How to flash lights on/off repeatedly using z wave wall switch

What model of switch and what do you want to use as a trigger? Do you want normal on/off operation as well?

check out Web CoRE. They have really great people that don’t mind helping. I wanted something similar. When Garage door is left open for 10 minutes, flash a light blue and red until the garage door closes (that way my kids or wife will realize something is up). I also set it to send me a text message. It’s really amazing what you can do.


Ge zwave dimmer paddle switch and maybe the ge z wave motion/dimmer paddle switch

Thanks for that. I have been avoiding going this route until I can sit down and go through all the steps to integrate webcore. But I suspect with my wants I will be headed down that road soon. I’ve only been with smartthings for a few weeks

‘integration of WebCoRE’ takes all of about 20 minutes… It’s probably the path you want to go.

As to model - wee need to know if these are the 12XXX series switches or the 14XXX ‘plus’ series and if you still want to use the lights in non flashing mode. :slight_smile:

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they are the latest 14000 series. The dimmer/motion is the 26933. And yes, they need to maintain their native functionality

Ok here’s how I would do this:

  1. install custom deice handler for the 26933:
    Jasco/GE Motion Dimmer Switch 26933

  2. install custom device handler for the 14xxx series, either:

  1. Install WebCoRe
    https://wiki.webcore.co/#Installing_webCoRE

The reason- the 14xx switches and the 26933 dimmer has a double tap method which will allow you to respond to a double tap up or down of the buttons on these devices. The main functionality will remain the same. You have to put in these custom device handlers to access the double tap.

The switches themselves don’t support a ‘blink’ method, so you’ll have to write one.

Then you setup a WebCore Piston that:
If double tap up (on - aka: button #1 on this device) then start blinking (on, wait, off, wait, etc.)
until double tap down (off - aka: button #2 on this device)

(I may have an example piston - but I have to go to a client lunch I’ll look it up after, maybe an hour or two… Gotta pay the bills.)

Its really about the simplest way I can think of to make this happen and retain base functionality. @WB70? can you think of other options?

Wasn’t clear to me if you wanted them to flash when some other event(s) occur, or when you tap the switch itself.

If the former, you can just use webCore to create the event(s)>lights flashing behavior w/out changing anything (DTH’s) in your current setup. webCore has a built in option to flash lights/switches.

Thanks for both responses. I will play around with this eventually. The activation for the flash won’t be physically pushing the switch but rather even based off of something else like a door opening or whatever and activating smart switches throughout the house.

Excellent.

Well, I did find an example piston as follows:

Some things to note.

when using automation to ‘flash’ lights…

This is a cloud based system - pistons and SmartApp based automations (except Smart Lights, because it’s native) do not execute locally, and therefore are at the mercy of all kinds of communication things that may affect timing. Therefore - you can’t count on a device to ‘flash’ by automating on/off with any relative certainty at a resolution less than 5 seconds. Even then - it’s ‘iffy’

I can only ‘flash’ this device because the custom DTH I’m using for the 14XXX series dimmer supports it through an emulated command. Even with the emulated flash command, My example piston hangs up on me occasionally and seems to skip a beat now and then at 5 second pulses, forget it with anything 3 sec or less…

If you truly want a ‘flash’ you need a device that natively supports that function.

Good luck!

Do you know what bulbs do that natively? I think Lifx does, but that’s the only one I know of.

Cooper aspire Z wave switches have a built-in “panic” mode which uses the Z wave “alarm” commandset and does this really well. See the following discussion thread (this is a clickable link)

Other people can discuss the issues if you want to combine a smart bulb and a smart switch, but it’s going to get complicated.

Hue bulbs on a Hue bridge have a very nice and simple blink option which you can get to through IFTTT or through webcore. But again, hue bulbs plus Smart Switch can get complicated.

If you like smart switches and you are buying new ones, I would definitely look at the Coopers. It’s a nice feature on that switch and there are community members who have already written the custom code that will be required. (See above.) :sunglasses:

For any other Z wave switch, again, look to see if it supports the “alarm” command set, that’s what will do this.

Most zigbee bulbs can do this, the trick is figuring how to get the command to them to do it. @Sticks18 can say more on that. But again, soon as you go to a smart bulb you open up that whole “what switch am I my going to use?” Issue.

While you can try to do it with any Switch or bulb via webcore sending multiple commands, I think the user experience for a very fast flash is going to be much rougher than if you have a switch or bulb that can accept a single alarm command.

I been using a flash notification set up in a webCore piston for when my laundry is done for months. It’s on a GE switch (the 12 series, regular Z-Wave, not Plus) linked to three halogen lights on my island in my kitchen.

Flash is set to flash three times, two seconds on / one second off, and it has worked perfectly for months. No issues.

One second on / one second off works fine as well. I also tried one second on / 1/2 second off a while back and that did not work smoothly.

Did a quick test just now w/a similar switch on four standard LED lights. Similar results, 1 second on / 1 second off is about as low as you’d want to go.

Based on my family’s feedback on flashing light notifications back when I set this up, a slower pace was preferred - they asked for the 2 on / 1 off cadence, felt less disruptive to them (my son called the slower flash sequence “…not as spastic.” :slight_smile:

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Looks like this is what I will have to check out. I’m not going to deal with smart bulbs or changing my new GE z wave dimmers out for other brands. Flashing lights isn’t that important to me

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Thank you for your replies

I too am trying to figure out how to make the front door lights flash. In my case I want to be able to do this by either double tapping the on side of the paddle switch, or pressing a button on the Smartthings iPhone app. I would use this to single to first responders that we have an emergency, after calling 911.

While I have been using GE switches, I read that they are not going to work for this. As its only one switch I don’t mind replacing it with a Cooper switch. Before doing this I am just asking to make sure I will be able to get the end result.

I also ask about WebCore. Does WebCore require an internet connection to work? We live in a rural community and do not have unlimited or reliable internet.

I believe the Cooper switch is going to be my best route to accomplish this. Any suggestions on a particular switch or how to set up the Smartthings hub to accomplish this?

Thank you.

Mark

Yes, almost everything in SmartThings requires an active Internet connection to work. Your exceptions to that include:

Any standard builtin officially supported SmartThings provided device handler (ZWave generic switch, dimmer, etc.basic ZWave lock, basic water and contact sensors)
SmartLighting smartapp

That’s about it. SHM doesn’t even run locally.

So if. What yiu want to do can’t be done with basic device handlers and SmartLighting, assume it will run in the cloud, and therefore will require the internet.

Lets apply that to this scenario… I don’t know if the Cooper switch requires a custom device handler for full feature. (the flash function you want may depend on this) and if it does, I don’t know if SmartLighting can implement it.

Sorry to rain on the parade, but just want to make sure you have proper expectation before spending money to make something happen.

Thanks Nathan, that’s is what I was looking for. I will wait to see if anyone else answers about the Cooper switch, but I now don’t expect it to work with out internet.

I have a routine to turn outside lights on at sunset and off at sunrise, it does not work with out internet. I assume that is because the hub needs to know when those times are. But being a “smartthing” I would think it could tell time on its own and down load a schedule a few days or weeks in advance.

I wish there was a list of what does and does not work with out internet. Had I known this was so dependent on the internet I may have gone with a different solution.

Mark,

you can go to https://account.smartthings.com (The SmartThings web IDE) and check out ‘my devices’ (Second link from the left in the top menu)

From there you will get a table that describes every device you’ve installed in your system. Look at the second column from the right: ‘Execution Location’ It will either be Cloud or Local for each of your devices. If it’s listed as a ‘Local’ device, you can use it with SmartLighting and it will execute locally.

Thanks for the help… My question is as follows: I’ve setup the webCore piston to “flash” my Jasco dimmer switches. How do I now integrate the system, I would like the piston to run when my Abode alarm is activated… Thanks!