Re: opening a switch box again…Of course the switch that would be the absolutely perfect switch to change out to a Plus switch (we use it manually most of the time, and it’s near other lights that would be great to connect for on/off via double tap) is the absolutely worst PITA box I have in the entire house!
It took me forever to get that switch box closed up again after putting in the switch the first time, including dealing w/a load wire that pulled out at some point when I was closing things up, requiring me to take everything back apart, reconnect it, and reassemble.
But…dammit, my finger keeps creeping towards that “buy” button.
Looking for some help, let me know if this is the wrong spot for the question.
Looking to use a dimmer (model 3038 ver 5.26) by the entry to turn off all the lights in the house. I created a virtual switch and then used the Smart Lighting app automation to turn off all lights when the virtual switch is turned off. I then took the virtual switch network ID (VS001) and put it in the association group 3 of the dimmer by the entry.
Double tap on the physical switch or in the DH doesn’t do anything. When I turn off the virtual switch in the app the other lights do respond as expected.
Ok so a couple of things here. 3038… I assume you are talking about a 14xxx series device that supports the double tap.
That said you can’t use association groups for this application. Z-Wave association groups are only able to communicate with other Z-Wave devices. They’re direct messages that bypass the hub. That means the target device MUST be a Z-Wave device as well. Synthetic devices aren’t true zwave devices and won’t respond to association group commands.
All is not lost, however. Instead use something like the Advanced button controller community smartapp and have it respond to the switch’s button 1 or button 2 to trigger the same scene or routine your SmartLighting trigger is running.
The Smart Lighting app supports the buttons on these switches all on its own. There’s not even any need for a virtual switch. Just create an automation to turn off all the lights and use “button” for the trigger and it will allow you to pick Button 1 or 2 on any of the GE switches that are available.
Hey Mike, sorry for delay in responding. I got caught up with other stuff, and hadn’t been back on the forum for a while.
I ended up figuring this out. For some reason I had to go into the device page in the ST phone app, and click the refresh button. Then it suddenly showed as having 2 buttons, when originally it didn’t list them. Not sure why it didn’t report correctly at first.
I’m now able to use the buttons as I wanted, in SmartLighting, for most of my simpler automations
(e.g.: double-tap up to set the brightness straight to 100%, double-tap down to turn off a group of lights)
Does anyone know if the limit of 4 devices for Group 3 linking is a fundamental Z-Wave limitation, a limitation of this particular device’s firmware, or just a device-handler limitation.
I can see where it’s limited in the DTH, but I assume that’s because of a limitation in the device.
Since I gather than the group functionality is local, rather than requiring remote processing, I’d prefer to use to replace some of my current SmartLighting automations (e.g.: turn off a bunch of lights on double-tap off), but as far as I can tell I have two problems with that.
I’d only want it applied to double-tap off (to turn off multiple lights), not double-tap on (which I want to use to set brightness instead), and secondly that, including the switch being pressed (which I gather would need to be included in the list) I have 5 devices I’d want to control (over the limit of 4)
That’s what I wasn’t sure of. Whether the group functionality was actually processed locally by the device firmware since, as far as I read/understood, the group functionality is device-to-device, supposedly without involving the ST hub. (I thought it might actually store the associations in the device itself).
I really wish that SmartThings allowed local processing of custom DTH, since that’s one of the things that sold me on SmartThings over others like Wink, was that I’d read (skimmed) that ST allowed local processing (I obviously didn’t read enough at the time)
So as to whether 4 devices is part of the spec, I’ll leave that to someone like @JDRoberts - I’m pretty sure he’ll know.
So, in the 14xx series switch/dimmer yes it does support the double tap (with custom DTH) and yes you can make the device command other devices through association groups. You are correct that association groups are core Z-Wave functionality completely separate from SmartThings and processed on-device independent of whatever SmartThings does. (I make use of this feature for some of my devices and why my wife doesn’t kill me whenever there’s a SmartThings outage)
What association group is triggered when you perform an action is purely a function of what GE/Jasco programmed into the device through firmware. (Read if you did want the double tap to be able to send separate commands for up and down rather than on/off assn group 3 - that would be a question to direct to GE/Jasco. Doubtful, BTW as what you ask is more a function of a scene controller not a switch)
That said, you can override that behavior by making SmartThings respond to the double tap (up or down) by 1) not programming association groups and 2) using the custom DTH in combination with either 3) a smartapp such as SmartLights, Advanced Button Controller or WebCoRE. This traps the event and makes it actionable by anything that can respond to a button. When you do this, you’re not using the association group functionality and therefore subject to local/cloud processing limitations. (Read, custom DTH wont capture the event when there is an outage)
If you want direct association (without going through the hub) then the double tap is recognized by the firmware in the trigger switch and it will recognize both double tap top and double tap bottom, you can’t choose to disable one of those.
And the direct association works by just sending a “basic” command (that’s a zwave term in this context) and that functionality is determined by the firmware in the target device.
The pro of this very simple method is that it will work even if the hub is nonfunctional. The con is that the hub will not know that it happened, so it’s pretty easy for the switch state in the app state to get out of sync.
Association, by the way, is the older method of doing this. The newer method is what is called “central scene commands.” With the new were method, the device just sends a single code to the hub based on what button pattern is pressed, and then the hub decides what to do with it. This keeps everything in sync, it let you pretty much use the patterns however you want to, but it does require that the hub be functional and in smartthings’ case that the cloud be functional.
The Homeseer zwave plus switches released last year use the central scene command method for their double tap processing. The GE switches use association.
Obviously, each method has a different set of pros and cons, I just wanted to mention that there is a significant technical difference.
Thanks @nathancu for confirming my suspicions that the associations are a native thing, and also that there’s no support for them being individual per action (e.g.: on vs off … would be a nice addition)
I am already using the exposed ‘buttons’ via smart-lighting to do what I want, I just thought that perhaps the associations might be an alternative to keep processing local, but unfortunately I’d need to be able to set associations for only double-tap off, and not have the same associations for double-tap On, in order to get my desired functionality.
(I use double-tap Off to turn off a group of lights, but double-tap on to set that dimmer to straight to 100% brightness)
Thanks @JDRoberts for confirming on the hardare limitation, and for confirming my understanding of the association behavior. With the DTH in this thread, and it exposing buttons for double-tap, I guess it’s effectively working as a ‘scene command’ and that’s how I have it setup currently. It’s definitely more flexible, but also requires ‘cloud’ processing, rather than being entirely local (which would be preferrable, especially for during any internet outtages)
Never tell a network engineer that one command is effectively working as another because, you know, they don’t. The distinctions are really important. But they might produce a similar outcome, which I am sure is what you meant.
In this case, association is working as association, It’s just that the hub is included in the association group so it can recognize that the command was sent even though it wasn’t sent as a central scene command. But The evaluation of that recognition is performed in the cloud just because that’s the way the smartthings architecture works. I don’t expect you to care about any of that, it doesn’t change the end result, I just wanted to clarify it for those who do try to follow the technical details as otherwise we get a lot of questions asked elsewhere later.
Also, just to keep people from getting confused who read other threads, in zwave a “scene command” is a whole different category than a “central scene command.” “Central” In this context means the hub gets notified, where it doesn’t for the regular scene commands.
I know that probably seems trivial and nitpicky, but while it is nitpicky, it’s not trivial when it comes to selecting devices that will produce the results that you want.
I know what you mean. I’m a software engineer (for 30+ years), with a hardware background and used to work, in a previous job, designing (both hardware and software) for network switches and routers (I contributed to some of the ethernet standards), so I can most definitely understand the frustration with people getting terminology wrong
I’m just ramping up on SmartThings/Z-Wave terminology and technology still, so apologies for mixing up a few terms, and not being up to speed on stuff yet
What would be the correct term for how the exposed ‘buttons’ from this DTH are used to control either a scene, or other functionality through, for example, SmartLighting or WebCore ? (I want to make sure I get the right terminology for future). I was saying that it seemed like the exposed ‘buttons’ as used in SmartLighting/WebCoRE etc effectively behaved (end result) like a scene command, rather than an association.
I was unaware that “Central” Scene Commands were a thing (I hadn’t come across those yet), and have only setup a few Scenes in SmartThings.
BTW, is there any benefit to using scenes rather than separate actions ?
e.g.: having a scene that turns off a group of lights, and activating that scene via SmartLighting vs telling SmartLighting to turn off a list of lights ?
No problem, and in this case we’re dealing with multiple terminologies. Z wave has one set, zigbee has a different set, and smartthings has yet again a different set. And sometimes they use the same words to mean different things, which can be very confusing.
Since you have a strong technical background, you might want to take a look at the technical welcome FAQ:
As I mentioned, I rely on text to speech, so I can’t read the actual DTH for the device in this thread (trust me, you don’t want to listen to groovy ). But if it has “capability.button” then in a smartthings context it will be treated as a “button controller,” Which means that smartapps and routines that allow you to specify “when button is pressed” can respond to the events of this device.
That’s a smartthings platform construct. You can have devices of many different protocols using different clusters or commandsets to fill-in the “button” values. Including a switch that uses double tap if it has the button capability.
You can use a button press to Turn on a single light, change the mode, start a routine, trigger a smartthings scene, it just depends on which automation you are using to process the button event.
As far as “scenes”…Pretty much every home automation system has something they call “scenes” or “like scenes”. It just means the ability to set multiple devices to different states with a single request. It’s often limited to lighting devices, but it means you could have one light turn on, another light turn off, a third light be blue at 25%, A fourth light be orange at 75%, etc., and fire them all from a single trigger event, whether it was a button press, or a time of day, or a switch, or a motion sensor activate, or whatever.
If all you want is to have a list of lights come on at the same time, then you don’t need a scene.
If all you want is to have some lights turn on and some lights turn off From the same trigger event, then you don’t need a scene
But if you want to have two different devices turn on at two different dim levels, or two different colors, right now you can’t do that just with smartlighting or a routine, Because those will set all the devices to the same value. In order to have one light at 25% and another light at 50%, You either have to have two automations or use a SmartThings scene.
People have been asking for scenes for several years in smartthings, mostly just because it makes it easier to write multiple automations that create the same end result but have different initiating triggers.
Smartthings only introduced them about a month ago.
But Smartthings is a certified Z wave controller, and Z wave has both scenes and central scenes. Zigbee has scenes. The Hue bridge has scenes. And all of these have some subtle but important differences.
However, I don’t want to drag this thread too far off track. So I will just say that if you want to use double tap with the device in this thread to trigger a scene, it would depend on the double tap counting as a “button” and then you can do it with a single routine or a SmartLights automation. Or probably webcore.
Thanks for some awesome clarification and info.
Yes the DTH in this thread exposes the double-tap via capability.button, and that’s what I’m currently using to trigger a scene for the off double-tap (turn off all lights in the area), and to trigger a single action (set just that light to 100%) for the on double-tap, via SmartLighting.
I haven’t really found any use for the multiple lighting-levels functionality of a scene yet, but that might come in handy as I add more dimmers, and more other devices. At the moment it’s just simpler to use the scene to turn off multiple devices, since I want to trigger it from multiple devices also (double-tap off any of the lights in the kitchen area turns off all of the lights in the area - main kitchen lights, breakfast bar, nook table, kitchen counter & utility hallway)
This will seem like a ridiculous noobie question, but how do I go about installed this DTH in my SmartThings IDE? I have a bunch of the new GE on/off and dimmer switches and I would like to incorporate the double tap capability.