@EvilSmoo I’ve got a set of 4 of the 800lm bulbs from work (yay buying at cost, even better than meh) and they don’t lose connection just from losing power.
That said, the “turn light switch on and off three times” to reset has bitten me a couple times now. My wife just doesn’t want to adapt to an app or anything for lights so if she doesn’t realize what’s going on right away: flipflipflip “why aren’t the lights working” and then it starts rapid flashing at her…
@EvilSmoo I have several of these, they’ve never lost programming due to a power outage.
The only real drawback like Doc suggested is when someone, accidentally or on purpose, switches the light switch on and off multiple times rapidly. That will trigger programming again. They should really allow you to adjust that trigger to be longer to avoid.
They are good bulbs, solid brightness too. The app isn’t bad either, only drawback is the rare time someone retriggers the programming like I mentioned earlier.
Flashing with Tasmota seems to be a better solution
Regarding Homebridge - it’s a way to expose non-Homekit items to Homekit. Think of it as a little server to aid in your smart home dominance! It needs a computer to run it, many use a Raspberry Pi. You can also get a interface box in Hoobs if you want to spend some shekels (I think it’s just a Pi in a fancy box). Me, I use it in a Docker container on my NAS.
I’ve been playing with Homebridge now for a few weeks, and you can get really deep with it. Last night, I just created a random shutdown for my evening lights, so it doesn’t go off at the exact same time every day. Developers make cool packages, and I just use 'em.
Best part of Homebridge - I have the Chamberlain MyQ garage automations, and to have them show up in Homekit, I needed to buy a $70 gateway. Homebridge had a package that did it for free…
@bigcurmudgeon just be aware that if these bulbs are on newer versions of firmware flashing them may require disassembly and actual wires. These are probably old stock and I’d give a fair chance that you won’t have an issue but you never know. Don’t connect them to their app or any other app or they can update the firmware automatically; if you’re going to flash them do it right out of the box.
Good to know. I’m not afraid of a little solder - had to disassemble the sonoff bridge and solder some pigtails on the circuit board to flash that. I enjoy making things work in ways they were never intended.
Instead of the Geeni app, use the Tuya “Smart Life - Smart Living” app. It supports a ton of the different smart brands all in one app. I’m using it to control a Geeni smart wifi bulb and a Feit Electric smart dimmer switch from Costco.
@j8048188 have you found the Feit smart switch to be reliable? We had such horrible luck with reliability and the Feit smart bulbs from Costco that we returned them. Life has a too short. TP-Link smart stuff just plain works.
This, too, is my issue with the “smart” <snort> home: The deluge of smartphone apps required to get everything just-so.
I started with a couple of simple Philips bulbs. They needed their own app. And a hub. That won’t control anything except Philips devices.
Then I got a couple of WeMo smart switches. They need their own app. But no hub. Then a Teckin switch. Needs its own app. No hub compatibility (that I can discern).
In a moment of weakness I scored an 8-pack of Sengled bulbs at a giveaway price. Sadly, I learned they need both their own (proprietary!) hub, and yet another app on my phone.
I’m declaring an all-stop on these so-called “smart” devices until there is some reasonable interoperability (or an all-encompassing solution that I haven’t discovered yet) that lets everything work harmoniously.
And don’t get me started with the entire “Works with [Alexa | Google | HomeKit]” mess. I’m old and retired and I still ain’t got time for all that messiness!
@TrophyHusband zigbee or z-wave devices will provide the interoperability that you seek. Get yourself a smarthings hub to control it all. It’s just the cheap wifi “no hub needed” devices that get you into this situation, although many of them run on Tuya hardware and can be controlled from the Tuya app all together.
zigbee or z-wave devices will provide the interoperability that you seek. Get yourself a smarthings hub to control it all. It’s just the cheap wifi “no hub needed” devices that get you into this situation, although many of them run on Tuya hardware and can be controlled from the Tuya app all together.
I knew I could count on you to chime in! I have gone ahead and ordered a SmartThings hub but I haven’t got around to moving everything over to it.
I also noticed an oblique reference in one of your other posts to tuya-connect, so I’m looking into that to coalesce everything I own to “one hub to rule them all.”
But I stand by my original point: This “Smart Home Revolution” is a dumpster-fire of inter-inoperability, competing (and poorly implemented) standards, cheap Chinese products, buggy software, and other obstacles that are impeding it from becoming truly mainstream.
I had a friend who built a small business doing smart home design and installation. He had a ton of work, but he finally threw in the towel and shuttered the business.
I asked him, “Not making any money?” and his reply was “It wasn’t that; it was the endless after-sale support calls and troubleshooting that got to be too much to handle.”
(And his was a high-end business: $5K and up jobs and such.)
@TrophyHusband yes, it is a dumpster fire for sure. Each company thinks they can bring their “superior” app (or more realistically, their barely passable app) and get people on their platform and it’s no service to the consumer. The only people making serious inroads for compatibility are Apple, Google, Samsung, and Amazon, and they are each trying to shoot the other in the foot as they do it and keep things in their own little garden. There are a few things that are open standards that work across all platforms but often each of these will license someone making a gadget to just include Homekit or to build to Google’s API and exclude the others.
As for a smarthome business, I’ve considered doing something like that myself but the consumer tech is not there and the high end reliable tech is really high dollar. I don’t think you can really get into Control4 for less than $10K, but people see you can get Hue lights for $100. But the person that paid you not enough to set up a capable little smarthings environment isn’t going to be understanding about “well when that happens you have to turn it off and on again” or “exclude and then reinclude the switch”. They paid for something and they don’t want to tinker with it, they want it to work. And don’t try to get someone who doesn’t want to touch anything into something more powerful like home assistant unless you can fully administer it remotely (hint: you can’t do the things like flipping a smart switch to reset it). So the support for this stuff would make it not worthwhile to sell to the average person. Hell, I’m pissed at the guy that set up my home because my front porch lights aren’t reliably triggering, and when I come home and see it I’m too busy with other things to really deal with it. But that guy is me.
@TrophyHusband on the topic of Tuya: you can use modules to connect to Tuya through the cloud from Smartthings (essentially, emulate the app) and be done with it, or you can flash the devices to tasmota or esphome firmware to make them run solely under local control. One is easy but you’re still bouncing through Chinese servers, and the other requires tinkering and fidgeting in the beginning but can give you full control over the devices.
In case you’re interested in placing these outside - your wifi security could be compromised by someone swiping the bulb. It’s also unknown how much data gets sent back to China when they connect up to the Internet.
@Pufferfishy I have 4. In white mode they are as bright as the 60 watt equivalent that were as bright as my 60 watt incandescents and the colors are vibrant as well. There is an ambiance setting that is dim, make sure you’re not just using that.
Awesome! More ways to give China access to my network! (Not to mention the phone apps!)
Seriously though, consider a dedicated network for IoT garbage like this, something you can set severely restricted bandwidth/connection limits on and/or log connections. Imagine the botnet power of tens of millions of smart bulbs sitting on 'mehricans 50-100MBit internet connections.
If you have to use an app to set them up, create a dummy user profile on your phone, just for installing questionable apps. Then let your slightly more trustyworthy digital assistant (Alexa, Google) have control. (Which still typically involves connections to those Chinese servers)
So-- Most of these RGB smart lights are pretty useless. There’s a reason they haven’t been making red and blue and green bulbs for the last 100 years (aside from rare specialty uses), and that’s because many folks like white light. A lot of these lights have a terrible color spectrum, and if you ask for ‘orange’ you get a green, or something not-quite orange. If you can get a bulb to a color you like, they’re so dim it’s laughable. Sure, when set to white, you might hit 500 lumens (or 800 China lumens), but when set to color, they seem like 1/4 that, the science is simple, to make white and other colors you need a combination of multiple LEDs, for some colors, you need only 1 of the LEDs and maybe 10% of another.
All that said, hard pass on these. The price isn’t great at all, plenty can be found on Amazon w/ much better return policy.
If you’re really interested in smart bulbs, get some Philips ones that use Zigbee or Bluetooth, then your Echo can talk directly to them without an app. Additionally, if dimmed, and you power cycle a Philips bulb, it goes to full brightness, so no need to beg your digital assistant to make it bright again.
Does anyone know if these require an internet connection to work? Basically I wanted to know if these can be controlled directly from the phone without having any service or internet. I’d like to use these but I don’t want to rely on internet to make them work.
@Rueki Not likely. They’ll turn on if you cycle power, but using them in a ‘smart’ capacity ‘off the internet’ is not possible without flashing the firmware to 3rd party as described above. certainly not a task for a non-technical person
I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out how to get these set up to work with my android phone, and boy has it been a gigantic pain!
If you set it up according to the instructions in the box, the recommended app connects to the bulb and allows you to control them that way, but for whatever reason doesn’t connect properly to google home in order to use it with the “hey google” assistant features or quick toggles or anything.
If anyone else has been running into a brick wall with this like I was, I’ll save you a bunch of headaches: ditch the geeni app and download the smart life app instead. It has the exact same interface and controls, but actually links to google home properly. It’s apparently the same app rebranded with a different name. A little weird, but I just want my bulbs working.