Why is this system so broke


First, thank you. It worked on one of the bulbs. I probably would have worked on both but I deleted the bulb and I have been trying to get it to pair for the last 2 hours. Sometimes it shows new device and I can not connect to it. Other it just will not find it. I had the same issue with a different bulb 9 days ago.


I can not get it to pair. I am going to buy another bulb. I checked all my bulbs today on in the kitchen that I do not use a lot had the same issue. I did the rename trick and it came right back. Great tip


I spent 2 hours working on getting the bulb to pair. It is odd sometimes they show up as Unknown. I have had this issue with other bulbs. I keep trying and trying until it works.

I was using the wall switch to pair one bulb because it is raining out. Doing that took the bulb out of the system. I tried the rename trick but it did not work. I had to pair it again. Everything is working as of today.


For 9 days everything worked. Today one light did not turn off at sunrise. Random failures keep happening.

(Tracy Fleming) #106

I had a lot of issues like these. I was able to track down my issues to week wireless signals. It depends on what network you are using Zigbee or Z-Wave. I added some network repeaters and this fixed my issues. Make sure your repeater matches your devices. I did not pay attention to this the first round.

The two lights that do not respond are most likely on the edge of the network. Other interference could be causing issues in these grey zones.

I was ready to throw out my system until I got really understood this topic.


There’s no question that if the SmartThings platform were stable, laying out a good network backbone for both zigbee and zwave should solve almost all problems. :sunglasses:

Indeed, the fact that both zigbee home automation and zwave were existing third party standards that should provide a stable environment is the reason why many people with technical backgrounds chose Smart
Things in the first place.

Unfortunately, having a good network layout cannot protect you from platform issues. Obviously since people have been reporting issues with both virtual Devices and activities like disarming Smart Home Monitor, both cloud activities that are independent of protocol, adding repeaters can’t help everything.

For example, just in the last month, community members reported the following:

  1. Smart Home Monitor failing to disarm
  2. mode not changing
  3. timer scheduling events that are marked as milliseconds instead in seconds (meaning the event took 1,000 times longer to fire)
  4. database corruption leading to rules and routines missing values
  5. timed events being issued 12 or 15 times in a row (smart lighting, no custom code)
  6. timed events being repeated again 15 minutes later
  7. zwave controller becoming completely inoperable (not the end devices, the controller itself)
  8. attempts to look at device detail pages resulting in either"Access Denied" or “not found” messages

Some of these have since been fixed. None of these would’ve been fixed by moving devices around in your home or doing a network heal.

SmartThings staff have verified these issues and there is much discussion of them, particularly in the following thread:

If your system is working well for you, that’s great. I’m truly glad to hear it. And it’s always helpful to understand enough about how your network works to lay it out efficiently.

But unfortunately, most of the problems that people have been experiencing for the last few months with Smartthings have not been due to a weak mesh. And can’t be addressed by individual customers. They require platform changes, which the company has committed to making. :sunglasses:

When the SmartThings CEO feels the issues are significant enough that he has to apologize publicly to the community, it’s unlikely that local network configuration is the issue.

Absolutely, do whatever you can to make your own network as efficient as possible. That can only help. But in most cases the deeper solutions are, for the moment, out of our hands.

(Stuart Buchanan) #108

the one common denominator here for random failures is when people are turning on or off lots of bulbs at the same time and some are missed. This used to happen to me lots with my hue bulbs and was especially common in my conservatory where I have 14 bulbs.
However since my pull request for hue groups was included in the hue reconnect smart app my random lights issue has stopped as it’s then the hue bridge that handles the switch on/off of multiple lights which it does extremely reliably.
So in ST now I have one switch for my 14 hue lights and a few other zwave switches. I always found ST is more liable to misses when it tries to actuate 5 or more devices at the same time. But with hue groups I am only actuating three switches now for 16 devices and it’s now not missed one bulb for months


Right now my network is all Zigbee. During Christmas I have a few Z-Wave nodes. My ST hub is in the middle of the house on the second floor. The farthest bulb has to be 20 ft from the ST hub. The ones that randomly fail are 10 ft from the hub. How often should you use a repeater? Every 3 feet?


Last night I got home and one of the 9 outside bulbs did not turn on. When I use my phone to manual turn it on it fails. I will have to try the rename trick to get it back. This morning none of my outside bulbs turned off. No one should have to baby sit a system this much. Rockwell makes factory automation systems that perform millions of on off transactions a day. This system cannot reliably turn light bulbs on an off twice a day.


Same problem here with lights not coming on at sunset and not turning off at midnight. and one of my GE Link is not responding at all :frowning:


I spent 30 minutes trying to get the bulb back. Here is how it went.

  • Tried to rename the bulb, logout and rename it back to the orginal name. Failed
  • Re paired the bulb to the system and called it ‘Bulb 31’. It did not respond to an on off command. Failed
  • Re paired the bulb to the system and called it ‘Bulb 32’. It did not respond to an on off command. Failed.
  • Tried to re pair the bulb to the system. It could not find it after 10 minutes. Failed
  • Tried to re pair the bulb tot he system. Again it could not find it. I tried turning off ‘Bulb 3’, ‘Bulb 31’, and ‘Bulb 32’. Magically ‘Bulb 3’ started working. Success!!!

I do not understand why I have to play this wacky game once a week to get my light bulbs to turn on and off twice a day.

(Tracy Fleming) #113

I only mention this as part of a trouble shooting procedure. With these types of solutions you have to eliminate all of the things that could go wrong one at a time. No question the platform has stability items. Just sharing what worked for me. Today one of my GE Link lights did not work and it had nothing to do with network strength. I simply unscrewed the light bulb waited a few mins and then screwed it back in and everything is fine now. I essentially rebooted the light bulb. Not saying this work for everything one.


I just noticed that my Family Room light did not turn off. I was able to turn it off manually. I bet SmartThings had some major cloud failure again last night that cause all these issues.

(mytaytay) #115

Issues for me last night include:

1). 1 of 3 GE bulbs will not turn off. My garage looks great with 1 of 3 bulbs on…
2). Cannot control Osram Lightify strip so the TV is off, however, the niche behind it has a nice illumination while we are not home today.
3). An Aeotec plug did not come on this a.m. as part of a morning routine.

-Haven’t had time to troubleshoot this a.m. I have disparate issues 1x/week so troubleshooting is relatively painless now (this is not a positive in my opinion).
-Could not manually control any of these 3 items via the app.
-Will try the steps others recommend when I get home this evening.

(Tracy Fleming) #116

Last night 2 GE Link bulbs did not work with a motion routine. When I tested this light are essentially frozen and do not respond to manual commands.

(Tracy Fleming) #117

I was able to get the bulbs working again by unscrewing them and screwing them back in this only lasted about 6 hours and then the bulbs became unresponsive again.


We were out of town for 4 days. We got home late and the family room bulb is not responsive. I have never seen a system so broke. I spend and average of 4 hours a month fixing issues with this system. Why is it so hard to turn light bulbs on a off???

(Jody) #119

Are you using GE Link Bulbs? Can you PM me your support ticket number so I can take a look at this for you?


I am using GE bulbs. I have opened many support tickets. No one ever responds. I will be glad to open another. Read this thread. Every 5-7 days I have a new issue. I never change anything. They are all just random failures.

I will be glad to post the bulb address every time. Here is the bulb I have no access to right now. I will spend a few hours trying to delete and repair it tomorrow.

(Jody) #121

Please do and PM me the ticket number.