Linking 4 bulbs?

I have 4 smart bulbs in a ceiling fan and I want to link them as one. Instead of dimming ,turning off individually I want to control them as a group. Sorry…I’m new :slight_smile:

How are you controlling them normally? Via the app or via Alexa/Google Home. If Alexa, the easy answer is to put the 4 bulbs in an Alexa Group and you can turn them all on or off…or even set the % via the group. I have the same and the Living Room Ceiling Fan has bulbs L1, L2, L3 and L4 if I need individual control, but they are all access by Alexa as “Living Room Ceiling”

I don’t have one, but I’m certain Google Home has a similar capability.

From the ST app itself, I haven’t played with it much yet, but it does have “Rooms”. I would think you could call all your ceiling fan lights a “room” and control them as such. But again, haven’t worked with rooms yet.

Best of luck and let us know how you solved it in the end.

Michael

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And yes, there are likely Virtual Switch options as well, but I’ll leave those explanations to those who are better at syncing “real” devices with virtual ones. I’m just one of the “new guys” around here. :grin:

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Cool…thanks. I have Alexa and I just set up the group. Works well with on, off and dimming.

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The Bulbs turn on one at a time…Is that just the nature of the beast? They all turn off and on within a second but is just kinda weird.

My best guestimate is that Alexa is just going down a list and turning them on in order. You could always try asking Alexa why she is being stupid, but that doesn’t usually provide a productive answer :grin:

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You’re exactly right. I have all my lights right now set up on a ST Theme “Lights on” and “Lights off”. Sometimes when I ask Alexa to turn lights on or off she says “sorry, I didn’t find Lights”. Then I’ll ask her again and she says OK. Sometimes I have to trick her. If the lights are off and I tell her to turn them on, if she says “sorry” I then ask her to turn them off (already off)…She says ok, then she will recognize “Turn lights on”. Not sure what is going on there…

This. Whether through Alexa or not, ST can only fire off commands so fast and there can be minor latency involved in the commands reaching the bulbs. ST does not support group messages in favor of being protocol agnostic. For a lot of use cases, the latency won’t be noticeable, but lights turning on/off is easy to notice. You’d have to use a singular system like Hue or Lifx for true on/off in unison.

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Any ideas on this? It keeps happening :disappointed_relieved:

This is what I was asking additional help on…

I have all my lights right now set up on a ST Theme “Lights on” and “Lights off”. Sometimes when I ask Alexa to turn lights on or off she says “sorry, I didn’t find Lights”. Then I’ll ask her again and she says OK. Sometimes I have to trick her. If the lights are off and I tell her to turn them on, if she says “sorry” I then ask her to turn them off (already off)…She says ok, then she will recognize “Turn lights on”. Not sure what is going on there…

I’d guess that “lights” is one of those reserved words that might get you in trouble.

As a test, try changing the name of your group to something obscure. Then see if it works.

Or see if you have other stuff also named “lights” going on which might confuse the device.

However…having said all that… If you put all the lights AND the Echo into a group in the Alexa app then you should not need to create a group in ST at all. Name the group in the Alexa app whatever you want…but I’d advise against using the word “lights”. Call it Living Room or Fan or Whatever.

Then you should just be able to say, “Alexa, turn on the lights” and the Echo that you are talking to should turn on all the lights that it is in the same group with.

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Thanks. I got them working properly now.I created a group called “lights”. I can turn all them on, off and dim by telling Alexa to “turn on/off lights” and "dim lights to …%. Then I grouped the ceiling fan lights and the recessed light. Now I can control the ceiling fan lights, recessed lights. lamp and corner lamp individually or together as “lights”.

There is a SmartApp you can use to tie bulbs together in a group and then call the virtual switch created in the SmartApp from your Things list (or via voice control) as if it’s a real wall light switch controlling all the lights:

  • Trendsetter
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So that would make them work simultaneously without delay?

When I use it they behave as if they are on the same wall switch.

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That looks cool but right now I’m in my 3rd day of playing/setting up my new toy. I think it’s a bit over my head at this point.

It’s a lot easier than it looks, trust me. Get into it when you’re ready, and folks here will help a lot.

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I knew that someone would come up with a SmartApp idea to solve it :grin:

Take your time and take it at your own speed. The apps aren’t going anywhere. But as you have seen, this is a really great community to help you. You have friends out here to help you as you build your Smart Home.

Michael

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Thanks. Yes, I would like to thank the community for all the help. It’s refreshing to see people wanting to help. A lot of forums are not as understanding with newbs.

My starting question for the apps is how do you get the apps on your phone? Is there a tutorial thread any where?

I have found that the authors do a fairly good job of walking you through the process from start to end. And if you have a hiccup along the way, are very responsive to answering.