This ridiculous GE video shows just how tough troubleshooting smart bulbs can be

A video instructing customers how to get through the 11-step process to factory reset a General Electric smart bulb shows just how ridiculous fixing some connected appliances can be. 

Twitter user Josh Jordan brought attention to the video, tweeting, “This (real) video from GE on how to reset their ‘C’ lightbulbs is the most incredible how-to video you’ll ever see. They want to see how far they can push their customers before they snap.”

The three-minute video from GE Lighting goes through the extensive process of factory resetting one of their smart bulbs to unpair the bulb from connected devices. It’s as simple as turning the lightbulb on for eight seconds and off for two seconds. Then on again for eight seconds. Then off again for two seconds. It gets excessive after the fifth time you have to turn the lightbulb on. 

If you can make it through the video’s three-minute run time, it’s actually comedy gold. All jokes aside, it brings to light (pun intended) how difficult it can be to troubleshoot smart appliances that have no screens or real inputs. 

We live in a time of smart TVs, smart fridges, smart thermostats, smart doorbells and an entire range of smart appliances that now make up our homes. However, just because they are labeled as “smart” doesn’t mean they won’t ever have issues. 

In fact, one in 10 smart home device owners experience unresolved technical problems. Unlike calling a plumber to fix your sink or an electrician to repair a faulty light switch, troubleshooting for smart home devices often requires users themselves to work with the technology to try to figure out what went wrong.

Think about it this way: If a traditional thermostat breaks, you could call an HVAC tech and most likely have it fixed in no time. When Honeywell’s servers went down in September, customers were unable to control their smart thermostats in their homes, leaving them in the cold until the server was back up.

Sure, turning a lightbulb on and off 10 times can seem excessive and annoying,  but at least it’s a simple device that only turns on and off and doesn’t require a complicated interface that connects to a far-away server.

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