LIFX Developer Zone

What is the current status of the power outage problem?


#1

I recently found a Reddit thread, from a year ago, discussing a problem with LIFX bulbs switching on after a power outage. This problem renders the bulbs virtually unusable in a bedroom, at least in the absence of an additional power backup device.

A developer commented that the company was then brainstorming solutions to the problem, such as having the bulbs return to the previous power state after an outage:
https://www.reddit.com/r/lifx/comments/4l36cr/power_outage_lights_stay_on/d3kkwg5/

Has such a solution been implemented yet, and if not, is there at least a rough ETA available by now?


#2

The bulbs return to their previous state after being turned off. So this should apply to any power outage as well.


#3

When line power is removed from a bulb, and returned, the bulb turns on. This is easily tested by turning power off at the switch and turning it back on. The bulb will have whatever it’s last color/brightness setting was, but it will be illuminated.

We had a brownout recently that very unfortunately flipped power on and off 6 or 7 times, with the side effect of resetting all of our lights to the factory default. At least it wasn’t the middle of the night.


#4

LIFX has their lights setup to work 2 ways.

  1. The wall switch stays on the and the lights change via the app or some other custom software.
  2. The lights work like normal bulbs switched from the wall.

For the latter to work, you have to be able to have the lights come back on after they’ve gone off.

I wonder if the previous state could not only include brightness, saturation, hue, and kelvin, but also the power state as well. That would definitely solve this issue for those of us using LIFX bulbs for the whole house or specific rooms.

I know I wouldn’t want 90 bulbs turning on if the power flickered. On the other hand, I’ve been in situations where I’m working on my home network and that shuts down all my Flic buttons, the app, and Alexa. At that point, the only way to turn the lights back on is to turn the light-switch off and back on again. It’s a fail-safe.

@Bulbasaur Are you located in an area that readily loses power? If so, it might be a good option to contact LIFX support and ask them if they could add a setting in there to also save the power state.


#5

Yes, my area loses power fairly often. It’s usually only for a partial second, but that’s enough to instigate the bulbs. I’m surprised LIFX is still working on adding the option, since it was in the “talking phase” a year ago. Hopefully the problem will be addressed soon.


#6

I would contact LIFX support if it’s something really important to you as that’ll make it a lot more visible, and they might have some secret techniques for handling this situation we don’t know about.


#7

My power went wonky this morning, was going on and off multiple times in a row. Now all 20 of my bulbs aren’t showing up on the network and I have to reset them…kinda annoying.


#8

Lifx are, sadly, a toy for hobbyists and not yet something for daily use and reliability.


#9

I can see that multiple power outages or brownouts in a row would drive someone made if everything got factory reset!

I have over 20 lights now.

My issue is if there is a power outage in the middle of the night - ALL lights come on and wake the kids up. So my workaround is to set them to minimum brightness before turning theirs off, or just switch off at the wall switch.

There has to be a better way. It’s good having the manual turn the switch off/on when you don’t have a phone or google mini/HomePod or whatever handy. And also for those times (so often) when Siri says the device isn’t responding but the app works fine.

If only there was a decent smart light switch to pair up with them. And an architrave size one for people with internal brick like me.


#10

LIFX, your customers own the products you have sold them. You need to give users the option to set lights to default:off when they receive power from the mains. Otherwise this poses a security risk for some users.

  1. a thief could turn your power off at the switchboard, and back on - illuminating your entire house. They will know if your home and/or be able to easily see into the house if you’re not home.
  2. after a power failure, if you’re on holiday and leave your blinds open, your entire house is illuminated for potential thieves to see in.
  3. the argument that this would introduce a safety risk - warn users upon changing the default setting in the LIFX app, but still give users the ability to change this behaviour on a product they paid for, and own.

Thanks


#11

Hi @bighalf, configuration options for this functionality is in our pipeline and will be added to firmware/apps in a future release.


#12

I had a 30+ minute power outage two days ago. Of the 52 bulbs I have, 4 would not reconnect and I had to reset them to get them to work again.


#13

@markh Thanks for that update, looking forward to the fix.
Wanted to quickly note that this has been a big problem for me too… a 3am power outage turned all 10 lights on and reset all to factory setting. Returning all the bulbs to their pre-outage status (hue, brightness, K) including re-adding all of them to the network takes about an hour, that we don’t have in the morning before work.

This is a definite deal breaker for new bulb purchases but I’d hate to give up on the system especially given the huge investment. Maybe we need to chalk up to sunk cost… hopefully not.