ZIgbee items suddenly went offline, getting tired of this

I have several Sengled bulbs and a few Smartthings multipurpose and motion sensors to control said Sengled bulbs. Or at least I did, because yesterday many of them went offline for no discernible reason. Worse still, there’s no rhyme or reason: the rear closet light is “offline” but the front closet light, ~4 feet from it, happily works; the A/C adapters for my fans are both offline yet plugged in; a door motion sensor is offline but the multipurpose adapter, ~5 feet higher than it, happy works. Where applicable, the battery life is >80%.

Why does this happen? Why does resetting the battery or removing the item from the socket and reinserting magically fix everything? What can I do, apart from move to Home-Assistant, to prevent this unnecessary drama?

Sengled and st multi sensors both are ZigBee. I believe that some Sengled bulbs don’t act as ZigBee repeaters. Sounds to me like you need some ZigBee repeaters in your mesh.

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I’m sure that’s very frustrating. A lot of people report the same issues on the smartthings platform, as you can see from the forum, so I don’t think there’s one answer. It’s just a fairly fragile implementation. :disappointed_relieved:

( that’s not due to the third-party standards being used, either zwave or Zigbee: both have proven to be very reliable in other systems. Ring uses zwave for their security system; Philips uses Zigbee for hue lighting. Both easily achieve a maintenance free operating period (MFOP) of six months or more for most customers not using smartthings. )

So… There are some things you can do to help improve the situation when you are using smartthings, but it’s just a step-by-step, device by device check of multiple factors that might improve reliability somewhat. If you want to start going into those, we can, but the base issue is the platform. Smartthings is a very powerful, very versatile system with a nice app. But reliability is not a competitive advantage for it. :disappointed_relieved:

OK, the first thing is to know which protocols you are using for each device, since smartthings is a multi protocol platform.

Your topic title said “zwave“ but the Sengled devices are all Zigbee or WiFi. Since zwave repeats only for Z wave and zigbee repeat only for zigbee, the protocol does make a difference in terms of “strengthening the mesh,“ improving the quality of the local networks you have to pass messages around.

So if you want to start digging into various individual issues, we’d need to know the answers to the following questions in order to help:

  1. what country are you in?

  2. what’s the model number of your smartthings hub? (It should be on a label on the bottom of the unit)

  3. what’s the specific brand and model number of a device that is giving you trouble?

Once we have that information, we can start suggesting individual troubleshooting steps for that device. But they might be different for a different device, it all comes back to the first rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“

I know this seems like a lot of work that shouldn’t be necessary, and I understand completely if you don’t want to do any of it. I’m just another customer, and I myself changed all of my critical use cases over to a different platform (in my case, Apple’s HomeKit) A few years ago because I realized reliability was at the top of my own priorities for Home Automation. (I use a wheelchair and have limited use of my hands, so I really need a long MFOP, at least six months and preferably a year.) But smartthings does have some advanced features that I find useful for some convenience use cases, so I still run it in addition to my primary system.

So just let us know what you’d like to do next. I know it’s really frustrating. :rage:

My bad, they’re Zigbees.

The devices that most often go offline are, ironically, the Samsung sensors – the multipurpose sensors, the motion detectors, the buttons, and the sockets. I was able to “fix” two of the sockets by unplugging them but several are in the attic. Since I now have to go into my attic anyway to unplug and replug I bought Wifi sockets to replace them all; I’ll just deal with some fans being offline until those arrive. It looks like Home-Assistant works better with Wifi devices as the Lifx bulbs and so forth were all found immediately on the network. I have no idea how I’d transition the sensors and button inputs or if wifi versions are available.

Right now, one Sengled BR30 E26 is out in the MBR (out of 4; the other 3 work fine), one Sengled A19 E26 is out in the MBR closet (again, the other one, a few feet from it, works fine), one Sengled A19 E26 is out in the poolhouse (the other three are fine), two Sengled A19 E26s are out in the kitchen (the others work fine), two motion sensors, three buttons, and four multipurpose sensors are out.

I’m in the US, these connected to a “Samsung GP-U999SJVLGDA 3rd Generation SmartThings Hub”.

Also to note, no Sengled devices repeat. Not even their plugs. This can be magic or terror in your system. If you have any ZLL bulb types of a different brand, this seems to cause issues with Sengled.
I recommend getting some Zigbee repeaters like inexpensive Centralite plugs.


If you have an Ikea store nearby, their pocket sockets are 10 dollars and make for excellent ZigBee repeaters.


Yeah I agree this very much sounds like a repeater issue. None of the devices mentioned so far - sengled (no sengled devices repeat - the reason I use them) or Samsung sensors (battery powered) act as repeaters. Liberal deployment of zigbee repeaters will probably solve this.

Note after deployment of the repeaters you will have to run a Zigbee heal tobget yiur old devices to use them. The process is described in depth in many posts just look for Zigbee heal.


Ok, let’s start with a basic discussion about repeaters. If you get rid of the smartthings Zigbee pocketsockets, you’re getting rid of a lot of Zigbee repeaters and you may need to replace them or your battery powered Zigbee devices will have a very hard time staying connected to the network. This applies to the Sengled bulbs as well: as @nameless noted above, these act more like battery powered devices then they do like other Zigbee bulbs.

Start with post 11 in the following thread (the title will link to that directly). Read that, then go up to the top of that thread and read the whole thing and it should explain what you need to know about building a strong Zigbee network.

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Also note that Zigbee devices need to find a “parent“ when they join who will help pass their messages along the network. The parent is the “repeater.“ Most mains powered devices are repeaters, although Sengled has made the decision not to have any of their devices repeat. However, the number of children that each parent will accept varies from model to model, some being as few as two, most being in the 3 to 5 range for the type of devices that people use with smartthings. Some are up to seven.

Sometimes when you have, say, two sengled bulbs in the same room and one works fine and the other doesn’t it’s because the first one was able to find a parent fairly close by. But the second had to settle for a parent who was physically much farther away and may have a less reliable connection.

(This doesn’t happen with zwave because they use a different kind of mesh protocol and just look for neighbors, they aren’t permanently assigned to a specific parent.)

So it’s not like Wi-Fi where you just check the general signal strength in that area and then can feel pretty comfortable that any of your Wi-Fi devices in that area will work about the same.

Zigbee device depends on the signal strength from its parent. And that won’t necessarily be the same parent as another Zigbee device right next to the first one.