Creating Mutually Exclusive Room Lighting

I am trying to figure out how to have multiple room lighting scenes behave in a mutually exclusive fashion - i.e. only have one on at a time and if one turns on the others turn off. I had setup my scenes to do this (turn off and / or limit activation) when the activator for the other scenes was on or off but I just discovered this morning that if the activator switch for a scene wasn't used to activate it, it won't be in the on state and therefore doesn't always reflect the state of the scene. I don't see any options to read the state of the scene itself in the list of ways to limit or trigger activation, am I missing something? It seems like there must be a way to do this given the breadth of options for triggering / limiting activations.

There's probably a few things that could be at play, but one question / approach could be to....

Think about your scenes as the settings across the same set of devices (lights). So for example, if you have 5 lights in a room, and define different "scenes" per mode, if Scene X involves turning on 3 of 5 lights and Scene Y involves turning on 4 of 5 lights, you could define the scenes for each mode with 5 lights, including those that should be off. Does that make sense? Am I completely off the mark?

Hey thanks so much for the suggestion. Definitely in the ballpark but I don't think that quite gets me where I am looking to go, this is a bit hard to describe accurately so likely my fault :wink:

I think it largely comes into play when I'm trying to limit or trigger a scene or rule based on whether or not a scene is active.

Here is an example I just came up with. I have a patio lights scene which turns on a subset of
my yard lights. I also have a yard lights scene which turns on every light in my yard, including my patio lights. If I turn on patio scene, then turn on yard scene, both scenes are active. I would prefer the patio scene turn off when I turn on the all yard lights scene because I trigger other functions based on which scene was intentionally turned on and to support my functionality, yard scene needs to cancel patio scene. In this example it gets more funky because if I then turn off yard lights, patio lights go out but the scene is still active, and the switch is still on.

In this example, I have another scene that motion activates yard lights but not if I turned on the patio lights scene and that motion scene is left broken because it thinks the patio lights were turned on even though they've been turned off (albeit through another mechanism).

I know in this example I can solve it by turning on the indicator option for patio lights, but let's pretend that's not an option because in more complex scenes I have sometimes people fiddle with the lights and I don't want to be dependent on no one touching the lights to determine whether or not I turned a scene on.

Hope that makes some sense.

Maybe the simple question is why doesn't the activator switch always reflect the current active state of the scene? (unless you set the set indicator per... option)

1 Like

Welcome to my world :slight_smile: I also invent similarly complex setups... :slight_smile:

As a simple recommendation, I would start by saying you could look at introducing a virtual switch to restrict the motion lighting for each areas you have setup (patio and yard). These switches could be used to limit the activation in each Room Lighting or equivalent rule.

Yeah, well, that's the fun right? :smiley:

Virtual switches is likely a viable workaround, but it adds complexity and makes the solution more brittle. I think it would be handy if you could just read the state of the scene or if the activator just reflected the true state of the scene, regardless if the indicator option is turned on. I hate to string together too many things in workarounds- it usually leads to other complications down the road.

Something to consider.... More generally than just your specific situation.... Is that determining the status of a scene, whether it be within HE or elsewhere.... It will rely on the accuracy of the devices reporting accurately... There are plenty of situations / device types where this can be problematic, hence (I expect) HE's reluctance to commit to delivering that as a reliable outcome (re my recent scientific vs engineering topic).

Not likely to be the answer you or others would like, but the one that is likely to reflect the root cause of your issue...

Totally get that and have experience it but all I'm looking for here is the opposite - just accurately reflect the state of the scene on the switch (regardless of the state of the devices).

Hmmm... What I was trying to explain was that scene state is not something that I have experienced as something platforms see as a thing, whether it be Philips Hue or HE.... It is more a case of activating a scene and what happens after that is up to the user / platform, but the scene does not maintain a status of on or off...

I hear you, it just seems incomplete to have the activator switch function, but then only have it loosely coupled to the scene that it activates if that makes sense.

Sorry, probably adding my last notes as you made yours, but that seems to be the accepted setup, which to a point I can understand... there are other complications for HE in providing scenes that take in devices with different reporting parameters...

In other platforms, I've seen that scenes are often times stateless, as you indicated, just set the devices and that's that. In HE, the scene is stateful, either active or not active, which then influences functionality down the line. The inability to read that state is where the feature feels incomplete and I'm running into challenges. Again, I don't think the actual state of the devices is at issue here, totally understand challenges with that.

1 Like

Sounds like we (and HE) are on the same page...

Feels like the indication that:

may be worth exploring, not so much for me, but for HE staff to understand how this may be presented to users and interpreted in this way. I could also be wrong, but it feels like this goes against my prior understanding....

1 Like

Actually, for what it's worth, I did get that wrong, I remember now the old Scenes App would indicate if it was active or not.

Download the Hubitat app