Smart Bulbs in a 3-way lamp

I have an Osram Lightify bulb in a 3-way lamp (3-way lamp, not 3-way switch in the wall) that keeps losing connection with SmartThings. I can get it to reconnect quickly by turning the lamp off, then back on (there are two positions of the lamp switch where the light comes on). I have tried it at both settings where the bulb will work (I am guessing medium and high were it a regular 3-way bulb), and I have tried a different Osram bulb in the same lamp with the same result. I seems if I use it at least once or twice a day, it’s fine. But if it doesn’t get used it loses connection (well, that’s how it seems, but that could just be coincidence).

I know there can be issues with smart bulbs on a dimmer switch, is there a similar problem with a 3-way lamp? Or does SmartThings just not like bulbs called “Table Lamp”?

I successfully run an Osram in a three way. But if it gives you trouble, replace the switch in the lamp. Most are interchangeable and you can buy a simple on/off at home depot for a few dollars. Just make sure you unplug it :slight_smile:

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There should be no problem with using a 3way switch. The switch is just two mechanical switches. Position A turns on switch section A, position B turns on switch A and B. The end connection of a normal bulb is A connection of a 3 way bulb.

I would insure that your mesh is good. Every time I have had bulbs go on and off line, I have fixed the problem by adding a repeater. I normally used a smart outlet since they also work as a repeater. Just make sure the repeater uses the same zwave or signed that the light does.

I was sorry to see the iris line discontinued since the iris outlet worked as but zwave and signed repeater. When Lowe’s discontinued them I bought out the local store when they had them for $9 each. Looking at which lights were dropping out. I added iris outlets between them and the hub. Once I did that my bulbs have been very reliable for several years.



Sorry about that auto correct changed zigbee to signed and I didn’t notice until I got send.

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What @JDRoberts said about the name :slight_smile:

Three way light switches don’t actually dim anything - the switch energizes separate rings on the bulb socket depending on the way the switch is thrown. IF your non-3-way bulb’s socket is setup correctly you basically just have a switch that’s OFF-ON-ON as far as the lamp is concerned.

With a Smart Bulb, to ensure proper operation the bulb should always be powered. So your three way should be in one of the two ON positions - doesn’t matter which one. Just keep it there, break off the switch if you have to.

NOW, assuming you’re using it that way (leave it on all the time) what else can be the issue.

I tossed all my Osram bulbs because they were horrible at staying on the Zigbee network and they’re bad repeaters - other devices I had that repeated through them also had issues staying on the network… The only way I could make them SOMEWHAT reliable was to ensure I had Secure rejoin TURNED OFF on the hub and also put a reliable Zigbee repeater very close to the bulb. But after a year, I got tired of fighting them and replaced them all with Sengleds.

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I have seen discussion in electrical engineering forums That three-way lamps which literally connect to two sides of the bulb, with off having no current on either side, medium having current to one side, and high having current to the other side, only work well with resistive loads like incandescent or halogen. They often don’t work well with LEDs, whether they are smart or dumb. And some smart LEDs have trouble maintaining radio power on medium.

But that’s not the only way to design a three-way lamp, and I believe that newer ones are more likely to be designed so that they will work fine with LEDs.

On the other hand, some expensive newer three-way bulbs also allow for Dimming, with the medium and high essentially just being preset scenes, And those are not going to work with Smart bulbs for the same reason that dimmer switches don’t.

So there are several different possible designs and some will work better than others. The older style will generally work OK on high, but may not work on medium.

In any case, SmartThings doesn’t care what you named it. :sunglasses:

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…and break off the switch. :slight_smile:

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Wow, lot’s of quick responses, thanks. To clarify a few things. It most definitely is not a mesh issue. It has happened at two different houses (we’ve moved recently). In our old house, it was actually in a lamp less than 4 feet from the ST hub, the closest thing connected to it. In the current house, it is one of 4 lights in the room (the room next to the one with the hub), and not the furthest away either. When we moved, I switched lamps that the bulb went into (still called it “Table Lamp”) and it still happened. Though both lamps are 3-way. I then took that bulb out, put another in, changed the names (so the new one is “Table Lamp” and old one is “adjustable white”). And it still happens. As I mentioned originally, it works fine for a bit, then just drops off. I am no electrician, but I would think that even though the 3-way lamp may vary how it sends power to the bulb from low, medium, and high, that the flow of power would be stable as long as the switch isn’t changed and couldn’t really think of why it would cause problems assuming it’s getting enough power to work. And it does work, for a while.

In fact, now that I think about it, one of the other lamps in the room I believe is also 3-way (a really old one) and I haven’t had a bit of trouble out of it. But it’s bulb is named “Al”. :grin:

Maybe I’ll try one of my Hue bulbs in the lamp and see if it works better.

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Try the misbehaving bulb in a lamp that only has on/off. If the problem continues, it is the bulb. If it is fixed, it is the switch.