Struggling to get Red Dimmer Switch to Dim and turn On/Off my Smart Bulbs

My Red Series Dimmer is installed, and powering several smart wifi recessed lights. I was able to turn off local control, and have been playing with “Smart Bulb” mode. I can get an automation using this blueprint to handle on/off and switching scenes in HA via the up/down press and press count triggers, however I am really struggling to get a hold up/down to control brightness value of my light group.

With local control off, and smart bulb mode on, I can’t seem to get a press and hold to change the brightness currentValue at all, even when I disable all automations.

When local control is off, and smart bulb mode is on, does the switch effectively become just an on/off switch with no dimming capabilities?

Is there any way to have a press and hold update the current value of brightness, but not actually change the amount of power sent to the bulbs?

My goal is to basically have full power going to the bulbs at all time, and to simply use the buttons of the switch to control entities in HA.

You are almost correct. In that configuration, which is correct for smart bulbs, the dimmer will put out full power and you cannot control the load wired to the switch directly.

So in this configuration, you are forced to use scenes to control dim level if you are not using Zwave smart bulbs. If you had Zwave bulbs, you could brighten and dim from the dimmer by using a direct association between the dimmer and the switch, which is what I think you are trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, you can’t do the same with WiFi bulbs.

I do not know HA, so there may be some options there that I’m not aware of. There are plenty of HA users here, so someone will post.

I’m looking for the same thing with that Blueprint. I have Hue bulbs installed with the Hue bridge. I want the brightness to increase and continue to increase when the top button is held and stop increasing when it’s released. Same for brightness decrease and the bottom button. In that Blueprint, there’s an option for when the button is held, but nothing for released. I’d rather not pursue a loop with Node-RED, but I don’t know what else to do.

I just got the rest of my house worth of red dimmer switches in the mail today, so I’m very anxious to get this figured out!

Just to update you all on where I landed with this. I was able to wire up a node-red based flow using a palette node called time based dimmer:

However, this solution, as well as another I did that used just simple loops to adjust the brightness while the buttones were held down, resulted nothing like a smooth adjustment. It works, just in noticeable steps about every .5 seconds.

I’ve come to the conclusion that smooth dimming just isn’t possible when trying to control non Z-Wave lights from the switch into HA.

So I ended up going with a scene driven approach where I cycle between about 6 scenes that adjust the brightness by 20% each. I then used the multi-press events to cycle between the scenes.

If someone gets their loop based flow to work really well, I’m all ears, and maybe if you are doing this for multiple zones in your house, that will be the most scalable approach. But for my one zone I’m trying to control, this works for me.

What I do is use an event node for the light state changed. I uncheck the setting for it to ignore if state did not change because the light will remain in the “on” state if the brightness changes.

What happens if ANY property of the switch changes, I detect if the brightness changed (rbe node), then set the value to the bulb. Try this:

[{"id":"c096f226aa9e21eb","type":"api-call-service","z":"a9108253a28fd916","name":"Set Shower Light Brightness","server":"86db4bb5.5e7458","version":3,"debugenabled":false,"service_domain":"light","service":"turn_on","entityId":"light.guest_bathroom_shower_light","data":"{\"transition\":0,\"brightness\":\"{{brightness}}\"}","dataType":"json","mergecontext":"","mustacheAltTags":false,"outputProperties":[],"queue":"none","x":780,"y":60,"wires":[[]]},{"id":"86db4bb5.5e7458","type":"server","name":"Home Assistant","version":1,"addon":true,"rejectUnauthorizedCerts":true,"ha_boolean":"y|yes|true|on|home|open","connectionDelay":true,"cacheJson":true}]

I watch the switch instead of the light, and it syncs at the end. Another option.

@kreene1987 does this change in brightness feel fluid? Or is still pretty “steppy”?

It’s a new method I’m going to try based on your comments and a new discovery today. I’ll let you know?

The change can be however seamless you want it to be since you control the loop duration and the brightness percentage increase. When I was using NodeRed for this, I just tweaked the loop speed and brightness steps until it was perfect and the brightness changes were smooth with no perceptible steps.

With that said, if you’re using HomeAssistant - I think you can now right automations in the GUI that have repeat events. I’ve been meaning to try it for a bit but haven’t found the time - but I do think it’s do-able. Maybe I’ll give it a shot now.

@kendrosg i tried reducing the step timing, but anything lower that 500ms I started getting really weird jumping all over the place issues with the lights brightness. It seems the events start stepping on each other or something. Are you controlling a light group? Or just a single light? Is there some setting you used to make sure the events don’t start stepping on themselves?

I don’t think I’m doing anything special. I just looked at my node red flow and it’s currently at .2 seconds (so 200ms).

Maybe it’s the bulbs themeselves that aren’t able to handle having commands thrown at them in quick succession? In my case they bulbs are Ikea, running through an Ikea bridge and not my Conbee

And since the dimmer/relay is not being used, and power is always being supplied to the load, would a Red On/Off be able to do the dimming? Assuming your hub was translating to the bulbs anyway, can the On/Off switch pass press-and-hold to HA? Would be a slightly cheaper (and potentially more reliable) option.

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