How Do Light Groups Work?


#1

I've been testing the (light) Groups app and am having trouble either getting it working and/or setting it up. It seems pretty straightforward. For example, I have three dimmers in my family room (e.g. ceiling light, closet light and table lamp). I set up a Family Room Lights group by assigning all three of them to the dimmers and switches lists. When I turn on one of the individual lights, I would've thought the group would update as being on, which isn't happening. Is that true? If not, how should this work? If there is some documentation I've missed feel free to start with a link. I've looked around but only found some references in other community posts, including an earlier bug that's since been fixed.


#2

What it does is create a virtual dimmer that will control the group. It doesn't respond to the individual switches in the group. You can use the virtual dimmer with Alexa, and then she can control the group with on/off/level commands. Also, obviously, you could use the virtual dimmer in other automations.

In your case, the virtual dimmer is named "Family Room".


#3

Ah, so it's less about reporting status of the group and more about submitting commands to the group. I'll do some testing when my family is out of the house, but I assume sending an off command to the group will turn off all lights in the group, even if the current status of the group is off?

Also, can I create groups of groups? I would like to have a group for each room of lights, then another group for all of the rooms on the same floor. For example, I would have groups like Living Room, Family Room, Dining Room, Kitchen. I would then create another group named Main Floor, and add each room group to that floor.

Previously I've used virtual switches with rules to support this type of capability. As you mentioned I do add these groups of lights to other rules, making creation and management of lights easier. I may go back to doing that but wanted to test out the existing Groups capability first.

Thanks!


#4

Yes, you can do groups of groups, because a virtual switch can be selected as a member of a group.

And, yes, sending off() to a group will turn off the lights in the group.


#5

I started experimenting with this app, my disappointment is that there is no way to set the color/light temp/dimming per light in the group. Unless I missed some detail.
How can I make that work?


#6

HI,

I had the same issue (or at least similar). I had a number of lights I wanted to control with a virtual switch, however some of the lights had preset dim levels. The group function doesn't like that.

I found @cobra wrote an app called One2Many which does a similar function but does not change the dim levels. I would likely think the color is handled the same but I don't know.

John


#7

@JohnRob is correct.
My app ignores dim /colour levels and just switches it all on/off (keeping previous colour/brightness levels)

If you would like to try it, you can find it here:

Andy


#8

The existing Groups app does not handle color. We plan to release a Color Groups app that will handle both color and color temperature lights.


#9

Slight change of plan. What we're going to do is extend Groups to include both color bulbs and oolor temperature bulbs. It is conceivable the one could mix dimmers, bulbs and switches in the same group, although obviously, trying to set a switch to red isn't going to work. Also, Alexa should interface nicely with this. Shooting for next release...


#10

Awesome! I was just looking for that (color temp spefically). Any ETA on that feature?
Just got my Hubitat recently and I tried one group of lights and while it's better than with ST, the lights don't all turn on/off and dim at the same time, which is annoying. Is there not some kind of group feature at the protocol level (ZigBee in this case) to send a command to all devices in the group at once, instead of what looks like sending to each device one by one?


#11

Yes there is such a feature in Zigbee. We plan to incorporate that into Groups, although probably not in the next release.


#12

Eagerly waiting for that zigbee groupcast enhancement, as I currently get popcorn on/off behavior with my 4 zigbee bulbs connected directly to the HE hub. Sounds like that should fix it.


#13

Yay no more popcorn effect!!! Haha. Looking forward to this as well.


#14

Awesome...that is exactly what I need..I mix dimmers and bulbs with color and bulbs that are white/dimming. So I cannot wait when you have that finished! Much appreciated!


#15

RGB, RGBW and Color Temperature bulbs are now supported for Groups in the new release: Hub Update 1.1.2


#16

I just got and setup my Hubitat. While some things are great I find a lot to be even less intuitive than SmartThings. For instance, I want to turn on/off a group of lights. How does one do this? Create a virtual switch and add it to the group? OR create a virtual switch outside of the group, and tell it to control the group? If the second one is correct, how do you do that? ( might require another app install but I can not see one that makes sense ).

Once I get past this part, I will be then asking... how can I change the color of all of the lights in this group.

Thanks,
B


#17

Use the Groups and Scenes built-in app. When a group is created, it's created as a Group Bulb Dimmer that supports color (even if you only have non color bulbs). The Group Bulb Dimmer supports on/off commands as well. So, you can use it in dimmer based actions AND/OR switch based actions.


#18

Wow, I went back and viewed the group ( dimmer created ), and now it shows all the options. This same group showed none of these options on creation or even minutes later. Is there a delay in the setup? After I created the group, messed with it, and could not get it to work correctly, I left the interface. Did some research, and then posted my comment here. After your reply I went back in to see what I was missing, and the UI is completely different for the group now.


#19

I just re-booted the hub, and created another group, now the dimmer(s) show right away. So maybe just a hiccup with the hub at the time.


#20

There shouldn't be any delay, however, there are times when HE does slow down a bit; Usually when creating a device in an app. When this happens, you'll see a spinning circle in the top right corner while it's working on whatever it's doing. Usually it goes quick, but sometimes not. That's when I stand up and get more coffee. LOL