In my last article I talked about how much I love the LIFX Mini Day & Dusk bulbs that are installed in my basement ceiling. I’m still happy with them, but they did give me a little homework this week in the wake of a whole-house power outage as a result of a storm passing through the area.
Once power was restored to our house and everything had booted back up, the LIFX bulbs would not reconnect to my home network. I power-cycled both the bulbs and the router, but it had no effect. These bulbs, and any home automations I had set up to drive them, were dead in the water¹.
Because the bulbs were stuck in the on position — these bulbs restore to “on” after a power outage — I decided to unscrew them from their fixtures for a couple days. I had actually been planning to rename my Wi-Fi network name and decided to take the opportunity presented by four of my accessories being offline to do so.
Last night I did just that. First I took screenshots of each device’s automations for reference, manually removed each one from the Home app, and then spent about an hour going around the house reconnecting them. Luckily this change only pertained to my Wi-Fi accessories. My Bluetooth door sensors and my Lutron Caséta switches were unaffected. When I screwed the LIFX bulbs back into their fixtures I was surprised to find that I didn’t have to perform a factory reset on them. I scanned their HomeKit code from the setup card and they were quickly added back to my Home.
The Meross accessories (one garage door opener and two switches) didn’t have any trouble with the power outage, nor did they have any trouble being removed and re-added to the new Wi-Fi network. I’ve found these devices to be really rock solid.
The one Wemo outlet I own was a giant pain. Because I have a model with no HomeKit code on the outlet itself it needs to be set up through the terrible Wemo app. As I texted my friend Andrew, “Never buy a Wemo device. […] It’s not worth it. Just buy an Eve Energy instead.”
All in all, I was able to get things up and running again smoothly — but it was work. While power outages aren’t too common in our area, if the LIFX bulbs fail like this every time it’s going to get old very quickly.
¹ Small side note: If you do have a home automation failure like this, be sure to communicate it to your family so they don’t think they are doing something wrong and get frustrated.