GE Link Bulb

I am taking the plunge and moving from smart things to HE and so far love it. Much more control and love the local aspect. So far I have moved my outdoor lights to HE and I am running into a weird issue with the GE Link A19 bulbs. Seems like every day one of the 3 do not respond to commands and I have to send a "configure" to it to wake it up. I have a rule that is running that daily now but I would like to figure out why its doing this? Anyone have any tips or insight into this?

Have you seen this thread?? Not the same bulb manufacturer, but similar symptoms. It's either Mesh or Bulb. You can use live logs to determine that the Hub sent the command, what's harder to determine is if the bulb received it or not.

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Did not see that one but that is interesting. Does it make a difference that these bulbs are Zwave? Also, it is happening to them randomly, so its not just one affected.
To help troubleshoot I setup a job to check every 5 min or so if the bulbs are on and working during s set time (if virtual switch is set to on, and any of the 3 bulbs are off, send command to turn on all the lights). Watching the logs it is not sending the command to the bulb that is not on unless I go hit configure. When I hit that it starts receiving the commands no problem.

Yes, mostly because I wasn't aware that GE made any ZWave bulbs. Certainly familiar with their Zigbee ones. However, that was the first question that went through my mind as I read your Post.. "GE Link A19 bulbs" didn't tell me enough so I googled that and only found Zigbee. That matched expectations so I posted a Zigbee thread to help.

ZWave and Zigbee are quite a bit different because the lower frequency of ZWave means the signal travels further/better than Zigbee. It's one of the major reasons why "this Zigbee device is flakey" will always yield a "is there a repeater nearby?" You tend to hear that less with ZWave, but it's still true, if the Zwave device is too far from the Hub, an a/c device acting as a repeater needs to be between. I have at least two GE ZWave in-wall outlets installed ONLY for the repeater function. they aren't even used as regular sockets 99% of the month.

I have a couple of those bulbs and they are Zigbee, I have them paired to the hub but they aren't connected at the moment so I can't help with issues. I don't remember how well they played together, mesh wise.

GE Link has never made a Z-Wave bulb. They bought the technology from Quirky to license and use with the Wink platform. Since then, they've never done anything with changing the radios or offering Z-Wave bulbs.

GE Links, like OSRAM/Lightify bulbs are simply horrible repeaters. Whenever someone says "they were working fine on SmartThings", that's because SmartThings purposefully slowed the traffic down to these devices in order to make up for the bulbs themselves being horrible repeaters and even worse at performing in the mesh.

The reason for this is that the configure command (on most devices) will force the receive buffer to clear out which is usually indicative of a poorly performing repeater.

There are two solutions:

  1. Get rid of the GE Link bulbs and replace with something better (Sengleds and Ikea Tradfris are pretty much the best right now for straight white Zigbee bulbs). Sengleds are specifically non-repeating (which is a good thing) and Ikea Tradfris have really good sized buffers in them for repeating. Both are insanely cheap compared to a lot of other bulbs.

  2. Try placing a few wired repeaters closer to the bulbs. Ikea smart plugs and SmartThings (2018) smart plugs are both excellent choices. Your goal is to basically overpower the GE Link bulbs as repeaters with better repeaters (which the mesh will use for routing over the bulbs themselves) and hope that your mesh improves.


honestly, this is what I would suggest. I found the GE link bulbs to be nothing but trouble, more so than other zigbee bulbs (even the ones that aren't good at repeating like Cree and Osram), even with ST.


I could have sworn these were zwave!! I got them in 2016 and have worked well with st but I see your point now. I just ordered some new bulbs so hopefully these fix the issue. I don't have any repeaters so I will look into those also. Thanks for all the help everyone!

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Two words: Get repeaters

You'll thank yourself later. :smiley:


Just ordered a peanut. I have always wondered about the range but with a small house didn't really see it to be an issue.

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Peanut should be fine for zigbee repeating purposes, although I believe they won’t work with Xiaomi zigbee devices (lots of discussion in other threads re: how to plan your zigbee mesh if Xiaomi devices are important to you).

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no Xiaomi for me so not a biggie. I just finished configuring my presence on my Android and plan on writing up a tutorial. Couldn't find one on here so I want to try and help make it easier if possible. So far seems much more reliable than ST also!

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Yeah, the peanut plugs are pretty good little repeaters. If you have an Ikea near you (no, I don't work for them lol), they sell tiny USB repeaters which double as chargers and are really cheap as well (something like $7.99 I think?).

My house is a 1200 sq ft, cracker box style house. I have 14 repeaters strategically placed all over the house to support all my bulbs, contact sensors, motion sensors, buttons, remotes, and water leak sensors.

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