #17

The article is inconsequential as all LED bulbs are affected by the same phenomenon yet the majority of LED bulbs are meant to be installed in place of traditional bulbs controlled by switches. Also, there are ways to protect circuits and components from in rush current when it is indeed an issue. I concur that inrush can eventually damage devices but that is true for everything and not reason enough to just leave it on at all times. In the case of smart bulbs, it just doesn’t make much sense to turn them off by cutting power as you are limiting their convenience and intended use cases. Does anyone cut power to a TV nowadays? No, because it would defeat the convenience of using a remote to turn it on from the comfort of your sofa… a side benefit might be reducing the on/off stress you are concerned about.


(John C) #18

Um, yes! My ‘Good Night’ routine turns off our entire entertainment center until morning: TV, cable box, Apple TV, Sonos soundbar, HDMI splitter, DVD player, & Ethernet hub. Saves some electricity every night!

What JD is saying, you have to make your own choice. Just be aware of any potential issues and do your own cost/benefit analysis. What is it he always says? “Choice is good!”


#19

I do the same thing when I discovered my entertainment system used 70 watts when “Off”. Trying to get all those vampire watts!


#20

Traditional LEDs don’t have radios inside. It’s the networking components that can get damaged.

A typical nonnetworked LED is spec’d at 25,000 hours of operating life.
A typical networked LED is spec’d at 15,000 hours of operating life. The lighting components aren’t any different, but the radio is affected by heat.

But it’s your choice. If you’re OK with the bulb that may last only 10,000 hours instead of 15,000, you can cut the current every day. There’s no safety issue, it’s just a matter of replacement cost. :sunglasses: