During my Lunch and Learn event I was given a set of C by GE light bulbs. I was super excited to come home and try them out. I installed the bulbs around my house and downloaded the C by GE app, and was able to set them up quickly and easily.
Then the problems started. Since the bulbs are only connected via Bluetooth, I wanted to try to connect the bulbs to my Google Home. As I tried to add them, the Google Home could never find any new lights to install. I tried everything. I moved the Google Home closer to the light bulb, which was screwed in just outside the door. That didn’t work. I rebooted the phone, I turned on and off the light a few times, I even pulled out the iPhone I have in my house for testing purposes. NOTHING could see the light except for the C by GE app.
I finally figured out the problem with that method. It looks like you can only connect the light bulb to one app at a time. So you can either set up the bulb brand new in your Google Home app, or you can set it up in the C by GE app, but you cannot set it up in both. If you do set it up in the C by GE app though, you can connect your C by GE account to your Google Home app so you can control the light through both.
In order to get the bulbs connected to Google Home (after they have already been connected through the C by GE app) I needed to purchase the C-Reach device. Since I already had the light bulbs connected to my app, when I tried to connect the C-Reach to the same group of lights, I was unable to. I had to create a new location, add the C-Reach, and THEN add the lights.
I ran into another issue at this step. Since the light bulbs were already connected to the app, I couldn’t move them to this new location that included the C-Reach. I needed to reset all of the bulbs so the app could see them as new again. I played the following video each time I reset one of the bulbs so I could get the timing exactly right.
Once I had the bulbs reset, I was able to add them to the same location as the C-Reach, but one final issue came up. Since the bulbs were installed in all of the outdoor lights in my home, there wasn’t a great spot in my house where the one C-Reach device would reach all of the bulbs.
I had to install another C-Reach to make sure the entire house was covered. I split the locations into “West Side” and “East Side.” This made me reset the bulbs that needed to be moved to the other location and add them to the app again, this time to the correct location.
Finally, when I was setting up the C-Reach, my Android device had a hard time installing the newer firmware to the C-Reach. I installed the app on my tester iPhone and it was able to update successfully.
Now that everything is set up properly, I am able to create automations and scenes for my C by GE lights! I’m so excited to include them in my home decorations for Christmas this year since I have the full-color bulbs.
So, in order to avoid all of the pain and frustration that I encountered here are your C by GE setup options.
If you want to only use the Google Home app to control your lights, and you have a Home device in the same room as the lightbulb, then open the Google Home app and have it discover the new bulbs. This should be quick and painless.
However, if you want to use the C by GE app, or control the lights when you are away from home…
- First, purchase a C-Reach device (or two) and install it with the C by Ge app.
- Once the C-Reach is installed, then install your light bulbs.
- Add each bulb to your C by GE app
- Login to your Google Home app and connect it to your C by GE account
Doing it in that particular order will allow you to get it all connected properly without a lot of resets or issues.
If you have any problems let me know via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (@FamilyTech) and I can help you get it set up properly.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Sarah Kimmel has spent the last 16 years of her career as an IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com