New user general questions

Brand new user here...was playing around with Hubitat all last night and really excited to unleash the full potential. I only have 2 GE z-wave dimmers that were here when I bought the house, and luckily I had no issues adding them to the hub. Here are my current questions and pain points:

  1. Do I need to make different dashboards for say a 10" tablet and each different iPhone? Is there any way to make a one size fits all responsive template? I played around with the options in smartly related to different screen sizes and forcing 2 columns on an iPhone, but they don't seem to work.

  2. I'm confused if the dashboard will reflect the status of physical dimmers/switches. Example, let's say I turn on a dimmer via the app, and sure enough the lights come on. Then I walk into the room and physically press the dimmer to turn the lights off. The lights are now off, but the tile on the dashboard is still yellow and showing the "on" light bulb. Is there any way to make physical button activity sync to the app?

  3. Another issue with the dimmers is that the slider in the dashboard seems wildly out of sync with the real light %. Is there any way to adjust or calibrate this? I realize I may have dimmers that are a couple years old, and so maybe just buying new ones would help a lot.

Thanks!

My guess is that the dimmers are Zwave and not Zwave+, so to keep them current you would need to look at at Zwave Polling app. Blanking out the row height and column width (cog wheel and then Options) should put the dashboard into the proper mode for adapting to the device it is being shown on.

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You don’t say whether your dimmers are Z-Wave Plus or non-Plus. Z-Wave Plus update their state to the hub when they change; non-Plus don’t. You can tell which type you have by looking at the inClusters on the device’s page - if they have 0x5E, they are Z-Wave Plus.

If they are non-Plus, use the built-in Z-Wave Poller app to retrieve the device status and keep things in sync.

Edit: even while he is driving, @thebearmay can type faster than I can.

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You could do this if you want. It might make sense to do this for a permanent mounted tablet with a specific dashboard for frequently accessed items.

Yes. I typically use either 2 or 3 columns, and set width to blank to autosize. (dashboard, gear menu, options). I leave height at a fixed number, I suggest 180 as a starting point.

This looks a bit weird on a computer widescreen, but on portrait oriented devices like a phone, it works fine.

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I played around with that a bit, but it seems difficult to adapt. I'm building the dashboard on my desktop, so if I blank out both fields then all the tiles are huge and it's hard to set up the layout. Also correct me if I'm wrong, but the only way to prevent horizontal scrolling on a phone is to limit the number of columns when building the dashboard?

Just stopped for the night so that I could get an advantage… :grin:

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Good call, it's an older non + dimmer. I added the device to the poller app and started polling, but it's still not reflecting the correct status on the dashboard. If I go into the device and manually click the Poll button, then it updates the status. The device logging also shows the correct on/off behavior and whether the type was physical or digital...it's just not reflected correctly the dashboard.

Fixed height corrects that problem.

That might not be the only way, but it is by far the quickest and easiest way.

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Dashboard has a slight delay before it is updated….

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I've refreshed both the desktop and mobile app, still not showing the correct status.

Try another driver. I have seen this when a certain driver is used with a particular device. Be sure to hit "configure" after switching drivers.

And depending upon which GE these are, there are some excellent community drivers by Search results for 'ge driver @JasonJoel ' - Hubitat

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Thanks for the tip. Can I update the device driver from the Device screen or do I need to remove it and reinstall it?

Yes. Just go to that device page, and select a new "device type".

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Then Configure

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The dimmer's basic functionality works with other drivers, but then it no longer shows up under the device list in the Poller app. I assume because the poller thinks it's a Plus device and thus doesn't need to be polled?

Far as I am aware, that is correct.

Please show a screenshot of the Device Details section at the bottom of the device’s page. If the inClusters have an entry of 0x5E, then it is Z-Wave Plus and does not need to be polled.

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Before you build out your zwave and zigbee networks take a look at these two documents. I didn't RTFM as I was doing mine (I mean... who does) and I would have saved myself a lot of aggravation.

https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=How_to_Build_a_Solid_Zigbee_Mesh
https://docs.hubitat.com/index.php?title=How_to_Build_a_Solid_Z-Wave_Mesh

I find the dashboard just fine for what I do. After all the point is automation, not remote remote control. But there are also some third party dashboards that offer more bells and whistles. There's integration built in for Sharp Tools and several others available in Hubitat Package Manager (a must-have app by the way).

Another tip: if you ever have a zwave device that fails to include on the first time, stop and check for zwave ghosts. These are best dealt with right after they are created. If they hang around for a while they can be a real pain.

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If you are looking into smartly, more power to you. Smartly dashboards are a whole lot better looking than the standard ones. May be a lot of cutting an pasting but they look great.

I know no one wants to hear this advice, especially when starting out...

Do yourself a huge favor and remove these two old Z-Wave switches, if they are not Z-Wave Plus devices. They will forever be a thorn in your side that will frustrate you and your family for years to come.

If you decide to eliminate them, and the problems they present, then you have another decision to make... What devices to choose to replace them? My advice would be to spend some time in the community looking through all of the various threads where users report issues with specific devices, look for patterns, and then make an informed decision.

I have personally chosen to settle on Zigbee devices for sensors (motion, door/window, temperature, and leak) and Lutron Caseta for all of my in-wall switches, dimmers, and fan controllers. I also use a Philips Hue bridge for all of my Hue Zigbee smart bulbs. Hubitat is great to tie all of these together into a single, tight, cohesive system, allowing quick, reliable automations. What I really like about The Lutron and Philips Hue lighting systems, is that they work with so many other home automation systems out of the box. Both work with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Logitech Harmony Hub, Hubitat, Home Assistant, SmartThings, NodeRED, IFTTT, etc... These are truly "lighting systems" as opposed to just switches and dimmers. As such, they can actually be integrated to multiple home automation systems at the same time, without the need to un-pair and re-pair devices.

Whatever you decide, good luck and have have fun! Welcome to Hubitat!

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