Dimmer as a timer

Just kinda spitballing ideas to see if and how it would be possible.

I bought a zooz zen30 that I'm going to use the relay side for a fan. I'm not actually going to use the dimmer output for anything.

Disabling local control and using it as a button, I was thinking how I could use the dimmer as a timer. Say, 10% = 10 minutes, 50% = 50 minutes. As the time ticks down, lower the dimmer level too. That way the dimmer LED's on the switch sort of indicate time remaining. When the time runs out, turn off the relay.

See if that makes sense to anyone else :slight_smile:

Why not use an oldie but goodie?

I got excited when I saw that, but not really what I'm after.

What I'm thinking is more like a bathroom fan timer that counts down, but adjustable from the switch where it counts down from. I might only want the fan on for 10 minutes one day, but the next time I might want on for an hour.

I'll say some stuff, but I don't know if I can help.

I noticed a dumb switch like that when I visited my sister last year for Christmas. It had lights for the timer. I think there were maybe only 3 times.

In my bathroom, I only have switches, no dimmers. But, I arranged it so that ordinarily the fan stays on for 5 minutes, two taps up it stays on for 10 minutes and three taps up for 15 minutes. This is a GE/Jasco switch with @JasonJoel 's driver with the 6 buttons.

I like your concept, a lot, that mimics the cool looking timer with the lights, only with more granularity, smarts, and flexibility.

The only thing is how to do it. :slight_smile:

There was a fellow who adapted a dimmer for 0-10v control of a ventilating fan. If he could do that, you should be able to do this!

I just looked on my dashboard at one of the few timers I have. The scale is 0-100. If, instead of percentage, those discrete numbers could be translated into minutes, that would be a nice range. Perhaps there is a custom attribute on the ZEN30 for dimmer level that could be used for this in a rule.

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I think it's totally possible, you just need someone with more Rule Machine talent.

I just put together this, using one of the three dimmers in the house. If I set a local variable to the dimmer level and use it for delay, it makes percentage seconds, so that has to be messed with.

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I have a non smart bath fan timer like that. That's exactly where I got the idea from.

I found a device that works as a virtual timer device, and you can set the time on it via rule machine. But it's a one time set, no way to increment it by multiple button presses.

Mind sharing your rule? I'd be happy with 3 settings maybe. 1, 2, 3 hours

Sure, but I think your device has a lot of potential.

I put in some math to get minutes.
Now, if I change the dimmer to say, 3, the light stays on for 3 minutes.
image

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Actually, I think I used Simple Automation for my bathroom fan timer. It's been a while.

Your think has a lot of potential. I like it a lot.

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I changed it up some more.
Now, I can turn off the light while it still in timing mode if I want.
I disabled the minute math for testing.
It's cool to see it in action.

Do they make a dimmer with the little lights without the relay switch? Although I imagine that other switch could come in handy.

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I'm gonna have to play with that code.

I don't think any of the zooz ones do, but you could probably do the same with an inovelli with the led bar.

I have a old leviton dimmer that has the indicator lights too

Yeah, you have to check to see if these attributes are available for Zooz, but I bet they are.

With that ZEN30 you could control the fan and it's run time with the dimmer, and a light, in my case, maybe the vanity light, just on and off.

Push the dimmer on pad, and it will run the fan for the time you had set it last, with the amount of time shown on the leds. If you want to increase or decrease fan run time, just push the paddle. If you come by later and want to shut it off, just push the off pad.

My entire house is toggle style switches, no paddles, so I probably won't change.

I like this a lot though. Very intuitive.

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I was looking at my bathroom switches this morning, lol, and had an idea.

Something that I think about is how things would work in a Hubitat outage.

I am thinking, for me, I currently have a pretty nice setup for me with the one toggle switch controlling the fan's time and also on and off during a hub outage.

If I used the ZEN30, when the hub is up, the paddles and little lights would do the fan time. Pushing the paddle, I believe would turn the fan on to the last set time. This is all by hub, since there is no direct electrical connection from the dimmer part to the fan.

However, the relay switch, on the bottom, could be wired directly to the fan. The dimmer/hub could control that, and in the event of a hub outage, the relay switch could control the fan.

During normal operation, a push of the button could be made to do other things, maybe match the dimmer setting for fan time. Or, maybe manual control with auto shutoff after an hour. Or, something. Or maybe just use the dimmer for time and the relay to turn on/off.

I wonder if the relay switch can also act as a multi button device like the GE/Jasco?

I already have a GE/Jasco motion sensor switch, so it's not all toggle style.

I'm thinking maybe I should have gone with dimmers instead of toggles in the whole house. It'd be more flexible, but I wonder if the switches aren't more durable?

Anyway, I like the little lights of the ZEN30 and I think it has a lot of potential that I might actually follow up on myself!

I haven't had a chance to play with any of this much more. I just got the ZEN30 installed last night but haven't played with any rules yet.

But it will do multi buttons on the dimmer paddle, as well as the small relay button. The dimmer paddle can be used as a scene controller as well.

Yes, with my ZEN34's I can do multiple button presses, so it must be similar.
Very flexible.

How do you have it controlled electrically?
How will it work if the hub is down?

Currently I don't have anything wired to the dimmer output. The relay feeds my whole house fan. Pressing the relay button turns the fan on, and I have a RM rule to turn it off if certain windows aren't open.

I'll eventually disable local control and set it so RM turns the fan on after it sees a button press.

The way it is now, it'll work without the hub. It just won't turn off if a window closes. It'll rely on the hub when I'm done though.

I still haven't decided how to handle the timer stuff. Doing all that in rule machine is over my head lol

I might make a couple virtual switches that turn the relay on, and set the auto off time on them to 60, 120, 180 minutes or something like that. Maybe use single, double, triple taps on the dimmer to pick which virtual switch to turn on.