How to rapidly turn a switch on/off/on?


Hi all, new to the forum. I have searched for the answer to this but haven’t been able to find anything specific enough to my situation. I do not have a smart things hub yet but I’m trying to do some research first to see what’s possible.

I currently have down lights in my kitchen that have a “halo” around them. The “halo” acts as a night light and is about 50% of the intensity of the main light. To engage the halo, you have to turn the switch on, then immediately turn it off, then back on (within 2 seconds I believe). If I were to hook up a GE Z-wave switch (non-dimmer), would I be able to configure it with smart things so that it could activate the full intensity light, or the halo when requested?

If that’s not possible, Is there another way to do this ?

(Ron Talley) #2

This should be possible with the community owned rule engine webCoRE.

It’s a simple install and an hour read around through the wiki to get familiar with the terms.

Easiest thing to do is create a virtual switch for the night light with this rule in webCoRE:

If virtual switch changes to On
Then with real switch
Turn On
Turn Off
Turn On

If virtual switch changes to Off
Then with real switch
Turn Off

If your light is a dimmer then it would be more easy to keep the switches in sync…Depends on how the light actually operates.

(Enis Hoca) #3

Reading the headline I thought you wanted the lights to do an SOS pattern in case of home invasion

(Mavrrick) #4

There is a smart app called flasher II that can turn a switch on and off

(Mavrrick) #5

The problem you may have is how fast can the zwave switch do this action. Still I would start with flasher and see if it would be possible with that.

(Ray) #6

You need a Z-Wave device with a flash/strobe build in DTH and not using smartapps due to cloud delay.
I used an Aeon micro relay module for flashing 3 times within 2 seconds. I was struggling with a genetic Z-Wave before and got about 50% successful rate due to cloud.

(Ron Talley) #7

Turning on then back off and on within 2 seconds seems like an easy enough task for webCoRE.

I will have to test this when I get home but these commands should reach the Hub within milliseconds…

(Nathan Curtis) #8

It’s not unfortunately. I tried with my front porch lamp driven on GE switches and WebCoRE. It seems straightforward at first, but after factoring in cloud delay, my experience doing any switching under 2 seconds wasn’t reliable… 1 second failed over 50% of the time and. 5 seconds was ridiculous.

Someone else mentioned needing a device that supported flash or strobe and I think they are probably correct…


It almost sounds as if I’d be better off replacing my lights with dimmable ones. Ultimately I just wanted to be able to have the lights come on at the 50% mark for certain occassions and 100% at other times.

(Ron Talley) #10

Yeah, I went with GE dimmable switches and dumb dimmable LED bulbs for most of my home. Avoided alot of the headaches I see here. Plus with the GE switches (z-wave plus) you get two extra buttons via double tap up or down. Super useful for all kinds of stuff.

Good Luck!


I did not know you could double tap the switches. Is that only with the Dimmers? I currently have a couple of the standard toggle switches.

(Ron Talley) #12

I have the rocker dimmer and switches and it works with both. I actually replaced about 12 other non plus ones that I had just to add that feature.

For me, double tap down on the light switch for that room will turn everything off. Although, I do have a tablet for each room as well which mimics the same action…

I need help.:frowning_face:

(Eric) #13

The Inovelli Scene-Select switches can do up to 5
taps. Don’t know if an Up-Down-Up selection could be programmed in.