Terrible Time- Need help with smartbulbs and app

I’m beside myself with frustration and need to ask for help. I transitioned several months ago from Wink to SmartThings and don’t know enough about ST troubleshooting (yet). Situation- many of my smart lightbulbs are not functioning properly. Some appear offline in the app and some appear OK, but are not working (from app or Alexa). IDE shows they are all online. I’ve restarted the hub and router multiple times, I’ve moved my hub away from my router today and did a Zwave repair- nothing is getting things communicating still. This past week or so has been really bad with almost 10 lights not working correctly and automations not functioning. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Brand/model of the bulbs?


Most of the problem bulbs are older GE Link smartbulbs and some are newer Sengled bulbs. All of them had been pretty solid on Wink and started OK on ST, but things have been especially bad the past few weeks. We all sometimes turn off the bulbs at the lightswitches because of frustration, so maybe things haven progressively gotten worse because of that?

Those are all Zigbee bulbs, so a zwave repair won’t make any difference one way or the other.

Turning off the bulbs at the switch, unfortunately, definitely can, particularly for brands other than Sengled. The other brands are all designed to always be on power, and turning them off at the switch not only means they can have a bit of trouble reconnecting when you turn the power back on again but it can also significantly shorten the life of what are expensive bulbs to begin with. :disappointed_relieved: This is because every time you turn the switch on again there is a power surge which can, overtime, damage the radio inside the bulbs.

It’s not an issue if you just have an occasional power outage two or three times a year, but if you are using a switch regularly, you should change to the kind of Smart switch that will not damage the bulbs.

Awesome info, thanks! I did manually reset most of them and “search nearby” in the app to get them connected again. Hope that lasts for a while. I’ll reteach my young ones (and my husband!) to stop turning off the light switches and alert me when there’s a problem.

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We used to use inexpensive child locks on switches which were just a reminder not to turn the switch unless the automation system wasn’t working. These are widely available and only cost a few dollars.

Since that time, we have switched to Smart switch covers which fit over the existing switch and give you a wall control that does not actually cut current to the bulbs. These are battery operated and do not require any wiring. There is a go control model which is typically on sale for about $15 and works well with smartthings.


You do need custom code for these, but they will work with the new V3 app, and can solve the wall switch problem once and for all to everybody’s satisfaction. :sunglasses:

Thanks for this! We do have the basic “child locks” on most of our switches at home. Definitely helps! I’ll check into the other options!

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