I believe that the GE 45603 (which is a plug in module) is NOT something covered by the Lutron Patent and therefore should report when it’s physically pressed, but I’m not 100% sure on that.
Long boring paragraphs on Lutron Patent… feel free to skip if you want
Lutron somehow was able to get a patent (thank you very much stupid patent office!) on Z-wave connected light switches. The patent covers the switch reporting to the controller when it’s physically pressed. Now, doesn’t this just sound like common sense rather than anything innovative or inspirational? Why would something like be granted a patent?!? Dumb… but it was granted.
So in order for a light switch to report to the Hub that it’s been pressed, the company needs to pay a fee to Lutron. Some companies generally do (Levitron, Cooper Aspire), some generally don’t (GE/Jasco, Evolve, Intermatic). Not surprisingly the companies that generally do pay the fee generally charge more for their switches.
So how does SmartThings know when I press a non-patent switch? Magic! Or, rather, sneaky technology. When a switch is pressed it sends a basic “node update” sort of command to every node it is connected to. This isn’t a signal that it’s been pressed on or off, just a general “Hey, I exist… look at me! Aren’t I cool?” sort of this. ST intelligently designed their system to look for these. When it sees one, it sends a poll request to that switch and asks for it’s current state (On/Off) and then updates itself accordingly.
There are three problems with this method though: First, dimmer switches, as we’ve all seen, don’t turn on/off instantly. They fade off. So when you turn off a dimmer, the light starts to fade. The signal is sent by the switch, ST sees this, and polls the switch. But the switch is still on, technically. It’s fading out, but it is still on when it is polled. So ST doesn’t update a dimmer “off” command properly. Second, AUX switches NEVER send out that node update command so turn on/off via an Aux will not update. Third, these “I exist” commands are NOT repeated through the mesh network, so this only works if the switch is in direct communication with the Hub.
Okay, boring patent stuff done… start paying attention again!
ST should be updating relatively regularly, but it isn’t a perfect setup. As others have stated the update does seem to fail or crash every now and then. Another thing I discovered is that if you are using a secondary controller, ST does NOT see when a device is turned on/off via these remotes. This is a direct remote->device communication.