Create dashboard button for RGBW bulb settings?

I just installed a couple of Sengled bulbs. They are pretty cool but I can already see that navigating the Color Bulb settings sliders every time I want a change is going to become tiresome.

There are actually 4 specific things I would like to figure out and hopefully adding a RPi is not required. :wink: Many thanks for any leads you can offer.

  • Create a dashboard button that sets one bulb to one specific color (e.g. middle of the night, turn my bedside lamp on as dim as possible)
  • Create a dashboard button that sets a group of bulbs to one specific color (e.g. general room lighting)
  • Create a dashboard button that sets a group of bulbs each to different colors (e.g. I want to give myself an immediate and severe color seizure)
  • Use a dimmer slider for a group of bulbs

I found this lead, to virtual devices and rule machine. Is this still the right direction? Are there any newer apps I should consider?

That's about what I would do (create a virtual button), except there's no reason to use Rule Machine. Simple Automation Rules (formerly Simple Lighting) can respond to button presses and manipulate color, level, and on/off state of bulbs in response, so if it meets your needs, that might be where I'd start instead. If not, Button Controller is another good option. Rule Machine is a superset of Button Controller (if you use a "Button Device" trigger) that will give you a few RM-only options like conditionals and variables if needed, and it would certainly cover any case the previous two apps could also cover, just with perhaps a tad more work on your part and perhaps a tad more overhead for the hub. If it were me, I'd try a simpler app first unless I knew going into it that I'd need RM.

Simple Automation Rules was a tad simpler at the time when that post was written, and Button Controller was briefly retired in favor of Rule Machine, which are two things I can think of that have changed since that post was written, leading to my above suggestions instead. :slight_smile: Otherwise, nothing has drastically changed anywhere and definitely not with Dashboard.

Good luck!

Thanks, that helps!

I have a grasp the bare fundamentals... adding devices and simple dashboard buttons... but it isn't immediately obvious how to tackle the next level.

(I don't suppose there is official documentation anywhere that covers this stuff? Seems like these must be FAQs. checks how-to guides... Nope.)

I'm not sure there's any particular guide for this, but the general idea is:

  1. Create a virtual button (Devices > Add Virtual Device; name it whatever you want, and choose "Virtual Button" for "Type"; it is not necessary to change anything else, though you can if you know what you're doing)

  2. If desired, customize the "Number of buttons" preference on the virtual button device page (which you should land at after creating the device). At minimum, you just need 1, but you can leave the default of 5 or change it to whatever you want. You'll see how this comes into play next, but basically, for every Dashboard tile you want, you'll need either a unique button number or a entirely different virtual button device (so one virtual button with 5 buttons would give you about the same effect here as 5 virtual button devices with 1 button each).

  3. Create an automation to do something. Simple Automation Rules and Button Controller are both good choices (RM would certainly also work but might be overkill unless you know you need an RM-only feature). For example, in Simple Automation Rules, you could do something like this if your virtual button is "My Button":

    This would turn on the lights to red at 100% when button 1 on your virtual button is pushed if the lights are currently off. If on, it will turn them off. (You could un-select the "Toggle on & off" option here to just make it change to those settings any time this "button" is pushed, depending what you want.)

  4. Create a new Dashboard tile with the "Button" template. It will ask you for a button number; this is the button number that gets "pushed" when the Dashboard tile is pressed. For the above example, you'd want to type in 1 (because that is what I put in for "Which button number?" in Simple Automation Rules), but again, you'll just need to match this up with whatever automation runs based on that button event.

Note that the stock Dashboard doesn't let you do much customization in the way of device names/labels if you have them displayed on your Dashboard. I haven't used the Smartly "addon" much (you can find it with a forum search) but think it does; otherwise, this might be one reason you prefer individual 1-button virtual buttons over a single multi-button virtual button: you can customize that device's name.

Makes sense! Thanks so much, this will save me a lot of time!

doc for Hubitat Simple Lighting (now Simple Automation): Hubitat Simple Lighting - Hubitat Documentation

Couldn't you also do this by creating a Scene? Is using a virtual button and simple automation rules just better?

Groups or Scenes look like they might address part of what I want to do, because I do want a button to change the state of multiple devices. I didn't have any idea at all how to do that until you mentioned scenes and I found the documentation.

(I find how basic features require you to install an "app" to be kind of confusing. It makes it hard to figure Hubitat out by exploring the UI as it comes out of the box.)

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I forgot to mention that alternative: yes, if you make a scene, you basically get a free (also basically virtual) button device that already does this--turns the bulbs to a specific setting--without the need to create an automation for it yourself. That actually might be easier. :slight_smile: I don't use Hubitat scenes myself, and given the original suggestion for a button, that never really popped into my mind (and these are workaround those of us who've been using the platform since before Groups and Scenes have had to do anyway). Good idea!

(The tradeoff, of course, is that Button Controller and certainly RM, possibly even SAR, give you a little or a lot more control over exactly what happens.)

Out of box, Hubitat is basically a blank slate. It only does exactly what you configure it to do, which by default is,..nothing, I suppose, except it will generate (unused) sunrise and sunset events if your location is correct. :slight_smile: During initial setup, recent hub firmware versions (probably the last year or so--I don't remember when this was introduced) offer to install a "Let's Get Started" set of virtual devices and example apps using them. The idea is that this can show you a few things the platform can do, and you can customize these apps with real devices and your desired settings later. Not sure if you ever saw that option, but too late now in any case.

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I love the Hubitat life so far ... but learning to use it makes me think of trying to learn programming by reading a list of available functions. I wish the official How To Guides section included topics on how to configure common automations. That might have prevented a few of my forum posts. (Fortunately, this forum is great!)

If that option was presented to me, I missed it somehow. Too bad, sounds like just what I needed!

But, between your virtual device writeup and the groups/scenes documentation I think I have the leads I need.

Thanks all!

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