Help with setting up 1st smart switch

(Dominick Barile) #1

I just got my first ge zwave plus smart dimmer switch installed. I’m not home but was Apple to pair it but all I see is on & off & 1 line with a %. Do i need to download a dth? I’m looking to do a dimming & maybe sunrise sunset set up

(Allan) #2

No, sounds like its in correctly. Probably came in with the SmartThings standard “Dimmer Switch” handler which works fine and runs locally. Unless you need to change something (ramp rates, etc) you’re better of just leaving that.

For Sunrise/Sunset and automation use the “SmartLighting” app. It’s a standard SmartThings app thats made just for lighting automation. I have it running as follows:

  • My front porch turns on to 50% brightness 10 minutes before sunset and off 10 minutes after.
  • My garage outdoor light turns on to 75% only when the garage door opens and its after sunset but before sunrise then turns off 10 minutes after.
  • My light over the kitchen sink turns on to 20% when my kitchen motion sensor detects motion and its after sunset but before sunrise then turns off after 10 minutes.

All setup in the SmartLighting app.


Welcome! :sunglasses:

As @vseven said, it sounds like you’re good to go, and his recommendation of the official SmartLighting feature should give you everything you describe.

You might also find the following note of interest (this is a clickable link):

(Dominick Barile) #4

Thanks guys. Just a quick question or 2. What is ramp rates & the % line controls the dimming?

(Allan) #5

Yup, it’s a dimmer so its going to go from 0% (full off) to 100% (full on) and everything between. Make sure your bulbs support dimming or its not going to work real well.

Ramp rate is how fast or slow the dimmer gets from off to whatever you set it to or vice versa. In general you don’t need to mess with it.

(Dominick Barile) #6

It’s new lighting & I had it installed professionally. So should be good.

(Dominick Barile) #7

Hey guys wanted to say thank u. I came home yesterday & was fiddling with the new switch. My wife wants to know if the delay can be adjusted to be a little bit faster? I read that u set a % every time the dimmer is hit. Is that a better way tpo use the dimmer or is it just pretence.

(Allan) #8

If you mean delay between the motion sensor and the light coming on then probably not. If you mean how fast the light goes from dim to bright then possible a little. If you mean the brightness when it does turn on then that should be in the Smart Lighting routine you set up…you should be able to set it to a % you want to start at.

(Dominick Barile) #9

I was talking about the delay when u press the button & the time it takes to dim.

(Allan) #10

Oh, like holding it and the delay before it starts dimming up and down? No, I think that’s a function of the switch itself.


We could still be talking about a couple of different factors here. The ramp rate is the amount of time it takes to go from its current setting to its new setting. The steps are the number of intervals in that time.

Some people like a light to dim down slowly, for example. That’s the ramp down rate. If you have a ramp down rate of two seconds but only one step it’s going to stay at the current value for two seconds and then drop to the new value. If you have a ramp down rate of two seconds and you have 10 steps then every 0.2 seconds it’s going to drop by 10%. This is often called a slow fade.

So depends on the settings on the switch. If you reduce the number of steps, then the change will appear to be quicker. If you reduce the ramp rate the change will actually be quicker, that is the time from the old level to the new level will be shorter.

The other issue is lag time, the time it takes for a command from the system, such as tapping the button in the mobile app, until the time the switch actually starts the operation. This also affects things like a rule that says when motion is detected on the living room sensor, turn on the overhead light. There are a lot of things that can make that process slower or faster.

So the first question is exactly what part of the process seems too slow? If it’s the time it takes for the light to change to the desired setting when you physically press the switch on the wall, then you want to look at ramp rate, number of steps, and on some devices the fade rate.

Most people are fine with the default values, but a lot of people want to change them and you should be able to do that from the details screen for the device in the SmartThings mobile app.

SmartThings broke voiceover on the mobile app a few months ago so I can’t show you a screenshot but someone else can show you where you can change those values for this particular switch depending on the device type handler that you are using.

(Dominick Barile) #12

I’m talking about the physical time it takes for the light to dim when I hit the switch.

(Dominick Barile) #13

It seems like when I hit the button there is a small delay.


Then I would check the ramp rate settings. The default for manual dimming on GE devices is 30 ms – – you could drop that to 10 and see if you notice a difference.

Here’s the configuration page for GE devices, it shows you what the options are. Again, someone else will have to help you actually get them set through the mobile app.

(Dominick Barile) #15

Seems complicated. I’ll see if my wife can get used to it. Better safe then sorry.