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.


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.

@jmason888 did you ever get this work right? Is there a thread with the parameters that you set on each of the switches? Thank you!

Real Life got in the way and that project got delayed, but I did eventually get it done. Along with all the red-series multi-tap shortcuts, like double-tap for 100% (which you have to do on ALL of them since the central scene commands go straight to the hub, not through the associations).

I was about to get started on a community post, when I received a Hubitat C7 as a gift… and I’m now in the middle of the long process of moving everything over from my ST v3 hub.

… Except for the things that Hubitat won’t talk to like IKEA buttons. The HE community seems to think that it’s because IKEA is doing non-standard stuff, but it feels to be like a ZHA vs ZLL issue. That stupid division is largely addressed in Zigbee 3, and I think the real issue is that Hubitat prioritied Z-wave upgrades in the C7, so it’s got a 700 Series Z-wave chip, but Zigbee is still on version 2. SmartThings seems to have gone the other route, with Z-wave 500 Series, but Zigbee 3. I was hoping for one hub that had the latest Z-wave and Zigbee, but I guess that would have meant going the HA route and buying my own Z-wave and Zigbee chips. Well, at least there’s HubConnect: I could keep the buttons (and maybe enough Zigbee repeaters to keep them happy) on ST, but move everything else, and the automations, to HE. Or maybe just leave all the Zigbee on ST. Either way, I’m taking my time doing the migration because HE is apparently much more finniky about HOW you build out your Z-wave mesh than ST was, so I’m moving devices over one room at a time; powered devices first, then sensors, and giving the mesh plenty of time to settle (and plenty of Z-wave repair runs) before the next batch. That kinda works OK for me because I can make it a weekend project: bring one room’s Z-wave devices over on Saturday, let the mesh settle, then bring the automations over on Sunday.

Anyways, the point in that long digression is that I’m going to need to do it AGAIN when I bring that room over to HE, so I might as well make a combined post about what I learned from both experiences. But the nutshell version is: make associations both TO and FROM the load-bearing dimmer from all the others (the remotes; too bad BFF isn’t ready). Make sure the switches are all included with the same security level or the associations will fail silently. Which association groups to use took a little experimentation which I’ll have to write up. Set the “association behavior” parameter to 15 (default) on the load-bearing dimmer and 11 (or even 1) on the others. Play with it. Then once you’re satisfied, setup your other preferences/parameters, red-series notifications, red-series button presses, and your automations… all of which will now need to take into account that there are multiple switches involved.

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Ha! I know all too well how life gets in the way of our fun projects!

Thank you so much for your reply! I will play around with these settings this weekend. It will be nice to remove the automation from my hub and just use the native z-wave configs to keep everything in sync.

Thank you!