Smooth dimming on red series

Not one of the original commenters, but I’m always in.

I was thinking about this and a few other things that frequently get discussed here. And this is more for @EricM_Inovelli to think about for the next generation of stuff. But it’s a possible answer to this question also.

Are you guys familiar with the Z-Uno? It’s a Z-Wave Arduino board, basically a little dev board with a bunch of GPIO pins and a Z-Wave radio. You define in software what command classes it exposes, and what they do, and it then can be included in the Z-Wave network.

That’s not the point though. The point is it’s a Z-Wave chip with two levels of code running on it. One is the base Arduino emulator that includes the ZDK and whatnot, the other is the user-provided Arduino sketch. The base code ensures it stays within Z-Wave specs no matter what the sketch says to do, and prevents a sketch from doing anything ‘bad’ on the Z-Wave side. Apparently both can be updated OTA.

I know from previous threads that Inovelli has considered open sourcing the switch firmware. So what I’m suggesting, is something like the Z-Uno- Inovelli writes a core code that handles the Z-Wave stuff, but then all the switch’s actual behaviors are dictated with a simpler, interpreted, user-editable script.

The switch would then ship with the base code and a userscript that accomplishes all the behaviors the switch does now. But that would be editable by the user.

Result would be if someone wanted a specific behavior- like let’s say they wanted their light to be at 0%, 50%, or 100% and never any other value, they could rip out the parts of that script that do the ramp dimming and replace them. Someone with a smart bulb could make a script that on initialization sets the load to 100%, then delete all the lines that sync the LED bar to the load. Someone with a unique setup could make the switch control one device and the LED bar represent something totally different. And the ramping could be tweaked far more easily to accommodate each bulb- for example if a bulb starts at 4% power, but is 50% bright at 20% power, and then gradually brightens the rest of the way, a customer could make a custom ramp for that bulb that would dim it up/down smoothly and evenly.

etc etc.

Basically, all the cool special use cases Inovelli is famous for supporting, and more, could be supported without Inovelli having to write code for every one of them. It’d take the Inovelli switch and put it customization wise much closer to a high end Crestron/Lutron product.

This is probably not possible with the 500 series chip due to space limits. But it’s something to consider for the next version.

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I could possibly help with some testing. I do have access to a Tek scope at work, 4-channel with isolated inputs to avoid the problems rpulivella posted about.

Awesome, I’ll create a group shortly (I’m putting it in my calendar to do early next week) and I’ll add the manufacturer to the mix so we can talk directly to their engineers/firmware developers.

Would you guys prefer to stick to Discourse (this forum) or MS Teams? We use Teams internally as it’s easier to IM the manufacturer, but I understand that can also be a hassle for some. Note: there’s only the project manager on Discourse and he’s basically a middle-man between us and their engineers.

I’m open to either!

Eric, I feel my expertise is outside this conversation btw. No need to add me.

That said, you never ceases to amaze me with your willingness to improve and improvise with your community.

I’m in…please let me know what I can do to help!

I prefer teams personally.

Not a Teams user, but more than happy to figure it out! It’s the least I can do :slight_smile:

I’m really happy to jump into this. I have countless use cases for the 5 button device and have been following it for a while. I have two spots in which I would use them as scene controllers and then a few dimmers I would replace to gain scene control and smart bulb control all in one single gang space. This is exciting stuff!

I am inundated with tools from various work projects for communication. I like the idea of keeping all Inovelli discussions within the same SSO and discussion framework. I understand that Teams is smoother for the rest of the… erm… team… so I’ll get on board with either method. But there’s a lot to like about keeping all things Inovelli encapsulated here.

Thanks so much!

Just wanted to add that I added some new LED bulbs to my ceiling fixtures this weekend:

And this became a MUCH more clear issue than it has been before. Set dimmer min to 45 and they are still like ALMOST off (like middle of the night can barely tell they are lit, but steps from 10% down to 1% are REALLY choppy. I understand that we are talking about sub-watt level dimming, but it’s definitely something that I look forward to improvement on!

ACTIVATE Inovelli Community!

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I have to echo @rpulivella – the ‘steppiness’ of the dimming is really the only flaw that I’ve experienced with the Gen 2 dimmers. It’s particularly exacerbated by LEDs that need their minimum dimming value set higher as there appear to be a fixed number of dimming levels that are then spaced over the same time period. I’d really love to see this be an area of focus for improvement in the upcoming products.

I’m happy to pitch in on this as well. Please feel free to loop me in if you are still looking for some additional volunteers to get more directly involved or help with testing. I don’t do embedded development professionally, but it is one of my hobbies.

It’s that “one thing” that I really look forward to seeing big improvement either as a result of a surprise firmware update or in a gen 3 dimmer. I’d even pay a small price for that firmware update and certainly will purchase gen 3 dimmers for specific circuits in my home someday when Inovelli announces/ships them!

The other key difference between LED and incandescent/halogen lights is that most dimmable LED bulbs do not implement any simulation of the effect that filament has on smoothing the perceived dimming. Even very short lower wattage incandescent filaments are long enough to smooth some of the perception of quantization. But LED bulbs usually are instant in their reaction to change in the phase controlled chopped AC waveform.

Just wanted to add here that @EricM_Inovelli has started a laundry list of enhancements across all our products in GitHub that we’ll be reviewing with the manufacturer now that they are back from CNY.

Smart Bulb Mode and this enhancement is our top priority.

Once we are set to start working on them I will definitely get the collective brain power involved!

@JasonL_Inovelli - this is one of the areas we’d like to work on that we’ll be discussing next Wednesday at our call.


Ditto here. It’d be such a big improvement I would probably rebuy as well, but it feels like it could be fixable with existing hardware.

This was where I REALLY started seeing it, with replacing my incandescents (I know) with LED’s in our living room light fixtures and min set at 45 is JUST dim enough to get by.

Glad to see everyone is on the same page here. I really hope existing hardware can be implemented but I could see it being a rollout on new gen 2 hardware (gen 2b?) or gen 3 hardware (not sure what else could possibly be improved on the hardware side???).

Great news Eric - glad to hear this issue made the list even though I understand this is a bridge you crossed with them once before.

+1 to experiencing this dimming behavior.

Using red dimmer on 4 commercial electric led trims (ns01aa11fr1-259). Lights turn on around 30% and only really have 4 dimming levels up to 100%, very “chunky” or stepping dimming.

Would be happy to test out any firmware or configuration updates that become available.


I was going to post this as a reply to this thread, but since it got kind of long and has other useful information, I made a new post instead: So I tested every recessed downlight from The Home Depot

@Eric_Inovelli I would love to be included as well if you ended up setting up the group.

I just got my first set of Red dimmers and they have been fantastic so far except for the stepiness of the fade. Count me in as someone willing to test a beta firmware.

I’ve not replaced all of our switches yet, so I’ll probably hold out for now until either this firmware gets fixed or the next generation gets released with a hardware fix.

Has there been any movement on this?

I am surprised this is blamed on MOSFET… They are used in audio amplifiers (even high end ones) and no one would accept such steps in music… maybe the overall hardware design poses a challenge.

Internally in a processor, something like the dimming steps must be represented by a number, say 0-255. So, changing from number 50 to 51 is a step, you can’t ramp between those 2 numbers. The number of steps depends on the bits you decide to use and the capability of the processor.