Confused by light information and dashboard info


I am confused by some of the information displayed for a device when I click on it. I currently have 23 lights and right now only 5 of them are actually on - meaning they are turned on at the light switch level. The rest of them are turned off at the light switch.

If I click on one of them that is on and look at the device info, it says it is inactive, even though it is actually on.

I also created a dashboard and added all of the lights. All of the icons are the same color and "appear" to actually be on when most of them are turned off at the light switch.

In my previous automation solution (Iris), lights that were turned off at the light switch would have an X through them designating they were not available. Then there were additional icons showing when the light was on (active and turned on) and when the light was off (active but turned off).

Am I missing something? Thanks.

Are you using smart bulbs? If so, as you may know, the best solution is usually to not switch them off. What you're seeing is that they are "INACTIVE" because Hubitat hasn't been able to communicate with them for a while, but you'll see their switch state as "on" because that was (presumably) their state the last time Hubitat knew. It doesn't know if you turned the switch off, unscrewed the bulb, or just lost communication with it for some reason, an assumption Iris must have made for "unavailable" bulbs if that is the behavior you noticed on that platform under the same circumstances.

Again, not using the switches is probably best (Pico remotes, the Osram or Centralite dimmer remote, or pretty much any button device would be an alternative for physical control, as would the very dashboard you must be setting up, or a smart switch that lets you disable the relay so you can just use the presses as events). And many people would suggest automation (time, motion, etc.) to limit that need as much as possible in the first place. :slight_smile:

Yes, they are all smart bulbs. I would leave them on but my wife keeps shutting the lights off at the light switch. She is very resistant to change...

So is this the same for the dashboard? Are there different icons that will show the light as off if I actually left the light on and turned them off through HE?

Open the switch box and move the Load wire into the Line wire. Put the switch back, and don't say anything. :smiley:

After 6 months of the switch not working, your wife will be a convert. (Or divorced. :cry:)


Yes, on versus off looks different on the dashboard.

And for the record I'm with your wife. Light switches are there to turn lights on and off. Any other behavior is counter to what the switches are there for, and a bad design in my opinion.

The Dashboard has Templates and so the answer depends on the Template BUT all of the templates allow you to make color changes. You click on the 'kabob' (three dots) of a Tile and the Menu slides out. At the Top there's a green Template Colors button. Click that and you get the template colors editor. You pick a template then a state (on off....) and then set the icon and background color. Save and save often. You will need to fill in all the fields.

I am too, which is why I only have two Smart Bulbs in my home. Both in table lamp fixtures with the little twist knob removed.

But @Kato said he has 23 lights, and then confirmed they were bulbs... no going back now :frowning:

I'd say he's got a Lutron SmartBridge PRO in his future with a box full of Pico's to mount. :smiley:

Others have given you some ideas, but the Dashboard can only show you what Hubitat knows. If the bulb was on and power was cut at the switch, Hubitat will still think it's on (if it was "soft" off before, it should remember that too). The bulb doesn't get a chance to send an "off" message after its radio gets turned off. The Dashboard only reflects what you see on the device's page in the admin UI.

If Hubitat does indeed know the state, "on" and "off" switches do show up at least slightly differently in the Dashboard. How different depends on your colors, as with bulbs the icon itself is the same for either state (though if you only care to view you could probably use the "attribute" template and just see "on" or "off" if you choose the "switch" attribute--very clear, but possibly not very useful). An overhaul of Hubitat Dashboard is coming in the future, so this may change. I have a hard time telling the difference myself, so I would welcome more of a difference.

But back to the issue of how to prevent this: if you don't use any bulb-only features like color or color temperature control, smart switches could work instead of smart bulbs. Obviously, there are many reasons people avoid these (more difficult installation, may not be allowed if you rent, usually requires a larger wall box and neutral wire that may not be present in older houses, and not everyone feels comfortable doing this but anyone can change a bulb). If you do want bulbs, I've explained a lot of alternatives in this post, but most involve some sort of scene, button, or switch device you can use to keep a switch for physical control (though not always the same switch) and hopefully make everyone happy. :slight_smile:

That or inovelli switches that can disable the power relay. :grin:

Thanks to everyone for the responses!

Yes, I want to avoid divorce.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

My goal is get the motion sensors up and have those manage the on/off and try to get everything on a schedule where she will get used to it and leave them alone but I haven't had time yet - life does get in the way some times.

I am still trying to get used to the differences with HE. I like it - it is just different and I need to get used to the differences.

I got the bulbs on clearance from lowes - I think I ended up paying about $2 for each one so I couldn't really pass it up. I also like that I can control the brightness of each one individually.

I wonder if this might be a viable feature request for HE? Get an X or some kind of indicator on dashboard tiles that shows a smart bulb device has gone inactive? I know SmartThings had a similar feature that was so unreliable for me though. The idea though has its' merits.

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Ok, well a couple of things. I bought a Smartthings button to use to toggle the lights on and off if needed. This seems to work well and paired with no problems. They aren't that expensive either so that is a plus.

I do like the looks of the Sylvania switch/cover that bertabcd1234 linked to other post and may transition to that but this one seems to be doing the job right now.

I know others have said they like the smart switches to toggle everything on/off but - maybe I didn't mention this - all of the ones that are smart are recessed can lights and most of them turn on in groups of 2, 3, 5, etc, so it is pretty nice to be able to control them individually.

I keep running into an issue where my tiles return to the default template color scheme. I've changed and saved the template for "Switch" many ways and it returns to default. I've tried changing the template using the kabob on the individual switches, and on the main kabob for the dashboard. It'll save the new color scheme for 10-15 minutes and then return to default. At times it won't even show the Green status and just shows the status in Grey. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Are your lights actually on? Meaning, they should be on at the light switch and you have them turned in in Hubitat?

I thought they went gray when they were on at the light switch but you had turned them off in Hubitat.

I found I had to be excessive with Save.


Same with filling out the values. 'empty' didn't work for me.. but I remember that being reported and a fix created, but I moved beyond by then.

Actual On/Off control of the lights works well. The issue is that the color template for On vs Off keeps resetting to the default Green/Grey colors. The issue with the tile turning grey feels more like the tile is freezing and not updating. In this case I'll press a Grey (Off) tile, the lights will go on but the tile will remain Grey. The main issue is that the custom color templates I assigned will only save temporarily. Currently I have not experienced this issue in the last 2 days. I suspect that there's an issue saving the color template from different devices (Desktop vs Laptop) and maybe even an issue between saving the color template when changing inside the LAN vs outside. No issues for now but it was a nuisance for a couple of days. The only other cause I suspect is similar to what @csteele mentioned in the above post. Anytime you change the color template you have to include a color selection for "Icon Color" AND "Background Color". It might be that changing 1 color selection and not both causes a save issue.

I've completely switched over to using the Import method.

I manipulate them using a text editor, then paste the result back.

The benefit for me is that I can have one standardized color pallet pasted in every dashboard.


Even if a specific Dashboard doesn't use an Outlet, for example, the color is there should I ever change my mind :smiley:

OH. I pasted JUST the snippet having to do with customColor. It ends just before the words: "name": with your dashboard's name.


Thanks for the code. I'll give this a try once I'm done customizing my dashboards. I can see how this is easier than typing in rgba values for every tile template.

My color choices probably suck big time for your home.. but my intent was to make them all the same.. when I wanted light blue, I wanted the same light blue everywhere I chose to use it. GUI copy paste drove me nuts, so I really, really appreciate that Hubitat made this mechanism for ME. :smiley: (kidding, they didn't.)