What is double tap/scenes useful for? (regarding GE Z-Wave Plus devices)

Hello, I’ve had SmartThings for 4 months, and I’ve messed around with the switches in my new house to connect it, about 20+ of them.
I’ve connected them all to Google Home/Amazon Echo Dots, motion sensors, and sunset detection for exteriors.

I just recently found out that GE is coming out with a Z-Wave Plus version of the switches and dimmers. I know that they have better range and processor but as they’re Amazon-only (not stocked in Lowe’s and Home Depot yet), I’m not keen on immediately getting them as it’d be easier to return with ones with physical store.

My question is, as I’ve had this setup that’s quite convenient, what’s usually the use of double tap/scenes?
Most of my stuff are motion sensor or voice activated. The only ones I manually push are usually the kitchen, family room, and living room, because it’s more work screaming to turn them on than going up to the switch (in case of bedroom, I’m already lazy on the bed and much rather scream at it).

I’d like to take advantage of this Z-Wave Plus feature if I get my hands on one, but I’m not sure how…
I’m really curious about your use cases that would make life more convenient with the double tap feature.

It’s not a zwave plus feature per se, but as manufacturers are releasing new updated models for Z wave plus, some of them are adding additional features like double tap.

Some people like it, some people don’t. It’s very commonly used when you have zone lighting. So say you have a large room, maybe a basement, and you have three different lighting zones, each controlled by an individual switch.

If those switches support double tap, then you could use a single tap to turn on just the light for the zone where you were standing, and a double tap on any switch to turn on the lights in all three zones at once.

People also use them for all kinds of other purposes, maybe the single tap turns the light on and off, and a double tap arms the security system.

The biggest issue with double tap features is that they are not intuitive to guests because there’s no indication that the switch performs more than one function. And of course you have to remember what the different functions are.

So some people will find the feature very useful, and others will find that it’s just confusing.

Homeseer was one of the first to offer zwave plus switches with this feature, and they have both double tap and triple tap. They have a very short video demonstrating the double tap for zone lighting:

Ahhh I see!
Thanks, that explains a lot!
I have a decent sized townhouse but I think zone lighting is not necessary.
The intuitiveness is a good point. I’m already having to think ‘what did I name this device’ when telling Alexa to turn stuff on and off…
I think I’ll skip these for now, as most of my switches are wired up already. Perhaps in my next home I’ll grab these after they widely replace the old model.

Thanks for the great explanation as usual, @JDRoberts!

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I just installed one of the Homeseer switches near the front door in our living room. It controls the ceiling fan/light with the normal on/off function but I used Smart Lighting to make a double tap up turn on the table lamp, ceiling fan/light, and the Watch TV activity from my Harmony hub which is basically what my wife does every morning when she gets up for work.
I also made a double tap down turn off all the lights in the house as well as any of the Harmony activities that are currently on. This way we can shut everything off while walking out the door. I had to use CoRE for this one because I needed to only attempt to turn off the Harmony activities if they were already on, turning multiple off at once causes the hub to send an “All Off” command that wakes up the PS3 (long standing Harmony bug).

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Thanks for the examples! the all off interests me but the way the switches are placed around my house, none of it is within a step reach from the front door (behind walls adjacent to the door) so I’m less tempted.
I only touch like 2 light switches in my home now :sweat: (family room and kitchen, and they’re beside each other)

I’m glad I entered this home automation scene just as the voice commands are maturing~

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Double tap is also great for Phrase activation, or for devices that don’t have switches.

In my case, the main door light has HOME and GOODBYE phrases. Basically, a double tap on, ensures the system is set to Home, that the entry way, kitchen and other key lights are on (i.e. for when your hands are full and you don’t want to deal with each set as you make your way through the house with groceries), and ditto on the way out. Turn off ALL lights, set to Goodbye/away mode.

I also use the feature in rooms with automated blinds. One tap light on/off. Double tap light on and Blinds up, or light off and blinds down, and set the system to Good-Night.

Upstairs, Double tap sets up Movie night…

Could I do all this with Alex, yes and I do. but sometimes you don’t want to yell out (late at night, people by the entrance when you come in, guests in the house)

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Makes sense. Right now I live alone so i can scream all I want but I see when that’s not preferable. These are fun ideas.

Thanks for the reply!

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One of the alternatives to multi-tap switches is a multi-button device, which has the advantage that it’s more intuitive that it does multiple things.

Remotec makes an 8 button battery operated device, the ZRC90, which is about the same size as a single gang wall switch and can be mounted either vertically or horizontally. So you can put it anywhere you want. Each button can be tapped, double tap, or long-held which gives you three options per button. It’s available on both the US and the UK zwave frequencies and is quite popular.

So that’s another approach to consider.

As always, different things work for different people. Choice is good. :sunglasses:

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Zrc90 is there a built-in or community written device handler for it?

Is this switch reliable?

Community DTH

You could ask in that thread about reliability, but people seem pretty happy with it. :sunglasses:

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It is one of the most reliable devices I own. Battery life also is very good. 1st set of batteries and they are still at 88%.

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This is the marketplace Smart Lighting? How do you specify the double tap for a switch? Mine is a GE zWave Plus but I am only offered on or off in the Smart Lighting config.


Looking for how to set up the double tap functionality as well.


I would love to know how to specify double tap.

If you have a model that supports double tap, then you need to find a DTH (device type handler) for that model which will turn the double tap into a button number. Then when you use the official smart lights feature or most of the other automations you will select the switch as a “button controller“ and choose the “button“ that represents the double tap.

That all sounds more complicated than it is in practice, it’s pretty natural to use. :sunglasses:

For example, suppose I had a switch that allowed for single tap on, single tap off, double tap on, and double tap off.

The device type handler would treat it like a device with four buttons. Maybe Button one for single tap on, button two for double tap on, button three for single tap off, and button four for double tap off.

Then I would just choose which “button“ to use as a trigger in an automation.

Again, all of this only works if the physical device supports double tap and there is a DTH which converts the double tap to a button number.

So the first question to be asked is what’s the exact model number of the device you want to use?

I use mine for floods in the backyard using Sylvania RGB bulbs. Single tap turns them on and off in white. Double tap initiates a color loop.

I am using Jasco/GE Z-Wave Plus On/Off Switch (14291). From what I have read it should support it but I am new to this so may be mis-reading something here hand there. I am looking into Device Type Handlers and hopefully will make some headway soon.

Raw Description: zw:L type:1001 mfr:0063 prod:4952 model:3036 ver:5.24 zwv:4.54 lib:03 cc:5E,56,86,72,5A,85,59,73,25,27,70,2C,2B,7A role:05 ff:8700 ui:8700

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Got it figured out! Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

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Yep, you just need to use the custom device handler.

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Can someone point me to the custom device handler for this? thanks