LIFX Mini Color | High WiFi retries / slow response relative to A60

Does anyone have any insight as to why the Mini Color has poorer network performance when compared with A60 devices?

I started out with the A60 bulbs, they have all been rock solid while running on my Ubiquiti AP AC Pro (with dedicated SSID).

Since that time I have invested in several Mini Color devices, but in my experience these bulbs are less reliable.

Here is an example A60:

…and here is a Mini located in the same room, about three meters away from the A60 and equidistant from the AP (no barriers):

Note the high retry & low data rates! This is common across all of the Mini’s we have installed, one or two located in different rooms, and all are slow to respond to commands (whereas the A60’s are near instant).

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I’ve passed this onto the team and we’re taking a look.

Thanks for the information!

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@delfick-employee I’ve seen similar issues with my Minis and I’m also using Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO APs with a dedicated 2.4Ghz-only SSID just for the bulbs. Happy to get involved with testing if necessary, once I’m back in Melbourne later this month. :slight_smile:

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Cool.

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Adding a +1 here. Increased TCP latency, retries and dropped packets on a Mini Colour compared to an A19 in the same room.

Any progress on this? I’m still seeing High TCP Latency across all my Mini bulbs.

I never heard anything more following the initial report.

Meanwhile my Mini’s rarely respond well via the LAN API, most notably when toggling on/off. Really wish I had not invested in them, spousal acceptance factor is currently low.

@delfick-employee Can you please request and update from the team and feedback here? I am sure that others are equally keen to hear.

If this is a fundamental hardware flaw can we explore what options exist to switch the Mini’s out for the more reliable A60 devices instead?

Mine are pretty responsive, to be honest. I still have somewhat high wifi retries, but this is dropping as Unifi release updated firmware too.

Funnily enough I wondered whether something in the most recent (LIFX) firmware update had actually worsened the situation.

Our current experience is that when using the LIFX app everything responds, eventually. You do observe a brief delay, but eventually the Mini’s do as commanded.

However, we have children and so cannot rely on the phones to toggle states, and so for this reason I invested in a Flic Hub last year. I wonder though whether its LAN API implementation is less fault-tolerant than with the LIFX app, the A60’s respond first time every time whereas the Mini’s do not, this seems worse since applying the most recent firmware update (to the mini’s).

I wonder whether the LIFX app makes multiple calls to the bulb until it responds appropriately.

Not sure whether the LAN protocol is encrypted, if not then perhaps I will log the traffic and investigate that theory.

Naturally you could blame the Flic hub, and that might be a fair question to consider, however it does seem odd that only the mini’s are affected. Furthermore activating cloud scenes via the Flic works perfectly, as do local LAN calls to other non-LIFX devices (power sockets).

The protocol is not encrypted. It’s actually fully documented if you click the LAN Protocol link in the header. There are tons of LAN protocol libraries on GitHub too, so pick one for your favourite language.

I use @delfick-employee’s Photons Core for Python and lifx-lan-client for Node.js/JavaScript.

Yes, I thought that was/would likely be the case.

Thanks for confirming, and for pointing me in the direction of some decent resources.

Once you’ve got your head around Photons Core, and if you really want to get fancy, take a look at Photons Interactor. It’s a REST API server that maintains a connection to all bulbs on the network so its response times are ridiculous. Like 20-30 milliseconds per bulb to initiate a transform.

But, as @delfick-employee will be quick to point out, it’s still in alpha state so it can take a bit of digging to work out exactly how it does what.

My plan (once my Flic 2 Hub LR and Flic 2.0 buttons arrive) is to create an integration between that and my local Interactor instance.

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Hi everybody!

I know the firmware team did start an investigation, but I’m not sure where that went. I’ll follow up tomorrow when I’m back from the weekend.

As for photons-interactor, what it does do is fairly solid, it just doesn’t do very much and has zero documentation. Also, it’s very chatty (it’s constantly asking all the lights for labels and groups and such) and that doesn’t work so well the more lights you have on your network :stuck_out_tongue:

Photons itself is very capable, as it comes from the internal version that I’ve been constantly working on for 3.5 years. I’m more than happy to answer questions about how it works (probably in a github issue or a separate thread, we’re getting very off topic here)

As for the flic hub, I’m not familiar with how that works, so I can’t offer any insight there.

It gets even chattier when you start animations across 2 sets of Tiles. :grin:

true story, can confirm

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