Lutron Dimmer as a Button Device?

I have a Lutron PD-6WCL-WH installed dimmer. I can operate the dimmer just fine from RM, but I cannot seem to access its buttons for additional programming. I've been testing various dimmers and remotes, and I really love the responsiveness of the Caseta products. I was leaning towards putting Caseta everywhere in my home, however one or more of the items below could be a deal killer for me.

After reading a couple of other threads, I think I understand the limitations, however I would appreciate of someone could verify these facts about the Caseta dimmers/switches:

1 - Buttons on the dimmers can NEVER be programmed to do things in RM. RM does not "see" press/release/hold status for these buttons.

2 - There is no way to control the power on dimmer level (come on at 80% instead of 100%) activated when the dimmer button is pressed.

3 - There is no way to set min/max dimming levels.

4 - There is no way to control the feed back LEDs on the dimmer.

5 - There is no way to set the ramp time for the on and off buttons (how long to transition from off to on).

Slightly related question: Is it possible in any way to setup a Pico to recognize multiple taps beyond double tap? Can it do triple, 4, 5 tap a la the Inovelli Red dimmers? I am aware that the current official driver for these does not support it, but would it be possible with an updated driver or some other means?

Some answers:

  1. Correct, can't see those actions.
  2. Correct, hardware design.
  3. Incorrect, use the Lutron app and follow their instructions.
  4. Correct.
  5. Correct.

No, our Pico driver does not support multi-taps, nor do we plan to support that in the future. We are not fans of this feature at all, and think it offers bad ergonomics. For one thing, to implement even hold for the Pico requires slowing down push to time the release to determine hold. Similar timing would be required for multi-tap, which would imply that simple press would take a few seconds. Is that really a good design? At the lowest level, Lutron button devices only report pressed and released, not anything else.

1 Like

As noted, definitely not natively. However, you could handle this at the app level to some extent instead. For example, on a Hue Bridge network, the Hue Dimmer supports 1-5 presses of the "On"/top button to cycle through scenes. I wrote Dimmer Button Controller for Hubitat to imitate this behavior with a Hue Dimmer, Pico remote, or really any button device you want to use.

For lighting--the intended purpose in my case--this works well enough for me. If you're using it for odd things (e.g., one tap turns on the lights but two taps should turn on the lights in another room instead and three taps should turn on the dehumidifier), this won't really work since the "action" assigned to each tap still happens. This is how the Hue Dimmer on Hue works (it really does cycle through scenes, activating each along the way--the best use of this app on Hubitat, in my opinion) and is the behavior I sought to recreate. If that's what you're after, it could work!

You should not have to slow down the press function significantly to implement other button actions. The longest you should ever have to wait before sending a press message would be the button hold time, which you are already delaying for anyways. If you setup the event handlers properly, I can't see how you would need delay a press for multiple seconds in order to evaluate a multi-tap. All that said, I know nothing about your development language/environment (yet), so I could be way off base here.

I will be using it for "odd" things, and would only want the targeted action to occur. Example:

Up press : default action, lights on (might be a scene)
Up 2 tap: lights on at night-light setting
Up 3 tap: another scene
Down press: default action, lights off
Down 2 tap: suite off (MBR, MBath, etc
Down 3 tap: House Goodnight scene (whole house essentially off)

If I come to bed at 2AM and my wife is asleep, I would not want to turn the lights full on while trying to get the night-light scene to activate.

These really need to be implemented in the hardware, not the driver, ms timing is pretty consistent on the hub, but not consistent enough for this sort of thing.

It's not rocket science doing the code for this, have a go at it and let us know how well it works.

This isn't true for the Fast Pico driver (or rather isn't applicable; no "held"), but it's not true regardless. If you only want it to report the "final" tap number and not everything in between (so not like Dimmer Button Controller or even the Hue Dimmer when used as intended on Hue), you need some delay to ensure you aren't going to perform additional presses. You are correct that this doesn't necessarily have to be super-noticeable (your computer mouse does the same thing for single vs. double click with most OSes giving you a customizable interval), but something definitely needs to be there if you want this outcome.

As a real-world example, the Inovelli dimmers support up to five taps. Many users report noticing a delay with a single tap before the scene event is sent. They could make this quicker, but that would also require very dexterous users. I'm not sure how practical it would be to make this, e.g., a configurable Z-Wave parameter, but no device in this category does it that I've seen. The SmartThings button natively supports up to a double tap, and I don't think it's as noticeable here.

I have been trying to play with the raw protocol to the smart bridge, but with little luck. The only commands I can get to work are OUTPUT and PING (not very useful). I have been searching for any documentation on the actual USABLE command set, but have had no luck.

Does anyone here have a doc or list of supported Caseta commands? I have the Lutron Integration Protocol doc, but very few of the commands seem to be supported.

Have you look into Lutron Radio RA2 instead of Caseta? Some of the things you have listed can be done in the RA2 software.

With RA2
#1 - Not seen
#2 - Changed mine to "Last Level"
#3 - Done with either
#4 - Not possible
#5 - Can set both on and off dim speed

You can also use Hybrid Keypads in RA2 and program the buttons to RM. I have one HK that has no load and is just used to trigger scenes.

RA is out of my price range, unfortunately.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.