Good app for using a physical switch to turn on a light connected to a lamp module?

(Sean) #1


Just wondering if anyone knows of a good app or settings that will allow me to use a physical z wave switch to control a light connected to a lamp module.

I did try the smartlights app and configured it to turn on, and it DID work. It just takes 5-9 seconds to actually turn the light on.

I am hoping someone knows of another app or settings I can adjust to make it more of an instant on and off.


(Different Computers. So happy with Indigo.) #2

The Big Turn On app, maybe?

This delay is probably a hub/cloud issue though, and you might see that delay with everything if it’s consistent. Does anything else on your setup respond that slowly? (Not that I’m the guy to troubleshoot that.)

(Sean) #3

I did try ‘the big turn on’ and ‘my toggle switch’ but still have a delay. I don’t have any delay with lights that I have triggered by motion sensors or open close sensors.

(Different Computers. So happy with Indigo.) #4

Do you have any way to test whether or not it is the lamp module itself that responds slowly? Try turning on something else with the same smart app/switch combo.

(Chrisb) #5

Sean, this is a problem not related to an app, but rather to the nature of the switch (most likely).

Here’s the tl;dr version:

  • Some z-wave switches can’t tell the hub when turned on, resulting in a possible long delay.
  • Zigbee switches might be a good alternative with instant update.
  • I use Smart Lighting app for this because it’s built in and runs locally on V2 hub.

Here’s the: I want all the details version:

Anyone reading this can skip the next paragraph if you’re familiar with the Lutron patent:

In short, Lutron has a patent over a z-wave switch telling a hub/controller when it’s been physically turned on/off. Generally referred to as instant update, this feature can only be included in a switch if the manufacturer pays a royalty to Lutron. Some companies typically do (Levitron, Cooper), some typically don’t (GE, Jasco, Intermatic).

ST attempts to get around this lack of instant update with some alternate methods of updating info, but it’s an in-exact science and can result in at times lengthy delays (like 30 seconds or more). No app can really overcome this short of an app that nearly continuously polls the ‘trigger’ switch. And an app like that is will hog system resources and likely die/crash regularly.

I run this exact same situation in three different places in my house where I want a switch to turn on more than just one thing and sometimes it works flawlessly with the other device turning on within a second (Great!), and sometimes it takes 2-3 seconds (acceptable) and sometimes it takes longer… even much long (not acceptable).

I just recently swapped out two z-wave GE switches for two GE Zigbee switches to help remedy this situation. The switches are nearly identical visually and because the Lutron patent covers Z-wave, but not Zigbee, you do get instant updates. Since switching to this I’ve never had more than a 3 second delay except once. (Of course, that’s the one time my wife tried to use it and was pissed when it didn’t work right!)

As for the SmartApp, I recommend just the Smart Lighting App. Setup for it to turn on the lamp module and use the switch in question as the trigger. Also turn off when the switch it turned off.

IF you want this to be a complete loop… that is, if you want to be able to turn on/off the switch by turning on/off the lamp module, then you need to add another instance of the Smart Lighting App and just reverse it… the switch is the object being turned on/off and the lamp module is the trigger.

(Sean) #6

Thank you very much, guys! I will try the new zigbee style ge switch.

(Sean) #7

Yea I tried it with my bedroom lamps also, same issue.


The Lutron instant status patent covers ALL radio frequency methods, including Zigbee and zwave. (Lutron already won court cases against two Zigbee device manufacturers).

If you got better results with zigbee than with zwave, it had to do with the strength of your mesh for the two protocols.


When did you last run a zwave repair utility? That’s usually the first thing to try to reduce lag with zwave devices.