Plan on beginning to integrate lighting. Do I care whether its instant or polled? I have read a little on it and have searched the forums here, but I was just curious in your experience in the real world do you care? Most other stuff is instant right? Locks, sensors, stats, etc.
Yes, most devices will report their status right away. The only one where there’s an issue are dimmable light switches where you change the dim level manually at the wall switch. That’s the only thing that is covered by the Lutron patent. Anything else, including regular on/off switches, in wall receptacles, or a dimmer switch being adjusted by automation, should update the hub with its status very quickly.
As far as dimmer switches go, Lutron themselves, The high-end Leviton, and Cooper models generally have the official instant status updates for manual changes made at the wall switch.
Some of the other brands have various ways of working around the issue.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to see the status in your mobile app update in less than half a second from the time the switch is changed on the wall, then you should definitely choose a model that has licensed the Lutron patent. But otherwise you probably won’t even notice the difference.
You might find the following thread of interest. (This is a clickable link) The light switch discussion starts around post 40