Recommended Z-Wave Dimmer for scene-specific fade rates

I have a home theater with several light circuits. I was using an Insteon system for over 10 years, which worked fine. Some of the devices broke and I replaced it with STv3 and Honeywell ZW3005 Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmers with unsatisfactory results.

When selecting a scene, I want the circuits to fade to their new levels over a period of time, not change instantly. The Insteon system allowed each scene to fade at different rates which is what I would like to have.

Is there any ST compatible dimmer that will support these variable fade rates (and properly dim LED bulbs)? I have had no luck changing the fade rate parameters on either the Honeywell ZW3005 or the Leviton DZ6HD.


People used to do this with “gentle wake up“ but I don’t think that’s available with the new V3 app. It’s been a long time since I heard anything about it. I know the original author has moved on to a different platform. But I would think it could be done with webcore, so you might ask in their forum, I believe the only requirement is a device that supports “set level.“

Try WebCore (if you used an ISY in your Insteon setup, it is pretty similar to that programming format, except WC is a lot more flexible). I use GE Dimmers, but any dimmer should work similarly since ST treats them generically. To do this you would create a virtual switch in ST which would trigger on when the scene is triggered (you can do this in the ST IDE, under Devices), your Webcore piston (i.e. program) would use the “on” state of the virtual device as the trigger, the actual code might get tricky, but I think you can do a loop with a delay and brightness increment. You could also do something similar for the “Off” state (requires a separate scene) if you want fade-off too.

Another possibility would be to look for a SmartApp that can do what you are describing, I’m sure there is one out there. This would be the easiest solution, but some don’t work with the new app yet.

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Thank you @JDRoberts and @Gatroguy77. Not sure if its an acceptable question for this forum, but considering that the limitation seems to be based on the scene implementation for ST, is there another hub that does support setLevel as part of the scene setup ?

Eventually you should be able to do this in SmartThings with the official Rules API feature (which is still in development). Meanwhile, webcore is very popular in the community (The topic title is a clickable link)

As far as other hubs that support it, There are some. They all have pluses and minuses and since you can do this with Webcore now, I’m not sure this feature by itself would be enough to justify going to another hub if you are otherwise happy with smartthings. But to find others, just search for “adjustable fade rate home automation.”

Just off the top of my head…

Philips Hue has this for anything connected to its bridge.

Some Lutron systems like RA2 have this feature, but the model line that works with smartthings, Lutron Caseta, does not.

HomeKit has it, but it’s not exposed in the official app, you have to use one of the other available apps like Home+.

Legrand has it for their more expensive lighting systems.

Other expensive systems like Crestron and control4 have it.

Thanks! I purchased the SmartThings hub and the dimmers for a single purpose of managing four scenes for a home theater. While I am impressed with how many people are creating elaborate automation (as a software developer myself, I can see the appeal), I’m much more of a set-and-forget sort of guy at home. I originally bought this to replace an Insteon system, which seemed a bit archaic and the devices have an operational life of about 5-10 years, and I was expecting longer.

I thought of my application as a fairly simple application that I assumed would have had built in support from any vendor. Having scenes supporting fade rates seems to me a must have, but perhaps that’s my theater background.

I was unprepared for the level of complexity required to set up something this simple. I’ve now looked at several hubs, and it does appear that Hubitat supports fade rates in their built-in Groups and Scenes app. If I understand the ST infrastructure and WebCore, I think these automations require internet connectivity and rely on that infrastructure to be in place permanently. I’m already a little uncomfortable with the security risk and the dependency on providers would mean I’d probably be replacing the system in 10 years anyway. Hubitat seems to work in a disconnected fashion (once its configured). In retrospect, one of the better aspects of the Insteon system is that once the devices are programmed, even if you power down the hub, scenes still work.

I don’t regret the $400+ I’ve spent on this adventure. I’ve certainly had my eyes opened to what others are doing in the area of home automation, and I’m impressed with the creativity and time of all those in this community. I have ordered a new Insteon hub and dimmers (I have some left over from my previous install that are compatible). I still may order a Hubitat just for curiosity’s sake.

Thanks again for engaging with me.

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Habitat will run most things locally, yes: that’s actually the whole reason the company came into being. It was founded by former smartthings customers who were frustrated by instability caused by the cloud.

Insteon also runs mostly locally.