Capture/Restore For Dimmers That Are Off Question


#1

I have noticed that Capture/Restore doesn't restore the dimmer value for devices that were originally "Off". Or am I missing something? Is this something that could be implemented? Yes, I am "one of those" that prefer that lights go to the last setting when manually controlled at the switch.

BTW, Although I am used to RM3 and could think that way (is there something wrong with me? :wink:), I really can appreciate RM4! The rules just appear more legible and come together more efficiently. Thank you!


#2

Not all dimmers/drivers can set dim levels from the off condition and must be turned on before dim levels can be set.


#3

This isn't quite right. It captures the dimmer level if the switch is off. But, if it were to restore the level, doing so would turn on the light. Setting the level of a dimmer turns it on. So, you are correct that restore does not restore the captured dimmer level. The alternative would be for the light to flash on and then off upon restore, which is probably not the desired effect.


#4

Thanks Bruce! Curious, Would it be possible to set the dimmer level before turning it off?


#5

The dimmer level doesn't change when you turn it off. A dimmer has two attributes: its switch that is on or off, and its level, that is whatever it is. For most dimmers, setting the level to zero turns off the switch. But, turning a dimmer on or off doesn't affect the level.


#6

An alternative approach, and thank you @mike.maxwell for pointing this out, is to use button controllers instead of in-wall (switch style) dimmers. This is what I am slowly swapping the few switches I use over to. That way, you can control what hitting the on button does. You can have the on button set to turn the lights to 20% if your house is sleep mode or 100% in day mode. It provides a lot more versatility for control that in-wall dimmers do not.

The second alternative is to always "adjust" the lights via a rule when they are physically turned on. For example, if the switch is physically turned on and the house is in sleep mode, set the lights to 10%. There is one downside and one limitation to this. The dimmer has to report (and record) physical presses correctly (not all the devices do and not all the drivers support it) and the lights will come on at that other level for a couple seconds. If the "other" level is 100% and the desired is 10% this could be vary jarring.

The third and most complex alternative is to capture that dimmer level yourself and then set the lights to that dimmer level right before the restore function. However, that would mean that the lights would come on briefly if they were off when the restore function fires. Basically, you would be doing through a global variable exactly what @bravenel described. Depending on your application, this might be preferable to the level not being correct.

And of course, if you outfit every room with motion detectors, nobody has to touch switches anymore! :wink:

Hope this provides you (or more likely the next person who finds this topic, since this question gets asked about every 2 months) a couple of alternatives. :slight_smile:


#7

Alt option 3 above...
...set a global variable to the dimmer level right before the capture and then set the lights to that level right before the restore. This does mean that the lights will turn to that level briefly (whether it's lower or higher) just before turning off.

I assume that the lights are coming on in whatever action you are doing between the capture and restore?


#8

I have some GE motion dimmers with @JasonJoel's driver that does expose a set default dimmer level that can be set with the switch off. I don't know what other devices might have this support or what dimmers you are using but there may be others. Perhaps Jason could comment.


#9

That's true...and the Leviton in-wall dimmers offer that same function as well. I'm not a huge fan of the Leviton dimmers as the plug-in one I have buzzes like crazy no matter what LEDs i've tried but others have had success with them.


#10

Nice!

I have a button controller, where one of the buttons (Runs a rule named "Panic!") turns on all the outside lights as well as a subset of my downstairs lights with all the dimmer values set 100% (Wife hears critters and stuff at night). So setting the dimmer values via a variable or even a mode before I restore them would not be a problem. Might have a use for that local variable :smile:

Thanks guys!


#11

Why not use mode lighting to setup different levels based on mode, as long as the switch reports a "physical" change to HE when using the dimmer, this will work. While I have motion lighting for most of the house, for the dimmers that are not setup for motion I just use Mode Lighting so depending on mode the light will turn on at the percentage I have set. Its nice at night so the light does not turn on blinding you.


#12

I'm using this approach to feed kelvin values to my Picos to set CT throughout the day for any lights that happen to be turned on (not very many motions at my house thus far so lots of Picos). The kelvin values are populated into the CT GV when mode changes occur per each one of six different RM rules. I have 6 modes.

The goal is/was to support my use case for Circadian lighting which is sort of different than what the Circadian Daylight app supports.

It would have been nice to have changed CT in the background without affecting the current on or off state of any given dimmer but that was not to be.

So, I had been using the Button Controller app to setup all of my Picos just wishing I had a clone feature like RM. Then, I heard that Button Controller might be going away and that I should consider making Button Controls in RM. Ok. No big deal, I guess. Will try that.

But, in the meantime, I remembered this thread about the Dimmer Button Controller app which was described as:

"basically an easier way than using Rule Machine or Button Controller where you have to keep specifying the devices for each button when you want it the same for all of them."

Not sure which method will work best but I would prefer sticking with core functionality/apps whenever possible.

Thanks for this thread, by the way. Was very helpful for me.