New user, 5-10 second delay in simple SmartLights rules

I’m testing a simple setup before setting up the entire house with GE Z-Wave 12724 dimmers (

The whole thing is wired up sitting on my desk, I have two dimmers each controlling a recessed light fixture. I can turn them on/off from the app and the lights respond instantly. I create a simple recipe where dimmer 2 follows dimmer 1, simple. It works but say I turn on dimmer 1 it will take 5-10 seconds for dimmer 2 to follow suite.

I have the SmartThings open in front of me and it takes 5-10 seconds for it to visually indicate that dimmer 1 was turned on/off so I’m not sure if that’s some sort of indication that the problem is in the ‘zwave network’ rather than in the ST hub/cloud.

I tried to run z-wave repair from the app, no effect.

Btw I have another Zigbee remote and the clicks on its buttons are registered instantly. One of its button turns on dimmer 1(z-wave) and its instant.

Am I doing something wrong? Is Z-Wave a super slow protocol? Is there an easy way to debug this?


By recipe you mean routine? Sounds like it’s going up to cloud and back. Some folks will reply with some strategies.

Sounds like you are using IFTTT recipes? Those do take longer and for many its’ delay is unacceptable for basic light control like you describe. People put up for the delay in more exotic automation routines but I personally try to avoid IFTTT whenever possible. If you are using SmartThings smartapps with that kind of a delay that is not normal even for the older switches that don’t have instant status feedback.

Consider looking at the HomeSeer HS-WD100+ for your switches instead of GE because it is the newer generation with Z-Wave Plus, Instant status feedback (for fast local automation), LED bar, multi-tap feature for the switch doubling as a ‘button’ controller in SmartThings. @Darwin blogged about them.

Thanks guys.

I’ve used the term recipes but did not mean IFTTT though I’m a big fan. I’m using plain vanilla ST and the GE Z-Wave dimmer (purchased a month ago so assumed its the newest).

I have another experiment setup where I have a zigbee button that turns on the GE Z-Wave dimmer, that works instantly so I don’t think the delay is in the ST cloud. The Zigbee button uses custom code in the IDE and the Z-Wave dimmer uses SmartLights so if anything I’d expect the dimmers to run locally with no delay.

I did find a thread mentioning that Lutron has some patent which GE didn’t license and thus it hurts the performance and forces the ST to poll rather than get an event, do you believe this is the root of the problem? That thread also mentioned the HomeSeer dimmer as an alternative dimmer that has licensed the patent from Lutron and should work instantaneously.

Any feedback appreciated, thanks.

@dalec - Thanks for the link, the HomeSeer HS-WD100+ is very encouraging. Based on all this reading I now believe my GE Z-Wave dimmers behave like this because they are polled rather than sending a signal to the hub on state change. Will get 2 of the HomeSeers and report back.

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Just wondering if you had installed the homeSeer Switch/dimmer? And did it solve your lag problem?


Yes I tried the HomeSeer, it definitely improved things but still broke down very easily. By broke down I mean that there were enough occasions where there were lags of over a second, things acting weird, etc. Additionally my light flickers at low dimmer level which didn’t happen with the GE dimmer.

To be honest I just think that SmartThings or be it Z-Wave are just not where I personally need them to be in order to base my home automation on them. I’m not looking into Radio-Ra where the home server can be interfaced over Telnet and I’ll just find a nice way to automate things for myself. It works with 100% reliability, instantly, and all the things you want when wiring up your home.

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