How to make light bulb turn on twice a day? Dimming in middle of day?


(Jason) #1

Situation: 1 GE link bulb. Need multible on/off schedules, also different dimming at different times of day.

Not sure if I’m using the right terminology here. I have a physical device called “bulb1”, and a “lights and switches” item called “bulb1”. The item “bulb1” is only one on schedule and off schedule available. If I want to have multiple times of the day the bulb turns on, I have to add “bulb1b” and “bulb1c” items that address the same physical device. Is that right?

And same is true with dimming at 8PM? I have to create yet another item addressing the same physical device, add a “On” schedule, and make it dim? Will that work even if the bulb is already on at 100%?

It doesn’t seem like that’s the way things should work. I have a ON schedule, and I should be able to multiple ON events for that item. Instead of seeing a list of available events, I should see a list of programmed events, and have a button to add a new event, from which I pick what kind of event (on, off, on based on sensor, etc…). I seems like this could be more intuitive.


(Barry) #2

Your SIMPLEST answer is probably to use If This Then That (IFTTT.com).

Second option is to create Hello Home actions that fire on a schedule (ie. create one that runs at 10AM to turn on your light/change dimmer, another for 2pm, etc.). No need to change the location.mode with these - just turn on/off the light(s).

This latter is a hack, but it will work entirely within the ST domain.

I agree - being able to schedule multiple events for a given device is a logical request…


(Bruce) #3

You have described exactly what you need to do, just using Lights and Switches. I have a similar need where I have dozens of lights that I want to have different dimming for at different times of the day. To simplify this I use three modes (Home, Evening, Night) to dictate the dimming levels, and use Hello Home to determine when the modes change. I wrote an app that ties a bunch of dimmers (all for a single room) to a master dimmer, and sets dim levels for each mode. Most of these lights are turned on by motion sensors, and some have other scheduling issues outside the dimming level app (that are just handled in Lights and Switches). I also addressed the problem that a dimmer will usually turn on to its previous dim setting, which isn’t what you want to have happen in the middle of the night.

ST will do everything you want for lighting schedules like the you one want. It just doesn’t do it in the most obvious way, what you describe as more intuitive.


(Jason) #4

Is there a place where ST standardizes terminology? Like displays a tree structure and tells you these are the category names for the interface?

What I"m calling “items” in “Lights and Switches” seems like it should have a more universal name, where “Lights and Switches” falls under some category name, and “lights and switches” is a specific ___ item of that category name. I have lots more questions about Smart Things, but the organization of the interface makes it hard to ask.


(Automate This) #5

Is there a standard smartapp for this sort of thing yet?

What I have in mind is something where at particular times during the day the dimmer is set to a particular power level (a lot like a heating/cooling thermostat app but instead of house temperature I want dimming). For the period starting when I wake up to the time where I leave for work I want one dimming level. Then from the time about dusk to when I typically head to bed I want another dimming level. Then during the night I want to set the lamp to a minimal dimming level to act as a night light.


(Bruce) #6

There are two things you might mean:

  1. At those particular times of day turn on specific lights to the desired level, or

  2. At those particular times of day set the dimmer level for specific lights (without turning them on), so if they are turned on during that period they come on to the desired level.

The first one is very easy to do with shortcuts in Lights & Switches. The second one is more difficult, although I have a custom SmartApp that does just that. If that’s what you are looking for send me a PM.


(Automate This) #7

Thanks Bruce.

I went ahead and wrote my app for this a few years ago but it hasn’t been reliable and always seems to need updating after the daylight savings transitions.

/**
 * Four Times A Day Lights w/ Dimmer
 *
 * Author: Dan Mullen, Hat tip to Ryan Nathanson
 *
 * Date: 06/18/2013
 */

// Automatically generated. Make future change here.
definition(
    name: "On/Off Multi-time with Dimming",
    namespace: "",
    author: "user@domain.com",
    description: "Turn outlets on and off at multiple times throughout the day.  Also supports dimming on Jasco 45602.",
    category: "Convenience",
    iconUrl: "https://s3.amazonaws.com/smartapp-icons/Convenience/Cat-Convenience.png",
    iconX2Url: "https://s3.amazonaws.com/smartapp-icons/Convenience/Cat-Convenience%402x.png",
    iconX3Url: "https://s3.amazonaws.com/smartapp-icons/Convenience/Cat-Convenience%402x.png")

preferences {

section("Time 1") {
    input "time1", "time", title: "When?"        
    input "brightness1", "number", title: "Brightness Percentage, 0-99", required: true
}

section("Time 2") {
    input "time2", "time", title: "When?"
    input "brightness2", "number", title: "Brightness Percentage, 0-99", required: true
}

section("Time 3") {
    input "time3", "time", title: "When?"        
    input "brightness3", "number", title: "Brightness Percentage, 0-99", required: true
}

section("Time 4") {
    input "time4", "time", title: "When?"
    input "brightness4", "number", title: "Brightness Percentage, 0-99", required: true
}

section("This Dimming Light"){
    input "dimmingLight", "capability.switchLevel", multiple: false, required: true
}

}

def installed() {
	log.debug "Installed with settings: ${settings}"
	schedule(time1, setlight1)
	schedule(time2, setlight2)
	schedule(time3, setlight3)
	schedule(time4, setlight4)
}

def updated(settings) {
	unschedule()
	schedule(time1, setlight1)
	schedule(time2, setlight2)
	schedule(time3, setlight3)
	schedule(time4, setlight4)
}

def setlight1() {
	settings.dimmingLight.setLevel(brightness1)
}

def setlight2() {
	settings.dimmingLight.setLevel(brightness2)
}

def setlight3() {
	settings.dimmingLight.setLevel(brightness3)
}

def setlight4() {
	settings.dimmingLight.setLevel(brightness4)
}