Both the bulb and Home Assistant caught amnesia yesterday

Both the bulb (LZW42 v2.31) and Home Assistant (HA OS 2021.12.1) caught amnesia yesterday. Last night, the bulb just disappeared from my home assistant screens and now the bulb does the 2 blinks dance when it’s ready for inclusion. Ran inclusion again, it paired right away as a new device. Its currently on a dumb switch, which was off when amnesia occurred. LZW30 switches will be installed when I have some confidence in the overall setup. This LZW42 is my very first zWave device and is about 5 feet line of sight from the Nortek hub.

My question for the community, what causes an included device to disappear and where do I begin troubleshooting? Does the bulb have useful utilities like logging? If so, how do I access or manage them?

My recommendation for the community, if your starting out with Home Assistant and zwave after mid-2021, do not follow the instructions on this and most other forums. Install zwaveJS, it’s pretty intuitive, no editing yaml, it’s all gui. The hardest part is getting the correct usb mapping for the zwave usb hub but even that is a quick youtube video.

I’m super noob to Home Assistane and Inovelli but have 20 years IT and run devops as a day job… I struggled like mad to get my LZW42 running this weekend, couldn’t even get it to complete an inclusion. I even followed the instructions! Turned out to be I had the deprecated version of zWave in Home Assistant. When I yanked zWave and installed zWavejs, it worked fine for a few days.

So my understanding is smart bulbs should always be powered and on/off should only really be done via the bulb and not the switch. My assumption is that with the dumb switch off for an extended period of time, the device ended up dropping off.

I’d recommend actually getting one or two of those switches in sooner rather than later also. They’ll serve as repeaters for the zwave mesh and you’ll see a lot more stability in place once you have a handful of them installed.

Related to logging - I’d also recommend using zwavejs2mqtt for Home Assistant instead, you’ll get logging, OTA updates, inclusion/exclusion all with a separate UI just for your zwave devices. I believe you may get some logs through Home Assistant with the built in zwavejs app, but not certain. It also is going to depend on your specific Home Assistant install and what you’re using (Core/Container/Hassio, etc).

I might have missed it but are you powering the bulb 100% all the time whether the bulb is commanded on or off? That is data point 1 to figuring out what might be happening.

Thank you @chack - Am I to understand if the smart bulb does not have power for an extended period of time (12-18 hrs) then it looses its config? It would be disppointing if a premium product like an Inovelli bulb could not retain settings from a loss of power. But then that does not answer why Home Assistant would loose it’s settings for this device. Point taken on getting the smart swith installed. I will definatly look into zwavejsmqtt - Maybe that will tese out a clue. Do you know, shoud I remove zwavejs before installing zwavejsmqtt? Thanks!

@kreene1987 - The bulb did not hove power overnight becuase the dumb switch was off. What is super confusing is why/how both home assistant and the bulb caught amnesia. I could see one of the two getting stuck on stupid but both…??? Then again, I’m super new to HA, Inovelli and home automation in general so there is plenty I do not know.

I’m not sure what the threshold is, or if the device itself loses config or just drops off the network, but in my experience, brief power interruptions (while not ideal) don’t necessarily result in needing to rejoin a bulb. That said, they should remain powered and just be controlled through the ‘smarts’.

As far as zwavejs2mqtt, you can set it up separately and just tell it not to use mqtt but the actual tie-in back to Home Assistant will still end up through the Zwave JS integration, you’ll just be pointing it to zwavejs2mqtt instead. They’ll be able to explain the overall process better than I can though - ZwaveJS2Mqtt (so that’s a longer way of saying, yes you will end up removing zwavejs to clear out the existing integration, but then you’ll be using it again)

I fundamentally agree. In order for the switch and bulb to be REMOVED from the z-wave network, the hub would have had to go into exclusion mode. Not sure how that got triggered in the first place?

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This should not happen. The reason the bulbs should always be powered is that they act as repeaters, not because there is a limited amount of time they will stay connected. This is less important on zigbee as it is self-healing, but on zwave it’s an absolute must since a dead node in your network could cause all sorts of issues with other devices further down the line.

Devices can be removed without being put in exclusion mode. The option is there to force remove a device from the controller. And then on the device side there is usually a reset procedure on the device itself to make it available to join without an exclusion having been done. But I can’t really see a scenario where both of these happened without OP realizing they were doing it.

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That’s totally on me getting mixed up then…I was thinking with battery powered devices and them not acting as repeaters. Thought some bulbs were the same but don’t know if I’m mixing in zigbee too now. Regardless, that wouldn’t be expected behavior to have it auto drop off even if it ended up a ‘dead’ node. Definitely agreed with you and @kreene1987 that something else is likely the culprit then. Not sure there’s much that can happen at this point aside from increasing log levels and seeing if it reoccurs?

Doesnt the bulbs go into exclusion mode if they are turned off and on a couple of times in a set timeframe? Is it possible someone flicked the switch on and off? (I could be wrong about this)

It’s actually just powering the bulb up with the hub in the exclusion mode. Then when the bulb is powered up it will flash 2x and then a third flash when it’s been excluded. The OP said he saw the 2x flash, so that suggests the hub was in the exclusion mode when the bulb was powered up.

However, you get the 2x flash when it’s ready for inclusion as well.

Update from yesterday troubleshooting - Tried to force an exclusion by cycling the power at the dumb switch repeatably in a few seconds, the bulb maintained is pairing. Left the dumb switch off overnight, it’s still paired today. The only real clue is the ID. When the bulb disappeared, it was ID 4. In my troubleshooting, the ID incremented each time I did an exclusion and inclusion, (using Home Assistant) on the same bulb, its now ID 7. At this point, the best I can figure is some sort of user error, where I ran an exclusion without realizing it. Hopefully this is user error and the end! Thanks all for your time and suggestions!

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I’d say you’re spot on here. If it were a controller issue you’d have started right back at ID 1. So you likely accidentally triggered exclusion mode and then toggled the bulb.