I've had Sylvania RGB Light Bulbs and a Light Strip for years. They were some of my first devices and I used them on Wink, Smartthings and now Hubitat with no repeating issues. I was curious when people said avoid them but I never had an issue. Besides one major hiccup after a Hubitat update, my zigbee network has been amazingly reliable.
One day I saw an opportunity to get a Lightfy Gateway for super cheap.
I thought why not get the firmware updates on my Sylvania stuff for fun! Big Mistake... not only was the whole process a nightmare (The universe was telling me something). After the firmware update, my Sylvania start repeating. Things were being knock off my zigbee network left and right. I could see in the Hubitat zigbee child info logs, zigbee devices repeating through the Sylvania when they never did before.
I don't know if the firmware update 100% caused the repeating issue. I never read about anyone having the same experience. I have removed the Sylvania lights bulbs and my network is back to acting normal. Maybe this recount will shed light on maybe why some users have no issues with the Sylvania light bulbs and some do.
Anyone else experiencing these bulbs repeating after a firmware update?
 BTW I didn't update the Sylvania light strip and the light strip does not repeat still. I have left that on my network and no problems are resulting from it.
I've had my light strip for years as well. I have no idea the last time I updated it but it's been over a year. Mine has always been listed as a repeating device. It is at what I would call the end of the chain, the 2nd farthest item from my hub. I would marvel as every now and then a device would route through it. Never consistently. I didn't look for or notice any issues with the device that did. I have not seen any device do that for quite a while now but I added some repeaters a while back and put my hub in a better spot. It's the only Sylvania I have. I had a bulb that I did have issues with but it died altogether.
Are you sure they didn't repeat before the firmware upgrade? They would have shown up in the "Neighbor Table" (and still should). If they didn't have any devices routing through them (in the list at the end, assuming you're talking about the undocumented getChildAndRouteInfo page), that's a different issue but doesn't mean they weren't repeaters. I've never heard of anyone seeing these as end devices (not repeaters), though that would be a fantastic way to solve the routing problems you are now seeing and could explain why you didn't before. But it would be a very unusual discovery. (Perhaps that is indeed all you mean--they could repeat but just didn't, also mostly a good scenario.)
I'm not sure about firmware versions, but people have definitely found the old hardware revisions of these bulbs to be more problematic than the newer ones (I'm assuming the hardware is different; the branding certainly is, and probably also the firmware). It is unfortunate but at least good to know that a firmware update seems to have made things worse here.
I really wish they'd still let North American users crossgrade to the ZLL firmware so these were usable on Hue or make good on their Zigbee 3.0 promise so we could do the same now that Hue is supposedly compatible. Until then, I'd definitely avoid these unless you have a separate hub/network to run these on, the only for-sure workaround at the moment.
I’ll say that with the newer version of these lights (different SOC as well as firmware lineage) the firmware updates, especially the one released a couple months ago, made a big improvement in their performance. I haven’t seen any major issues with dropped devices or commands, but I have 12 plugs/repeaters. I do see the bulbs repeating for end devices, other bulbs, and plugs. I have noticed that commands don’t seem to be as fast when routing through the bulbs, which makes me wonder if device commands are getting dropped and then finding another router to go through. Their RSSI is almost always weaker than the plugs which probably is favorable for devices to avoid routing through them. I do plan on buying a second hub to see if putting the lights on by themselves will make everything faster. I have over 50 Sylvania lights, plus 22 Hue that would probably work nicely on a dedicated HE.
When they showed up in those logs (childandroute), they showed repeating with themselves.
I monitored my network regularly and never saw it repeat another device. I was surprised after the firmware update to see those logs showing the bulbs repeating for multiple other zigbee devices.
Over time whatever it said it was repeating, would in a bit go offline.
Before the update, I used the bulbs for months with Hubitat.
I dunno maybe my firmware was corrupted. I had a hard time upgrading them.
I found that Zigbee got a lot better the more devices I added. I recall that you had said you replaced a bunch of Cree's with Sengleds which don't repeat so your mesh might not be as strong.
I'm not convinced all bulbs are the problem. Certainly some of the original Zigbee bulbs seemed to have issues repeating. There must have been some lack of test coverage in the Zigbee certification. I have a few Sylvania bulbs of the same firmware vintage as @Ken_Fraleigh and they seem to work fine. I do have a very dense mesh. It makes no sense to me that a Sylvania plug (which I have several) would be fine and the bulb that uses the same radio would route different. It could happen if they changed the firmware a lot but that is unlikely. Also I see no reason why the Zigbee 3.0 certified bulbs coming out would have any problems given that other Zigbee 3.0 products have been very good.
I had one cree! I still have it but when I had my zigbee hiccup, everyone blamed the one cree bulb. I put it on the Ikea hub b/c why not.
But I have in most rooms at least two powered repeaters, either an outlet and a in-wall switch.
I don't know if it is correct, but I credit my large number of powered zigbee devices for my reliable network in spite of the one cree, three sylvania bulbs and the sylvania light strip.
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