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!
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).
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 (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~
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)
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.
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.
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 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.