Hey there folks, I made the switch from the WEMO app and Hub for my bulbs, to the ST hub and app for the bulbs. I still have to use the WEMO app for my WEMO switches unfortunately. But oh well. I’m actually very happy with the switch to the ST app, so this is not me trying to talk crap on the ST app, these are just some improvements it would be nice to see.
So…here are a few things I’ve found that I miss after making the switch that maybe ST can improve on, or someone can set me straight and tell me how to do it. lol.
I’m not technically challenged, extremely comfortable with all of this stuff, but I do get distracted quite easily, so there’s a good chance I missed something in the app.
Can’t fade lights on at a certain time (static time / sunrise / sunset). In the WEMO app, you can set bulbs/groups of lights to FADE to any percentage you want at any time. (It will fade up or down no matter where its at…ex, if setting says to fade to 30% at 7PM every day, it will fade down to 30% if it’s above 30, or fade up to 30% if it’s under, including from completely off)
Cannot group similar devices to act as a single device. In the WEMO app, you can, for example, group a set of bulbs as a single device, for example, if you have 3 bulbs all on a single ceiling fan, you can group that bulb as “Ceiling Fan Light”, from there you can set the brightness and (in my case with the OSRAM bulbs) set the white tempurature.
In addition to the above, because device groups are not supported, IFTTT and Amazon Echo cannot control multiple bulbs at the same time. (You can group bulbs in the Alexa App, however, she iterates through the list when you make a request, so the bulbs turn off one at a time…which is annoying, this isn’t the case with WEMO groups). Some people on the Amazon Echo/Alexa forums told me with a little bit of code I can create a “virtual switch” to emulate what the WEMO app is doing…which I might do, but it would be nice if ST supported it natively.
For the OSRAM lightify tunable bulbs…in the WEMO app (and from what I can see, in the OSRAM app as well), they have a very handy color wheel for setting the color temp. The ST app uses a slider, which makes it extremely difficult when setting the bulbs to the same temp…seeing how they support temps from 2700K to 6500K and the slider is about 1.5 inches long…it’s hard to be very accurate.
The routines need to support better granularity (maybe an advanced settings section, or maybe even a web interface? I guess this is just the programmer in me, wishing to have more programability). It would be nice if on the routines you could set brightness levels on a device by device basis (another instance where groups would be helpful). For example, if I have a routine that sets the hallway light to 10% brightness, and the kitchen lights to 50%, and the bedroom light to 100%…just an example, I don’t know why I would actually do that.
Another thing I noticed, is that you cannot turn off scheduled SmartApps temporarily…maybe you can? Haven’t figured that out yet, seems like a pretty small feature. Recently I went on vacation, and wanted to turn off some of my scheduled SmartApps (I have one that turns on my lights at Sunset) because I have guinea pigs and didn’t want to leave them with the lights on the whole time.
I think there were a few other things, but I can’t remember them at the moment.
There are multiple smartapps to accomplish what you are asking. Smart Lighting, Motion Lighting, etc. From what I can gather you want detailed control over many aspects of your things. The best app I have found for this would be Rule Machine by @bravenel. This is the missing link in ST as far as I am concerned.
For your last issue, you want to use Modes. Almost all SmartApps allow you to restrict when they run based on Modes, so you could create a Mode for Vacation. Then in SmartApps don’t select Vacation as a Mode to run in.
Some people will also create a Mode for temporarily disabling specific SmartApps on an ad hoc or singular basis. To do this, you would create a new Mode that you never tell ST to go into, then to disable a SmartApp you edit it to only operate in that Mode.
I use rule machine to group bulbs. Create a virtual toggle switch and when that switch gets toggled it toggles whatever bulbs you add into the rules. Just recently got a harmony remote and have been using that more than the switch though
You can also set rules for lights on and off at whatever time, but disable the rule when you’re away or use a number of other conditions. Like when you’re in vacation routine
Rule Machine will absolutely do this. Just to give @chadbaldwin more ideas of what is possible there is another app called Trend Setter that will do this based off of a master device, no need for a virtual switch. There are also some other apps with the same functionality. The point is look around the foums and there is a wealth of apps for all kinds of scenarios.
Below is the link to the IDE. This took me a while to figure out what everyone was talking about when I first got started. This is where you will paste your code for new smartapps and/or develop your own apps. Hope this helps. For parent/child apps keep in mind that you only want to publish the parent app. Do not publish the child app.
So far all I’ve managed to do is make a mess lmao. Trying to figure all this crap out.
I copied the code for Rule Machine and Rule manually, and created the SmartApps only publishing Rule Machine…but when I run it on my phone I get an error message. So then I tried to remove it and delete it from the site, but it won’t let me.
Now I’m trying to get GitHub integration…but I think I just made a mess of that too. lol. I forked bravenel’s code to my account, but I don’t know if that’s what I was supposed to do. lol. Guess I’ve got some learning to do.