FAQ Dimming and turning on/off multiple lights as a group (SmartThings Classic)


(Kevin) #1

Hello all,

NOOB question:

I just installed the Smartthings hub and a half dozen Cree LED bulbs. So, I’ve got them all “paired” with the hub and can control each individually with no issues. S far, so good.

Here is my issue, the dining room and the bathroom lights are in clusters of multiple bulbs. I want to be able to turn them on/off or set the dim with a single command on my phone/tablet and have all the bulbs in a given room respond. It seems like this should be possible but after a couple of days of trying, I’ll be damned if I can figure out how to do it.

I would be most appreciative if someone could point me in the right direction.

Thanks!


#2

You might find a solution here


#3

The capability is there, it’s just very hard to find. Assuming you want them all to dim to the same level, the easiest way is to use the standard smart lighting feature.

You first pick the lights you want to control:

And then you will get to say whether you want them to go on, off, or to a set level.

And after that you get to say that you want that to happen when some other light does the same thing. So lights B&C turn on when light A turns on.

Many people will use a virtual light for the master light (light A in the previous example) because then they can set different rules for different conditions, essentially gives the freedom to put lights into more than one group.

And once you get to that point, you may want to use custom code, which is what is referred to in the thread previously referenced. There are a number of smart apps including “Dim and dimmer” “dim with me” and several more which give you all kinds of group features.

If you haven’t use custom code before, it’s not that difficult. You’re basically going to copy someone else’s existing code and paste it into your accounts library.

The following FAQ is an overview of how custom code works in smart things.

But again, if you just want to group the lights in one room together so they go on at the same time and off at the same time you can just use the standard smart lighting feature. You’ll only need the custom smart apps if you want advanced features not available in the standard smart lighting rules, like setting different bulbs to different dim levels or different colors.


Fibaro 2 Dimmer (212 not 211)
#4

JD is an excellent source of information. I try to read as much of what he posts as possible.

I’m sure you have already discovered that the bulbs are going to remember their last brightness level when they are turned on the next time. If you just looking for simple on/off at a room level you can create a routine (actually 2 of them) one for example named living room on and one called living room off. The routine doesn’t have any real automation just simply turns all those lights off or on when you manually run the routine.

I have routines like this for each of my rooms and I’m quite happy with the level of manual room control that provides.


(Kevin) #5

JD, Thanks for the detailed explanation. Very much appreciated.

I have got these set up (kink of) at this point where I turn on one bulb and they both go on at 100%. Turn on the other and they both go on a 30%. This seems a bit of a kludge. Is there no way to simply create a button (or actually 3 buttons somewhere to label DR 100, DR 30 and DR Off that will do the same thing without having to remember which bulb does what> I mean in the DR it’s not to bad as there are only 2 bulbs in there currently but my next room will have 5! I’m going to have to make up a program to distribute to family this way.


#6

There are lots of ways to do this. You can even just have one follow the other. But you have to use one of the more sophisticated custom smart apps. You can see a list of the ones from the "community – created smart apps " section that for lighting by using the quick browse:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

Trendsetter is popular, as is Dim with Me.

Alternatively, if you really just want to have presets for low and high, or low medium and high, sure, you can do that with smart lighting. I’d recommend a minimote or one of the other button controllers.

Then just assign one button for low, one button for medium, one button for high, and one button for off. :sunglasses:


I like the SmartenIT as a wallmount option, but it only has 3 toggles, not 4:

But there are several other options, including one wallmount version with 8 buttons. :sunglasses:


#7

Or if you still want to just do all the controls from a tablet, you have the same two basic strategies:

One) use one of the custom smart apps that allows one dimmer to follow another like “dim with me” or trendsetter so that then you just adjust one light on your tablet and the others all follow it.

Or

  1. create one virtual switch to represent each dim setting that you want like a low/medium/high ( essentially a virtual representation of each of the buttons on a button controller) and then tap that virtual switch when you want to go to that setting.

(Kevin) #8

This looks like the way to go. Is there a tutorial on creating these virtual switches somewhere.


#9

(Kevin) #10

Thanks again JD.

I figured out “Routines” and can do pretty much everything I need to (so far) with those so problem solved. Add to that I installed SmartTiles which makes control easier for the whole family.