Turn one device on/off causes another to turn on/off (and it's not supposed to!)

I am a new ST user. The devices I am having issues with are a:

  1. GE dimmer switch (in my dining room controlling the overhead light)
  2. GE outdoor switch (in my backyard controlling outside lights)

I have my Good Bye! routine set to turn OFF the dimmer switch, and the I’m Home! routine set to turn ON the dimmer switch.

I originally noticed odd behavior where my backyard lights were on when they shouldn’t be. I ran the routines and noticed that the backyard lights were being turned on and off at the same time as the dimmer – except the backyard lights are NOT added to that routine.

I then went and removed control of the backyard lights from every application and routine. Yet whenever I manually toggle the dimmer switch using the ST app, the backyard lights also turn on/off! (yet with a slight delay). EDIT: originally I thought the backyard lights did not turn on if I used the hardwired switch to turn on the dimmer – I was incorrect, as it does follow the behavior of the switch.

I logged into my graph.api.smartthings and confirmed the two devices have separate IDs (02 and 03 – I told you I’m a new user!). I checked the log and confirmed that they are both getting an APP_COMMAND, with the outdoor switch being sent about a tenth of a second later.

I have run a Z-Wave repair with no effect.

Any ideas on why this is happening? I have NOT fully removed/re-added the outdoor switch to the system yet – I was hoping to see if there is another solution first, but can try that if there is none. I was hoping that I was perhaps overlooking some other software-side troubleshooting.

Thanks for any advice.

Any chance you have installed the Color Sync smartApp? I stumbled with that, because I just wanted it to sync colors, but it apparently thinks “On” and “Off” are colors.

Check the logs, they should tell you exactly which routine/smart app is causing the outdoor lights to go on and off and then you can work from there.

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For example, I have a Good Morning! routine that also turns on the dimmer switch at 6:30am.

This morning, the log shows the dimmer switch turning on at 6:30am with the description: “Good Morning! sent on command to Dining Room Dimmer Switch”

But immediately after, the log shows the outdoor switch turning on with the description: “zw device: 03, command: 2503, payload: FF”

It makes sense that it is not the Good Morning routine for the outdoor switch (since it is not added to that routine), but does that event description make sense as to why it is mimicking the dimmer switch?

Nope, no Color Sync. I have:

  • Alexa Helper
  • Amazon Echo
  • Gentle Wake Up (not configured)
  • Logitech Harmony (Connect)
  • Smart Lighting
  • SmartRule
  • Vacation Lighting Director (also not configured)

I would try to fully remove one of them, and zwave exclude it then re-add it. I think that should solve the issue.

I wonder if somehow they got associated to each other.


Have you tried deleting the routine and rebuilding it. You may have selected the light the first time and then deselected it. Sometimes ST doesn’t play nice when you change something like that.

I had this happen to me. But it turned out my wife enjoys playing with ST and was messing with me. I changed some bulbs in the bedroom and was testing the dimming. She was out in the living room and turning the bedroom fan on every time I turned the light switch on. Embarrassingly I couldn’t figure out what was going on for about a minute until I heard her giggling out in the living room. But I was sure thinking “oh great, ST is broken yet again” and how am I going to fix this one?


I think this is the route I’m going to go, since I confirmed it is not just limited to routines, but even the hardwire switch causes them to go on and off together.

Very bizarre but hopefully removing and readding works (honestly the main reason I have not done so already that is I have to break out the ladder so I can reach the button to exclude it).

Thanks for the help everyone, I’ll post back if the exclude and re-add does not work.

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