[SOLVED] GE Link A19 lightbulb / Zigbee not responding

I have an openhab installation that has been working nicely. I have one rogue lightbulb that was from an old hub that runs Zigbee (A GE Link A19 lightbulb, firmware vintage 2015). To add it to the fold, I installed a Nortek Zigbee USB adaptor. That was a bit of a pain but eventually controller and lightbulb were added. The lightbulb appears as a Generic Zigbee device but offers one channel to control the light level via a dimmer.



The device appears in the logs, it goes online / offline if I unscrew the lightbulb etc. It looks like it’s working, except for not reporting a firmware status. (It’s unknown).

The only problem is that the controller doesn’t actually affect the lightbulb. I attached an item to the lightbulb thing and no adjustments actually have any impact on the lightbulb. I’m wondering if there is some incompatibility between the Nortek controller and the lightbulb. At this point I’ve spent quite a few hours trying to coax the lightbulb to do anything (it did work perfectly with the previous non openhab hub before it was reset). Any tips appreciated…


Platform details

Platform: Linux openhab 4.14.71-v7+ #1145 SMP armv7l GNU/Linux
Java: openjdk version “1.8.0_152”
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (Zulu Embedded (build 1.8.0_152-b76)
OpenJDK Client VM (Zulu Embedded (build 25.152-b76, mixed mode, Evaluation)

I use the same controller and have 17 of these bulbs. They used to be flaky, then very flaky, but now they are working pretty well. Every now and then, they will no longer respond and will need to be power cycled or deleted, reset, and rediscovered. Be sure to configure the controller for software flow control, and set the Power Mode to Boost, and the Transmit Power to High. I also have the Mesh Update Period and Child Aging Timeout set to 1 day. If you leave the bulb in the inbox for a while, they will be identified as a GE Appliances ZLL Light. There were some recent fixes that really helped will this bulb, but I don’t recall if that was before 2.4 came out.

Which version of OH or the binding are you using? I’ve got OH S1512 and…

190 │ Active │  80 │ 1.1.9                  │ com.zsmartsystems.zigbee
192 │ Active │  80 │ 1.1.9                  │ com.zsmartsystems.zigbee.dongle.ember
198 │ Active │  80 │     │ org.openhab.binding.zigbee
199 │ Active │  80 │     │ org.openhab.binding.zigbee.ember

That is normal - since you will not have a firmware provider installed in your system, the status of the firmware (ie if you have the latest version) is unknown.

That’s encouraging. The apt package version is openhab2/stable,now 2.3.0-1 but looks like it’s upgradable to 2.4.0-1 so I might try that. I forced a search and added the bulb rather than waiting it to appear in the inbox. I certainly didn’t leave it in the inbox for a while till it had more information associated with it. I might try that. I also haven’t tweaked any of the zigbee parameters, other than the basis. I did do software flow control and baud rate to 57600 as suggested. I just noticed the network key doesn’t seem to be set to anything interest in the expanded parameters so those are all potential problems. I can’t see any parameters for changing power mode, transmit power or mesh update period / child aging timeout. Where would those appear ? - UI or config file? The docs are great on some aspects (covering all the different types of controllers and parameters) but could use a little more info in some places. They mention for example that you have to manually set the flow control / baud rate but don’t mention where you do this. I spend an hour looking at config files and UI before realizing I had to manually add a device in the UI to get the controller on board.

Definitely upgrade! There were lots of fixes that will help, and more after 2.4.

Belated follow up on this. I did the upgrade. It broke every zwave device in the house and I’ve finally recovered from that. I also had an embarassing lost day where someone had switched the link lightbulb for a regular LED and that didn’t help programmability. I finally reset the zigbee lightbulb, reassociated it (this time it went from unknown zigbee device to it’s correctly identified model quickly) and it’s all working. Thanks for the helpful suggestions.

1 Like