LIFX Developer Zone

LIFX Reliability Issues


#21

Hi guys,

I have similar issues as yours but only with Z-strips. I opened a ticket a few minutes ago to see what I can do.

Here are some of my technical details I sent to the support team as well.

Router: Linksys WRT3200ACM
Channel used: 7
Channel width: 20 Mhz
Network mode: 802.11n Only
DHCP Least time: 1440 mins
Firmware: 1.22 on both of them

I have for 4 more bulbs which work without a hint.

Problems I’m seeing with the Z-strips is that i have lots of packets drops as I’m pinging all 6 device and while the 4 bulbs are working well, the 2 strips have issues.
I connected on the strips using my wife iPhone and saw one strip has 3/4 signal and the other 2/4 - 3/4 signal. Normally you shouldn’t have issues with a device that is connected and has only half signal coverage.

While reading through this post I am starting having second thoughts on why I haven’t went with Philips Hue as they had those remote wall light switches so I could’ve replaced the “normal” lights around the house as well.


#22

I just thought I would share my Lifx Journey. I have accumulated about 20 Lifx Original bulbs from the Kickstarter campaign, Amazon, and eBay. More recently I pick up a 3 pack of the mini bulbs because they will finally fit in smaller ceiling fixtures.

From the beginning, I had issues with the Original firmware frying bulbs but Lifx was cool about replacing all 12. My original router was a Buffalo WHR-HP-GN on an android, ios, windows environment. Things were fairly stable until I upgraded to an Asus RT-AC5300. What would happen is that I would reset the bulbs but as soon as the router rebooted they would drop. I checked the logs and they would not pick up a DHCP address. I tried to manually assign them an IP but the issue persisted. For fun, I had a repeater laying around the house (RP-68U), and the issues went away. Which did not make sense to me because it was still picking up DHCP from the AC5300.

After a few months, the router and repeater needed a firmware upgrade and the Lifx originals haven’t had a firmware upgrade for a number of years. (I’m guessing the model is no longer supported). And the same issues started.

In the meantime, I picked up 3 Lifx Mini’s and they connected fine to the Android app. Ios homekit did not work and the app constantly shows the bulbs as not connected, while Android shows them working just fine. (I am part of the beta app program on ios, that may be part of the issue).

Finally out of desperation I set up my old Buffalo router as an ap on a different VLAN and Guest SSID. The only devices connected to it are Lifx bulbs. So far no issues and all the bulbs are faster than ever on ios or android.

I really feel like Lifx should come out with a Hub type device for users with a lot of bulbs or a complex wireless environment.


#23

Just adding my frustration to all of those that have expressed the constant dropping of connection with a couple of the 8 lights I have. Tried everything suggested above with no success. There are 2 of the eight that seem to drop connection that are in a routine(Good night). If I try to operate them individual they will connect back. But within that routine, they rarely work. Very frustrating. I have 6 hue bulbs (with hub) and never had this dropping problem. Perhaps Lifx should consider adding a hub. I suspect this might help with these connectivity issues.


#24

This problem has re-surfaced. Cant add A19 bulbs onto my network now. 60+% packet loss and 300ms+ pings on A19 bulbs. I am so frustrated by this product now - it’s just reliability problem after reliability problem.


#25

I found out the hard way that the A19 Gen3 bulbs are the most unreliable of the bunch. No connectivity issues with my Gen1/2 bulbs, but it’s frustrating with these new bulbs. I cannot be able to update the firmware at all either, tried even the desktop version but no luck :frowning:

Today both my bulbs stopped working, others still working fine. No idea what’s happening with these bulbs. Disappointed :frowning:


#26

Just an update…I changed my Apple Extreme router to a new orbi mesh router. I also have about 30 connected home devices total including lifx A19(8), lifx mini(8), philips hue, etc.etc and I am not experiencing the problems I had before with the lifx. It does seem (to me) this upgrade has helped the dropout situation with lifx. It has been about a week now and not seeing this problem anymore at least for now. Hope this continues…


#27

Just wanted to weigh in with my experience as well; this thread is an excellent resource. I picked up two BR30’s to test integrating these lights into some third-party apps via the REST api and swagger docs, and it’s been an incredibly frustrating experience as everything software side links together beautifully but the lights themselves will drop their connection to the cloud at random intervals.

I haven’t set anything up to track packets yet. I set up a network just for the lights with a Ubiquity Amplifi router, and the lights are always available with the app locally, except their cloud connection borks in and out, making them entirely unreliable for integration.


#28

So… more info on my problems. I got a new mac - it was added to the network, and my bulbs started to be unreliable. I looked at macOS and it appeared to be doing lots of network broadcasts (nothing crazy, but more than usual). I have UBNT networks, and so i isolated it from broadcasts - adding an exception for my phone and my homeassistant (home automation) so that they could discover the bulbs.

The second i did that - pings dropped from 300ms to 2ms… 60% packet loss to 0% packet loss.

So there is something about broadcasts that the LIFX REALLLLY doesnt like. It only impacts the LIFX bulbs - any other devices dont show these symptoms when broadcasts are enabled.


#29

I’ve been seeing the exact same reliability issues you guys have been seeing. Gen 1&2 work great, and Gen 3 is lossy & laggy. I noticed this started happening immediately after the HomeKit update was applied in September.

I’ve been playing with LIFX connectivity in my app over the past week and have been using this tool to compare my results (@frakman1) : https://www.reddit.com/r/lifx/comments/7xgd8y/lifx_lan_gui_controller_app_python/

There’s a clear performance difference in discovering lights and retrieving state data between Gen 1&2 and Gen 3 lights.


#30

Yeah so i agree - this started happening post HomeKit upgrade.
It’s reproducible, if i enable broadcasts on my WIFI ALL of the LIFX just drop packets, and have 300ms+ pings.


#31

Edit: I have removed my angry post.


#32

That’s a bit harsh. No company is perfect but I’ve found LIFX to be quite friendly and approachable as a company. Their protocols are open-source and functional. I’ve had problems with some of their bulbs in the past and they’ve graciously agreed to replace them for me.


#33

Edit: these lights have potential but the wifi drop offs are extremely frustrating. From what I see Lifx is not doing anything to resolve it. I think better firmware could help (if the bulb disconnects it should try much harder to reconnect, etc). The fact they are not in this thread is extremely disappointing and does not bode well for their future.


#34

I have been trying to get a bulb stable on the network and seem to have discovered a new incompatibility:

SSIDs which are both 2.4 and 5GHz.

I have an Enterprise class access point which has one SSID covering both frequency ranges and the app can’t handle it. If I created a 2.4GHz network only then the bulb works.

This is the only device with that sensitivity.

The tail will not wag the dog. I’m returning the bulb tomorrow.

This is 2018 and products which are inflexible regarding the environment they operate in will not survive. Requiring inter-client communication and broadcasts on a wifi network is unreasonable.

I will also not recommend LIFX to my residential install clients until this and obviously other wifi issues others are plagued by are resolved.

Fancy packing mean nothing if the core functionality is unstable in common 802.11 environments.


#35

Yeah I found that out about a year ago when I had them separated. Then I named all 3 (tri) networks the same and they were briefly better but I still didn’t have enough wireless (slots) for all 50 bulbs so I bought another (tri) router and hooked it up under the same name as the 1st and it saw everything on my network for awhile. Then the reboots started and now only about 7 of the 50 work the rest show up with a - . Alexa says they are no longer responding.
Unfortunately I’ve had my bulbs for over a year and continued to add so I can’t take them back. I will never recommend these to anyone. And as far as updating the firmware, you can’t update what doesn’t show up. :rage::rage::rage:


#36

The hues are attractive, and the ecosystem is growing. But I’ve seen some people say they have issues with LIFX and some say they have no issues. I would imagine the stability has a lot to do with how good your Wi-Fi is and how much 2.4GHz interference you have in your house.


#37

I chose LIFX because I don’t need a hub. 14 bulbs later (a huge investment) I now believe that I made the wrong choice. My bulbs are connected to a Google WiFi mesh network (4 routers in a 1,800sf home. I have 4 groups of 3-4 bulbs each. To control them, I use the iPhone app and Google Home/Assistant. I’ve had the setup for 5 months. The LIFX bulbs routinely drop off the network. More often than not when I give Google a command, I can expect at least one bulb in a group to be “unavailable right now.” There’s no pattern of failure. It seems that any bulb will drop off the network randomly. The routine is to switch the lamp off, wait a few seconds and switch it back on. My hope is that there’s a firmware update in the works that will fix this issue, but updates don’t arrive very often. Overall I love the bulbs and the app, but if the connectivity issues don’t get solved, I’ll abandon LIFX in favor of Hue. Bad bulb reliability will be a company-killer for LIFX. I hope there’s an engineering fix in the works.


#38

I have 5 sonos speakers, 6 Alexa’s, 2 printers, 3 laptops, 8 wireless cameras and 45 Lifx bulbs. Talk about an investment…
I’ve had these for 2 1/2 years and it’s been a nightmare. I don’t have trouble with anything but the Lifx. They constantly drop off, randomly quit responding and god forbid you have to change the router password. They don’t play well with the top ASUS router, I’ve had to buy and connect 2 top dollar netgear routers in order to get everything working. The 99.00 strings suck as well as they don’t stay stuck, even adding extra design glue to them. At 39.00 to 69.00 a pop I’d like to shove these where the sun doesn’t shine on whoever thought this was going to work long term. But then they’ve got your money so who cares.
Best Buy recommended them so I sure hope they made a large profit off them.
I will never buy another Lifx bulb or recommend them.
If you can still get your money bad you should.


#39

I have a similar reliability issue and all I have is one A19. I got it a couple years ago, and I’ve been regretting it off and on since then. The actual light when it works is great. The software has been a aggravating mess. Over these couple years (apart from the app being completely broken for the first two weeks) the bulb’s reliability has gone from “reset once a week” to several cycles of “wait a full minute - if it doesn’t respond, reset”. It’s my bedroom light - imagine how fun it is when you just want to sleep and it won’t turn off until you get out of bed and unplug it.

If you were reading this thread and thinking “I don’t plan on having such a complicated setup as acantril so maybe I won’t have problems”…don’t count on it. I wish I’d paid extra for the Hue pack and the second bulb I didn’t need.


#40

Some observations, start wireshark on a laptop with a filter ip.addr==0.0.0.0 Note home many dhcp request you see. Look at the DHCP IP Request Option and note the device already has an IP its re-requesting. Why no Idea if lease time is 8 days should happen at 4 days. This seemed to settle down over time but they should be following the DHCP half-life protocol for this. I run Unifi with 7 APs. Why so many you ask. Well if you now Wifi and live in a city you know that 2.4Ghz band is saturated as there are really only 3 true 20Mhz channels. Why Lifx decided to use a wife chipset limted to 2.4 I don’t know but if you live in a city interference will always be a problem on 2.4 Ghz so you have to be the loaded strongest signal to talk over the noise.

If your like me you want to be able to control Lifx lights no mater what the switch position is in. So they always need power. I wired the lights always on but replaced switches with Levinton Decora’s if you Apple user get the Home kit models will make you life a lot easier the then non home kit Models. I then use Apple Automations (Buy an Apple TV G4 as needed for remote control of Homekit when you phone is not home) to monitor the switches and turn the lights off an on. So switches work like normal switch but bulbs are always powered. In an ideal world Levinton would add Lifx Lan Support and then only a long press would turn off actual power but a normal press would send a Lifx Lan control packet and remove the need to bounce packets to the cloud and back to talk to a device connected to the same line. I have 47 bulbs currently for 3 months. Setting DHCP reservations seemed to help fix random wifi disconnect issues, maybe related to DHCP half life issue above and DHCP giving device different IP. I had one light no red out of the Box and had another light just go dead no light no nothing. So so far two bulbs to send back. If you work for Lifx and are reading this post please change your Wireless Chipset to include a 5ghz radio, also please release a firmware that includes a reconnect timer. IE if I disconnect for an AP keep retrying to connect. Nothign worse then having to unscrew your bulbs when you upgrade your wireless AP.