Seriously, how is there not a built-in option to create groups of lights? I know there are some 3rd party smart apps that can do this and various other workarounds, but there shouldn’t need to be. It should be a standard feature by now.
All these workarounds create problems and they end up out of sync with each other. For example, I have 5 BR30 RGB Lightify bulbs in my office, the Lightify wall switch to control them, an Echo Dot, and a wall mounted tablet running ActionTiles. There is no way for me to control these bulbs, all at once, from each device, without getting them out of sync.
I can create a group in the Alexa app and it works great, but then it’s out of sync with the wall switch and action tiles, which I have to tie to a virtual switch. If I want it to stay in sync I have to tell Alexa to turn on the virtual switch, but then I have to create a different group name to change the brightness or color.
It’s the same thing with ActionTiles. I can’t control all the bulbs from one button.
Yes, this is a first world problem, but it’s an easily solved one if Samsung would add in this very basic feature.
Yeah, it’s pretty crazy that this isn’t more obvious in the official features.
If you just want the lights to turn on and off together, you can do that with the official smart lighting feature. So that one’s easy.
If you want them to be able to dim them together or to change color together, then you have to start getting into some of the custom smart apps or WebCore. In all of these cases, you essentially set up the lights to follow each other so it doesn’t matter how you initiate the change, as long as it goes through SmartThings at some point, they will all sync up.
So it can definitely be done in SmartThings, it’s just not that easy to figure out how to do it.
There’s a how to article in the community – created wiki on grouping lights that explains the official option and has links to the others.
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
Prior to Hub V2 there were official “Home Solution” SmartApps on the first page of the SmartThings App (currently replaced by SHM only).
These include summary views of sensors, and very basic light grouping. Unfortunately, it was resources intensive: updating the status of the Summary every time a light changed state is not without complications. So instead of enhancing it, SmartThings scrapper it.
Perhaps it made them too shy to try again… Well, actually instead they focused on alternative approaches: Smart Lights (the only local executing SmartApp?), Routines, and Scenes.
Personally I like the concept implemented in several other products of a “lighting control board” (like a sound engineers board) with sliders for several lights on the screen concurrently along with a master. But this UI is complicated with color, etc…
Take a look at Philips Hue App for an example implementation!
SmartThings is very cautious (ummm… slow) when it comes to implementing new features. Scenes and Tablet view, etc., etc., took years; but “suddenly” arrived. That’s why we don’t want to build it ourselves for ActionTiles 'cuz the week or 2 after, SmartThings will have release their own - right?