Toggling physical power remotely?

I have several older Red series switches and I’m thinking about the newest model and replacing some more switches in my house!

Unfortunately there’s one problem I have with my old red switches that I can’t find an easy answer for with the modern switches:

Can I remotely toggle the mains power?

Here’s the problem. Wifi bulbs. They suck. They all suck. Every brand sucks. They’re going to eventually fall off of the wifi and need to be power cycled. Just apparently a fact of life. (It shouldn’t be, but that’s not a topic for here.)

I would like to be able to automatically power cycle the bulbs if OpenHAB determines that they’ve fallen off the wifi, or perhaps just schedule them to get power cycled periodically. With my current switches it requires going to the switch physically, doing the 8-taps-power-cycle-8-taps dance. Is that still necessary, or can I trigger the actual power for them via a z-wave command now?


You really just want to temporarily cut power to the bulbs to reboot them, right?

You don’t need to remove and re-add local protection. Just use the air gap to reboot the switch. That will cut the power to the wired load as well. You still have to go to the switch, but it’s quicker than doing the 8x thing.

If you want to do this remotely, I’d just do an automation to turn off the switch and then back on. Having local protection turned on won’t prevent you from turning the switch off then on remotely.

Probably because my older switches have different features, but I’m not sure what you mean by “use the air gap”?

Having local protection turned on won’t prevent you from turning the switch off then on remotely.

To clarify this:
The switch can have local protection turned on (Called “relay enabled” in the old parlance IIRC) which WILL prevent anyone touching the switch physically from cutting power to the bulbs, but still be able to control the actual switch remotely to cut power to the bulbs?

Because that’s exactly what I want, which I was never able to achieve before. With my older firmware when you’ve done the 8-tap thing to protect the switch from being physically pressed to cut power then that switch is going to be providing physical power to the bulbs until you hike back up there and 8-tap again. It sounds like perhaps that has changed?

This is the air gap switch. It pulls out to secure power to the switch.

Yes. I just tested the concept on a Gen 2 switch.

I could be wrong, but I think LOCAL protection and REMOTE protection have always been two separate things. Those protections are part of the Z-wave protocol and I think they’ve always been there. If you think about it, if something prevented you from turning local protection off, you’d have no way to get to the switch if remote protection was enabled at the same time.

Ah, yes, thank you! Unfortunately that doesn’t solve the in-laws-living-upstairs acceptance factor. Light switches need to work when pressed, which is why I’m looking to have the HA system be able to manually reboot the lights via a power-cycle if they drop offline. :slight_smile:

Excellent, thank you for the information! I think it’s pre-order time for some new switches then!

Your older red switches have an air gap.

You can’t do an automation with OpenHAB? I don’t know anything about it, so just curious.

So, now I feel foolish, because I typed out what the problem was, and then I decided I better verify, and it seems that an OpenHAB/Z-Wave descriptions update, probably years ago at this point, addressed this and the the channel for “switch” does look like it can de-power the switches, even with the 8-tap local protection on.

I would swear that this didn’t used to be the case, but… now I can’t prove it. Maybe I was just crazy all along. Perhaps it got fixed when I did the firmware updates after this thread and I just never realized it.

But yes, now I can just script OpenHAB to toggle the physical power to the fixtures in a room when their bulbs drop off the wifi, after which point tapping on the Inovelli switch physically should trigger the scenes as expected!

Indeed they do, but I meant that since the new switches seem to behave the way I need them to I have some additional rooms in my house that need switches. :slight_smile: And motion sensors. I’m kind of unreasonably excited now.

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Even if you had both local and remote protection on, you can pragmatically turn protection off, on-off cycle the switch then turn protection back on. I have no idea if OpenHAB supports doing this, but the switch does.

Yep, a practical approach is probably best . . .