Smart Bulbs

I am about to give up on smart bulbs altogether. I now have several GE Link bulbs and two Cree bulbs and neither are reliable. The GE bulbs will occasionally become unresponsive and then show up as a new “Not yet configured” device and the Cree bulbs have already become unresponsive 3 times in the two weeks I have owned them. No other device that I have has this kind of unreliability.

This may have nothing to do with it, but if you’re using the bulbs without a bridge your zigbee network may be too sparse, causing the bulbs to drop off and eventually declare themselves orphaned.

For cost reasons, smart bulbs do not act as zigbee repeaters except for other smart bulbs in their own little network. And battery powered sensors don’t usually act as repeaters at all. If you set up Hues with a bridge close to the hub and Crees off in another room but not on that bridge, the Hues don’t act as repeaters for the Crees. It’s pretty common for a home automation install to just not have enough powered zigbee devices to support a robust mesh.

A bridge helps a lot, but obviously adds cost.

WiFi interference can also cause the same problem with zigbee devices. Usually changing the WiFi channel will help. Just be aware that rebooting the WiFi router may cause another channel change back to the original so you have to change it again each time after a reboot.


I don’t have these problems with any of my other zigbee devices. I have SmartThings motion and multi-sensors at various places around my home. And, some of the bulbs that I have issues with are the ones closest to my hub.

My new Cree bulbs are doing the same thing. I have 6 of them in our master bath, and its random which ones stop responding. One time, it will be 1 bulb, another 2 different bulbs…My Hues work fine. I have the latest Zigbee firmware, not sure what this all about, but i would like to get it fixed.

So it doesn’t sound like an individual bad bulb.

Motion sensors work differently because they sleep a lot of the time, which bulbs don’t. So the bulbs are more likely to demonstrate that they’re having network problems because they’re supposed to be operating continuously. They’re also more likely to register multiple failures for the same reason. But obviously that wouldn’t explain Hue vs Cree.

Are both the Hues that are not having the problem and the Crees that are having the problem controlled by the same Hue bridge?

Is “closest to the hub” also closest to the WiFi router? I have a zigbee bulb that drops off in the room with the Wifi router but works fine one room over.

Do you have them on a circuit with a traditional light switch?..and do you use the light switch a lot or even at all? I had the same issue until I moved my ex-girlfriend and her kids out…problem solved! j/k :wink:

In all seriousness…

I’ve set up almost all of my bulbs to cut off after a set amount of time being on so that when used with the traditional light switch at least the of command keeps the bulbs from un-pairing (if that makes sense).

I went from all kinds of trouble (like you seem to be experiencing) to none. There is no way I would recommend these smart bulbs with traditional switches to a status-quo household. When living alone I’m quite happy with them.

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the Hues are connected to the Hue bridge, and the Hue bridge to Smartthings. The bulbs are connected directly to SmartThings.

I thought the Hue bulbs were supposed to act as a Zigbee repeater if they had power to the socket.

lol, Actually they are connected to a traditional switch, but we only use the switch because the bulbs dont all turn off.

Normally ZLL bulbs like Hue and Cree connected act as ZLL repeaters within their own network, but not as ZHA repeaters or as repeaters for a different ZLL network. So the bulbs pass messages on to other bulbs and light bridges that they are linked to, but not to, say, a zigbee motion sensor. Or to a bulb not linked to their bridge.

So if you linked your Crees to ST but not to the Phillips bridge, the Hues linked to that bridge will not act as repeaters for the Crees.