Question

T-Mobile Internet (2.4G) with Alexa Drops Feit Bulbs often and at random

  • 24 December 2022
  • 8 replies
  • 467 views

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I changed from Cox to T-Mobile internet.  The download speed in exceptional. The Alexa transition was smooth once I added 2.4G to my T-Mobile router. I named the new 2.4G the same as the Cox name with the same password, every device moved over as hoped. My home is automated with multiple plugs (7) and Feit Bulbs (30). Once setup everything worked for a short time. Then the bulbs would drop offline at random. The plugs always work. To reset the bulbs all I need to do is turn off the power to the bulb and turn it back on and then they are connected and work with Alexa. I have tried to find a pattern (like time of time or phase of the moon) but there doesn’t appear to be a pattern. I have via the Feit App set all devices to update the firmware automatically. Also, setup all Feit devices to push a notification when they drop offline; there are many pushed messages in the Feit app but again no time pattern. I have an open ticket with Feit and have tried all their suggested solutions - nothing has worked so far. 


8 replies

Userlevel 5
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Connie, when you get an explanation for the Feit behavior, please let the Forum know. It's bound to help others using the same product(s). Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with those bulbs.

One of the frustrations of the Arcadyan KVD21 5G Gateway that is supplied by T-Mobile is that you can't configure it. My guess is your problem has something to do with dropping the IP address to the Feit bulbs, but unfortunately the KVD21 can't be configured to change the TTL (Time To Live) setting that may be incompatible with the Feits, or visa versa.

Userlevel 7
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I have a theory but it is only based upon my limited understanding of the actual mechanics of the band steering with 802.11ax. If you still have the single SSID with all devices connecting to it you might try adding a second SSID with, for example, the network name FeitLTS and just use the same authentication type and passphrase as with the general SSID for all your other devices. Move 6 or so of the lights or plugs over to the parallel SSID. If they stay when others fall off then move those that fall off over to the FeitLTS network on the 2.4 GHz radio. 

The objective of band steering is to move traffic from one frequency to another to balance the distribution of bandwidth for traffic. I don’t know that the IEEE standard has the requirement for awareness of the capability of the connected nodes. I sort of doubt it. If band steering is initiated and the migration of the 2.4 GHz only client is shifted to a 5 GHz channel then it would make sense it would fall off. I am not sure as I would have to go and read the IEEE standard for the band steering element within the 802.11ax / WI-FI 6 operation to be sure. I don’t think the steering would be a pull operation. I believe it would be a push so to speak. It seems more logical to me to only attempt to move a client to another channel when the current one is congested. If you consider that the 2.4 GHz frequency has less bandwidth than the 5GHz bands and is more of a trash can frequency it sort of makes sense.

I run bands 1, 48 & 149 on my Nokia. I see most of my clients will be connected to channel 1 or channel 48 out of the gate. After some time I do see channel 149 pick up more traffic as there are a few 802.11ax clients that will now gravitate to the upper band more. Since clients don’t just tend to be connecting to the higher 5GHz channel I sort of believe they may end up there due to band steering. I could be wrong but it makes sense to me. Reading IEEE standards is pretty dry so I don’t frequent them unless I just have a true geek moment. Networking engineers just tend to do such goofy things.

The 802.11ax standard does have much more sophisticated strategies for utilizing bandwidth and toys that were NOT available in the 802.11ac and prior standards for wireless communication. It is just the evolution of the wireless technology with the newer more capable chipsets. 

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Thanks bocaboy2591… As I indicated in my original post I was able to add a 2.4G to my T-Mobile router and all my Alexa devices are connected to this channel. The various plugs by various manufacturers have never failed, it is only the Feit bulbs.  I will update this post as I stumble around trying to resolve this issue. It doesn’t take long to get accustomed to turning all the lights in the house on and off with Alexa.

Thanks iTinkeralot… I configured another 2.4G channel, as you suggested, on my T-Mobile router, moved a few bulbs to this new 2.4G channel and will track what happens.  I feel sure that if this is an Alexa issue it will never be solved as Amazon laid off a huge number of Alexa developers. So, I hope it is Feit app/skill issue as Feit works to fix issues. Sequence: Reset Feit Bulbs to factory, Added bulbs to Feit app using new 2.4G channel, Created Alexa Routine for new bulbs. Wil come back here to keep others informed as I make progress or not as the case may be.

Userlevel 3
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I think the Feit wifi is just plain bad.  Lots of complaints about the bulbs losing internet connection.  When the Feit bulbs lose connection, I just turn off the bulb and then back on, it would reconnect.

 

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iTinkeralot… I reset 10 Feit bulbs to their factory setting and added them back to the new 2.4Ghz channel. For a short time, wishful thinking, both channels appeared to work but then Feit bulbs on both channels dropped at random. So this effort was not successful. 

After a nights rest, nearly all of the bulbs were non-responsive in the morning. I would sort of understand it if ALL the bulbs were nonresponsive. Why one or two bulbs remained functional is, yet another, mystery.

Resetting the modem had no effect.

The Feit and Amazon plugs continue to function no matter what I do, so it appears that this issue is only related to the Feit bulbs (I only have Feit bulbs).

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pphw… I would agree with you but the bulbs worked well with Cox and a Netgear router.  3 of the Feit Bulbs are about 6 feet away from the T-Mobile router and they fail so I am not sure that is the problem. Like you turning off the bulbs and back on works but I have 30 bulbs and I am never sure which bulb will work and which will fail. I have turned on the Feit notification, so I know when the bulbs drop off and it is all very random. I think the issue is the Feit Alexa Skill.

I am keeping the Feit folks up to date on my activities as I have an open ticket, they do appear to work issues. The Feit app and Skill have come a long way in the last couple of years. I would not have 30 bulbs if the first few didn’t function.

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1/11/2023: Received this short email from Feit.

…...

Raju M (Feit Electric) Jan 11, 2023, 9:43 AM PST

Hello Connie,
 Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
 Our Feit electric products are incompatible with the T-Mobile Routers
 Let me know if there is anything else we can help with.

…...

Naturally, this did not satisfy me as I have 33 bulbs, I purchased at Costco at roughly $6/each.

I sent this email:

…...

Raju M (Feit Electric),

"Our Feit electric products are incompatible with the T-Mobile Routers".

Thank you for your response.

First, your Feit Plugs, indoor and outdoor, have work flawlessly during the transition, your Feit plugs have never failed - ever. 

So, at least in the case of the Feit plugs they are absolutely compatible with the T-Mobile router.

OK, so you have an issue.  Nowhere in any Feit documentation is there any indication that any of your products are incompatible with any router.

Feit has a technical problem that you appear to want to make it go away for me with your email.

I have 33 Feit Bulbs that I paid an average, roughly, of $6.00 each. That is nearly $200.

Please send this email chain to your corporate office as I will be contacting Costco to get a refund for all the bulbs I purchased there.

Or, you can get your technical hotshots in India to make changes, in the very near future, such that your Feit bulbs are compatible with the T-Mobile router.

In the mean time, I expect to see this issue reported on your web site.

In the near future, depending on your response; I will be contacting T-Mobile, Amazon (Alexa) and Costco (your main outlet) to make them aware of the Feit app and Feit Alexa Skill shortfall.

There are a number of "review" sites that I will write reviews of your product.

As you can see, I am not going away without making considerable waves for the Feit Technical staff and Feit management.

I have let you know exactly what I expect.  Please get back to me quickly as I will (soon) start contacting the organizations I mentioned above soon.

……

…...

Not sure how I tag, search results, this such that other people with this issue find my rant.

I will, as I have, continue to update this thread as circumstances change.

 

I don’t have many issues with my Feit bulbs but I have a ton with my Sylvania bulbs. Two different apps but they use the same login information. I don’t know if they’re the same company or not. I also have one Geeni bulb I can’t get to work at all, I ended up buying an Echo Plug to control that light instead.

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