Instant Harmony Hub Status Updates!

I sort of had an "Ah Ha!" moment this morning. Ever since moving from Smartthings to Hubitat Elevation I've been struggling with being able to get instant updates from the status of my Home Theater Harmony Hub.

While @mattw port of the ST Harmony Connect app does a great job of allowing us to control harmony activities, it relies on polling to get feedback from harmony as to which activity is currently active. As a result, automations that I use that rely on knowing the state of these activities (setting home theater lighting scenes) can be delayed up to 5 mins.

I have tried many work-a-rounds in the past but today I realized a simple solution if your using a lutron smartbridge pro.

What I have done is use a "spare" Caseta Plug-in Dimmer connected to nothing. I then added it to harmony/lutron integration in the harmony app (making sure to add it as a light not a switch). I then modified my harmony activities to set different levels (100% for watching TV, 50% for playing games, OFF for OFF).

Then using the HE Lutron Integration I am able to use the different levels/status of the switch to control my automations based on the status of the switch.

While still cloud based it provides nearly instant feedback on the harmony activity status! I still use @mattw harmony connect port to control the activities and display the current activity in dashboard but I no longer have issues with my automations being delayed waiting for the app to poll.

I realize this may seem like a hack, but I figured someone might see some value since there are a lot of lutron/harmony users here, and I'm assuming I'm not the only one wanting instant activity status updates.


Love it! The level of creativity in this community never ceases to amaze me. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we are determined to make something work.

Actually, would this be creativity or stubbornness?


I have a spare dimmer that Lutron hanger me as a thank you for "constructive feedback". I might finally have a use for it. Now I just have to find out why I need instant status on my Harmony activities.

Hmmm, it has been a while since I programmed anything in Harmony to control my home automation devices, but if I'm not mistaken, you can create activities to set a dimmer to any level. What I can't recall is if you can set a single dimmer to a specific level in more than one activity. I do recall a slider that was difficult to get just the right percentage.

What comes to mind is using this as a simple way to control Hubitat. Maybe you could start an activity that sets the dimmer to a specific level and then have that be the trigger. So you essentially have 100 buttons that can be activated from Harmony to control anything you want in Hubitat. Will have to test this out tomorrow.

What I'm also wondering is does the Caséta bridge need to have the actual dimmer powered for the hub to control it? I did this in the past with Wink. You can setup a dimmer and Pico, and even though it's no longer connected to power, Wink thinks it's still there and will continue to run automations based on changes to the device settings.

[Edit] Yes, this should work just fine. No idea about the Caséta part. Don't have one of their dimmers anymore. Wouldn't be that expensive to do this with a bulb too if you have a Hue Bridge. You could just buy a 400 lm Tradfri bulb and run it in a closet somewhere. Wouldn't use that much power.

Actually this "trick" should work with any dimmable device or any switch that has native integration with both harmony and hubitat. Obviously using a switch would limit you to only two settings, but that still something.

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This is a great "hack" but is there any way to leverage existing spare z-wave plugs besides caseta? I guess I am confused on the harmony/lutron integration as that seems it might need another hub to communicate to. Or did you connect Harmony directly to the Caseta plug through the mobile app?

Sorry for the questions but I have a similar need but do not understand how to accomplish what you did in the Harmony app itself.

Harmony has native integration with lutron, lutron has native integration with hubitat. You might be able to achieve the same thing using z-wave but you would need Harmony's z-wave adapter to do it.

Z-wave won’t work since it can only be paired with one hub at a time. You need something with native Hubitat AND Harmony Hub integration at the same time.

Good point Dan, I should have thought that through better

So would a TP-Link device work? If so how?

Sorry, you need a device that shows up in the Harmony Hub as a smart device and the Hubitat Hub as a smart device. Not sure how I added Alexa in there.

Read @halfrican.ak steps above to see how.

So I went out to harmony’s website to see compatible devices. Why hasn’t anyone used the IFTT integration to throw a virtual switch?? Technically you don’t need any apps. Testing now.

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I was under the impression that harmony ifttt integration only allowed a switch to start an activity not in response to an activity being started on the harmony.

Yes just tried and you can’t have it initiate the IFTT through a harmony activity. Hmmm...


Do you have a SmartThings hub? If so, you could create virtual switches in ST that Harmony can control, and then use the ST to Hubitat integration to provide the instant updates.

Yes, this works great, my only complaint with this method is that your wasting precious zigbee channel availability since it can't disabled in the ST hub.

My issue is I want to remove ST from my home. I just moved my last security related items (locks and garage doors). I have my Arduino project to move over and then I can shutdown ST.

@halfrican.ak based on your post and the one below from @destructure00, I decided to try to get instant updates from my Harmony activities WITHOUT turning on my ST hub (not gonna happen for me). What I did was a kind of hybrid of both methods. I implemented @destructure00's method of getting instant updates in ST. Worked perfectly. Next step was to update a virtual device in HE when these switches changed. For that I used webCore (in ST) to send a web request when these switches changed. For the web requests I used the Hubitat Maker API with cloud access enabled. If ST Harmony Tv activity changes to on then send HE Maker "on" URL for Virtual TV switch in HE. Rinse repeat for "off" and Voila.... Instant updates in Hubtitat with my ST hub still tucked away nicely in the closet.

Thank you both for sharing your ideas!!

EDIT: for get to thank @ogiewon for helping me avoid a lot of wasted time trying to use Other Hub or Hub Link as they would both require the ST hub to be powered on (they use LAN protocols)


That’s a great solution!

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