Device Name vs Label

I'm trying to wrap my head around proper naming in Hubitat and it seems Device Name and Device Label are having an identity crisis. Device Name to me is the real unique name of the device and Device Label is the simple user friendly name. The device label is used in the mobile app under lights and switches so following this convention it makes sense. Doesn't make sense to make the label Living Room - Can Lights because that just makes the name a lot bigger for no reason.

Then there is Rule Machine. I try to make a rule using a device I now have 3 different devices named Can Lights and no way to tell which is which. Seems Rule Machine should use the real name or show both.

What is the best way to name stuff now? Seems hubitat app wants it one way, homekit another and rule machine another.

Ex.

Device Name
Living Room - Can Lights

Device Label
Can Lights

Room
Living Room

Device label is optional but will be used as the display name for the device (in apps, logs, etc.) if present. Device name is required and will be used for this purpose if not.

Normally, people set the device label to how they want the device to appear. In rare cases devices that come from an integration (e.g., Wiz...and I can't remember, maybe Hub Mesh) use device name for their own purposes. The label, meanwhile, is normally yours--though you can otherwise use either as you see fit, just knowing the label takes precedence for most things you care probably care about.

2 Likes

It could/should be more like the following:

Device Name
Zooz Zen 71 Dimmer

Device Label
Can Lights Left or Can Lights North or Can Lights 1 (or similar)

Room
Living Room

3 Likes

The way the device name vs label are used in HE is one aspect the situation you described, which I think @bertabcd1234 and @neonturbo did a great job at explaining.

Another consideration for what you include in the name / label can also be an entire conversation on it's own, which there have been some around naming conventions here on the Community.

I won't try to cover all that people have discussed in the past, but a few things to consider, which I think you already are:

  • You could shorten the device name by removing, say, the room name as a prefix, with that already captured under the Room for the device. But:
    • When selecting devices in various apps like RM, it can be useful to have devices from the same Room, hence the usefulness of the prefix
    • When making devices available to other platforms like Homekit or Home Assistant, there are considerations for how you want / need them presented there as well

Personally I choose to still keep a room prefix, followed by the name I want to give the device, plus any additional detail like a number or things like VS for Virtual Switch, etc.

1 Like

Exactly the way I (try) to do things. It makes it a lot easier in many ways, when things are grouped together.

1 Like

I meant to add to my earlier comment, there's likely a feature request in that, to offer the option to sort Devices in device selections by the Room they are allocated to. If it was adopted, I would still want to see it as a system level option to keep the current behaviour, but offer the option if people want to use it. Just can't remember if I or anyone else has already requested it...

1 Like

When using your devices with Alexa it will pick up the Device Label. That typically means you have to include a sort of room indication. Else Alexa will not know what lights are dinner vs living room for example.

1 Like

I started using emojis in some of my device labels and rule names. For example, I have a house emoji at the end of all my devices coming in from home assistant. I use a chain link emoji at the end of all my devices that are using hub mesh from other hub. Emojis don't carry over to Alexa though if that's important.

I don't remember who I saw do at first but they put the emojis at the beginning so that it would sort first by the emoji.

I credit @lewis.heidrick .... For a Japanese invention (I think)... someone who I hope will also see the unlikeliness of his involvement... :slight_smile:

1 Like

I do a combination of the above. I use a 2-4 letter room prefix (started before the rooms feature was added), then an emoji for the device type, and finally a name for the device. The name is often a location reference.

OFC :running_man: desk

That device is a motion detector in the office near the desk.

KTN :twisted_rightwards_arrows: pantry

Would be the switch for the kitchen pantry. (There isn’t a toggle switch emoji.)

This keeps the names small and it is easy to read in dropdown menus and smaller phone displays.

There’s a million ways to do it.

Why would I give my switch a device NAME of zen71 dimmer? Going to my device page I can see the deviceModel which in my case is ZEN76. And that sounds a lot more accurate - a device model. User-editable field for the name being the “model” sounds weird.

Honestly I still struggle between the two I don’t understand why there needs to be two different yet somewhat interchangeable ones. And each field can get referenced differently in different places.

So right now mine are the same. And more descriptive (like including room). And I’m not sure that’s best.

1 Like

I generally, but with many exceptions, have the name set to all lower case and the label set to the same text in Camel Case so I can tell when I'm seeing a device name and when I'm seeing a device label. (I think the saying goes "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of a little mind", but for me it goes "Any consistency is the hobgoblin of someone else's mind", so my naming conventions may not be entirely consistent.) Since most places use the label, I have the easier to read Capitalized Name there, but when I see the lower case name I know the device name is being used.

My only issue with naming has been where I have lights that are just named "xxx room lights". Using voice command via Google Assistant can lead to unpredictable results with those... "Turn off the living room lights" (1 switch) sometimes yields "OK, turning off 4 lights" (all the lights in the living room). Easy enough to fix if it bothered me enough.

I use “name” to identify manufacturer and model of device. This helps me when working with device issues. I use “label” to uniquely identify the device (e.g. Ext. Garage Motion) for rules, etc.

3 Likes