LIFX Developer Zone

Asus RT-AX56U Router

Hello Everyone,

I just picked up an Asus RT-AX56U and was wondering if anyone had any success running about 30 Lifx bulbs + about 10 other devices on the wifi? I would like to consolidate my network if possible as my previous router the Asus RT-N56U was unable to handle this number of bulbs on the wifi so had I to outsource the wifi over to a Netgear Nighthawk R7000. This works well, but using both routers isn’t my preferred method if I can help it.

Thanks,
-Sharks

Generally (although I won’t be surprised if someone shouts otherwise) so long as you have a reasonably high quality router, 30-50 devices should be okay. Anecdotally you’re a little higher than a “normal” user, but not too far.

I don’t have any experience of that router in particular but so long as you don’t have any particularly “chatty” devices flooding your network with UDP messages you’re usually fine.

Oh, and of course, the more devices you can move over to 5GHz or even wired (phones, laptops, smart TVs) the less congested you’ll be.

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You did say what your problem was.

I have over 100 bulbs.

All works well until the lifx bulbs want to renew their lease. Then the bulbs can’t communicate with the router correctly. The bulb goes off-line.

So as a temporary measure, I maximized the lease line on the bulbs to 99 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds.

Lifx says it’s ASUS and ASUS says it’s a lifx problem.

It’s not LIFX, and it’s not ASUS.

It’s a resource and logical network design problem.

Any home gateway (performs numerous functions including routing, network translation, bridging, dhcp, basic stateful firewall etc.,) is going to have issues with that number of bulbs.

I am both impressed and surprised you’re able to run 100 LIFX end points from single consumer gateway.

I have my own “best practise” guide that I’ve developed since becoming a LIFX customer and have ~150 LIFX end points, 50 more mixed-vendor IoT WiFi devices, 65 Zigbee, 20 Zwave, and roughly 40 BTLE.

Zwave you can put to one side, as it uses a frequency in the 800-900MHz range.

Zigbee and BTLE only present a problem at the physical layer as they contend for 2.4G spectrum with WiFi, and don’t consume other resources directly.

What you’re up against is a multi-layer contest for physical and logical resources.

The way to approach a better design is difficult, because you enter a realm of expertise the average network engineer, let alone consumer, has.

I don’t mean to sound arrogant or profess to have all the answers other than to say that even with a relevant broad technical background, I still encountered issues that took many months of debugging before determining the issues.

I am happy to share my experience, I’m just wary of overloading people with what will be fairly new concepts to many.

You also need to accept that additional infrastructure is going to be required to address the problem and likely put aside some objections you have based on commonly held views regarding wireless deployments.

Simply put, the ASUS is not designed nor equipped to deal with that many end points, wired or wireless.

You basically have to move from an all-in-one solution to separating network functions and services, specifically:

  • dedicated, controller driven, 802.11ax access points hardwired to a PoE capable switch(es).
  • dedicated firewall (either roll your own using something like VyOS on decent x86 hardware or use an SMB-grade product like FortiGate)
  • if you require a NTU for VDSL or the like, a dedicated modem that terminates the PPP or IP circuit and bridges it to the Internet/WAN interface of your firewall

Then it’s a case of addressing the layer 2 and layer 3 design, mitigating the impact of multicast and broadcast traffic by splitting up your network into logical broadcast domains (VLANs attached to SSIDs) and finding a balance between separation and saturating the network with management traffic by creating too many SSIDs.

I am sorry I haven’t been able to easily solve your issue. Wifi is a tough medium in high density environments to get reliably working, and you won’t achieve it with an ASUS device.

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Go to DHCP List in your router. Edit the Lifx bulb names to Lifx1, Lifx2 etc. Removing the long names will sort it because the routers DHCP List field is a txt field with a finite number of characters. Works for me.

Russ… where do you come to the conclusion…

Never mind. You have no ideas the setup, I have. Insulted I am.