Simple Automations - Strange Behavior

Hello - I have a simple automation that turns on 3 Zigbee bulbs in 3 different lamps (Bulb 1, 2 and 3) at 60 minutes before sunset. For the past 2 days, there have been a couple of strange things happening:

  1. Day before yesterday, one of the bulbs (Bulb 2) did not turn on, the other 2 did (Bulb 1, 3). I thought someone may have accidentally turned off the switch, so I went and pulled the cord to turn it on. It was actually on as I had to pull it twice and then the bulb came on like it should after losing power. Didn't think too much of about it as it was the first time.

  2. Yesterday, two of the bulbs (Bulb 1 and 2) did not come on but the third (Bulb 3) did. Pulling the cord/turning the physical switch twice (off/on) brought them back. I then looked the logs to see what was going on

  • Bulb 1 did not turn on at all (no entries in the log)
  • Bulb 2 turned on at 7:30 PM and then turned off 30 seconds later (on/off entries in the log)
  • Bulb 3 turns on at 7:30 PM (on entry in the log)
  • Confirmed in the app log that the automation ran at 7:30 PM (entry in log)
  1. I have a button assigned to turn off all lights at night and that did turn off all lights (so bulbs are communicating with the hub).

  2. I have another simple automation that turns on 2 of the 3 bulbs (Bulb 1 and 2) in the morning - that has been working fine.

Any idea what could be going on? Also, is there any way to figure out how or what turned the lights on (physical on/off, name of the automation etc.)?

If you’re always turning these three bulbs on and off simultaneously, I would recommend using the Hubitat Groups and Scenes app to create a Group of these three bulbs. If they are Zigbee bulbs, turn on the option for “Zigbee Group Messaging” when creating the Group. Once the group is created, there will be a new Group Device in your list of devices. Use this device in your automations instead of the three individual bulbs.

BTW - what type of bulbs are these? If they are GE Link, Cree Connected, or Osram bulbs, then they are probably the source of the issues as these bulbs ar all on the “naughty repeaters” list. I only recommend Sengled Zigbee bulbs be directly paired to a Hubitat hub that has additional Zigbee devices paired to it, like motion and contact sensors, smart outlets, and smart switches.


I don't always turn them on/off together (PM all turn on, AM only 2 turn on) but it would be simple enough to put them into a group. I'm assuming I can have same bulbs in multiple groups?

All 3 bulbs are Sengled.

Yes, you certainly can. Since they are all Sengled Zigbee bulbs, I think you'll like using them in a Group with the Zigbee Group Messaging feature enabled. This sends a single broadcast command to the bulbs in the group so that they will all turn on/off at the same time. This prevents what is known as the 'popcorn effect', where each light 'pops' on, one after another.

The Sengled bulbs are great, since they are not Zigbee repeaters. Thus, they will not screw up your Zigbee mesh network. However, you will need some Zigbee repeaters spread throughout your home to solidify your mesh network. Do you have any plug-in Zigbee outlets or in-wall Zigbee switches/dimmers? If not, you might want to consider picking up a few Samsung ZIGBEE outlets, or IKEA TRadfri outlets (IKEA also makes a dedicated Zigbee repeater device.)

This article might also be very helpful.


@ogiewon Thanks - I don't have any powered Zigbee devices (only Z-wave powered) - all are bulbs or buttons. I'll take a look at the IKEA repeater.


@ogiewon - I put the 3 bulbs in a group since one did not turn on today (yesterday all 3 worked) and will see how things work over the next few days.

After I created the group, I saw the following log entries:

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.900 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM level was set to 100%

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.833 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM saturation was set to 100%

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.829 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM colorName is Cyan

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.789 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM hue was set to 50%

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.753 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM colorMode is RGB

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.750 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM switch was turned on

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.661 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM colorName is Incandescent

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.653 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM colorTemperature was set to 2500

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.610 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM colorMode is CT

dev:2082020-05-31 09:23:37.545 pm infoGroup Entry Way PM switch was turned on

I don't understand why there references to color settings as the bulbs are all Soft White (dimmable). Is this expected?

Hubitat Groups are always a superset of capabilities, which means the Group Device is capable of controlling simple on/off switches, dimmers, CT tunable, and RGBW bulbs that might be added to the group.

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@ogiewon - well - the groups did not work at all as none of the lights came on :anguished: Each showed as being on in the dashboard, but physically they were not. I was able to turn them on from the dashboard by turning each off/on. I've turned the "Turn on/off optimization" setting in the Group to "Off" for now - let's see if that works.

Bring up the Group Device and try adjusting the Level of the group device. Make sure the bulbs respond. Then try using the on and off commands on that same page and make sure the bulbs respond.

Not sure why, but I have seen the above process kickstart a Group with Zigbee group messaging enabled.

Yep - all bulbs responded to the dimming. Though two responded together while one lagged a bit. I could see this in the dashboard when the dimming level would change for the individual lamps when I adjusted the group.

All bulbs responded to the on/off (both physically and on the dashboard)

:crossed_fingers:t3: This AM only 1 of the 2 bulbs (2 of 3 that are in the group) came on but I don't have that working as a group. The one that did not turn on is the same one that is lagging a bit in responding to the group dimming commands. Coincidence?

Which driver Type are these Sengled bulbs using? If they are using the "Sengled..." drivers, you may want to try changing those bulbs to use the "Generic Zigbee Bulb" (just dimming) or "Generic Zigbee RGBW Light" (for color bulbs) and see if they behave better. Be sure to click SAVE after changing this driver type, and then click CONFIGURE on each bulb device.

I believe the "Sengled..." specific drivers are trying to perform a gradual fade on/off by sending many commands to the bulbs in rapid succession to make them behave like other Zigbee bulbs. The problem with this may be too much Zigbee traffic since you have many bulbs at once trying to do this.

The "Generic Zigbee Bulb" driver does not try to be too fancy, and thus may be better suited to trying to control 3 or more bulbs at once.

I have switched most of my Sengled bulbs back to the "Generic Zigbee..." drivers as they just seem to behave better, IMHO.

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Thanks - will try that. I was using the Sengled bulb drivers.

UPDATE: That seems to be better - all bulbs are responding at the same time. After I updated the driver to the Generic Zigbee Dimmer, initially only 1 bulb turned on when I turned on the group. I used the slider to change the dimming level and then the other two also responded. Now all are responding to dimming, on/off commands simultaneously. :+1:t3:


Aargh - the group lights are still not behaving. Today one did not come on and I did the old off/on from the switch. It came on and then turned itself off after about 10 minutes! I was able to turn it on from the app, but this is ridiculous.

Getting a Zigbee repeater to see if that improves things. :crossed_fingers:t3:

UPDATE: I think I've figured out what is going on. I have a RM automation that is triggered by a Virtual Lock (from Wink via Homebridge, logic to set the virtual switch is in Homekit - Eve app). Long story but my Kwikset locks are still on Wink.

The Hubitat rule is ONLY supposed to run between 10:30 PM and Sunrise but for some reason is running at times when is is NOT supposed to.


I can see the notification in the Homebridge logs but not sure WHY it is happening (or why the Hubitat rule is running when it is not supposed to)

So I guess what is happening is that the lights come on, something triggers the virtual switch in Homekit and the Hubitat rule turns the lamp off after 10 minutes. I just never noticed that was what was going on :anguished: So now the question is why is my Hubitat rule running when it should not?

Your RM Rule only prevents the first line from running during the defined timeframe. The other two lines will always run. Is that what you really want to happen?

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Because you used a Simple Conditional, the only action restricted is the 'On: Door Way Mirror'. The delay and off actions are still going to execute. I would suggest putting it all in a regular conditional.

If (Time is between 10:30 and sunrise+30) Then
On: Door Way Mirror
Delay 10 mins
Off: Door Way Mirror, Virtual Lock
Exit rule

-and @ogiewon beat me


But you took the time to explain it much. much better! :wink:

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@ogiewon @bjcowles - nope, that is not what I want😊! I realized afterwards that was what was happening. Will put in the conditional statement with the “If.. else ...End if” and also figure out why my “Eve/Apple Home” logic is not working - it is supposed to turn on the virtual lock only if the door unlocks at night. Looks like it is turning it on every time the door unlocks!
Thanks for your help.

UPDATE: Fixed the conditional statements - think this will work

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