Advice on create new Multi-Light Switch


(Jeff Bergman) #1

Hello All. I am working on a project and I would like some advice. I was looking for a single attractive (decora style) light switch that could control multiple zones of lights but also not be confusing and not require complicated setups. I’ve looked into all the options I’ve found an nothing really seems to do what I’m interested in. So I decided to make my own. I have it all wired up, but would love your advice on my configuration options to make this work smartly with smartthings.

My most important goal is that the switch needed to look nice and match the rest of my house. No touchscreens, array of buttons, or strange shapes like you tend to see. It has to look like a switch and operate like one without training.

The basis of my device is the Legrand RT2WCCV4 Timer Switch.

This switch has it all. It has a large paddle switch that is a return-to-center switch with up and down buttons. It also has 4 small buttons on the side, as well as 5 different indicator LEDs. I bought one, took it apart and reverse engineered the circuit. I’m not great at this and they have a really weird circuit configuration, but through a series of removing ICs and relays, cutting traces and resoldering I have managed to attach my ESP8266 device to it, powered by the on board regulator, and fit it back into the box. I have wires for each of the LEDs and buttons. It’s powered by mains but I am not planning on doing any mains switching, just as a main powered smart switch.

This setup is more for prototyping at the moment, once I get it working right I’m going to make a circuit board that can just be swapped out with the one that comes with the switch with everything already done and in the right place. So no fancy modding, just take it apart, snap in my new circuit board and install. Bonus points if I can switch it out with a Z-wave or Zigbee module at some point instead of the wifi one :grinning:

So now my question, how to configure this. Here is my thoughts, but I would love to hear your input.

The switch will be used to control 4 lights, either individually or as a group. I will refer to these as “group” or “light”, being each light in the group. In theory these lights could also be groups, but that is just a configuration option later.

By default, the big switch does the following
Up/Down – Turn on/off group
Hold Up/Down – Brighten or Dim group, save state when complete
Double click Up/Down – Group Scene 1 / 2 (Probably set to full bright / Night Mode, setable via SmartApp)
Double click Hold Up/down – Temporarily Brighten/Dim
Triple click Up/Down – Group Scene 3 / 4
Xclick Up/Down – In theory I could make this configurable with as many clicks (X) as you want, configured via Smart App, but that might be confusing

You can also control the individual switches by clicking one of the four little buttons. This will then make the main switch control those selected switches until a certain (setable) timeout. Basically the same operations as above would be performed, except only with the selected actual lights.

Finally, if you hold one of the buttons you can do even more light specific stuff. I haven’t fleshed this out fully yet, but probably you would hold one of the buttons and the up/down would cycle through colors (set colors or cycle through the rainbow by holding), or color temperatures for bulbs that support that, or even make it cycle through presets if they are defined, like with erocm1231’s H801s. This is also useful for me because I’m creating a device for controlling NeoPixel light strips, which will theoretically have tons of different animation and color options.

An alternate buy also very useful way of using the switch is for a rgb light. Instead of setting up 4 lights and a group you would have group mode control on/off/brightness and the individual lights would control color temp and RGB. I will most likely be making one of these switches for this mode too, and 3d printing r/g/b buttons :star_struck:.

Sorry for the long message, I’m just really excited to make this and wanted to hear the communities thoughts. Thanks!


Advice needed: Dual control RGBW LED strip
(John C) #2

Sounds like a pretty cool project! :sunglasses:


(Jeff Bergman) #3

I guess I should have been more specific about the actual questions :).

  • Should I implement this as one master switch for the group and each individual light be a child device or all as a single device?
  • Should I make these capability switch and switch level and have my switch just send out the events (via parse())?
  • Would it make more sense to just make them capability button and holdable button and put all the smarts in the Device Handler or SmartApp?
  • What type of capability would I use for the scene triggers? Would those be buttons that I’m triggering?
  • Do you know if there is any approach I can use to guarantee that execution can be done in the LAN vs having to go out to the cloud? Wife won’t be happy if she has no lights if the internet is out :slight_smile:
  • Does this idea even make sense, and would it be useful?

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I’m experienced with the hardware and firmware side, a little more confused with what is best for usage in the SmartThings platform.