Several ZigBee Devices stopped responding (Troubleshoot question)

In a period of about 72 hours since Friday several of my ZigBee devices (4 GE Link Bulbs and 2 Iris Motion sensors) stopped responding and I hat to reset them and re-discover them so they started working again

I think it started on Friday as the platform was updating status of the devices very slowly, I would send an On to lightbulb and it would turn on, but ST App would say “Turning On” for a while and not update to ON (even do the light did turn on), but I attributed this to slow internet or ST platform glitch

Then by today 4 out of my 5 GE Link Bulbs and my 2 Iris Motion sensors stopped responding, the Iris would detect motion as the led would light up in the device but ST would not receive the message, I had to reset them all and re-discovered (and so far everything working again)

My question is what could have caused this? could it be a bad device messing the ZigBee network? or and ST problem.

Is there anything that can be done for ZigBee network like z-wave to re-discover o fix Network? any advice on what could have happened and how to avoid it?

Some of the GE Light bulbs have done this in the past but never all at once and not with the Iris MS

You’re correct that there is a known problem with GE bulbs where they may lose connection with the network, but not usually a bunch of them at once. Still, it can happen that the one that goes bad is at a critical point where it is acting as a repeater for the others so sometimes you might see four of them all get lost once even though it’s really only one that is demonstrating the symptoms. This problem is the reason why the GE bulbs Are not on the official “works with SmartThings” list.

On the other hand, that shouldn’t have affected the motion sensors, and several people have reported having weird issues with Zigbee devices. Actually this has been going on since March.

So, I’m going to give you two suggestions. One of these is just the standard thing you do with any zigbee network that is acting goofy. The second is the link to the FAQ for GE bulbs that go offline.

However, if neither of those work, report it to support because it may be something specific to SmartThings.

1. Heal the zigbee network

Healing a zigbee network is easy. :sunglasses: Just take the smartthings hub off of power for at least 15 minutes while leaving all the other Zigbee devices turned on. Take out the batteries from the hub if it has any as well.

The zigbee sensors and bulbs will all go into “panic mode” as they realize the Coordinator (the smartthings hub) is not available.

Then when you put the hub back on power, each individual zigbee device will rebuild its own neighbor tables. It can take a while for this process to finish, so you may not see improvements until the next day.

A fortunate secondary effect of the hub being offline for 15 minutes is that it will then re-sync with your cloud account.

2. Ge bulbs FAQ

Because of the known GE issue, you may have to also do some resets on individual GE bulbs. See the FAQ.

3. Contact support

If one and two don’t fix the problem by the next day, contact support. But at least know that you are not alone.


Thanks JD

Very helpful as Always :+1:

Will try the ZigBee heal by unplugging the hub for 15 min and see how that goes.

I have a couple of GE lightbulbs that have no switch and these rarely give me any problems, so it looks like the problem with them is indeed the power cycling on them, but as far as I can recall with did not have any power outages this week and its also very strange that both the iris motions sensors failed as well (as they are powered by batteries of course), the one thing that you mentioned that picked my interest is the one device being a repeater failing, I have no dedicated zigbee repeater as I had no issues with all devices getting signal but now that you mention it this may be something to look at.

I will test first with the rebuild and maybe look into a zigbee repeater (or device other than the GE Bulbs acting as repeater) the only non-battery zigbee devices I have are the GE Links, the rest are motion sensors and door sensors that do not act as repeater as they are battery powered.

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The bulbs should be acting as repeaters for each other, at least while they are on power. But they probably won’t be acting as repeaters for the motion sensors, or at least not all the time. Zigbee Bulbs are really weird. :disappointed_relieved:

I also lost all of my zigbee devices on a V2 hub within a period of a few hours. These devices were door/window and motion. I have a few GE Link bulbs and they all stayed on the network. I ended up completely reinstalling the devices twice and they have since stopped responding again.

Reinstalling devices is such a time consuming process that I decided to replaced the devices with z-wave. I also tried to do the zigbee heal as recommended by support but I’m not sure that it helped at all in my case. My GE Link bulbs are still going strong at the moment but they have fallen off a few times in the past too. I’ve always been able to get them back on fairly easily but I will replace those too eventually. My zigbee devices worked fine for the first couple years so this has been a very sudden problem and there were no changes that I can tie to interference related issues that may be the source of the problem.

Interestingly, I also have a v1 hub at another location that has been running a year or so longer than the v2 hub and it has never dropped a zigbee device. My GE link bulbs on that hub have been rock solid. I also use Cree bulbs on the V1 hub without any problem and many are a considerable distance from the hub. I actually bought the Cree bulbs for the V2 hub but I was never able to get them to work more than 6’ from the hub.

@JDRoberts Is it possible my hub is dropping Zigbee and forcing panic mode, which then the GE bulbs do not recover from? Perhaps the GE bulbs turn on when they are put in panic mode?

I “fixed” my problem by removing all 6 bulbs from all smart apps, deleting them all, resetting them all and then repairing them all. Have not had a repeat issue so far. (fingers crossed).

But, man what a pain…

No idea. I would think something like that would be visible to support, though.