@EricM_Inovelli I’m planning on replacing pretty much all of my switches with Red Dimmer switches, even in places where I may not really care about dimming (since installing hardware takes some effort I’d rather have the red dimmers everywhere for future flexibility). This means I will have a variety of device types hooked up to my Red dimmers, and they’ll each need slightly different behavior.
Dumb bulb, dimmable
This one is easy - it should behave like the red dimmers behave out of the box. I should be able to toggle on/off, as well as set level locally and remotely. The on/off/level is reflected in the load.
Dumb bulb, non dimmable
For these I obviously want to control the load on/off (both locally and remotely). I also want to disable the dimming function so that the LED bar always shows 100% when on, and pressing/holding the paddle does not send level updates. If the I try to remotely set a level, the switch should ignore it. I believe this is what @mamber wants. I planned on just replacing my non-dimmable bulbs with dimmable ones to avoid this problem, but it would be nice if there was a setting for this setup.
Smart bulbs should always be powered… always. No set of commands local or remote should be able to cut power to the device, as it is important for home automation that the device is always connected to the hub. This is especially important for non-zwave bulbs (unfortunately there are just not that many zwave bulbs on the market - zigbee is king for now). If I want an automation that will fade a zigbee light from off to on, it needs to be connected to the hub even when it is “off” (i.e. brightness 0%). If I first had to “turn on the switch” so the bulb can get power, the bulb will come on to its last state rather than ramping on.
Depending on your smart bulb, you may or may not want to disable dimming as well (in the same way as the non-dimmable section above). For instance, with a zwave bulb that’s associated, dimming works really nicely and I’d want enabled. For a zigbee bulb, I may or may not want dimming to be enabled (depending on if I’m okay with the latency when pressing/holding to change level).
My ideal solution
(While I am a software engineer, I know nothing about firmware development or what limitations you have)
The way I see it, I think that there are two distinct things that people want to be able to control. There’s the logical mode (whether the device keeps track of its dimming level), and the physical mode (how does the switch reflect its logical state on the load wire).
Note that the “Disable local/remote control” options are orthogonal to the logical state, and would still make sense. For instance: “I want the switch to be dimmable (logical option), but always send 100% power (physical option), but don’t let me change the level from the switch (local control option)”
For the logical mode, I think all that is needed is an option for “Dimming enabled” or “Dimming disabled”. When dimming is disabled, any attempts to change it (local or remote) are ignored, and therefore the level is always at 100% or 0%.
For the physical mode, I think there would be either 2 or 3 options:
- Always on - This is effectively the same as hardwiring load to line, but through configuration (which makes it easier to change later than having to rewire - i.e. when you go to sell your house and want things to “just work” for the buyer)
- All or nothing - Send either 100% or 0% depending on the on/off state of the switch. While the switch may or may not have “Dimming enabled”, the level is ignored when determining the load.
I’m not 100% sure what the use case for this would be, but it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable option.@Mamber suggested that they like to be able to use the level LED display as a countdown timer, so this would be a great use case.
- Conventional dimming - Send a variable load depending on the level. When “Dimming disabled” the level will always be 100% or 0%, so this is effectively the same as “all or nothing”.
Depending on how hard it is to add new options, there are only a few combinations so a single option with the 6 combinations wouldn’t be too bad.