Feature Request: parameter to allow Inovelli switch to act as a companion

For three-or-more-way setups (wired) we can keep an existing dumb switch, or choose a companion switch from GE or HomeSeer… but none of these look as good as an Inovelli.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use an Inovelli AS a companion switch? Maybe a parameter could tell it to act in a “companion” role. This would give advantage of the instantaneous wired communication and still look good.

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Could you explain how this would be different than the existing option?

Yeah, the differences are pretty much the things listed under “limitations” in that document. The existing option does a virtual three-way using Z-wave association, and has its drawbacks, as listed. For me those are delay and issues with two-way sync; I’m going to do this anyways, and I think I have a way to handle the two-way sync.

The proposed feature would turn an Inovelli into a “companion”, rather than a smart switch, at least for electrical purposes. The “companion” Inovelli would communicate with the “live” one using the same signalling that the GE and HomeSeer companions, down the existing 14/3 cable. This would have the advantages of instantaneous communication and avoiding some of the complexity and debugging needed with Z-wave association. If the “companion” parameter could be set from local config mode on the switch, then it could be set up even without a hub.

Of course the “companion” could still join the Z-wave network if desired, act as a repeater, and (if it is Red Series) send Central Scene commands when buttons are pressed. But none of this would be necessary, because the wired three-way would just work.

The unknown for me is the details of how the companion signalling protocol works, so I’m not sure how difficult it would be for the switch to implement it purely in firmware without hardware changes (which probably wouldn’t be worth it).

I spent a bunch of time today playing around with Red switches and associations.

Right now if you associate two Red switches to each other, they freak out- try to keep updating each other’s status in a loop.
However I believe this is a fixable bug. HomeSeer HS-WD200+ switches can be associated with each other no problem, and they act as a perfect 3-way setup.

If this bug was fixed that would solve this issue- just run hot and neutral to the 2nd switch, and associate them together.

I was tempted to say "That’s not a bug, it’s a feature! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ". But seriously, there’s a parameter for that, “Association Behavior” (On/Off switches: parameter 4, Dimmers: parameter 12) which tells the switch what kind of events to forward through the association. By default it forwards everything, including the Z-Wave event it just got.

My next weekend project involves setting three Red dimmers (one has the load, two are remotes) where I want live dimming of the load from all three locations and also that the LED bars all sync up afterwards. That’ll cause some really fun looping if I’m not careful. I’ll make a community post after I’m done because I’m sure I (and maybe others) will learn something from the experience.

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PLEASE do, I’ve got the same setup I want to do, but right now it’s just dumb switches on the other end because I’ve not been able to get it all set right.

Yeah EricM showed me that one- it works great. Just if you set Parameter 12 to 11 as he suggested, the switch won’t forward commands to associated smart bulbs. So any smart bulbs should go on the switch that DOESN’T have that set. With that it works great.