Groups for Trigger Devices e.g. Button Controller

At present it is very easy to use Groups to bundle together devices to act in unison based on a trigger. For example a number of bulbs, dimmer or switches can be grouped. The group can then used in a rule and all of the members of the group will react together, e.g. all the lights turn on, all the lights dim, etc.

It would be a nice feature, in my opinion, if devices operating as rule triggers could also be grouped together. For example, imagine the use case of a 3 or 4-way switch configuration in a home. Let's say that I am using Philips Dimmer Button Controllers for that purpose. I want one at each of 3 doors to the room. The 9 can lights that they each will control can be placed in a group as described above. The proposed feature would allow for the grouping of the 3 Philips Dimmer Button Controllers (controllers).

If implemented, there would be a need for only one rule to govern the interaction between the group of "controllers" and the group of "lights".

Additionally, future maintenance is enhanced as additional controllers can be added or defective ones can be removed or replaced and no rule maintenance would be required. This is one of the beautiful features of grouping as it currently exists. Unfortunately, currently it is one sided in that a light could easily be replaced in a group as the device acted upon but not a button controller as a triggering device.

Rule Machine with a "Button Device" trigger already lets you do this (if you haven't tried that, this is basically the same thing as Button Controller--the RM interface will transform into something a bit different--but does give you a few more actions that aren't available in BC, like conditionals and variables). By "this," I mean choose multiple button devices, allowing you to swap out one device for the other or assign the same actions to multiple devices. It sounds like that would address what you're asking for. That being said, it's often recommended to use the simplest tool for the job, and in many cases Rule Machine isn't that. :slight_smile:

I'm not really sure if staff plans on significantly updating Button Controller 3.0 at this point (it was recently re-introduced after a brief retirement where we were encouraged to use RM instead as above), but your request certainly is still applicable to that app. Just wanted to point out another way that you can already do this in case you weren't aware!

Thank you for the suggestion and you are quite right! I suppose that I became blinded as it has been my intent to "virtualize" every device in my configuration for ease of maintenance. I suppose that I saw Groups as a way to accomplish this in bulk for the devices "acted upon" and naturally wanted the same for the triggering devices. So perhaps I am asking for an unnecessary layer of group virtualization that would not really create much benefit. Thanks again!