How to reset a smart bulb - the easy guide to getting the tech back on track

Here’s how to reset a smart bulb for when your smart lighting isn’t behaving as you’d expect and a factory reset may be in order

How to reset a smart bulb kitchen with red island and trio of pendant lights
(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Knowing how to reset a smart bulb is a small but important put of the automated way of life.  Generally speaking, smart bulbs are there to make our lives easier. Operated via smartphone app or vocally via a smart speaker, they’re great for those with awkwardly placed light switches, or simply setting the mood for movie night.

But the clever tech means they occasionally need troubleshooting, too. While most smart bulb bugs come down to Wi-Fi issues, occasionally only a factory reset will fix the issue. Sure, it’s a shame that we occasionally need to debug something as simple as one of the best smart light bulbs, but that’s the price we pay for convenience and the ability to make the room turn any color we choose.

We’ve rounded up advice on how to reset a smart bulb for the most popular brands around. Most, as you’ll see, require a combination of light-switch flicks, but the popular Philips Hue brand is a bit of an anomaly - you just need to know how to use a smart light bulb.

How to reset a smart bulb 

smart bulb pictured in front of a pink wall

(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

Before you start resetting, sometimes it's useful to ask yourself 'how long do smart bulbs last?' Sometimes, it's just their time to be changed.

How to reset Philips Hue smart bulbs

Resetting a Philips Hue smart bulb is done via the official app. Assuming it shows up in there, go to the menu (the three dots in the top right-hand corner) and select “Light setup”. Press the “i” icon next to the bulb you want to reset, and tap “Delete”. 

The bulb should then be ready to add automatically once again via the app. But if it’s having trouble finding it, make a note of the serial number printed on the bulb and enter it manually by going to “Light setup” then “Add light” and finally “Add serial number”.

If you have a Philips Hue Bridge, you can also perform a full factory reset on the hardware by flipping it over and pressing the clearly marked pin-hole button above the serial number. Just remember that this will cause your automated lighting hardware to forget every light on your system, and not just the bulb that’s acting up, so proceed with caution.

How to reset Wyze smart bulbs

Wyze’s system is simpler (opens in new tab). Simply flick the light switch on and off three times, and the bulb should start pulsing slowly. Once that happens, it’s ready to be set up from scratch again. 

How to reset Sengled smart bulbs

Resetting a Sengled smart bulb (opens in new tab) is similar. From the ‘on’ position, turn the light switch on and off five times in quick succession. If you’ve done it right, the bulb will flash three times and then blink twice, informing you that it's been reset.

How to reset Lifx smart bulbs

For recent Lifx bulbs, the process is identical (opens in new tab): simply turn your smart bulb on and off five times until it flashes to inform you that it’s complete.

For the original Lifx A21 bulb, it’s slightly different. After turning off the light, look for a physical reset switch on the side. Click it to the opposing position, turn the bulb back on and it will cycle through its colors indicating that the reset was successful.

How to reset TP-Link smart bulbs

For TP-Link smart bulbs, the process is similar (opens in new tab) but the number of switches varies depending on whether you want it to remember its settings or a full factory reset. For the former, from the off position, flick it back and forth three times. For the latter, you want to do the same five times.

How to reset Belkin WeMo smart bulbs

The official instructions for resetting a Belkin WeMo smart bulb (opens in new tab) are a bit more detailed, but ultimately boil down to the same steps. Belkin suggests that you turn on the bulb, then switch it off for a second, before turning it on for 3-4 seconds, repeating the process three times. 

If successful, the bulb will flash to indicate a successful reset within five seconds of turning it back on. 

How to reset GE Link smart bulbs

GE Link bulbs are once again reset via the light switch (opens in new tab). Starting with the GE Link bulb switched on, turn it off and wait for three seconds. Repeat the process (“approximately five times”, the instructions vaguely suggest) until the bulb flashes once. When the bulb goes dim and returns to full brightness, it has been reset.

How to reset Meross smart bulbs

Like the other lights in this list, resetting the Meross smart bulb is done with a combination of light switch flicks (opens in new tab). From the off position, turn the light switch on and off five times leaving it in the ‘on’ position. After that, it is ready to be set up again.

How to reset Xiaomi Yeelight bulbs

Xiaomi Yeelight bulbs need to be turned on and off five times in a row with two-second intervals, according to the official documentation (opens in new tab). Once complete, the bulb will restart and show its plain white color, indicating it has been reset to default settings. 

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. He often writes for T3 and Tom's Guide. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.