Why my zigbee devices sometimes they don’t work right?

I have a couple zigbee devices ( exp. GE Link BR30) that sometimes they don't work, app shows on, the they are off. What can I do.

This is a pretty big topic and I'm sure you'll get better advice than mine, but here's a start.

A lot of times these issues have to do with the strength of your zigbee mesh network. I'm not sure what else you were having issues with other than the GE bulbs but there are known issues with using zigbee bulbs on a mixed network of bulbs and sensors. There are two zigbee "profiles" commonly used in home automation... ZLL and ZHA. Most bulbs use ZLL and route ZLL just fine but do not route ZHA effectively (or sometimes at all). Most sensors, switches, and outlets are ZHA. Having the two on the same network can cause stability issues if the ZLL devices are trying to act as routers.

Many folks (me included) end up migrating their bulbs to a separate network altogether. I use a Philips Hue bridge for my bulbs and I have them on a different zigbee channel than the rest of my zigbee network. I then use the HE Philips hue integration to control my hue lights from HE. It seems to work well.

You can also get some sense of the health of your zigbee network by looking at the child and routes table. I am by no means an expert on interpreting this info. Devices in the neighbors list are a single hop from your hub and you should expect to see fairly high LQI... above 200. If you're seeing something lower it may indicate an issue. The route info is anything 1 extra hop away and therefore routes through one of the neighbors. If the end point device is not on either list then it is more than 2 hops from your hub. This may not indicate a problem, just that the device is taking several hops to get back to HE.

http://your.hubs.IP.address/hub/zigbee/getChildAndRouteInfo

If you do suspect your mesh is not as strong as you would like, most hard-wired zigbee devices will act as repeaters. Among my favorites... SmartThings outlets. A smattering of these around your house will definitely help, though it can take 24 hours or more to have the mesh rebuild to incorporate them. You can also force a mesh rebuild by shutting down your hub for a half hour or so, but it may take a day or so for all of your devices to rediscover a good path.

Some other things I've found... occasionally I have had a device that for some reason or other does not respond well with the driver I chose, and there is an alternate driver available either native to the HE or as a community supported driver.

1 Like

I'd recommend replacing all GE Link and Cree Connected bulbs with newer, more reliable devices. These really old bulbs are more trouble than they are worth, these days, IMHO. I have used Sengled ZigBee bulbs for years after I grew tired of the problems caused by GE and Cree bulbs.

If I recall the Sengled bulks are also NOT repeaters, which avoids the issue I mentioned above. I have a dozen or so Cree bulbs and I have found they work fine on the Hue hub but not on HE, probably for some of the same reasons.

1 Like

Exactly!

Which is also an excellent suggestion. I have recently started to migrate my few smart bulbs over to a Philips Hue bridge. Unfotunately, that does require replacing my Sengled bulbs, as they will not work with a Hue bridge. But, by moving to a Hue bridge, I add a layer of abstraction between my bulbs and Hubitat. This afford me more options to experiment with other integrations that are possible with a Hue bridge. I have the same flexibility with my Lutron Caseta SmartBridge Pro for all of my switches, dimmers, and fan controllers. Options are a good things to have! :wink:

3 Likes

And both the Lutron and Philips integrations are 100% local and not dependent on anyone's cloud.

1 Like

Amen to that. I did exactly the same thing and my HE mesh/performance improved a lot.

1 Like

I was going to suggest a Hue Bridge instead (if the poster is not interested in replacing the devices, also not a bad idea), and then I saw the same idea:

I use a Hue Bridge myself. But...if you want an option that works with Hue (ZLL/Zigbee 3.0) and Sengled (ZHA 1.2) bulbs, then deCONZ doesn't seem like a bad option. It has a Hue-like API (Hubitat's Hue Bridge integration might work with it natively; my custom one did after minor tweaks for discovery or manual addition, and there's also a community option that uses its websocket API instead). It's a bit of a DIY project, but not much more than plugging a ConBee into supported hardware (a Pi or anything their software runs on), and I've only played around with it a bit so far but am impressed with how much better Sengleds work on it than they did with Hubitat (which I think they might be addressing with 2.2.5, but using a second Hubitat as a Hue Bridge alternative did not work well for me--bulbs often missed commands sent in quick succession, like "Set Level" and "Set Color Temperature").

Just another idea. :smiley:

3 Likes

Thanks! Asides from the better connection and response from my devices, what other advantages I get from having Hue hub?

A Hue bridge allows for direct integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Hubitat, SmartThings, Node-RED, Home Assistant, etc... Genuine Hue bulbs are required for HomeKit support, as well as power restoration default state.