Bulbs and sensors - Slow to respond, and inconsistent - I think I need to return to Hue

So I was immediately enamored with the Wyze bulbs, cameras, motion sensors and outlets. Great price, a wealth of functionality, nice rules engine…it seemed to be too good to be true. And maybe I should have realized that it was. Unfortunately these devices seem to be lacking in response time and reliability. I’m constantly having sensors, outlets, and bulbs going off-line. So this is pretty irritating to my wife and kids. They were patient with things for a while, but now we’ve reached our breaking point and it’s time to either get a real fix, or abandon Wyze SmartHome products.

To give you an idea of what I have, 30+ white bulbs, around 8 contact sensors, about 5 cameras, 6 or so motion sensors, and a half-dozen or so outlets. This is in a home that’s about 4500 sq ft with a 6 node mesh network across the 3 levels. I rarely have any issues with any network connected devices. My Internet is 1 GB up/down with fiber-optic connectivity that has been super-reliable. I control things via voice controls using 10 or so Amazon Echo devices and custom routines.

First of all, response is slow. I have a number of bulbs tied to door sensors or motion sensors and it’s not unusual to have a multi-second wait before the bulb responds to the sensor trigger. I know, this doesn’t sound like a long time, but in reality, it’s way too slow. I need much faster response time in order for it to be acceptable. Sub-second response time would be good (and what your competitors can deliver).

Second, bulbs regularly going offline. I thought this may have been because people were powering off the bulbs. While this was a contributing factor, I ruled this out after I put switch “covers” over the switches that were not to be flipped. When the bulbs go offline, they no longer respond to controls and the only way that I can get them to respond again is to delete the device and do the setup process again. Or, if you do manual control, they will turn on, but be bright white (vs soft white). I cannot tell you how annoying that is, because then you have to also verify all of the rule and device groups to make sure that everything is properly configured. Invariably I’ll miss something and things won’t work right at first. I’ll get it fixed about the same time when another 4 or 5 bulbs decide to go offline. This is an excessive amount of device and automation management. Set things up once, spend time tweaking the rules, no problem…as long as things work reliably after that. Setting things up multiple times because they’ve gone offline is just a waste of my time.

When I say a command such as “Goodnight”, I expect all of the lights and TVs in the house to turn off and the lamps in the bedroom to turn on at 50%. However, when for or five bulbs go offline, these random bulbs stay on. It’s inefficient, a waste of electricity, and annoying as {insert your favorite expletive here}. I used to manually turn the bulbs at the light switch, but when you have multiple devices attached to the same physical light switch, (i.e. 2-6 bulbs), you just magnify the problem. Once you take a device offline (by disconnecting power), it doesn’t always go back online…or if it does, it takes a very long time (multiple hours).

I’ve contacted support multiple times. They’ve replaced a sensor hub and a few bulbs for me, but nobody has ever been able to get the reliability issue resolved.

Let me compare this to Hue. I used Hue bulbs for over a year before buying my first Wyze device. Sure, I didn’t have the same level of functionality, the motion sensors were much more expensive, no outlets/cameras, and much more expensive. In exchange, you get devices that are rock-solid. They never go off-line and because the hub is located in my house, I get super fast response time. Fortunately I still have my Hue devices to go back to should I decide that’s the best route.

I’m about to swear off of Wyze products all together…and if I had not already invested so much money in what I have, I would have done so already. I’ve put in the time and effort, and now I’m sick and tired of dealing with inferior products. If someone can convince me that my assessment is wrong, I would welcome advice, but I don’t believe it is.

  • AJ -

Overall, I’ve had good luck with the cameras, v2’s and now V3’s also after some initial problems, my lock had been really good to. Oh, and the thermostat is fine so far. But Wyze sensors and bulbs and plugs, in my opinion just aren’t worth the trouble.

There’s so many options now in the past couple years that are faster and more reliable. Some are no more expensive than Wyze. I recently bought a 4 pack of smart plugs that use the Smartlife app for like $21. There’s 4 packs of Treatlife color bulbs on Amazon that are even cheaper than Wyze’s pre order color bulbs that you have to wait for. I have one of their white ones and it’s been rock solid.

When I switched my Wyze motion sensors to a Zigbee Samsung and another off brand motion sensor, and some Centralite door sensors, I haven’t had to touch them or mess around with them once. They just work and are near instant. I use my Echo’s built in Zigbee hub for the motion and contact sensors and Alexa routines to trigger lights and stuff. The main room I motion trigger lights in, the lights typically come on as my first step into the room is hitting the floor.


I’m not deep into any automation so not exactly sure how others are configured but much of wyze seems to be cloud based computing - devices have to send raw data to the server for processing then receive instructions from the server and depending on home networks and internet service things have a certain lag or latency. They keep devices cheap by only providing enough capability to hold a minimal firmware for the data collection and communication and then perform the actions instructed by the server. I may be wrong since we aren’t into to much for automation, so I really haven’t dug in too deep into the tech.

My sensors and bulbs have been rock solid for me. I do know that if you tie it to Alexa, it adds time to get things processed and sometimes does not fully function. With that said, Alexa has been getting better with its notifications and processing as of late, guess they have been working hard on their Zigbee hub process.

To test this out, why not create a shortcut only for the Wyze products in the app. you can click it and see if the Wyze products function as expected. trying to eliminate the source of the issue. Is it Alexa or Wyze related.

Like I said, I have a night Shortcut which turns things off, activates motions sensors and notifications. Works for me.

I understand that adding IFTTT, Amazon Echo, or any other logic processor into the scenario, that it adds more time. That’s to be expected.

What I’m taking about are things like a contact or motion sensor with a rule to turn on one or more bulbs. Much of the time, its tolerable…maybe just over a second. However, sometimes it can be 2 to 3 seconds or more. Worse, sometimes the sensor or bulb goes offline and it doesn’t work at all.

Yes, this makes sense, which is why Wyze should create a home hub that can handle local rule processing, taking out all of the Internet wire time. The interface could still be cloud based, but then push the ruleset to a local device. I would happily pay $50 or more for such a device just to speed the responsiveness of my devices.

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While this is not the answer I wanted, I believe it’s the current correct answer. Here’s my problem with this answer…I really hate the idea of having a whole bunch of different brand products and a whole bunch of different apps to configure each brand. Then it becomes a guessing game of "are my [insert device(s) here] on a BrandX or a BrandY outlet. Wyze was attractive to me because it could process logic from sensors, groups of sensors, cameras, time, and tie all of the devices together. Zigbee is smart because you can have a bunch of different device brands all running the same protocol which then simplifies the scenario to what product do you use to manage all of your Zigbee devices.

Thanks for your feedback…again, was hoping for a better answer, but it is what it is. I was hoping Wyze was my ticket to a single app/vendor solution. Apparently we still have a long way to go to achieve this.

I agree with your assessment here. However, in the past, I was experiencing similar things like you. I set my hubitat back up as a backup to Wyze. My Wyze now has been solid and responsive within a second - sometimes 2 (not often). Lights go on and off, sensors trigger as I need them to. Knock on wood… :slight_smile:

My Hubitat started having issues with lights, which has never been an issue before. My driveway lights stayed on or one of my bulbs in a 2 bulb porch light would not go off. I constantly had to work to get them to respond. Ultimately, I had to unplug my hub for 30 minutes, to force the zigbee devices to re-establish the connection to the hub. It has been fine, but for how long.

I am a fan of one ecosystem and am pleased with the Wyze products. I am now reverting back to Wyze only, and turning off my Hubitat system, including my Eufy Camera’s. Wonder if it is possibly related to your Network as we have different experiences with sensors. You may be hitting a limitation with the amount of devices connected to your Bridge.

I didn’t really like the idea of multiple apps either. Fortunately, for plugs, lights, switches and things like that, I find that I rarely use their native app except for initial setup. I started with smart devices back in the X-10 days before there were things like Alexa, but abandoned most of it many years ago. Once Alexa hit the market is when I started up again with things like bulbs and plugs and over time I ended up with several brands as things became more available and cheaper.

I have gotten rid of some original devices and I’m down to about 3 or 4 different apps besides Wyze now, but I mostly use Alexa to set up automations and routines across brands and not the apps themselves in most cases. In fact, the zigbee motion and contact sensors I have, I added to my Echo’s built in hub just using the Alexa app instead of a separate app. I now use Wyze mostly for cameras and now the thermostat. So in my case, it’s really just two apps, Wyze for cameras and Alexa for most everything else. For example, I have smart bulbs from Lifix that have been installed for years now and I can’t remember the last time I opened the Lifix app at all. Maybe since the initial install or soon after, but it’s been a long time.

I just don’t find Wyze reliable enough for smart home. I love smart devices, but for me, if I go through the time and expense for smart bulbs, switches, plugs, etc, it’s incredibly annoying when they don’t turn on when asked to, are delayed, need to be reset, etc. I’d rather not use them and just use the switch and non connected devices. I like them a lot and I’ll buy them, but when I do, I expect them to work as long as I have power and home network.

How do you like the Alexa Hub? Do you find the performance acceptable? I have been reading on this and it is interesting the approach they have taken.

Smart Technology is my hobby and now part of my way of living. I started with the first Smartthings hub, then upgraded before switching to hubitat. At that time, Wyze was around and drew me in with their Camera - V2. from that, I have been purchasing more and more Wyze products - It is a sickness :slight_smile: , but fun. The price point is great and allows for purchasing without worrying if something does not work. I experienced issues with Wyze and even the other products as explained earlier. But things have gotten better and for me, has been acceptable. I am not experiencing the issues I have in the past. I am not saying there are no issues, but I find it to be acceptable. I have brought 2 other families into the Wyze ecosystem.

I am actually looking forward to the new Wyze Sense hub and sensors.

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The built in Alexa hub for the devices I have is basic. I only have a wall switch, a couple contact sensors, and motion sensors that are Zigbee and connected directly to my Echos hub. Those devices don’t really have any configuration in the Alexa app, but then again, you don’t really need any. They are just able to turn on/off in the case of the switches, or in the case of the sensors, monitor there state. Then you use the Alexa app to set up routines for notification, turn on/off lights, have Alexa preform a task, control other smart devices, do schedules, etc. I know there are things like Zigbee bulbs that can use the Echo’s Zigbee hub and I’m sure there must be more configuration available for those in the Alexa app for things like color, etc but I don’t have any experience with those in zigbee form.