LIFX Developer Zone

LIFX Reliability Issues


#1

Ok so i THINK i have a pretty edge case, but I’ve replaced allt he lighting in my house with LIFX bulbs - like 40 devices in total. Gen 3 bulbs and STRIPS across a single level 4 bedroom house.

I’ve used 3 different WIFI networks (this becomes important in a second). A synology 2600AC using SMART WIFI (5ghz and 2.4ghz same SSID, auto band selection by the Router). 2 Apple airport extremes where the 2.4Ghz was dedicated for LIFX and a ubiquity set of AP’s.

I had some serious reliability issues with a subset of bulbs and this is where it gets interesting.

  1. Some just work - 0 problems…no common aspect in terms of type or location.
  2. Some mainly DONT work … keep showing as unavilable, need constant resets, and run with about 50% packet loss. Again - no common locations, or types.
  3. Some are reliable enough to be tolerable, but unreliable enough to be annoying.

So i’ve noticed a few interesting things

  1. in my TV room - i have a ceiling light set, 2 bulb spots - 2 gen 3 bulbs. 1 is perfect. 1 is BAD - looking now, one has been reset twice today, is running with 50% packet loss, and its next to another which is 100% fine.
  2. It seems that bulbs which have problems share something when adding to the WIFI … they dont FIND the SSID, i have to enter it by name manually, then enter the password and then they connect - but its almost 100% they will be unreliable.
  3. Bulbs which SCAN and FIND the wifi SSID will generally be ok.

The interesting things is - its been the case across 3 different WIFI networks .

I’d really appreciate some advice here, i want to know the best way to HELP lifx - because it seems im not alone with issues with Gen3 bulbs … but i want to fix it - not be the usual whiner.

Whats next…


#2

I should add.
Ive not YET lodged a support ticket - i didnt want to go throught the whole reboot…reset… type discussion when its a more systemic issue
i’m open to it being a WIFI issue - but does that explain it happening across 3 diff systems ?


#3

I had a VERY weird problem with my LIFX app this week (ongoing, but after adding a 5th bulb, it has become chronic).

If my iPhone is on ANY Wi-Fi (not just the same wifi my bulbs are on), all bulbs appear offline. If I’m on cellular only, they’re fine. For the record, they’re all connected to the cloud just fine, I can control them via Amazon Alexa as well as turn them off and on through the iPhone widget with no problem and all my schedules are running normally.

I checked it from work and I watched in the app – if I turn on wifi on the iPhone or iPad, all 5 bulbs went “offline”. If I turn off wifi and go cell only, they call “came back online” – all at the same time.


#4

I have a very similar issue with my bulbs. I have to bulbs that constantly drop off the network although other bulbs around them have a stronger signal. I have tried to reset, delete, and re-add them multiple times. They have gone through several firmware updates as well. I even moved one bulb to another location close to my router, and it made no difference.


#5

Wow - the level of support from LIFX on this has been abysmal. Honestly, without a doubt the worst experience I’ve had this year dealing with tech support.

I logged a ticket on the same day as posting this - and its still no closer to a resolution. As someone who has spent about $2,000 on LIFX gear i’m pretty unhappy to be treated this badly.

About to dump the lot on ebay and go back to Hue - which has been 100% reliable.


#6

@acantril - Let me see if I can help you before you go to Hue.

I have 46 bulbs. I have pretty much 100% reliability now after about a year of tweaks. Before we get to tweaking, can you answer this…

How is the reliability of your bulbs using the LIFX app while connected to your wifi versus turning wifi off and just using the cellular connection? Test it out, let me know.


#7

The reliability is the same on either.
I have a product called ‘smokeping’ which i have set to ping the bulbs to check for instability. Of the 30+ ones i have … i would say at any one time maybe 6-7 of them are showing packet loss.

I’ve had my local WIFI network running with ~100 devices without issues (i do a lot of IOT) but when testing the bulbs ive had JUST them on the WIFI and they show the problems.

Ive used 3 diff WIFI networks - airport extreme, synology and ubiquity - all show the same symptoms.

My response from support yesterday was essentially ‘get a diff router, i have some i can recommend’


#8

Interested in the tweaks.
I’ve tried.

  1. locking the wifi channel.
  2. static IP’s for all the bulbs
  3. moving the 1, or 2 AP’s around the house.

#9

What router do you have?

When using ubiquiti, how many devices are on each AP?


#10

Ive had a synology router 2600AC, a edgemax (ubiquity) and a linux box functioning as router. Same deal with all.
2 AP’s so half bulbs on each plus other devices.


#11

I’ve found that with Ubiquiti, I can only get roughly 30 devices per AP before I have issues. I try to stay around 20, hence my 5 main APs + 2 outside APs (large yard).


#12

I wanted to give it one last go - i created 2 WIFI networks (2.4Ghz) fixed channels. One covering the south side of the house, the other the north.
Split the 30 ish devices across both networks, 15 ish on each.

The north so far has been fine (about 28 hours). The south side, ive had 3 bulb unavailables … resets brought them back - but thats not ok long term.

DHCP provided by the synology router thats on the same physical network as the 2 AP’s (both airport extremes) - only bulbs on bothof those dedicated SSID’s


#13

So with the WIFI split … it gets even more interesting.
In the 2+ days since ive done this… 0 bulbs in the north side of the house have gone offline.
4 bulbs in the south side HAVE gone offline.

In the south side…

  1. power off and power on on the offline bulbs DOESNT bring them back
  2. AP restart DOESNT bring them back.
  3. Ive replaced ONE of the 4 bulbs…and left the other 3 in situation and the one bulb so far is fine.
  4. all 4 of those bulbs are in one area of the house - BUT, nr the AP.

#14

Have you assigned static IP addresses on your router to all of your bulbs?


#15

I have… pretty much everything on my network is static… like the consistent addressing.
It does feel like its a density of bulbs per AP issue.
problems still happening after split - but a lot less frequent.
Probably going to try going to 4 AP’s and distribute the bulbs.


#16

I have 7 APs

Indoor
2 x UAP-AC-PRO
3 x UPA-AC-LITE

Outdoor
2 x UPA-AC-LR

The outdoor ones don’t care the SSID that my LIFX bulbs use so I basically have 5 covering my LIFX bulbs.

Here is the spread of my indoor APs, not all LIFX bulbs.

Interesting… I just noticed that my Master Bedroom AP is not on my static IP range… I’ll have to fix that. Weird… I’ve also been having an issue with a couple LIFX Z strips disconnecting up there…

I feel you pain, I went through this for a very long time. Unfortunately LIFX wasn’t a lot of help.

For the ones that keep going out, are they the same ones?


#17

Are there any LIFX reps who want to jump in ? this is really bordering on embarrassing now. I’m about to blow about $1000 on APs that i can probably get away with NOT spending - i already have 2 that cover my home ok.

If i know for sure they will work - fine. But given the above post, im not convinced.


#18

If it makes you feel any better, I was all set to buy several Lifx A19 bulbs. But after reading this thread and seeing zero response from LIFX, I’m definitely going to get Hue, even though I hear their app isn’t quite as good. I’d rather have a working product, than have to deal with non-existent customer service. It’s pretty amazing that customer service hasn’t responded to this thread considering it’s one of the top things that shows up on Google when searching for “lifx reliability”.


#19

@acantril
I have personally had an amazing experience with LIFX support, but I also understand that it would be very frustrating to deal with connection problems and hear the only suitable solution is to go with expensive enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, especially when you already spent thousands of dollars into a product that you really wanted. At that point you’re investing more in the company than the product line. Not getting any responses for a long period of time is always trouble.

While no longer in beta, firmware 2.14 solved all the connection issues I was having with my LIFX 3rd gen lights. The similar equivalent for 2nd gen bulbs is 1.22. I hope you’ve either already resolved these connection issues or solved them by grabbing the latest firmware :slight_smile:.


#20

Well - so far, i hardly dare hope - but it appears that the last firmware updates for my bulbs have fixed my issues. I’ve not had a bulb disconnect in over a week. Which is compared to 1-2 per day for the previous 3 months.
Will keep everyone updated if anything changes.