Extra Parameters for GE Dimmer Switches


(Aaron) #1

I was looking at the documentation for the GE Z-Ware dimmer switches here and found that there are more parameters supported than what is supported by the ST device type here.

Has anyone looked into adding support parameter 7, 8, 9 and 10 that let you change how the switches dims. Some people may want their lights to ramp up and down; other may want the light to come right back on right away and turn off right away.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

Well… Not only that, but, (not sure about GE specifically) , but the “setLevel” Command actually takes a second parameter which is the ramp time!

Ideally every dimmer DTH should allow the user to set default ramp up and ramp down parameters.

Anyhow… Short answer: Improve it and submit a Pull Request; that’s the quickest way to get SmartThings to deploy a replacement DTH.


(Mike Maxwell) #3

This is typical of every physical device I’ve seen, St has a one driver suites all mentality, so the implemented feature set is very very basic.


(Aaron) #4

I’m not a programmer unfortunately. I found a thread on here where people hack it to kind of get it working but it was not elegant and required updating the code every time you wanted to change the settings.


(Mike Maxwell) #6

While apparently frowned upon, only as its not been implemented by st, any and all device specific options can be dynamically changed using preferences without the need to re write the device type, or re publish it or rejoin the device.
Granted this is not a beginner level task, but not super jock stuff either…


(Ben W) #7

There is this thread: https://community.smartthings.com/t/modify-ramp-rate-on-ge-jasco-dimmers/

Sounds like they may have gotten it working, I have not tried it but I will in the next few days. In theory I could make it more user friendly, in my copious spare time.


(Aaron) #8

This would make the community so much better if we could give input into the default set of DTH. I bet ST doesn’t want to be responsible for distributing someone’s bad code… because they obviously never make coding mistakes them self…


(Aaron) #9

That’s the thread I was reading, the thing is how to make those extra parameters visible in the UI in a useful way.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #10

Yes… many of us could – User Input Config Parameters are not that hard to add to a DTH, but it does take testing, validity limits, etc…

I’m sure many Community folks would appreciate the effort though, @desertblade. (I’m not so sure that SmartThings cares either way, though this would be an opportunity for them to show it.).


(Ben W) #11

Don’t forget about the cost to support a custom device handler. I have been buying GE dimmers cause I like the dim in and out. Making them more configurable is appealing to me. If the one above is workable then it should not be too hard.

Downside is I will lose the local processing for smart lighting, might be worth the cost. Give me a couple days.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #12

The hope is that you will do a good enough job to make it a Pull Request against the official DTH and that will, in turn, get merged into the Local Firmware :wink:

(I’ll make a deal, though; if for some reason you don’t want to do the pull request and work out the final details; I promise to give it a try and give you the vast majority of the credit. – Oh… but I may appeal to the Community to at least buy me a physical device to test on! I just realized I don’t think I have a GE Dimmer… just a Switch!)


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #13

I have four of the dimmers still in the box. It’s the non neutral one, but they still work great.


(Ben W) #14

Read through the code and manual last night. Think I have a plan. I will work on it tonight and test it. Hopefully I will have a beta this weekend.


(Aaron) #15

Awesome, let me know if you need help testing. 80% of the switches in my house are GE Z-Wave.


(Aaron) #16

At least once you have pushed the settings you want to the switch you can always change the device type back to the ST one. I’m still on the v1 hub so local processing isn’t a thing for me anyway.


(Ben W) #17

I got a prototype going (coming soon!). I used the latest dimmer code from ST and added a configuration option. Documentation was not quite right, but figured it out. It was not number of steps, it was really size of step (in percentage).

Few questions though.

Right now I am combining Dim Rate for both automation and manual. Should I separate?
Should there be tiles listing the settings? (Not sure how to do this yet)
Have not implemented “Ignore Start Level When Receiving Dim Commands”, anyone thinks its needed?

Not sure if anyone used invert switches or how ST handles it, but was planning on adding it.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #18

I would recommend separate. My Winks are instant on, fade off, and it’s nice to have the option.

Will it still support the secret(?) dim rate 2nd parameter to setLevel()? I doubt anyone uses it, but it works for my Remotec Dimmer outlets!


(Ben W) #19

I made the decision last night to split it out. Will get that in today. Don’t think I can have separate rates for on versus off, the two options for zwave commands or rocker presses. I could add an “instant on” option, that sets the rate to 100%.

I believe the setlevel will still work, I am not changing any original code. As fat as I can tell the GE switches don’t care about duration in delaycommand.

I need to do one more round of testing, I was starting to the leave the Balmer Peak yesterday.


(Aaron) #20

I’m sure some people would like the option for z-wave to be able to dim on / dim off. But if they manually hit the switch they might want to light to turn on instantly. I’m also thinking that some people might want to be able to change these settings throughout the day based on the mode their house is set to but that would make things way more complicated.

I would vote for putting the options on the “edit device” page that way we can manually type in the values we want. Your code would have to validate that the numbers are in range of course. Then just have tiles for displaying what the settings are. I think if we try to make these settings editable from the tile interface you would have to add a ton of up/down tiles.

Is a start level even sent to the switch? I know one of the problems I have is when I send the command for a group of dimmers to go to 10% first it sends the on command… (the switches go to what ever they where set to before)… then it sends the 10% command. So if my lights where 100% before they flash to 100% then jump to 10%.

With some LED lights it would be nice to be able to send a start level of say 10% so they turn on right away then dim up.

I would hope that no one would install the switch upside down in the first place :slight_smile: . There is a big arrow on the front; and if you do get it backwards you can just reinstall it.


(Aaron) #21

Windows ME, lol!