Lighting Dim Levels

Hey Guys,

Just got my SmartThings v2 hub about a week ago, transitioning from Staples Connect. There is something bugging me and maybe you guys can tell me if there is a fix for it. When I turn on some lights in my house with the SmartThings App they go on at a very low dim level, maybe 20%. I then have to adjust the dim level up every time to 100% where I want them. I can not find a way to make it alway turn on at 100%. This is happening with a manual turn on, not on an automated timer. I noticed it happening on 2 Cree Zigbee bulbs so far. Im sure I could make a virtual switch to do it, but I just can’t believe there is not a easier way.

Thanks for the help!


Most dimmers, including Cree, turn on to the last level they were set at. There are two different commands involved here, on and setLevel. on tells the device to turn on, for which the normal response is to turn on to its previous level. setLevel tells the device to turn on to a particular level. To get that degree of control you need to drill down in the mobile app to the device detail page, where you can set the dimLevel. In general, using the mobile app to turn on a dimmer will be frustrating because it sends on, with no guidance as to level unless you do that in the detail view.

One thing for you to think about is that the ST mobile app, while it can control any device in your setup, was not designed primarily as a control interface. It’s primarily a setup and adjustment interface for automations that control your devices.

You could use SmartTiles ( to create a simple control interface for you system. SmartTiles uses setLevel to turn on a dimmer to the dimLevel displayed for the dimmer when you tap its tile. That dimLevel can be changed without turning on the light. The dimLevel will be where it was previously, until changed. I think this is the behavior you were expecting.

I primarily use motion sensors to turn on lights, and that allows for an automation that sets the dimLevel for me. Even when I use physical switches or the mobile app to turn on lights, there is an automation running that has set the dimmer level for me behind the scenes, so to speak.


Yea, like @bravenel, all my lights are motion activated, and the levels are set via a separate app that’s LUX driven. I can’t remember the last time I had to manually change a dimmer level, even with an Echo.


The smart lighting app can ensure the lights always turn on at a preset brightness.

That’s if dimming worked correctly which it currently is not.

Unbelievably, they blew this one too. A couple of weeks ago @slagle said the fix for dimLevel was “code complete”. I just have a really hard time understanding how they could ship their flagship SmartApp without it either being able to set a dimmer level or handle motion-inactive events properly. Unbelievable! Maybe, handling multiple motion sensors is a little bit tricky (a very little bit), but how you can blow taking a number from an input and turning it into a dimLevel is really astounding. Of course, they don’t actually input a number, which is a different piece of design stupidity, and input instead an enum with 10% multiples for dimLevel. So I guess someone had to figure out how to translate from the enum selection to a number., and evidently that must have been very tricky indeed. :grinning:

Um, I guess that’s a bit snarky. Maybe they’ll reload the V2 hub firmware on the 20th and everything will be fixed.

1 Like

What sensors are you using to get your lux levels?

Odd, I am using it for my lifx bulbs and it has been working… The issue may not be a simple one to fix.

I’m only using it on one automation and it works for me too.

It seems that the problem might be device specific but not caused by the device type. Setting the level on GE dimmers is not working using the Smart Light app, but works if I use any other app. I’ve read that others have same issue with some non-GE devices as well. My GE link bulbs work though.

So I use a motion sensor to turn on my kitchen lights, a total of 8xGE Link bulbs, I’ve noticed lately that some aren’t at full brightness so I manually turn them on, set the brightness and then turn them off but it seems when I trip the motion sensor again, some of them will randomly not be at full brightness again.

That being said, since switching to ST from Wink, I haven’t had a single GE Link drop out so far, I don’t know how that’s possible but I’m still waiting…

Well, get ready for a long wait! I have not had ANY bulbs drop with ST in over a year!

With the current firmware it’s just a matter of time…