GE Wink Hub Firmware Update Issues

I was just starting to enjoy and get used to my Wink Hub and GE Lights when a firmware update was forced down my throat. Upon launching the Wink App on my iPhone (running iOS 8) to control a light an “Hub Update Required” button popped up. Little did I know starting this update would cause me so much frustration… but down the rabbit hole I went.


I tapped update and the dialog box warned me that the process could take up to 30 minutes. I clicked OK and continued. 30-min later nothing happened… the hub’s LED status light changes colors and my phone still thinks it’s updating. So I wait another 30 min. Still… nothing. I unplug it, reset it, and try again  – still nothing! So I give up for the day and manually switch off my lights.

A few days later I went to try again. I noted that when the Wink Hub is offline (or in this case not behaving properly) the connected lights will blink every few hours. It’s quick, only a second or two, but you’ll be in the dark for half a second before you remember… oh yeah… the lights. Having attempted to contact Technical Support before, and reaching nobody, I decided not to bother with them. I read online that some people had the same issue. However, one user suggested to try an Android tablet or phone to update the hub. I had an Android 4.2 tablet lying around (a hacked HP TouchPad) so I decided to try that, but no luck. I tried my iPad Mini and my iPhone, still no luck. I even tried three different Wi-Fi networks, including a simple unencrypted connection I setup temporarily. I gave up once again.


Weeks go by, now it’s today. I finally try this again. I try the iPhone method first, no dice. I then try the Android tablet… no dice. I unplug the hub and hold down the reset button as I plug it into the wall, after 30-seconds I let go and let it start up. I use the Android tablet to set it up as a new hub. As soon as it’s done my iPad dings, saying the Wink Hub needs to have it’s firmware updated. Pressing my luck, I try to perform the update on the Android tablet. First I told the tablet to not sleep for 30 minutes, to try and not interrupt the process. Now back to the Wink App, I had to press “Update” a few times, since it seemed to not listen to me. But eventually the update process began.

I timed the process and here is what happened. 3 minutes into the process the hub’s status light goes from white to blinking red. I believe this means it is downloading the update from the Wink servers. Then 2 minutes later the hub turns solid red. I believe this means it is installing the software. 5 minutes later the hub’s light turns blue, telling me it’s ready. I didn’t hold my breath, but to my surprise the hub finally updated! And it only took about 10 minutes total. The Android tablet still said “Updating” so I had to force close the app… (3 times!), before it corrected itself. Either on Android or iOS the software for this stuff is still pretty funky and wonky.

I can’t count how many times I had tried to update it, restart it, reset it, and use different devices. Thankfully after all this my light bulbs are connected once again. The first bulb didn’t work initially, but after force-quitting the mobile app a few times I was able to connect my 5 bulbs (one at a time, with only 1 bulb turned on at once) without issue. So if you’re having trouble with your Wink Hub updating just keep trying, it’s tiring, but it’ll work eventually (hopefully). The new firmware seems more stable (I’m on 00.56) and apparently this big update should help keep things working smother next time there is an update. Here’s hoping!

Tech Blog now on WordPress too!

I’ve been quite fond of WordPress for a while and since I’ve been using it for work a lot I figured I’d start using it more for myself. Usually I post once and a while to my blog on my .Mac / MobileMe blog. That requires me being at my MacBook and using iWeb, which is great – however I’m not always by my Mac when I want to make a post or update something.

So what will probably happen is that I’ll copy the relevant content of that blog over here and probably have the content mirrored across both. 🙂

Update: I have added three posts from the previous blog, these are labeled as “Archive”.