The Lutron patents
The issue is that there are actually two separate patents that may cover this feature. One expired this year, but the other still has awhile to run. And nobody wants to test it because Lutron, the patent holder, justifiably sued everybody there was the first time around (including Control4) and won every time. So all of the manufacturers are waiting for either Lutron to make a statement or someone else to test the waters.
It’s important to note that a lot of people, including me, were confused because the term “instant status” is not under trademark. And it’s not written into the patent itself. So people can say they have instant status even if they are not using the Lutron patent.
Where I got tripped up on this was earlier this year when Homeseer released some new switches right around the time of the first patent expiration that they said had “instant status.” Which they do, but they are not using the patented method, which is implemented using the “hail” command set of Zwave. Instead, they are using “central scene” commands, which is a new method, but which for technical reasons does not infringe on the Lutron patent.
There have always been ways to get the same end result without infringing on the patent, most notably through Z wave Association, so there have always been alternatives. This is just a new alternative. But it was not a device being released because of the patent expiration.
(Like I said, I got that one wrong at the time. But I wasn’t the only one. )
The current sutuation
all of which is to say at the present time, you can get the same effect as the Lutron instant status patent from a Z wave load control switch that controls (not just supports) any of the following command sets:
Check the conformance statement for each device to be sure. These are filed on the official Z wave alliance products site.
And even devices which don’t have this probably update their status in under a minute with SmartThings, so it’s really only a big deal for things like virtual three ways.
Instant status doesn’t mean the light is slow to come on
Also note that “instant status” doesn’t have anything to do with how quickly the light comes on when you hit the switch that controls the current load to that light. . It has to do with how quickly the SmartThings hub knows that the light came on when you hit the switch. So the only time that matters is if you want the hub to do something different because that light switch was hit. And it doesn’t apply to all kinds of devices–just light switches that control the current load to the light. Handheld remotes and other battery operated devices are not covered by the patent.
As far as specific zwave brands, right now I believe that only Cooper and the high end Leviton models have actually licensed the Lutron patent and use the “hail” command.
The homeseer switches use the central scene command.
Several brands use association from the master switch to achieve the same result, I just don’t remember exactly which ones. (Be careful, as some models only use association to associate an auxiliary switch to the master switch, if the master doesn’t control association, The status won’t get updated at the hub.)
I know that was long and confusing, but it’s a long and confusing and highly technical issue. I hope that helps a little anyway.
@duncan @tyler @slagle @jody.albritton