back to article Must watch: GE's smart light bulb reset process is a masterpiece... of modern techno-insanity

Being an early adopter can be a frustrating experience as kinks are ironed out, bugs are squashed, and interfaces are improved. It comes with the territory. However, there is simply no excuse for what General Electric (GE) has done to users of its smart light bulbs. Called, bafflingly, C by GE, these Bluetooth, Alexa, and …

  1. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Brevity.

    "No one should have to go to this much trouble to reset a fucking bulb. "

    Why the article didn't end here, I don't know. :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brevity.

      TL;DR: Bulb reset process is stupid, but a £30/bulb for replacement.

      It will be cheaper than losing your sanity and quicker than trying, failing and smashing the bulb against the wall, cleaning up the mess and then ordering a new one...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brevity.

        Buy a proper energy saving bulb for a lot less than £30!

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Brevity.

          I bought a 5 pack of LED bulbs for under a tenner.

    2. J. R. Hartley

      Re: Brevity.

      God is dead, and we killed him.

      1. Hero Protagonist

        Re: Brevity.

        God isn’t dead, he just needs a reset. Pray for eight seconds, stop praying for two seconds, pray for eight seconds, ...

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Brevity.

          Is that for the new or old God?

          1. JJKing
            Facepalm

            Re: Brevity.

            Is that for the new or old God?

            It's for the lightweight version.

            Geez, you wouldn't want to try that when you've just arrived home from the boozer. That would right do your head in.

        2. herman Silver badge

          Re: Brevity.

          Ever been to a prayer hall? They reset their relationship with god five times a day.

    3. Schultz Silver badge
      Holmes

      Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

      They should have explained the proper engineering soution:

      Purchase an Arduino.

      Purchase a 220V relay.

      Cut the cable to the lamp and insert the relay.

      Program the Arduino to turn on/off the lamp according to the GE instructions. Don't forget to include the options for all lamp versions.

      Run program to reset lamp.

      I don't think having a timing-based reset is inherently worse than trying to electrocute yourself with a paperclip. But why not do something like: turn on/off three times quickly, wait 2-3 seconds, then turn on/off three times quickly. (I know, you should always wait 10 seconds for those capacitors to discharge, but can't we make an exception here?)

      1. Monty Cantsin

        Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

        " But why not do something like: turn on/off three times quickly, wait 2-3 seconds, then turn on/off three times quickly."

        Because you'd reset your bulb every time you send the message "SS" in Morse code with your lamp.

        1. caffeine addict

          Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

          So it's fine everywhere other than 1940's Germany and present day Alabama...?

          1. RTUSER

            Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

            Right, like the people in Alabama know what Morse code even is.

            1. Midnight

              Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

              A Morse once bit my sister... No realli!

              She was Karving her initials on the Morse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush...

              1. Rick594

                Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

                I rode a Morse once...then her husband walked in.

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

        Program the Arduino to do all the smart stuff you want, and put a dumb bulb in the lamp holder.

      3. jeffdyer

        Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

        Cut the cable? I don't think so. Make a box with all the various light bulb fitting on, remove the bulb from it's holder, and insert it into the programming box, run your code and hey presto, a marketable bulb reset device.

      4. Wazzupp

        Re: Video just gives the wrong explanation ...

        Seriously, it's like you were reading my mind lol.

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Brevity.

      Just reference BOFH...

      "TAKE MY ADVICE!" I say "There's only ONE way to fix a dim display, and that's by power surging the drivers"

      The words "power surging" and "drivers" have got her. People hear words like that and go into Dummy Mode and do ANYTHING you say. I could tell her to run naked across campus with a powercord rammed up her backside and she'd probably do it... Hmmm...

      "Have you got a spare power cord?"

      "No.."

      "Oh well, never mind, we'll have to do the power surge idea... Ok, quick as you can, I want you to flick the power switch of your PC on and off 30 times"

      "Should I take my disks out?"

      "NO! Do you want to lose all your data!?!"

      "Oh! NO! Ok.."

      I listen carefully.. ..

      ...clicky..clikcy...clikky.. .. .. ...clicky. ...cliccy.. . . BOOM!

      Amazing, it probably made it to 27 - the power supply usually shits itself at 15 or so...

      http://bofh.bjash.com/bofh/bofh7.html

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brevity.

        "...clicky..clikcy...clikky.. .. .. ...clicky. ...cliccy.. . . BOOM!"

        A young friend rang to say his desktop PC wouldn't power up.

        "Ok - switch it on and tell me what lights you can see"

        After a short pause

        "Oh a blue flash"

        He had done the clicky bit several times in quick succession. The only component that wasn't dead was the cpu fan. Floppy, hard drives, MB etc etc - all killed.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brevity.

      "No Anyone should have to go to this much trouble to reset a who fills their house with fucking smart bulbs, isn't very smart. "

      FIFY

    6. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Brevity.

      Thanks GE! Now I have another way to screw with by brothers house.

    7. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: Brevity.

      No one should have to reset a fucking light bulb. At. All.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: Brevity.

        No one should have to reset a fucking door either, but Chevrolet introduced such a thing in the 2000 Venture minivan. Was a Goddamn stupid idea. The compass could get fucked up too. To reset it, you had to drive the van in circles until it started working again. You've never seen a Venture? Maybe this is why.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Brevity.

      The latest firmware has 2FA built in as well, in case someone tries to light their room in an insecure way.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: in case someone tries to light their room in an insecure way.

        Surely this could be susceptible to a Rainbow attack along with a diffraction grating to split the beam (or even a Mirror In The Middle attack)?

  2. JLV Silver badge
    Trollface

    The dim bulbs are those buying these smart bulbs.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Well, yes.

      Have you not noticed that people who purchase so-called "smart" thingies are rarely actually smart?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Well, yes.

        people who purchase so-called "smart" thingies are rarely actually smart

        That's because the thingies are only smart by comparison.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: Well, yes.

          If it doesn't turn on* when I say "computer lights" it's not really smart.

          *Or not because I don't actually want every bloody light in the room to turn on.

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Well, yes.

            Alternatively, if it is REALLY smart, it should respond to a threat along the lines of "If you do not reset this second I will get a large axe and give you a reprogramming you will never forget". Worked with the spare back-up personality of Eddy, the shipboard computer of the Heart of Gold (a quick negative charge across some logic terminals might also serve).

            It is clearly best to buy really dumb devices, because they tend just to do as they are told, and haven't got the imagination to screw up your day right royally.

            I'd better get me coat. It is nearly beer o'clock here.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Windows

    "smarter lighting in every way"

    I have very smart lighting. It turns on when I touch the switch, and it turns off when I touch the switch again.

    Why any able-bodied person needs anything else is beyond me. If you want disco lighting, buy a mirror ball and three colored lights.

    Wankers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "smarter lighting in every way"

      I don't necessarily agree with you, I think in some circumstances it can be useful, but have an upvote purely for the gratuitous swearing, which brightened my day up. Thank you sir!

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

        Really? Gratuitous and your own "handle" in one post?

      2. MCMLXV
        Thumb Up

        @jakeisatwat

        Ignore The Nazz and the holier-than-thou "Really?" attitude. Wanker. Have an upvote for the splendid handle :)

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: @jakeisatwat

          Interested minds are curious as to whether the Jake in the handle is the writer or someone who has pissed him/her off?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @jakeisatwat

            "Interested minds are curious as to whether [...]"

            Maybe his name really is Jakeis Atwat or Jake Isatwat. Seeing the forenames some parents choose for their offspring - when combined with the family name - nothing would surprise me.

            Young friends have just named their daughter "Luna" for no obvious inherited reason. The family name will give her schoolmates lots of scope for memorable nicknames.

            1. caffeine addict

              Re: @jakeisatwat

              Clearly a typo of Jakie Satwat

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

      Have another upvote. I don't get it either. The Idiocy of Things being sold these days is really beyond belief. Then again PT Barnum had it right and I'm guessing these bulbs are folks who aren't smarter than a regular bulb. Or maybe for hipsters who want to embrace all that's "tech"?

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

        "I don't get it either. The Idiocy of Things being sold these days is really beyond belief. Then again PT Barnum had it right and I'm guessing these bulbs are folks who aren't smarter than a regular bulb. Or maybe for hipsters who want to embrace all that's "tech"?"

        Or maybe just for y'know, normal folks that have seen value in something that works for them. If it's not for you then fine - I wouldn't call you thick for not subscribing to a particular philosophy - but apparently anybody who doesn't agree with your one-size-fits-all approach is a dumb hipster. Sigh.

    3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

      I have Philips Hue; it's brilliant. Have set up themes for Simulated daylight, Warm, Evening, Reading, Cinema and Nighttime (1 dim red light on each floor). Certain themes are timing-based, so on a schoolday the 'warm' theme gradually brightens to wake the kids up at 6:30am and get us ready for the day, . If it's a miserable day and I need to work at home, Simulated Daylight does the trick. After dinner the Evening theme kicks in with some soft colours, and at midnight the Nighttime theme comes on. Cinema turns off all lights except the TV Ambilight plus a dim red light in each room (so people can move around the house without turning lights on and disturbing the film watchers). The physical lightswitch in each room still works to turn lights on and off if I want to do it old school.

      Smart is what smart does. Where I see added value in a smart system, I buy it. If I don't see value, I don't buy it - which is why comments by people like Jake above ("people who purchase so-called "smart" thingies are rarely actually smart") are moronic and shortsighted.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

        @ Lord Elpuss, I bet you iron your pyjamas, underpants and socks.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

          I bet he irons his foreskin.

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

            Rich 11 I am thankful that I was not drinking or eating when I read your comment, my spluttering laughter did frighten the cat though.

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

          "@ Lord Elpuss, I bet you iron your pyjamas, underpants and socks."

          What, because I have smart lighting that works for me? Can't see the connection there.

          1. Hollerithevo

            Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

            Oh, my lord.

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

              I have occasionally wondered if this poster is someone I used to know, because he had the nickname of "Lord", allegedly because of the standard comment* that some people would utter when he started talking about certain subjects. I think he was probably further along the ASD spectrum than me, but he seemed to like the nickname and the people who coined it.

              * "Lord help us!", as it had to be explained to me.

      2. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

        Smart is what smart does

        I wanted automatic lighting on my staircase. I looked at the various smart options and went for pressure mats at the top and bottom and a run-on timer. Lights come on when required, no programming necessary.

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

          I went with a PIR sensor as installing it at ceiling level was far easier than running wires for pressure mats.

          That particular light is connected to the UPS too, so whatever happens I will have enough light to safely get down the stairs.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

            Pfft, getting down the stairs is easy even in the dark, just get to the top and take a big step forward!

            Oh wait, you wanted to arrive at the bottom in one piece?

            1. Hero Protagonist

              Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

              Similar to what they say about airplane landings, any stair descent that you can walk away from is a good one.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

            "I went with a PIR sensor [...]"

            I use a microwave sensor. PIR usually requires you to move across its aperture. Microwave detects you moving towards or away from it. Great when I leave the kitchen with my hands full - and the hall light comes on automatically.

            1. cyberdemon
              Devil

              Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

              That's nothing.

              I have installed IP cameras in every room in my house, connected to a combination of Microsoft Cloud, AWS and Google, which all run an AI machine-learning computer vision system to model my whereabouts thoughts and and intentions at all times, just so my arduino can know if I would like the hall light on, or off.

              </topper>

          3. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

            I went with a PIR sensor as installing it at ceiling level was far easier than running wires for pressure mats.

            Same. Nothing more to installing them than putting them in the sockets.

            In a few places I have nightlights that also incorporate a rechargeable torch. The light in the base comes on with low light levels, the torch section has a PIR that lights it up in low-light if you move near it. Also the torch sections light up in the case of a power cut.

            Cheap, effective, and I always have a charged torch handy if I need it (at least until the battery gives out), at least till I can find a candle or decide I don't need to worry about the power cut till morning.

            The idea of coupling some lights to the UPS is one I should investigate more though.

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

          "I wanted automatic lighting on my staircase. I looked at the various smart options and went for pressure mats at the top and bottom and a run-on timer. Lights come on when required, no programming necessary."

          Sounds smart enough to me, glad it works for what you want.

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

            Automatic light on the landing? Dangerous. The last time I turned on the landing light, a fcuking 747 flew into the house.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

        1 dim red light on each floor

        Careful, you might be sending out the wrong messages there.

    4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Pascal

      Downvoted with 3 people who bought "smart" bulbs i see. Or possibly wankers, who don't want to be associated with people buying smart bulbs.

    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

      And while I'm totally in favour of accessible lighting controls being available to those who need them, I'm not sure that this would help anyone. A remote controlled light switch would probably be a better option for anyone who is unable to walk to a light switch.

    6. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

      .. aaaaand here, ladies and gentlemen, is the Comment of the Week.

      Congratulations!

      :)

    7. Criggie

      Re: "smarter lighting in every way"

      I added some smarts into my garage lighting.... with three doors, it was going to be too much work to wire in more switches and run traveller cables.

      So I put a 360 degree motion sensor in the ceiling, and it turns the lights on whichever door you open.

      That's plenty smart-enough for me.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Child-proof reset operation

    Which means toddlers will reset it when they start playing with the light switch for the first time and adults won't ever be able to reset it.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Child-proof reset operation

      It's quite unusual to find toddlers that tall.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Child-proof reset operation

        But it's very common for toddlers to figure out how to use things in their environment to climb on to reach stuff they're not supposed to reach.

        1. Persona Silver badge

          Re: Child-proof reset operation

          I had twins. From the age of two they collaborated to reach high things.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Child-proof reset operation

            It's when you get home and find the little fuckers have invented the jetpack that you really have to worry.

            1. DropBear
              Trollface

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              I'm not worried. When you see what the high purity peroxide needed to run it just for a minute costs, you know they'll never be able to fuel it. Unless they snatched your card and figured out how to use it - but in that case just give up and accept you're working for Rovio and Facebook now; you're doomed...

          2. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Child-proof reset operation

            "From the age of two..."

            Yeah, my two-year old worked out long ago how to move around various stools, chairs etc into optimal positions to climb on to reach desired stuff.

            Children aren't just super-quick learners, they are much smarter than many adults give them credit for. In my experience the only "childproofing" that really works are systems that need brute force beyond what a child can generate to open/activate.

            1. The Real Tony Smith

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              'Children aren't just super-quick learners, they are much smarter than many adults give them credit for. In my experience the only "childproofing" that really works are systems that need brute force beyond what a child can generate to open/activate.'

              Until they figure out the lever

              1. DiViDeD Silver badge

                Re: Child-proof reset operation

                When I decided to inflict a set of mini me's on the world at large, I was pointed in the direction of a variety of variously expensive devices intended to restrict anklebiter access to various parts of the house.

                In the end, I opted for an hour with a screwdriver and turned all the door handles upside down. Worked until they were tall enough to know what they were doing.

            2. katrinab Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              My parents had to ask me for help with supposedly child-proof devices from a very young age.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              In my experience the only "childproofing" that really works are systems that need brute force beyond what a child can generate to open/activate.

              That's the point they will work out what other use there is for toys that are robust enough to withstand child use. A child has three important resources: practically unlimited time (as they haven't got much else to do), as yet no fair of failure and usually a fairly good memory to recall what worked. Ask any parent just how spectacular that combination is.

              It's why they don't sleep much.

            4. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              "In my experience the only "childproofing" that really works are systems that need brute force beyond what a child can generate to open/activate."

              Exactly! They'll figure out those cabinet locks you have to press down to open the cabinet door, but if it's stiffer than they can push, that's all that going to keep them out. Even if you get one where you have to pull out the knob half way and then push the thingy, they'll sort that out in minutes.

            5. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              "they are much smarter than many adults give them credit for"

              Having children has convinced me that we're the most intelligent on the day we're born, and it's all downhill from there.

      2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: Child-proof reset operation

        "It's quite unusual to find toddlers that tall."

        I take it you've not lived with one recently. Much like cats, it's not their reach, but more their ability to climb. And in the toddlers case, what it can push or pile up to climb on.

        I take my four year old bouldering and to the park with the climbing frames, in exchange for him staying off the expedit* and not stacking boxes on the kitchen counter and using them to raid the biscuit tin.

        He only doesn't bugger with the lights because he prefers to play with bike lights and torches.

        * in order to make his paper plane fly further

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Child-proof reset operation

          "stacking boxes on the kitchen counter and using them to raid the biscuit tin."

          My eldest is in his late 20s now, and I only recently heard this story from when he was a toddler. A good friend was staying with us for a while, and while I was at work, he walked into the kitchen to find my kid had stacked up boxes and chairs, and managed to climb on top of the refrigerator to get access to the cookie jar in the cupboard above it. My kid looked down on my friend from his perch, munching cookies, and with an evil glint in his eyes said sternly "you WON'T tell dad."

          Never underestimate a toddler.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Child-proof reset operation

            My daughter sent me a video. My granddaughter had pulled the bottom drawer out almost fully, the next drawer out 3/4 of the way, the next half way and the top one about a quarter, forming a staircase to get onto the kitchen counter. Then she moved the coffee pot over to form the final step, so she could reach the cookies on top of the fridge. She was three, nearly four.

            In the email, daughter confessed to doing the exact same thing, except she used the conveniently placed microwave oven as the final step. I told her that I knew about it, why did she think there were only cookies up there on very rare occasion? And why was it only three or four cookies?

            She asked how I knew ... I told her that I had observed her through the kitchen window. The way I figured it, it was better to allow the minor transgression & victory than let her figure out something more dangerous ...

            I also told her that I had used a breadbox as the final step.

            Forwarding the email and video on to my Dad, he allowed as to how the cookies were on top of an icebox in his day, and he had used the flour canister as the final step. Makes me wonder how my grandfather managed it back in the 1800s :-)

            1. Munchausen's proxy
              Pint

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              This is the best goddamn thing I have read on the internet this year.

              Maybe ever.

            2. Phil Endecott Silver badge

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              Cookies? Drawers? Ha. We just lived in a hole in the ground.

              1. Dagg

                Re: Child-proof reset operation

                >>Cookies? Drawers? Ha. We just lived in a hole in the ground.

                Ha we lived in middle o' road! ...

                1. fedoraman

                  Re: Child-proof reset operation

                  Middle o' t' road? -- You were lucky!

                  We used to dreeeeeaaaammmmm of livin' in middle o' t' road!

                  1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

                    Re: Child-proof reset operation

                    My family were traditionalists, it was the family half cardboard box in a wet gutter

                    1. smot

                      Re: Child-proof reset operation

                      We had biscuits in a biscuit jar.

                      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

                        Re: Biscuit tin? Jar?

                        Our biscuits were usually in the original packet. They never lasted long enough to need their own special container.

            3. Joe W Silver badge

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              I raided the shelf in my room. It was high up, but conveniently located over the changing station. Reward: one really big easter bunny. My gran bought it, I was the only grandchild with no siblings and she wanted to buy a really big one just once. I was supposedly having a nap after lunch...

              My brother used a combination of chairs, boxes, kitchen counters to reach the cookies on the kitchen window sill, which was quite high up.

              I'm waiting for my kids to do that.

            4. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              Makes me wonder how my grandfather managed it back in the 1800s

              He probably just rode the mule into the kitchen.

            5. dr john

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              I have signed in just to say that this is obviously a family of child geniuses!

              Brilliant story!

            6. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Child-proof reset operation

              The way I figured it, it was better to allow the minor transgression & victory than let her figure out something more dangerous

              There are limits (definitely keep the dangerous chemicals unreachable), but as with an earlier poster who complained about "child profing" never being anything of the sort, we had a similar attitude to these things. Eldest only shut his fingers in a drawer once, aged about 18 months, but one of us was actually present and had noted that he would find it very difficult to do any proper damage with that drawer.

              The health visitor was not at all happy about us refusing to fit cupboard locks, door bumps and, for Pete's sake, socket covers to everything in sight. We did fit one or two (high quality) locks and we did move things like glassware, but there's a certain value in "learning through doing".

              Did come a little unstuck when he dropped a tin of baked beans on a bare big toe some time later, but there was no actual damage (spent a couple of hours at A&E proving that) and he learned the value of slippers :-)

              M.

              1. heyrick Silver badge

                Re: Child-proof reset operation

                "for Pete's sake, socket covers to everything in sight"

                My mother was instructed to do that. Which is about the point I noticed the covered sockets, guessed they must have had some sort of special electricity inside, prised the protective cover off, stuck a normal plug in, dropped a teaspoon across the terminals to see what would happen.

                On a bank holiday.

                I think technically I'm still grounded, and this was back in the early 80s before fancy trip switches and shrouded plugs. One very scary bang later, I'm sitting on my bed looking like I've seen a ghost and saying "it wasn't me".

                Just remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and while child guards might work for dumb kids, for the smarter ones you're basically pointing out all these things that shouldn't be touched and saying "here, look at this".

                1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                  Re: Child-proof reset operation

                  So either you're not in the UK - because "dropping a teaspoon across the terminals" would have hit the earth pin first and probably bounced off, or you slotted it in by hand and were very lucky not to have been burned to a crisp. These days the L&N pins are sleeved and don't make electrical contact until the sleeves are inside the socket, so it would be impossible (unless you have some non-compliant kit) to short them to each other, or to E with the plug partly inserted.

                  BS1363 - probably still the safest domestic sockets in the world :-)

                  M.

                  1. heyrick Silver badge

                    Re: Child-proof reset operation

                    "slotted it in by hand and were very lucky not to have been burned to a crisp"

                    This, and an upvote because according to my mother you pretty much quoted the electrician word for word.

                  2. John H Woods Silver badge

                    Re: BS1363 - probably still the safest domestic sockets in the world :-)

                    and the most dangerous plugs for the barefoot

                  3. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Child-proof reset operation

                    "BS1363 - probably still the safest domestic sockets in the world :-)"

                    Unfortunately, it's your ridiculously over-sized plugs that are the problem. It's easier to put the safety factor upstream from the plug. Safer, too. (You really think a 13A fuse is going to protect little B1FF or Buffy?) That's why this whole place has GFCI (RCB to you Brits) protected circuitry everywhere that it makes sense.

                    But if you actually enjoy living with a wiring standard that was de rigueur when George VI was on the throne, who am I to argue. Just note that most of the rest of the world has moved on, and for very good reasons.

                    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                      Re: Child-proof reset operation

                      Beg to differ. At length :-)

                      UK 13A plugs aren't really any bulkier than other modern, safe plugs and we've had BS1363 since the late 1940s when everyone else was faffing about trying to modernise pre-war installation practices. It mandated earthing, it mandated very tight specifications for dimensions, for construction methods and materials, for flamability, for arrangements such as direction of flex entry and design of surround plate and (crucially) for shuttering. Very few of these things were particular considerations of earlier sockets and their plugs.

                      It was never the intention that a 13A (or 3A, 5A etc.) fuse in the plug would protect anyone from electrocution - and neither will the 16A circuit fuse which is common everywhere else. The purpose of a local fuse is to protect the flex (and to a lesser extent the appliance) which is connected to the outlet. Having a plug fuse appropriately rated for the flex makes it much easier to provide multi-purpose circuits which are suitable both for high power appliances and for low power appliances, without requiring those low power appliances to have flex and local controls that are chunky enough to cope with the full possible fault current (or, more specifically, the let-through power before the fuse blows). Imagine a table lamp on a 30/32A circuit which would have to have 2.5mm2 flex and a clunky switch capable of breaking 30A safely.

                      This meant that immediately post-war it was possible for the UK to modernise quickly and at relatively low cost. It was common in those days (and I was still replacing them in the early 2000s) to have simple four-way "fuse boards" because you could run an entire house with one 30A sockets circuit, one 5A lighting circuit, one 30A cooker circuit and a 15A circuit for an immersion heater, or two 5A and no immersion as in this image - it's important to note that BS1363 doesn't deal with the installed wiring, just the portable stuff which connects to it.

                      The plug's only genuine problem is that when dropped it has a tendency to land pins-up, as pointed out by an earlier poster.

                      Not part of BS1363 but the UK had ELCBs (Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers) very early on, which weren't perfect (needed careful design, two separated earth rods) and aren't used any longer, but they were an important safety feature in the days of consumer-supplied earths (rods) and wire fuses. RCDs began to be installed to replace ELCBs when RCDs became available in the 1970s, and they became effectively mandatory for socket outlets in all types of installation in the 1990s. It's important to note that while RCDs (GFCIs) in the US were more common on socket outlets in the 1970s, the wiring standards make their use more important - the UK's mandatory earthing, earth-bonding and (until very recently) prohibition on portable equipment in wet areas such as bathrooms meant that many (but by no means all) common faults (particularly phase to case) would be cleared by the fuse before anyone had a chance to provide an earth path through their body.

                      The latest version of the wiring regulations effectively mandates RCDs on all circuits, not just sockets, and now allows (but doesn't mandate) Arc Fault Devices. Again though, an AFCI is much more useful in a typical 120V US installation with poor quality wiring practices and fittings and high currents than in a 230V European installation with higher standards.

                      M.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Child-proof reset operation

                        The high rated throughput was also enabled by means of wiring based on the ring circuit concept, which meant that any socket tended to have its power supplied via two separate circuits.

                        I haven't been in the UK for a while so I don't know if that's still a standard, but it's IMHO a clever way to prevent wiring overload and thus reduce fire hazards.

                        1. jake Silver badge

                          Re: Child-proof reset operation

                          "any socket tended to have its power supplied via two separate circuits"

                          No, just one circuit. It's a loop (or "ring", imagine that!) connected to a single breaker/fuse. It's only in use in the UK (and a few former outposts). Daft concept, unless you're almost out of wire making materials.

                          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                            Re: Child-proof reset operation

                            The "ring final" is still an acceptable way of wiring. It has several advantages, for example:

                            • the ability to use thinner wire for a given current, making installation easier and (as was vital immediately post-war) save materials. In this specific case, 2.5mm2 wire, which is rated for between 21A and 27A depending on installation method, may be used in a circuit protected at 30A (wire fuse) or 32A.
                            • as there are two paths to each outlet, a cable break in the E does not remove earth protection from "downstream" outlets
                            • (this is a modern one) it makes it almost trivial to install "high integrity earthing", which is required in cases of high residual earth currents, particularly a problem with switch-mode power supplies incorporating RF blocking components between phase & earth and neutral & earth.
                            • it makes discrimination more likely to work - i.e. a downstream outlet protected by a 13A fuse is more likely in fault conditions to blow the 13A fuse than to trip a 32A MCB. The same is not the case for a 16A or 20A circuit.

                            It also has several disadvantages:

                            • it makes providing fewer circuits more practical - see my example above of a whole-house consumer unit with just four ways - which means that in the event of a fault which does trip the 32A protection you could lose power to lots of equipment, and tracing the fault might be difficult
                            • you are supposed to design the layout so that heavy loads are spread around the ring and not clustered towards one end - this is not always practical
                            • in the event of a single cable break, the circuit will carry on working with the fault undetected and if the circuit is heavily-loaded, the single branch carrying all the current may be overloaded, leading to risk of cable damage, heat damage, even possibly fire.
                            • it means that most equipment (i.e. socket outlets, fused outlets, switches etc.) are designed around at most 3x 2.5mm2 cables (3, because you can run a single "spur" from each such item) which means that if, for some reason, you need to run a 32A radial circuit rather than a ring, it's very difficult to use the 6mm2 cable that's normally necessary (4mm2 may be used under some conditions).

                            Because of these things, testing is vital on installation, to test the whole circuit for connectivity and each and every outlet to ensure no crossed wires. Such testing is also required every time a change is made to a circuit. It is also recommended that a whole-installation test is carried out at 10 year intervals for houses, though I know very few people who actually do that.

                            It is also important to remember that the ring final circuit is not mandated, and in these days of consumer units with 20 or more "ways" it's often very practical to install 16A or 20A radial circuits instead.

                            M.

                            1. jake Silver badge

                              Re: Child-proof reset operation

                              "The "ring final" is still an acceptable way of wiring."

                              Only in one country that I'm aware of (and a few hangers-on).

                      2. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Child-proof reset operation

                        Whatever, Martin. I've lived with both systems. The US one is easier, cheaper, and just as safe (if not safer) than what I experienced in the UK. Note that the first of the two "wiring practices" photos that you provided are not to code in any US jurisdiction that I am aware of ... and the second was clearly installed by an amateur. The "higher currents" argument is a red herring ... I have multiple 50A, 240V sockets (NEMA 14–50) here at the ranch, whereas that daisy-chained example's entire circuit is probably rated at no more than 10A @ 230V.

                        Also, note the fuse panel in Martin's first example ... That thing runs THE ENTIRE HOUSE! And sadly, it is actually quite typical of British household wiring, at least in my experience. Kind of made me yearn for that archaic 60 Amp breaker panel from my first apartment when I first ran across it. Good thing most of their houses are made of stone, no?

                        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                          Re: Child-proof reset operation

                          note the fuse panel in Martin's first example

                          While you still can find these things knocking about, the particular board I showed went out of fashion before the 1970s, a time when I believe it was still possible to install this sort of thing in the US.

                          The first change made was to swap the wooden frame for a Bakelite one, and an easy upgrade is to pull out the rewireable fuses and replace them with modern MCBs, though it has to be noted that these are only rated at 3kA fault current, while normal MCBs are rated 6kA.

                          And how on earth can you claim that an electrical code which only mandates "brass for hot, silver for neutral" and uses bare screws for cable capture is any better than fully shrouded terminals, clearly lablelled both with "L, N, E" and with colour marks which match the installation cable? (admittedly, colour marks are a fairly recent innovation, but they're common now even on cheap accessories)

                          M.

                          1. jake Silver badge

                            Re: Child-proof reset operation

                            "the 1970s, a time when I believe it was still possible to install this sort of thing in the US."

                            It is possible to install that sort of thing TODAY, anywhere you like. Getting it to pass inspection is another kettle of worms entirely. And no, that wasn't to code in the US in the 1970s. The hint is in the "knob and tube" reference in the URL ... K&T was in common use from the 1880s into the 1930s. It was considered obsolete before the US entered WWII.

                            Note also that there were at least three additional circuits added after the initial installation, most likely by the homeowner, and without permit or inspection. Probably has something to do with why the photo is captioned the way it is, no?

                            The colo(u)r of the wires/terminals has no bearing on safety. As long as they are standardized and clearly marked, it does not matter if they are metallic or a primary colo(u)r. Those "fully shrouded" terminals aren't going to protect little B1FF. He's already taken off the cover plate, so by definition he has a screwdriver.

                            I'll leave the rest of yours alone. Home wiring is not today, and never will be, a Fischer-Price play toy. Trying to dumb it down for the masses will just turn well-meaning "helpful" people into corpses. Or killers.

              2. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Child-proof reset operation

                Did come a little unstuck when he dropped a tin of baked beans on a bare big toe some time later, but there was no actual damage (spent a couple of hours at A&E proving that) and he learned the value of slippers :-)

                Thanks for the memory... Mine was a 75rpm wax record (the 10" variety). Quite a nice cut, still got a scar some 45years later - if you spent a bit looking for it...

                Amazing what can be recalled with a small trigger :)

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Child-proof reset operation

        "It's quite unusual to find toddlers that tall."

        You've either never had a toddler about the house, or you have never owned a desk lamp, floor lamp, or other low mounted lighting device.

        1. The Nazz Silver badge

          Re: Child-proof reset operation

          Am i missing something re toddlers needing to be tall.

          These light bulbs that are smart and may need resetting. Is this done on a smartphone or tablet or does one still have to operate the standard wall switch?

          Edit : posted before i had read Drew Scriver's post.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Child-proof reset operation

          "[...] or you have never owned a desk lamp, floor lamp, or other low mounted lighting device."

          My neighbours 3/4 yo will instantly imitate any way you use something. Unfortunately a bit too young to really understand what he should not touch. A desk lamp accommodated a mains LED "disco" bulb which fascinated him with patterns on the ceiling and walls. I checked their electricity panel - a 30ma RCD seemed likely to protect him against one handed contact. ES27 fittings seem easier for a toddler to unscrew a bulb - rather than a push-turn UK bayonet socket type.

          He is a constant source of wonder to me as I let him handle whatever he wants - with supervision and instruction. His mother wanted some drainage holes in a planter. I produced the portable electric drill and he did the holes. Amazingly he drilled them all dead centre in the pre-marked positions. Now where did he see that before?

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Child-proof reset operation

            push-turn UK bayonet socket type

            I prefer these too. Traditional ES bulbs are also vulnerable to exposing live parts. It's less of a problem these days with properly designed fittings, but you can still see the edge of the metal screw in this modern bulb. Properly wired, this part should be neutral (which isn't necessarily safe), but if the wiring is wrong or if such a fitting is connected using a non-polarised plug you can never tell!

            Bayonets do have one disadvantage however, and that is that it's possible to break the lamp - possibly leaving exposed mains wires - if you aren't aware that you need to push down before twisting. Such might be the case with a determined small child. It was worse with glass envelope incandescents and CFL type where you might also break the glass, while well-built LED types are often a bit more robust.

            The drilling is great. My mum trained at the Fröebel academy in the 1960s and ran a nursery school for many years by those principles. Scrap bits of wood, saws, hammers and nails were very popular with the children.

            M.

      4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Child-proof reset operation

        Our toddlers have always been born full sized. Wait, aren't everyones?

      5. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Child-proof reset operation

        Light switches should be no more than 120cm above the ground according to the most recent building code. Older properties will have them placed higher. This is to allow someone sitting in a wheelchair to reach them.

        http://www.lifetimehomes.org.uk/pages/16-location-of-service-controls.html

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Child-proof reset operation

      My dad was a painter and decorator, I dragged a pair of steps with my sister's help up two flights of stairs to get at the jars of raisins and currants.

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Child-proof reset operation

      Rob Brydon said on a recent interview that he found a ladder and put it at a 45 degree angle against a wall, to use as a taboggan. He'd made the mistake of putting the hooks at the bottom. He slide down it and ripped open his new trousers. He then noticed he'd also ripped open his leg.

  5. Zebo-the-Fat

    WTF?

    Words fail me!

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      First thing I thought was how f'ng annoying* it'd be if there was a remote exploit that allowed you to do this to other people's lightbulbs & re-pair them to something the owner doesn't have.

      (Ok, fun. Especially if it's an annoying person who's busily extolling their virtuosness in buying a stupidly expensive lamp that they can control with their iDiot phone.)

      ((I'm also guessing this was cost driven, ie the cost of making a paperclip hole and switch vs a bit of software. Or 'elf and safety. If someone's dumb enough to need a smartphone to turn on a lamp, it's probably not a good idea to have them poking a paperclip into it.. Although Darwin might approve.))

      1. Donn Bly

        Re: WTF?

        Remote exploit -- you mean like pulling the outdoor electric meter from the base and plugging it back in repeatedly?

        I remember one time many, many years ago in the days of BBS systems and FidoNet I was tasked with keeping our local net's echo server running when the normal Sysop was out of town -- but he didn't give me a key to his house and shortly after he left his system froze. I drove to his house, pulled the meter, waited for the UPS to die, and plugged it back in. Problem sorted ;-)

        1. Is It Me

          Re: WTF?

          Donn Bly,

          Can I ask what country you are in, as in the UK most electric meters are in the house and can't be disconnected easily?

          Those outside are in boxes which open with a generic key, but again can't just be unplugged.

          1. circusmole

            Re: WTF?

            Many (most?) domestic electricity meters in the US "plug in" to a fixed base mount. Ours was a smart meter that went unsmart and the tech replaced the meter in about 5 seconds - he did not even cut the supply.

    2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        I apologise to Daedalus who posted pretty much the same thing lower down 12 hours earlier.

        W**k rudely interrupted my reading of the commentards so I posted what I thought was a wonderfully inciteful joke ........ only to come back later to find that I was late to the party.

        1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          Well I came here to post the same comment too. Really, the "You have to turn it on for eight seconds. Not seven seconds. Not nine seconds. Eight seconds." instruction couldn't fail to conjure up the Holy Hand Grenade.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WTF?

          I'd rather not know that you stopped reading the comments to have a wank, thanks! :-P

          (Although if you were having said wank in work time, make sure that you wiped the toilet and door handles clean, *please*.)

  6. Drew Scriver Silver badge

    Some time ago I purchased two dozen of these bulbs when my favorite home improvement store was virtually giving them away.

    The Bluetooth angle intrigued me because I'm not into getting spied on by my light bulbs. I'm very, very familiar with the reset cycle (and shocked they still have that). The bulbs are driven by the phone app, which brought on the first issue: without a phone they don't do much. In other words, if you're not home or out of range the 'intelligent' features don't work...

    At some point the app stopped working. Traced it down to my proxy/firewall, which I had configured to block scantily and no-clad people as well as all traffic from China. The China filter reported catching requests from my phone, which turned out to be the GE app. With trepidation I carved an exception for the address in question, only to get blocked again. Turns out the GE developer(s) were using a shared web server in China that was known for hosting said no-clad ladies I was blocking.

    This was all in addition to other (security) issues, but I figured I'd be a good customer and report them to GE. They could not have been less interested, I'm afraid.

    So I took my stash of bulbs back to my favorite home improvement store. To be honest, it was kind of fun telling them _why_ I was returning them.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Two questions, 1) how long did it take you and 2) did they ever understand why?

      1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

        Compared to the time it took to keep resetting all the bulbs, not that long. But, as you probably already guessed, it took several calls, e-mail messages, and even Apple Store reviews. I had expected that GE would eventually get it, given that there's a product group behind these bulbs.

        In the end, I don't think they got it.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      "Turns out the GE developer(s) were using a shared web server in China that was known for hosting said no-clad ladies I was blocking."

      Ah, yes. My freebie Android tablet complained that it couldn't connect to something.xxx. Say what now?

      A jerry-rigged WiFi extender passing through my old XP box with connection sharing allowed me to WireShark what was going on.

      Turns out that http to this xxx domain is your garden variety female with more makeup than clothing, while an https connection to the same domain seems to be for hosting firmware updates for stuff.

      I can't for the life of me imagine why they picked an xxx as host. Dirt cheap, maybe? I wonder how many business audits will see these pop up in the logs, how many managers will think their workforce are porn obsessed perverts, when the reality is that it's just a device looking for an update...

      1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

        Sure, but I bet your freebie tablet wasn't from a Fortune 500 company...

        And these bulbs aren't even close to free at $15 each.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Apple got where it is today by charging premium prices for stuff made as cheaply as possible in China. After all, isn't that how companies amass fortunes? Buy low, sell high? So it may well be that the same outfit that butchered Android into the free tablet also did the firmware for lightbulbs. And, lo, if we could get a directory listing of what's actually sitting on that .xxx server, it might be an eye opening list of brands you've never heard of side by side with ones you have. The real difference between a premium smart bulb and a knock off might be less than you'd expect...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "[...] it might be an eye opening list of brands you've never heard of side by side with ones you have."

            IIRC BBC World Service business programme did an investigation into pirating fashionable products in China. They found a factory with two production lines: one making the top brand product; the other a cheap knock-off copy. When a worker on the knock-off line became really skilled - they transferred them to the top brand line.

  7. Handlebar

    Simple

    As someone said in the comments: "Guys it's really not that hard, all you have to do is have your bulb off for at least 5 seconds then have it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on and the bulb will flash on and off 3 times, unless you're running old firmware in which case all you have to do is have your bulb off for at least 5 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 2 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 2 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 2 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on and it'll flash 3 times. I don't understand what all the commotion is about."

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: Simple

      Have it on, have it off, have it on, have it off ...<smirk>

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Simple

      I think it would just have been easier to draw a pentagram on the floor, drink some wine and dance around it naked and chat something Latin. That would at least be more fun perhaps.

      1. John Bailey

        Re: Simple

        But then you reset the thermostat too.

        1. Forum McForumface

          Re: Simple

          Yes, he left out the bit with the goat and the black candles.

          1. Nolveys

            Re: Simple

            The goat is not necessary for the ritual, it's strictly for entertainment.

            1. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Simple

              The goat is for supper. Logic dictates it.

    3. Chris Daemon

      The GE Nishika 3D Light Bulb

      I wanted to hear that narrated by Vincent Price.

      "Sounds technical and complicated, but don't worry. This light bulb is as easy to use as any you've ever owned." ... It's as easy as 1-2-3!

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: The GE Nishika 3D Light Bulb

        It's as easy as 6-6-6!

        Fixed it for you!

      2. AIBailey Silver badge

        Re: The GE Nishika 3D Light Bulb

        It's as easy as 1-2-3-4-5-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-1-2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-1-2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-1-2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-1-2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple

      Looks like they decided on a easily memorable sequence of delays by using the new emergency services phone number!

      1. Seajay

        Re: Simple

        Ah yes... ♫ ♪ 0118 999 881 99 9119 725…3 ♪♫

    5. Avatar of They
      Pint

      Re: Simple

      In my head Sheldon Coopers voice from the "big bang theory" is narrating that.

  8. LDS Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How many GE engineers you need...

    ... to reset a bulb?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: How many GE engineers you need...

      Can you imagine the amount of soul-destroying Skype for Business meetings scheduled across different timezones between PMs, BAs, sales, marketing, hardware engineers, software engineers, and so on?

      By the end of the process the emperor well and truly had no clothes, but nobody was going to admit to it.

    2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: How many GE engineers you need...

      How many Micro$oft engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?

      They don't! They just redefine the standard to darkness!

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge

        Re: How many GE engineers you need...

        None, it's a hardware problem.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many GE engineers you need...

      How many GE engineers did they lose before deciding a paperclip reset was not a good idea?

  9. cutterman

    Just smash it and buy a rebellious retro incandescent!

    Mac (been there , done that)

    ;- }

  10. Daedalus Silver badge

    Holy Light Bulb of Antioch

    Then, shalt thou count to eight seconds, no more, no less.

    Eight shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be eight .

    Nine shalt thou not count, nor either count thou seven, excepting that thou then proceed to eight.

    Ten is right out.

    1. Vector

      Re: Holy Light Bulb of Antioch

      One...

      Three...

      Two Sir!!

    2. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

      Re: Holy Light Bulb of Antioch

      Ah, a re-purposed Monty line has gotten me again. Thanks for the laugh and the opportunity to clean pretty much everything on my desk.

      1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Holy Light Bulb of Antioch

        I was thinking .. Julius Caesar on an Aldis lamp!

        Click, click,click

        ET TU BRUTE

        Paris? Well, because, Gentlemen prefer blondes, the smoke signal version of course.

  11. Erik4872

    Designed by SW engineers

    I'm guessing this is a product of that failed "GE Digital" venture they were trying -- where they wanted to hire Silicon Valley types and IoT-ify a notably fuddy-duddy company.

    This sounds exactly like something software engineers come up with, then stare blankly when told no one outside their orbit will be able to use it.

    - "OK guys, the product manager refused to sign off on a less-than-1-cent reset switch being added to the board and a hole drilled in the casing. You need to come up with a way to reset the bulb without a switch."

    - "What should we do? The only interaction the user has with the bulb is placing it in the socket.........."

    - "............That's it! Oh, no, wait...what if we make the sequence non-obvious?"

    - "Nah, that'll cause frustration."

    - "Nonsense, everyone has a phone these days with a stopwatch on it!"

    - "I love it, genius idea!"

    Brought to you by the software engineers who think cryptic gray-on-white thin line drawings with no explanations make great intuitive UI elements! (Although I do have to give them credit for not embedding a full Linux stack complete with unchangeable firmware containing years-out-of-date web server software, an open telnet port and credentials of admin/admin...that's a surprisingly common pattern in IoT design too.)

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Designed by SW engineers

      "This sounds exactly like something software engineers come up with, then stare blankly when told no one outside their orbit will be able to use it."

      That's not true or fair. I'm a software engineer, and there's no way in hell I'd be willing to go through that nonsense either. Nor would I have ever been OK with implementing that scheme. I'd die of embarrassment first.

      1. Donn Bly

        Re: Designed by SW engineers

        I don't know, I might implement something like that if they turned down my vacation request....

    2. GBE

      Re: Designed by SW engineers

      Although I do have to give them credit for not embedding a full Linux stack complete with unchangeable firmware containing years-out-of-date web server software, an open telnet port and credentials of admin/admin...

      What makes you think they didn't?

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Designed by SW engineers

      "Although I do have to give them credit for not embedding a full Linux stack"

      That'll be the "fix" after the marketing department gets wind of the negative feedback over the current reset procedure.

    4. Dagg

      Re: Designed by SW engineers

      "This sounds exactly like something software engineers come up with"

      Yep, I done that a few times as a joke / attempt to push for a requirement. Especially when a dumb ass BA / point haired one won't get their sh*t together. And a couple of these have actually made it into production.

      Dilbert is so close to reality sometimes... Wally is my hero.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Designed by SW engineers

        I work in a fortune 50 - Dilbert is a Documentary.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: £5 or £10

      I have a £10 key fob finder (plan to use it to track cat at times lol). And it uses an in built mic for pairing. The bbs could do the same. In built mic of a few pence and use it to detect a local audio reset signal from the app.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £5 or £10

        "In built mic of a few pence and use it to detect a local audio reset signal from the app."

        Reminds me of the early TV remote controls that were ultrasonic. Jangle your keys and the TV changed through several channels. On the other hand the dog didn't like the remote control being used.

  12. bill 27

    I didn't realize...

    that Wally worked for GE in his spare time.

    1. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: I didn't realize...

      that Wally worked for GE in his spare time.

      No, this was a Catbert scheme all along. To pay back the furless ones for the cruelty of the laser pointer.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: I didn't realize...

        The cat that owns me looks at the laser dot, looks at the thing in my hand, gets this really weird expression like she's saying "seriously?", and then she just walks away once she's satisfied that I know that she knows that it's just a gizmo I'm holding and nothing to get even remotely excited about.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It takes a genius ...

    It takes a genius ... to make technology work. It takes a wiser person than that ... to make it simply work, like people expect it to.

    In other words, even if an engineer is uber-Mensa material, when they design for themselves and forget that real people have to use a product, this is what happens. Seen it all the time in software. Now it's lightbulbs. What will be next?? (Already, I can fix my car, a 2004, by turning it off and back on. I kid you not.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It takes a genius ...

      Users ask if you can make something with a "simple" interface for them. Their idea of mind-reading "simple" is usually very complicated and expensive to try to achieve.

      The apparent simplicity of a good design is not noticed until people get to use one that wasn't designed to be truly intuitive.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: It takes a genius ...

      (Already, I can fix my car, a 2004, by turning it off and back on. I kid you not.)

      I can do the same.. Sometimes the mechanical oil pump doesn't start properly and turning it off and on fixes that..

      The most electronic thing in my car's ignition system would be the coil, or the condenser......

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: It takes a genius ...

        "Sometimes the mechanical oil pump doesn't start properly and turning it off and on fixes that."

        You drive a vehicle with a known unreliable oil pump? That's not exactly the most intelligent comment I've read in these hallowed pages ... A Clevite-77 bearing is cheaper than an oil pump, until you have to install it.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: It takes a genius ...

          You drive a vehicle with a known unreliable oil pump?

          Nope. I drive a vehicle with a perfectly reliable oil pump.

          I simplified things for the simpletons on here, but I guess I didn't simplify it enough for some.

          It's actually a known issue of an internal pressure relief valve the sticks open when cold. On a car closing on 400KK that still hasn't needed any mechanical work (aside from belts the water pump) because it's 2 owners have known how to deal with the issue. There's no reason to expect the engine will fail before the body does. Even with the number of retarded idiots who insist on tailgating at speed.

          And the clevite bearing wouldn't be used in the area of the engine affected by this issue, so yet another fail. Neither bearings nor bearing surfaces affected by this.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: It takes a genius ...

            "I simplified things for the simpletons on here"

            By calling a pressure relief valve an oil pump? That's not simplification, dude, that is a failure to communicate.

            Yes, a failed oil pressure relief valve can affect your bearings. If it fails open, it could starve your bearings for oil. If it fails closed, it can cause blown seals which again can starve your bearings for oil.

            Hope this helps. Have a nice weekend.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: It takes a genius ...

              "I simplified things for the simpletons on here"

              By calling a pressure relief valve an oil pump? That's not simplification, dude, that is a failure to communicate.

              Perhaps, perhaps not. It's still a simplfication - note that only you've taken issue with it :)

              Yes, a failed oil pressure relief valve can affect your bearings. If it fails open, it could starve your bearings for oil. If it fails closed, it can cause blown seals which again can starve your bearings for oil.

              Not in this case. Yes, in others, but in this case it affects only the hydraulic lifters. The result of it failing is increased tappet noise. The pressure doesn't get high enough to properly set the tappets. Fix - run the car for a few seconds, turn off, re-start. Only occurs during frosty mornings so I only experience it a few times a year.

              I describe it as 'faulty oil pump' for others because it's easier than getting into a larger technical description of what is happening. Capillaries not quite designed properly (should've been a teency bit larger) and a model of relief valve that's prone to sticking open when cold. Not sure why it should be open when cold, never looked further than an understanding of the problem - digging deeper into something like this on a car is much more than I want to do. The cost of repair is higher than the value of the car, even if I just took my labour into account. Requires lifting the head, which maybe means new head gasket and a few o-rings. At that stage I may as well clean and re-lap the valves, which means new stem seals and perhaps other bits, then there's other general stuff that gets replaced while you're there - we're at nearly $500 on a car that the previous owner purchased for $700 some 10 years ago....

              This fault can, in some cases, lead to an oversupply of oil to the engine resulting in blown gaskets - but that's only coz the person who borrowed it understood that sound to be 'possibly from low oil' and decided to add a quart, not checking either dipstick (asking me or checking the engine one). I'd forgotten about the issue myself as it only occurs rarely, otherwise would've told him if he hears it to idle the car a bit then turn it off and on to clear it.

              (Thankfully it's the rocker-cover gasket that goes, not hard at all to fix - 10 minutes labour and some liquid gasket)

              Hope this helps. Have a nice weekend.

              I did. Built some new bug shelters at the veggie gardens of an old folk's home, moved some stuff into pots and into a greenhouse for the winter (may've been too late to save the capsicum sadly, but will see), and spent some enjoyable hours clearing out a couple of the flower gardens while the old dears commented on how much stuff thrives in that patch thanks to my efforts - yet they were told I was absolutely useless at gardening and the dead patch (from before I started) would only spread and get worse if I was allowed there. Instead, using some ideas gleaned from Charles Dowding videos, I've proven certain elements should be ignored when they try to run me down. And the soil - so rich and soft now when it used to be something like fired clay! (CD gets the credit, I just followed his tutorials). First time there I needed machines and days of work to break it up, now I can pull deeply rooted plants out with no effort.

              More and more I'm finding going back to simpler ways is much more enjoyable. I get more fun out of working with my hands clearing someone else's garden on a miserable winter's day than I do playing the best video games in front of a roaring fire (or not-roaring electric heater). Reminded again why I loved farming so much!

              Hope the rest of yours is at least as enjoyable :)

  14. bazza Silver badge

    Boring Old Belkin

    Belkin's WeMo smartbulbs employ an on-off sequence to bring about a reset, but it's no where near as insanely exciting as GEs.

    Perhaps GE were aiming to replace Suduko as a useless thing to do to keep the mind sharp?

  15. TheRealRoland
    Devil

    This is the lightbulb we deserve.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about if, during the fourth cycle, you panicked and turned it off after just seven seconds?

    Sorry, can't stop myself:

    I know what you're thinking: 'Did he say eight seconds or only seven?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is GE, the most powerful manufacturer of motherfucking i-bulbs in the world, one of which would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you, punk?

    That said, if you bought a GE i-bulb, perhaps you're not holding it right?

    p.s. my missuses hopes for an appropriate Hitler-in-de-bunker-trying-to-reset-a-GE-bulb-video, anyone? Well, ok, AFTER the video of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson' return from Brussels some time this summer. PLEASE.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What about if, during the fourth cycle, you panicked and turned it off after just seven seconds?

      And what about when you get to seven in the fourth cycle & start to think you might have missed three back in the second cycle?

    2. Gerhard den Hollander

      Re: What about if, during the fourth cycle, you panicked and turned it off after just seven seconds?

      ... which would be a great opportunity to throw in a NINE NEIN NINE NEIN joke ...

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge

        Re: What about if, during the fourth cycle, you panicked and turned it off after just seven seconds?

        Or a reliability of four neins?

  17. K
    Trollface

    Its a phoner-jacker support call in the making...

    That would be glorious!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not so smart bulbs

    I assume that these things are called smart since they interface with some kind of controller. So why can't you reset it from the controller? Or are they smart enough to operate autonomously?

    I suppose that if you buy this over-priced nonsense you deserve to have the mick taken.

    1. Is It Me

      Re: Not so smart bulbs

      I believe these are just Bluetooth, and the reset is for when they don't respond to the app on the phone.

  19. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Good reason

    For some reason, GE decided not to install a physical reset button – you know, one of those tiny holes that you have to stick a pin or paperclip into.

    Poking a pin or paperclip into a device with mains voltage is possibly one way to be considered for a Darwin Award

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Good reason

      Yeah, that's probably not a habit that should be encouraged. But they could have put the switch on the bottom of the lamp so that it can detect when it's screwed into a socket, then just reset when it's unscrewed.

      1. TheRealRoland

        Re: Good reason

        But what if that enable-reset switch should have to be reset? i'm sure these switches are not of the simplest of designs... because... Budget?

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Good reason

        That depends whether these bulbs have some facility for extra power. If they can be removed and stay operational, a reset button would then be safe to include. If not, then you have very few good options. Even if the bulb is in a lamp that doesn't require standing on furniture to reach, it will be rather warm most of the time. It could be configured to reset when removed from the socket, but that wouldn't let people move their configurations from one place to another one. Unfortunately, I have to suggest that turning off and on is probably the best method of resetting the bulb in this scenario. Of course, doing it with less requirement for precise timing and for not that long would really help.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Good reason

          As the reset sequence applies & removes main power to a timed schedule it's fairly certain there's a maintenance battery built into the onboard controller.

          To avoid Darwinian selection events, why not just put the reset pinhole in the base? > remove bulb - reset - replace bulb.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good reason

            or a couple of simple R/C circuits with different time constants between the power rail and spare I/O pins. It would be pretty easy to detect how long the device had been on/off for by looking at which of these circuits were logic high at power on, storing the unit's place in the sequence in a few spare bits in whatever non-volatile memory the device has for its pairing/configuration data.

            I wouldn't assume the lack of a reset switch is out of the company's concern for the safety of the customer, though electrical safety regulations may be part of forcing it. I'd be far more likely to believe that there were a couple of I/O pins spare on the micro and a couple of SMD capacitors and resistors were cheaper than an SMD push button and modifying the case design. "We are anticipating making a million of these and changing from a switch to R/C circuits saves 6 pence a unit. That's 6 million pennies more profit."

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good reason

        > Yeah, that's probably not a habit that should be encouraged. But they could have put the switch on the bottom of the lamp so that it can detect when it's screwed into a socket, then just reset when it's unscrewed.

        That could make for some fun coding...

        if (iAmScrewed() == TRUE) dontReset() else doReset();

    2. AIBailey Silver badge

      Re: Good reason

      Put a reset hole in the base of the bulb between the terminals. A small capacitor could provide sufficient short term power to flip a RESET bit in the flash memory, and the only way to trigger the reset is to take the bulb out, so away from mains voltage.

      But then, what do I know, I'm only looking at it from a common-sense point of view.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Good reason

        Snap - Who's downvoting us?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Good reason

          GE marketing?

          The guy who thought it up?

          Some guilt there, I would think.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good reason

      See my post above. Much cheaper products sell with mics included for this. Else possible even cheaper an ir or as using an app and phones no longer have balsters a normal light detector. Flash the phones flashlight in a pattern to reset the light. Costs is probably pence and a days programming and testing.

      I could offer to patent or sell that idea... but consider it my gift to humanity. (Unless someone is already patent squatting... in which case we are doomed.)

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Good reason

        I think that won't work as well because they need to reset things when they can't connect to an application. Given that, if the bulb can't connect to its app, it's probably well into not functioning territory, it probably won't be correctly using its microphone or light detector. By cycling power to it, the code can be a lot more low-level. Of course, you could have the app play a tone that the bulb listens for when it's turned on, and that could be similarly low-level and would also work.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Good reason

          "Given that, if the bulb can't connect to its app, it's probably well into not functioning territory"

          Why? I have a fridge thermometer thing and a blood pressure cuff, both have a Bluetooth option. Both do not pair with a phone, indeed the phone can't even see these things when scanning Bluetooth devices. Instead there's an app which is able to magically detect the device. I'm guessing it's some sort of call and response mechanism? Whatever, why not have some sort of similar thing to act as a reset? It's looking out for a connection from the app, but it's also looking out for this super special handshake. I mean, it's got to be better than... How many seconds was it again?

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Good reason

            I can see only two times when a factory reset of a light bulb would be desirable. The first is when ownership over the bulb is about to be transferred. Given that we're talking about cheap light bulbs and not phones or computers, that seems relatively unlikely, although the app reset mechanism would work just fine in this scenario. The second and in my mind more likely situation is that the bulb is not working properly and does not respond to app commands to reset, resync, or reconfigure. In this case, the app can send out its code all it likes and the bulb might easily ignore the reset code because it's broken. The software needed to receive the code is more complex because it has to run the bluetooth receiver and properly decode the result. A simple program in the bootloader that responds to power on/off can run at a lower level, just as a physical reset button could. These options circumvent the problem of a software stack that might break too often. They also introduce the difficulty of flipping switches or removing bulbs from sockets. It's a game of tradeoffs.

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I doubt they've incorporated actual H/W to do all this timing so it's a S/W function. Now why would you ever need to reset a light bulb for any other reason than the S/W having drifted off into a state in the wide blue yonder and no longer functioning as you'd expect?

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Exactly. That was my very first though

  21. Fah Coffee
    Joke

    Going viral

    The 10 hour Epic Sax Guy video now has some competition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfYQwembcRo

    It might send you to sleep. It might drive you mad.

  22. redpawn Silver badge

    Just as smart as their nuclear reactors

    GE dumped more than a Chernobles worth of radiation into the river, ground and air during the Cold War producing plutonium. Despite a tripling of infant mortality in the area, and countless cancer deaths, they insist that no one died for their greed and negligence. See Plutopia by Kate Brown, a well researched book.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Just as smart as their nuclear reactors

      I call B.S. on this, having worked in the nuclear industry...

      "a Chernoble's worth of radiation" - no. just no.

      fake news, FUD, and hysteria, all rolled into one. No.

      1. redpawn Silver badge

        Re: Just as smart as their nuclear reactors

        Do you think the corporate culture of nuclear industry was giving you the straight story? We wanted bombs and many safety issues were not well understood, and when understood were willfully ignored. One assumption was that external radiation was the problem and that inhaled or ingested radioactive particles would be passed by the body rather than absorbed. Ranch land was sold and occupied far to close for safety with terrible results. The government and certainly GE have incentive and the resources to misrepresent what happened. Read the book, it has about 80 pages of footnotes so you can check for yourself. It is a scholarly work not a hack job. We are still being lied to.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Just as smart as their nuclear reactors

      Blaming GE production is a bit rich even with a modern slant on 50s safety margins & methods. It would be like worrying about the paint containing lead on the train that's about to hit you.

      How can the fallout from the Nevada surface tests blowing all over the US (Yucca Flats - count the craters) be eliminated from any statistics? There must have been millions of tourists from all over the country that went to Las Vegas or any of the nearby national parks in the 50's and then there's the major roads running past the test site.

      Everyone was running blindfolded with nuclear scissors at the time, we're quite lucky half the planet isn't like chernobyl.

  23. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Happy

    Won't somebody think of the OCD counters and checkers?

    Also, notice the helpful tip in the video description:

    "We recommend counting with Mississippi (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, etc.)."

    But the biggest mistake was the last line:

    "Need assistance? Call the C by GE Customer Service Hotline at 1-844-30C-BYGE (1-844-302-2943), or email help@cbyge.com."

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Won't somebody think of the OCD counters and checkers?

      1-844-30C-BYGE

      What on earth led them to think that people who have difficulty dialing 2943 will find "byge" makes it easier? It's not a word that's in common use.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Won't somebody think of the OCD counters and checkers?

        Isn't it supposed to be "C by GE"?

  24. coconuthead

    A reason for no physical reset

    The reset sequence is insane, but there's a valid reason why they might use one instead a physical switch.

    If you have a room full of these bulbs in inconvenient places (like a high ceiling) it could cost real time and money to pull them all down and do the reset. With a reset sequence, you can reset the whole room just by operating the light switch. Especially in a commercial setting, where high ceilings are common and the staff normally present might not have or be allowed to use a ladder, this is a big difference. (Although I wonder how you then go about pairing 42 light bulbs with the control device again.)

    And, although I wouldn't want them in my house, I can see that a restaurant might want to run their lighting at one colour temperature for the lunch service and a lower one for the dinner service.

    Of course, if the firmware and app could be trusted not to be buggy a reset would only normally be required on installation.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: A reason for no physical reset

      If you have a room full of these light bulbs you'd be hoping and praying they're all on the same firmware version.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A reason for no physical reset

        if you have a room full of these bulbs, you deserve everything, and anything, including a meteorite strike.

        1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
          Mushroom

          Re: A reason for no physical reset

          "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

        2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: A reason for no physical reset

          if you have a room full of these bulbs, you deserve everything, and anything, including a meteorite strike.

          Does that include the Spanish Inquisition?

    2. AIBailey Silver badge

      Re: A reason for no physical reset

      The reset sequence is insane, but there's a valid reason why they might use one instead a physical switch.

      @coconuthead - You do make a valid point, however as others have mentioned, the reason for needing a reset is going to be because the software has gone awry in the bulb. Unless all bulbs have gone rogue at the same time, you should only need to reset one.

      As you said, you've then got the further fun* game of re-pairing all the bulbs again.

      * - Other fun games are also available, including watching paint dry, herding cats and pushing custard up a hill.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: A reason for no physical reset

        My preferred fun game is watching grass grow. For real excitement, replace grass with hemp (preferably Cannabis Sativa Hollandica) or bamboo.

  25. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Would it be wonderful to see if this is the same way to start a GE-made jet engine?

    I can just imagine the pilot cursing his head off.

  26. Mr Booth
    Boffin

    some one did this before!

    ....0118 999 881 999 119 725..........3.... ahem

  27. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Coat

    strobe light

    just sayin'

  28. jake Silver badge

    I knew I had seen something like this before!

    Check out this video for putting a Whirlpool Cabrio clothes washer into diagnostic mode:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCVLuoE-FhM

    Maybe it's something they are teaching engineers these days. Probably makes sense to the fondle-slab generation ...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I knew I had seen something like this before!

      "If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit."

      1. DropBear

        Re: I knew I had seen something like this before!

        ...reference aside, one does wonder - relative to what? The Luminiferous Aether perhaps...?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: I knew I had seen something like this before!

          My most favourite piece of pseudo-science bollocks ever:

          An in-universe explanation with a bit of math makes it all clear:

          A Delorean DMC-12 is 4216 mm long. When travelling at 88 mph, the car then travels its own length in 4216mm/88mph = 107.2 ms. So this is how long the time-travelling wormhole-thingy that opens in front of the car has to be open, or alternatively the minimum time the flux capacitor is actually in effect. Could this time interval be significant?

          Note how the Delorean arrives in the same location on earth after travelling in time, but can arrive at different times of day. Assuming it is gravity-bound it must still somehow be able to translate along the circumference of the earth, to correct for Earth's rotation. We know that the time-travel takes place in California, which is at 37 degrees north latitude. If you travel due east from 37 degrees north and circle the earth, the distance travelled is "circumference of earth" * cos(37) = 32 005 km. Now notice that light travels this distance in 32 005 km/"speed of light" = 107 milliseconds!

          It is then clear that Doc Brown uses the speed of the car to modulate the duration of travel, but in space, not in time. With reference to Minkowski space-time, the car leaves its normal time-like curve for a spacelike but performs a translation in space when passing through its lightcone, where it attains exactly the speed of light.

          107 milliseconds affords travel to any point in time while returning to the same point on earth. A round-trip might be necessary depending on whether you travel forward or backward in time. If the car had been at the equator, the car would have to travel at only 70.38 mph. This would actually be a disadvantage as Doc Brown would have to provide more energy to keep the wormhole open for longer.

          Not that the energy requirements are that large actually. The Delorean is stated to require 1.21 Gigawatts for time travel. Watt is Joule per second and 1.21 GJ/s * 107 ms = 130 megajoules. This is about the energy released by combusting one gallon of gasoline. A gallon per trip makes for good mileage on a time machine

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I knew I had seen something like this before!

      To be fair secret handshake engineering modes being like that are fine. We are talking about paid and trained. Or at keast special circumstances for users.

      But a factory or settings or user reset is often needed and should be secure but simple.

  29. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I betcha

    that at some design meeting, or series thereof, some evil minded engineer uttered the immortal phrase:

    "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

  30. Andrew Barr

    Tech support

    People should ring GE's tech support line and get the poor sod on the other end to talk through the sequence, maybe a couple of times (maybe because you don't know the firmware version), only to exclaim at the end that actually it's not a smart bulb and thank them for their time!

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Tech support

      You Sir are evil -->

  31. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    They missed the obvious fucking solution

    Have a hardware button on the base of the bulb. If you unscrew it, the button is released. Screw it back in and button is depressed which resets it and then it can be reprogrammed as if it was new.

    1. davenewman

      Re: They missed the obvious fucking solution

      How does that work in a bayonet fitting?

    2. Richard Boyce

      Re: They missed the obvious fucking solution

      Apart from the fact that not everyone uses a screw fitting, you also have to consider that the bulb will have to remember without power that it has already reset itself, and you might want to reset that. The article's suggestion of electrocuting yourself with a paper clip is another good solution.

  32. brotherelf

    Disappointing

    did the entire article not have a single "have you tried turning it off and on again" reference? Shame!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Disappointing

      Gotta leave something on the table for commentards.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You're power cycling it wrong

        Tom Knight and the Lisp Machine

        A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.

        Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”

        Knight turned the machine off and on.

        The machine worked.

  33. Milton

    Mad, dumb, who cares ...

    It's just the 'logical' dystopian conclusion to The Age of Idiocy, where some imbecile thinks the Internet of Shit benefits from having net-connected kettles, toasters, or in this case light bulbs, then (for safety/product liability reasons? paperclip plus possible proximity of live socket frightened some corporate lawyers ...?) omits a physical reset switch, then asks someone who is very obviously not a psychologist to design a reset sequence.

    We have people bemused at the batshit crazy instructions for resetting a device costing ten times more than necessary which they didn't need and will soon forget to use because it really is an almost entirely useless bauble.

    It would be a perfect irony if this hilarious lunacy was an example of design by an AI (Artificial Idiot) ... but I fear that, in truth, GE was easily able to find humans stupid enough to achieve this.

  34. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "What on Earth the GE engineers thought they were doing..."

    These are clearly not engineers, any more than the guy that fixes your blocked toilet is a 'sanitation engineer' - they're technicians.

    Real engineers design systems that work reliably, are robust and easy to use.

    The fundamental problem is that we have almost all moved from an engineering approach where you start with concept where what's wanted is defined, pass to design where what's needed to deliver it is defined, and finish with implementation where how it's built is defined - to an 'agile' approach that passes straight from concept to implementation, eliminating the design stage entirely. This results in implementers (technicians) making decisions that should be made by engineers (designers) - the equivalent of commissioning a housing estate from a team of bricklayers without engaging an architect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "What on Earth the GE engineers thought they were doing..."

      Yep. Follow the money. A smart switch is where it's at. But the profit goes to installers not sellers then. The barrier ti entry is higher and you lose out on easy "marks" to sell to.

      Do it right once or suffer it going wrong forever...

    2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: "What on Earth the GE engineers thought they were doing..."

      No, were probably sofware developers. In my experience Software developers create solutions that work for them, and bugger the rest of the world because they assume everyone is like them

      "Just download Python 2.2.2, install any dependencies, edit 4 scripts using vi, adding these 16 random characters generated from this 256 character URL and you're good to go

      ....

      what do you mean 'what is a python? '"

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: "What on Earth the GE engineers thought they were doing..."

        To save the 20c cost of a switch.

        It's the reason ereaders have no page turn buttons and phones losing earphone sockets and buttons. Beancounters cost reducing to save a few cents.

  35. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Coat

    GIGO

    off to the shops to buy all the old-fashioned incandescent and dumb lightbulbs.

  36. Lee D Silver badge

    There's a post going round on social media, I'll paraphrase:

    Tech "enthusiast": I have a entirely smart home, with everything computer controlled.

    Tech worker: I have only one printer, and I shoot that if it dares to make a funny noise out of sequence.

    Pretty much the tech version of the Friends scene with "You're a waitress, right? Do you ever get home and think to yourself 'if I see *one more* cup of coffee...'?"

    Honestly don't get the smart home thing. What... what are you saving? I don't get it. Your bulb being on/off on command? All you've done is replace a standard light fitting that takes standard lamps (which you could put even a smartphone remote on if you were so inclined) with some cheap proprietary Chinese thing that needs to flood your house with wifi to do its job and costs £50 to replace.

    I have remote control sockets. They are used once a year to stop me having to reach down the back of the Christmas tree to turn off whatever lights I've plugged into them this year. They use... a remote control.

    I had remote control lightswitches. Pretty much the only need to turn them on/off is when entering or leaving a room.... by the entrance... which has the light-switch. If it was really a faff, for say sitting down watching a movie, I press a button on a remote.

    I'll tell you the most automated part of my house. From "my" chair, I have an old smartphone that's always on charge. On that old smartphone is an IR blaster. That can turn on my projector, and switch it to the right input (I have a remote control HDMI switcher - that also works on IR). I don't even need to aim it at the projector, because the huge white projection surface that out-sizes any TV in anyone's house reflects it brilliantly. I then have a Kodi app on the phone. Or Google Home (Chromecast). Or Amazon Prime. Or I can Chromecast my laptop screen. Or HDMI. Or switch to the DVD player (also IR controlled), etc. etc. etc. I just cast, even from the phone, straight to a massive screen (it's approximately 120", but it's 4:3 so it's "only" a 90-something inch when watching widescreen... oh no!).

    And when I'm done I can turn it all off. I literally have not bothered to put an IR-controlled light switch in because... it's just not necessary. Getting up and pressing 20 buttons on the projector etc. is something to automate. A light-switch isn't. And if it was, I'd put in an IR control on the switch, not the bulb.

    I can't imagine what kind of radio interference people are generating having wifi lightbulbs in all their sockets blasting out all day... energy saving, my butt.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge
      Happy

      Getting up and pressing 20 buttons on the projector etc. is something to automate

      I have insisted that all the projectors at work (and there are well over 30, and a few screens too) talk PJLink. The protocol is very simple, so much so that even I have been able to craft a Windows .exe called "projector.exe" such that I can issue

      projector 192.168.5.101 on
      or
      projector 192.168.5.101 dvi
      as scheduled tasks each day.

      M.

  37. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Q: Why are you working by candlelight?

    A: I have a deadline to meet. My light bulbs need resetting, but I haven't the time to watch a YouTube video then spend an hour trying to get the right sequence.

  38. Code_Daemon

    LIFX do something like this...

    https://support.lifx.com/hc/en-us/articles/200468240

    "Turning your light off/on 5x slowly at the switch will reset the lights - they will color cycle or white cycle and stop on white."

  39. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Coat

    How many Americans does it take to change a lightbulb?

    One. It only takes one American to screw up anything.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      How many Americans does it take to change a lightbulb?

      One. It only takes one American to screw up anything.

      Best laugh all weekend! Thanks!

      1. jake Silver badge

        "Best laugh all weekend!"

        Really? That was the best? How unfortunate for you.

  40. juice Silver badge

    Light bulbs and printers...

    I recently got mugged into family-IT support for a printer, as another and reasonably IT-savvy sibling had tried and bounced hard when it came to getting this thing into the home wireless network.

    A great deal of the problem stemmed from the fact that said device was designed by the same people who make industrial boilers: there's just two lights and two buttons on the front, and all configuration is done through various combinations of holding the buttons down for a few seconds.

    Theoretically at least. In practice, none of the combos listed in the manual worked; whatever you tried, the lights would blink in a pattern not listed in the manual and then go back to blithely ignoring you.

    I ended up having to go to a shop to buy a USB cable, dig an ancient laptop out of storage, in the hope that there would be some sort of config app included with the drivers. This required a reboot, at which point Windows cheerfully decided to go into update mode - and as the laptop hadnt been used for a year and is woefully underspec'd (4gb/32gb ssd chromebook wannabe), this took over an hour.

    Thankfully, when I then ran the driver install, it detected the printer and installed a firmware upgrade (which to my suspicious mind may indicate that it was just fundamentally broken out of the box). And it even offered to clone the laptop's network config over to the printer via usb...

    And so, the problem was resolved. It just took about three hours longer than it should have!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Light bulbs and printers...

      I had a similar experience with a cousin's new printer. In that case it was supposed to be set up via his W10 laptop. Between them, as I eventually worked out, they contrived - repeatably - to set it up on the wrong subnet. Much the same solution - USB cable and, in this case, his ancient Dell running Linux.

    2. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: Light bulbs and printers...

      Was the printer delivered in a yellow Reliant Robin?

    3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Light bulbs and printers...

      This is why I refuse to buy or help those in need with any printers that does not have a network connector.

  41. TheProf Silver badge
    Joke

    CTRL-ALT-DEL

    Ah! I can see why that's not going to work.

  42. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Morse?

    Just make it "reset you stupid bugger" in Morse code.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you think that's bad, you ought to try GE's Predix cload based platform

    Once we were all bussed to be given a hands on demonstration, in which no one got anything working because we did not have the correct versions of various pieces of software and the instructors kept apologizing.

  44. steviebuk Silver badge

    Very, very, very....

    ...funny (should that be 5 very's). So funny because it's annoyed you so much you wrote "fucking" in the article, so we can all picture how annoyed you must of been typing it up, which is good because this is FUCKING madness. This is why I hate IoT stuff.

    But I'd like you to make a correction. There is a way you can tell what firmware you're on...."Which is designed for C by GE bulbs with this package". What! The fucking packaging that you'll have fucking thrown away as there is no fucking reason to fucking keep it anymore. Or the house you've moved into has the bulbs already fucking installed.

    Jesus fucking Christ!

  45. Pirate Dave
    Pirate

    Reminds me...

    This reminds me of some old external print servers we had back in the late 90's/early 2000's. I can't remember if they were Intel or TrendNet. If they were powered on and off in a certain sequence, they took that as a signal to reset to factory defaults. Oh, the fun we had after Summer storms...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb light bulbs aren't so dumb

    * put them on a schedule

    My dumb light bulbs switch on and off in perfect harmony with me leaving the house and arriving home again, and even when I enter and leave rooms.

    * change the ambiance in real time

    My dumb light bulbs have a great ambience function. Via a knob on the wall, I can increase and decrease brightness at will, allowing me to set the ambience however and whenever I want.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Dumb light bulbs aren't so dumb

      My dumb light bulbs have a great ambience function. Via a knob on the wall, I can increase and decrease brightness at will, allowing me to set the ambience however and whenever I want.

      Nice.

      I live in a rental home. Such a knob requires written permission from the landlord, which requires an application. Said application requires stuff from the electrician - who of course must come out to install it and later provide certification of the completed job (which, is the LL is anal enough, may require a separate electrical inspector to sign off on). Probably at least a couple of grand to do.

      VS the 'smart bulb' which I can fit myself...

      (FWIW, I use the normal manual light switches as they're all I need - and appropriate brightness of bulbs in rooms)

      (NOT saying they're a good thing, just saying that there's a whole lot of different costs involved in changing what's in the socket vs changing what supplies the socket :) )

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If the cost.

        If the cost is your sanity. It does not matter what bills you save.

  47. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Pathetic.

    Off for 5 secs

    On for 8, off for 2

    rinse and repeat x 4.

    What's so hard about that ? For something you only have to do when you dumbly screw up the setup. ?

    Wimps.

  48. katrinab Silver badge
    Megaphone

    My dumb wall-switch-activated light bulbs work just fine thank you.

    I was one of the first people to adopt CFL lamps about 20 years ago, and I was a fairly early adopter of LED lamps, but I don't see the point of "smart" bulbs.

  49. JohnHMorris

    Presumably GW wants to sell us more than than one light bulb. The proverbial single light bulb hanging from a wire on the ceiling in a shack won't help GE make their numbers. GE wants us to have - what - maybe dozens of these babies? Now consider for a moment why would I need a reset. Is it possible that the reason I need to reset a single bulb may also apply to the dozen or more other GE "smart bulbs" I've bought? So multiple reset work by 12. Or more! Work! The "customer journey"! Or the "customer experience"! (I for one can't figure out though why IOT adoption is disappointingly slow.) Gives a whole new meaning though to the phrase "dim bulb". (Maybe GE are just geniuses and are playing the long game - the video is viral after all - and six months from now there will be a new version with a pinhole - and a story just waiting . . . )

  50. Shonko Kid
    Devil

    Why not just go the whole hog?

    And have end users program the firmware in Morse Code, using the on-off switch!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why not just go the whole hog?

      That may already be an option that GE's engineers just haven't told the world about yet. Although, being GE, they probably used EBCIDIC instead of Morse...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    April Fools

    Gotcha HAHA!

    What ... too soon?

  52. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Joined up thinking

    Ok, this POS connected to bluetooth wfi etc.

    So assuming that you just want to reset the bulb nt to fix an issue with it communicating, just clear it, why dont they have a way to reset it using the app?

    Or asking alexa?

    DO I have to go through this insane process even if I have no communication issues?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      this insane process

      see, that's how some of us feel in general about apps or smart things or IoTrash or similar. It's not like refrigerated food storage and indoor plumbing. It doesn't fill a vacuum no matter what the salespeople indicate. If it does significantly increase the average quality of life, I haven't yet been convinced. So now we're talking about the hidden costs, which are not always just the time and mental energy you spend trying to integrate them so you actually save time and mental energy. I only just heard about this person's relative and her girls getting trapped in their car, in the sun, while the door locks and windows and key and so on just did lots and lots of nothing. Of course she had a phone and was able to summon help, and hey, it's nice that they were not moving at the time. It was temporarily dead, and it has a very bad failure mode, and the darkness is only getting deeper.

  53. goldcd

    It might make sense though..

    hear me out..

    If you've got a large number of bulbs installed somewhere that's hard to reach (for example 36 in a high ceiling) and for some reason you want to re-set them all (e.g. the thing they all were paired to is kaput)..well the paper-clip in the hole isn't really practical (36 trips up a ladder you need to move each time).

    Allowing them to be reset with power, allows you to happily stand on the floor, flipping the switch they're all slaved off - and they're all re-set in one go (or in the handy sets, that map to your handy light-switches).

    Of course, if this bulb's just in a table-lamp, it's just stupid.

    1. A random security guy Bronze badge

      Re: It might make sense though..

      I wish I could hack the switch.

  54. highdiver_2000

    Do not make your user do shit work.

  55. aelfheld

    It's little things like this that make me ever so glad I laid in a supply of incandescent bulbs.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      The LED lamps illuminating this room look and work just like incandescents except that they use a lot less electricity.

  56. CDucain

    I think I must have missed a time period somewhere. When did man become so "sorry and lazy" we could not flip a switch on the wall ?? And why, in he name of anything, would a light bulb become so technical that it would have to be "reset". Just chuck it in the trash and buy another one.

  57. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    At least it's safe?

    I mean there is one brand / model that has a wifi vulnerability. Once infected it can expose your router WiFi password and share that and the virus to the smart light bulbs next door / within range.

  58. Uk_Gadget
    FAIL

    Clappers

    I once went to a Theater that had installed 'Clapper' light switches. Very entertaining and one of the original smart lighting..

  59. drewzilla79
    FAIL

    "For more smart tips on our smart products..."

    As a former cog in the GE machine I am not surprised that they have taken the foundation of their company (the lowly incandescent bulb), turned it into this contraption and further insulted Thomas Alva Edison's legacy by declaring it smart.

    1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

      Re: "For more smart tips on our smart products..."

      Given that he invented an answering machine for the telegraph, he might have been proud.

      Might have been - since he was also a perfectionist it's doubtful he would have tolerated GE's bungling.

  60. Ol'Peculier
    WTF?

    Anybody wonder if the persons other hand was slowly bringing a gun up to their temple and preparing to end all of this madness?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "more smart tips about our smart products" is the strap line! Hahahahahahahahahahaha This sh1t storm doesn't look very smart from where I'm sitting!

  62. Steve 114

    V-Pro too

    Maybe the same sort of chip is in the 'Varilight' dimmer, which is top of the range if you have (not all) LED lamps. There are two modes, and you may have to try both for best results, and then set max and min settings. All with a range of timed on-off clicks from a defined or adjusted state. 2 pages of printed instructions, only mildly ambiguous, but after 10 minutes trying and the kids not unreasonably wanting the lights on, I put a simpler switch back.

  63. Garry Perez

    Rimmer: Let's go to blue alert

    Kryten: You certain sir, it does mean changing the light bulb switching on for for at least 5 seconds then have it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on and the bulb will flash on and off 3 times, unless we're on old firmware in which case we have to do is have the bulb off for at least 5 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 2 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 2 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 2 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds then turn it on for 8 seconds then turn it off for 2 seconds

  64. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    The ultimate revenge - send a package containing a couple of GE smart bulbs over to a famdamily member anonymously.

    1. Criggie

      Make sure they need resetting, and there are at least two different firmware versions.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternate method

    I can reset the bulb with my boot in one cycle.

    Stomp for one second. Done!

    1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

      Re: Alternate method

      If you do it twice it'll be a reboot.

  66. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Not for me

    I prefer lights that don't tell Amazon, Google, GCHQ and christ knows who else every time I turn on the bathroom light to take a dump. It really won't improve my user experience.

  67. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    This reminded me of the Kroger's...

    Just imagine going through this procedure in a "sensitive" residential area of London. You may end up being on a Military Intelligence watch list just for seeming to be sending out coded messages.

  68. heyrick Silver badge

    Precision

    The author suggested "Now, we very much doubt the timings have to be this precise. Most likely, the reset process will work anywhere between 5-10 seconds on and 1-4 seconds off."

    You're joking, right? It's probably a state machine pushed forward by a set of loops that read values from a hardware ticker, and some sort of capacitor capable of keeping the thing running for a few seconds after power off. Maybe if we're lucky there might be a few tens of centiseconds of leeway, but certainly not 5-10 seconds and 1-4 seconds. Anybody that creates reset sequences this perverse won't be capable of appreciating that ordinary people might not count off seconds in their heads with complete precision while also trying to remember (or read) the next part of the sequence.

  69. martinusher Silver badge

    This sort of thing gives us engineers a bad name

    I've spent most of my working life building embedded systems and I have *never* been allowed to ship anything like this. Not that I'd want to -- its a travesty of every design principle I've been taught.

  70. billdehaan
    Facepalm

    And I thought Smart TVs were bad

    I have a very dumb television set. Friends are shocked, co-workers are aghast, but yes, I have a television that is nothing more than a monitor with a tuner (apparently; I've never tried to use it, to be honest), some HDMI inputs, and a TOS/Link audio output. That's it.

    How can I run apps on it then? Um, I can't.

    Really? Well, how can you see movies? Well, with multiple HDMI input ports, and numerous video-capable devices with HDMI out, it's not an issue

    Well, what about getting weather or news? Well, uh, it's a TV set, so... television stations?

    People laughed, until last week, when Samsung reminded people that they were responsible for keeping their Smart TV virus free. This was something which Samsung could provide for them. For a fee, of course.

    A fee. To keep your god-damned television from being hacked.

    I thought that was the pinnacle of over-engineering, the classic "just because we can doesn't mean we should" trap that engineers often fall into. I mean, who the hell needs a television to be so smart that it can catch a computer virus, for god's sake?

    But I hadn't counted on GE. People have to care about firmware versions of their light bulbs? Light bulbs?

    I'd say this was peak over-engineering, but the year's not over yet. I'd asked what's simpler than a light bulb that they can over-engineer for no reason, but I'm certain that people are working on it somewhere.

    Never mind Rise of the Machines by deathbot or renegade fighter planes; the household appliances are being sentient, and they outnumber us.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: And I thought Smart TVs were bad

      You think your friends are shocked? The only TV in this house is a 32" 1988 Sony Trinitron. Purchased new, by me, in 1988. HDMI? What's that? I still use RCA plugs between the TV and whatever I'm using as input. Works just fine, for my needs. What kind of fucking idiot would I have to be to pay money to make a change just for the sake of change because marketing told me I had to?

      I know people who have purchased a new telly every year or two for the last couple decades! What the fuck? WHY? What an ostentatious waste of money!

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: And I thought Smart TVs were bad

        The only TV in this house is a 32" 1988 Sony Trinitron

        I had a 23" Sony Trinitron widescreen, purchased by me around 1995 until a couple of Christmases ago when it popped. Very sad to see it go, and the 42"(?) LG LCD that replaced it still couldn't really match the picture - for SD channels.

        I had to use composite with the BluRay player which replaced the DVD when it died, but the digital boxes and the older DVD all connected by RGB (SCART) which was far superior.

        I also have a working Pioneer Laserdisc player :-)

        M.

    2. Drew Scriver Silver badge

      Re: And I thought Smart TVs were bad

      Don't celebrate too soon - if you sneeze you may still get a virus on your TV...

    3. TheSkunkyMonk

      Re: And I thought Smart TVs were bad

      Had my Viera up on the wall for well over a decade now only time it will come down is when it no longer turns on. I fear for that day, do they even make Tv's these days without microphones and cameras built in? Mind its only used for watching episodes off the pc anyway.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: And I thought Smart TVs were bad

        do they even make Tv's these days without microphones and cameras built in?

        Still a few around, plenty of cheap 2nd hand units in many places and there's the cheaper new TV's that don't do smart. But be aware many don't do much in the way of ports either, though there is probably a multi-input box somewhere that links to the TV via HDMI and carries a variety of RCA, Scart etc ports.

        Just got a Viera 2nd-hand recently. Actually quite impressed with it!

  71. Nifty Bronze badge

    Does it help if I put a stethoscope against the light switch while doing this, and listen for the click?

  72. herman Silver badge
    Devil

    F

    Me thinks GE gets an F for C.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May I suggest a sequence that's easy to remember... SOS

    3 - one second on-off cycle, 3 - 3 second on-off cycle and another 3 - one second cycle.

  74. arctic_haze

    The reset prcedure of a future version

    "Alexa, reset everything that is resettable"

    <crickets chirp>

  75. jake Silver badge

    One thing nobody's mentioned ...

    Getting into "admin" mode on these things all have the same "password". It might not make any difference today, but how much longer before lightbulbs have microphones and cameras by default, and a full-blown Linux system to run them?

  76. Kiwi Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    It is obvious.

    What on Earth the GE engineers thought they were doing when they created this insane reset process we will likely never find out

    1) They live in the US, or just don't like the idea of people climbing on chairs/ladders etc (who really drags out a proper ladder and safety gear to fix a bulb when the nearest wheely chair will do?) - worried about litigation.

    2) One or more of the process design department has a toddler who has discovered the light switch.

    Be thankful. They know, full well, that 5,000 on/off cycles is not beyond the skills of a 2yo to figure out, but they hope if they make it annoying enough the parents will take better steps to keep from having to adjust these bulbs every time little Jane wants to play with switches.

  77. MatsSvensson

    Simple enough

    Thats:

    0118 999 881 999 119 725 3

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3

      To use that sequence you will need to upgrade to an Enterprise GE bulb which gives the Red and Blue options. If it still doesn't work you will need to flash your BIOS (Bulb Internet Of Stupidity).

  78. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    GE's Support Script...

    If the customer appears to become agitated, advise them to take deep breaths, like this...

    Breathe In... (for eight seconds)

    Breathe Out... (for two seconds)

    ...and repeat...

  79. TheSkunkyMonk

    Member?

    Bet some nipples where being rubbed in the office the day they came up with that one!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJxapWB_G3k

  80. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    There's smart

    And then there's too smart

  81. ShredderFeeder

    A hammer works just as well.

    I can just hear some GE engineer chuckling to a friend: "What what I can make these <explative> do..."

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy happy happy...

    I look forward to the day when the hardware stores only stock these silly but expensive devices, when I have to fill my house with them, and, when I switch mobile phone vendors, I have to reset them all to link to a new phone. Or try to come to grips that I just spent a fortune on a smart bulb that I'll never wind up using as a smart bulb.

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