Lutron Clear Connect and reducing popcorn effect


#1

Lutron Clear Connect also supports group commands to reduce the popcorn effect, much like Zigbee Group Messaging. Are we able to group Lutron switches this way since we don't have our own Clear Connect radio? I can't seem to effectively group devices in the Lutron app in a way they're seen by Hubitat, only create scenes, which are either all on, all off, or a preset level, which isn't as useful as a group of devices would be.

It also seems to work if I assign multiple switches to the same Pico, but the switches can't be paired with more than one Pico. I can't, for example, have a switch paired with a Pico as a 3-way solution and also pair it with another Pico that controls a group of switches.

Reference doc: Clear Connect RF Technology

Group commands vs. directed commands

Unrelated to how the messages move around the system is the issue of the message content and how the system design reacts to that content. Lutron systems, including those with Clear Connect, use “Group” or “Preset” commands. In this scheme, a button press sends out a generic command like “Preset 01.” The devices have distributed intelligence (e.g. devices have non-volatile memory and a database, and know how to react to this command). When a button is pressed, the system transmits “Preset 01” down the fixed network one time. All devices “hear” and respond simultaneously.

While these systems can be expanded with no degradation in performance, most system designs do not have this mechanism and are unable to provide it. The reason is that it requires ownership, coordination, and hardware (memory) of all the devices in the network.

In systems comprised of devices from a disparate group of manufacturers, commands must be issued to each device sequentially. These commands are called “directed commands.” To turn on 10 different devices requires 10 unique commands. This can create the “popcorn effect.” One light turns on; there is a pause, the next turns on, and so on. To see it in the application is a real letdown. Customers may be happy with the initial installation, add more devices, and become dissatisfied at a later date.


#2

As long as you are pairing through the bridge using the Lutron app, you should be able to pair multiple Pico's to a switch.


#3

To the best of my knowledge this Clear Connect feature is not supported by the Caséta SmartBridge or the RA2 Main Repeater, except for the Scene (Phantom button) feature or by keypads. In a RA2 system keypad programming does utilize this functionality, so there is no popcorn effect. This is the same thing presented by a Phantom Button.

I don't understand why you can't use a Scene in the Lutron app, that is a "group of devices". There are 97 phantom buttons available, and those can be controlled from Hubitat. They can overlap, and you can get clever in how you use them.


#4

Yes, through the bridge in the Lutron app, I can pair multiple Picos to a switch, but, unless I've missed it, I can't pair switches to multiple Picos.

Therefore, if I have a switch paired with a Pico being used as a 3-way switch replacement (for local control at that Pico), I can't also pair that switch with a Pico controlling a group of switches.


#5

I guess I was avoiding scenes and hoping to use a group for two reasons (both maybe incorrect):

If a scene turns a single or group of devices to a specific setting; wouldn't I need a scene 100%, scene 0%, scene 50%, scene blue 100%, etc., for every desired setting? Contrast with a group where I can set a level or color to the whole group.

I didn't know I could get scenes to appear in Hubitat; the Lutron integrator doesn't have a code for them.


#6

Yes, you would need to figure out in advance what scenes you would use on a regular basis and preprogram those. I have a RA2 system, and if I use just Hubitat to turn on individual lights as a Group does, it will popcorn (I don't care for my uses). For circumstances where I don't want that, for instance in Motion Lighting rooms where it's coming on to a specific level per mode, then I use phantom buttons and have no popcorn at all. In each of these cases I already had a keypad that grouped some lights together -- but that's a different topic.

To get at the phantom buttons, scenes in the case of Caséta, include the SmartBridge in your Hubitat Lutron Integration as a Lutron Keypad. It has 100 buttons, and has device id 1. Then you can use any of those buttons in other apps to activate those scenes. You can even include them in our Scene app, as it has a mechanism to press a button as part of Scene activation. So you can have Hubitat Scenes that include as a subset a Lutron scene from a phantom button.


#7

I don't use Picos paired at all in the Lutron system (I would only do so for a true 3-way). I just include them in Hubitat and use them for whatever purpose I want. However, there are delays when using a Pico to activate through Hubitat a Caséta dimmer on the same SmartBridge. Some people have two SmartBridges which gets around this software imposed delay.


#8

If you pair the switch and pico directly to each other (not through the smart bridge) then that switch is limited to that pico only. However, if you do all your associations through the smartbridge then there should be no limitation to how many Pico's that can control that switch.


#9

Okay, I was hoping for groups, but I'll look into using scenes ... where I desire this (a group of lights in the kitchen area on four different switches). Thanks for the info.


#10

Right. I can configure multiple picos with a switch, but I can't seem to configure a switch with multiple picos.

For example, while I have a pico paired in the app with a switch for use as a three-way switch, once I've done that, I can't put that switch on another pico, say, one that controls all four of my kitchen-area lights that are on different switches.

Conversely, I can put all four switches on one Pico so they're controlled together, but then I can't also put in a Pico as a three-way for one of these switches across the room.


#11

I'm pretty sure I had this setup in the past and it worked fine....I'm assuming you are using Caseta devices here. I used to have a Hallway switch that had a pico assigned to it to mimic a 2way setup on the other other end of the hallway. I also had a "main" pico in my bedroom that I used to shutoff all the living area lights including the hallway. Essentially had 2 Pico's attached to the hallway light...one just for the that light and one that controlled a group of lights that included that same light. If I'm reading your post correctly, this is pretty much what you are trying to accomplish...correct?

Once we got SmartThings integrated with Caseta, I had no need for that setup and have since stopped using my picos in this configuration. I will find a spare pico and test this evening to see if this is no longer possible.


#12

I'm pretty sure I had this setup in the past and it worked fine....I'm assuming you are using Caseta devices here. I used to have a Hallway switch that had a pico assigned to it to mimic a 2way setup on the other other end of the hallway. I also had a "main" pico in my bedroom that I used to shutoff all the living area lights including the hallway. Essentially had 2 Pico's attached to the hallway light...one just for the that light and one that controlled a group of lights that included that same light. If I'm reading your post correctly, this is pretty much what you are trying to accomplish...correct?

Yeah, that is essentially what I'm trying to do.

Do you remember if you paired Picos with switches only within the Lutron app? Or did you pair the 3-way Pico with the hallway switch then pair the both switches, with the "main" Pico in the Lutron app? Maybe that's what I need to try.

For whatever it's worth, I could do it the way you described in Wink. Each Pico had a list of all Lutron dimmers also paired with Wink that it could control.


#13

This is what I was referring to in my previous post. If you pair the switch and pico directly then you probably can't assign another pico to it. You would need to pair the switch to the smartBridge (using the app of course) and the same for the picos. Once all your devices are paired with the bridge, you can then assign picos as needed. I am going to test this and ensure it still works for me. I'll posts the results soon.


#14

Justed tested and it worked fine. I have a Hallway pico that is setup to replicate a 2 way config with my hallway switch.

I then took my bedroom pico that was already assigned to bedroom lamps (Caseta outlet switch) and added the hallway switch to it.

I was able to control the hallway light with both picos.

The key to do is that everything needs to be paired with bridge first. Then the possibilities are endless.


#15

Thanks for including the screenshots ... I was totally overlooking that screen! :blush:

I had looked for it, but came to the conclusion I was remembering screens from Wink, not Lutron's app. Therefore, in Lutron's app, I was trying to group them by room, which wasn't even close to what I was trying to do.

Your screenshot clued me in this list of devices per Pico really does exist in the Lutron app, and from there I found it. It does exactly what I want; from the Pico button press, it turns on and off all four switches simultaneously, without popping ...


#16

Good Stuff. Glad to hear you got it working.