Associating 6 Illumin bulbs with Inovelli Red Dimmer

(Copied from my Facebook post, so apologies if you’ve already seen it.)

So I just got 6 Inovelli RGBW bulbs installed and paired in my home theater room fixtures. I have one Inovelli Red dimmer that controls the two 3-bulb fixtures.

I went to set up the associations and, to my horror, have discovered that there seems to be a 5 device limit for associations (or at least that’s what it looks like to me). I can set the dimmer to control the six bulbs, but the last one just ignores the commands (or, more likely, the association tool just ignores my attempt to add a sixth).

At first I thought it might be a defective bulb, so I excluded it and installed a different one. Then set up the association with the new one. Same result.

Is there any way to over come this? I tried setting up a Group and using that, but that doesn’t seem to work for Z-Wave associations (it had no effect).

I don’t think I can use Rule Manager, because I haven’t seen how you can set up a rule to respond to dimming from the dimmer. But if that’s possible, please advise and I’ll pursue that.

I’m thinking I may just pull one bulb out from one of the fixtures. That sucks.

You’re right about the 5-bulb limit :frowning: I wonder if you could set something up that would sync the sixth bulb whenever one of its friends changes level. It’d be frustratingly behind the others when it has to go through the hub though.

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Can you use Groups to make all 6 lights into a single”light” in Hubitat?

Yeah, that’s what I ended up doing. The sixth bulb is mediated by the hub and I set rules for on/off and dimming from the dimmer to that one bulb. It does suck, but it works. You can see the lag here in the far fixture:

Oh, well. This is exactly why I’ve avoided smart bulbs for years. They just sort of suck in practice. I wish there was a solution that paired RGBW bulbs with a switch that responded to color change commands through the switch rather than having to be controlled individually. Take all the Z-Wave stuff out of the bulbs altogether.

Definitely could. But the Z-Wave commands are sent from the hub to each bulb individually (even when grouped like that in Hubitat) and that results in a messy experience.

Agree. Just two in a group and I ultimately just leave them plain Jane white as it takes too long to change colors or anything fun.

Grouping them and then exposing that group to Alexa does make color changing a bit more convenient (you can just tell Alexa to set the lights to red or whatever).

The execution through the six bulbs is slow and torturous, but it’s usable.

@justindthomas - That’s how I have it linked via Alexa. I posted a video on my post about Hubitat and LZW bulbs = slow. It’s good for the first two changes, but quickly slows down.

I do have to say that having Z-Wave associations available moves smart bulbs a lot closer to parity with normal expectations for how lights should work. Just need to take it a bit further and find ways to extend the association limits (255 would be nice) and capabilities (figure out some way to coordinate color changes from the switch).

I recently replaced one of my light fixtures and intentionally selected a five bulb fixture to allow for direct association. That being said I have done some testing from the hub. In my first tests I did notice some performance issues, however my Z-wave network did have one non-plus device. I removed that device and the bulbs when controlled from the hub are almost perfectly in sync (<1 sec off across five bulbs).

Do you have any non-plus devices that may be causing performance issues for your network?

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That’s discouraging. I’ve been doing this for a while and it’s almost certain I have some non-plus devices. I currently have 71 devices in Hubitat - the vast majority are Z-Wave (some Lutron) and are mostly wall switches accumulated over the span of years (a lot of Leviton).

If I have to go through and randomly start replacing my older Leviton wall switches, that’s going to suuuuuuuuuck. Is there a flag or something in Hubitat that could tell me if a device is plus or not?

In the Z-Wave Details check the Clusters value for your devices. Z-wave plus devices will have “0x5E”, and non-plus devices will naturally be missing that value.

Just because you have non-plus devices on your network doesn’t mean your devices aren’t going to work. What it does mean is communication through those devices will be slower. Think garden hose vs fire hose.

You will benefit from replacing those devices, however that can be a pricey endeavor. Take your time and slowly cycle out those older devices as sales come up. I would focus on mains powered devices closest to your hub working out, with battery devices last on the list.

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Okay, awesome. I’ll go searching for those. Thanks for the help!

Yeah, looks like I have 13 Leviton switches that are non-plus (1 that is plus). And a variety of sensors, door locks, and general-purpose relays (e.g., for the hot tub blower and heater) that are also non-plus. Looks like I have some updating to do. Over the last couple of months, I’ve switched out 4 Leviton switches for Inovelli Reds. I have 4 more on my bench that I’d planned on using to kill some Lutron devices, but maybe I’ll switch tactics. Also have 3 Zooz dual switches that I’m planning to put in my bathrooms that will knock out at least a couple Levitons.

Would still love to see Inovelli push to extend the Z-Wave association functionality to increase the maximum number (I’m assuming they’re limited by standards from the Z-Wave Alliance or something like that).

I’m in the same boat as you. I have a vanity with 6 lights split into 2 banks. My wife doesnt want them all on when she uses it but I do. Its a pain mitigating the 5 device limitation. My understanding of the issue is that its a memory related issue. Some devices can support more than 5, but most are capped there.

I also recently replaced devices with Inovellis. I pulled out all of my Caseta and Vizia RF+ devices. I have 7 switches waiting to be installed on my 3 way circuits, then 6 fans once the fan comes come out. My Leviton’s were starting too how their age compared to the novellas and the caseta’s requiring a second hub just annoyed me. My hub was also older, so to do what I wanted to do would ahem required an upgrade.

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While I don’t believe there is a limit on devices in an association group (perhaps 255), I’ve never actually seen in person a device allocate more than 5. I’ve seen DH’s that said they supported 8, but never used.

Direct associations are great, and the main advantage I see of Z-Wave. I wish more manufacturers used them to their maximum ability.

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Will there be any update on this? Your current association limit is incredibly restrictive given the nature of your new switches.

I believe it’s a Z-Wave protocol limit, not an Inovelli limit. I don’t think they have the ability to control your desired solution.

You might be able to do it with a second switch and associate the switches together with 3 lights associated to each. It’s pretty dang quick and might work close to your desired solution.

I believe it isn’t a Z-Wave limit at all. At least it isn’t documented as being one. In fact many devices have a higher number set.

Found this info:
“Typically the number of receiving nodes per group is limited to five devices. This limitation is due to the limited memory capacity of most devices, however, some devices do have higher memory capacities and support more target nodes.”

In other words, a device manufacturer can make room in firmware to support any number of groups with any number of nodes, and is only limited by the hardware/firmware itself