Room Lighting app is fantastic - my tips as an early learner

I didn't even know about this app until a week ago.

I have Zooz switches, Hue bulbs, and a few Lutron Picos. These three things work very well together.

Now that I have my head around it, it worked great for a few more rooms where I added smart switches and bulbs. Here are some things I wish I had known from the beginning:

  • If you don't already have Rooms set up in Hubitat, you don't need to set them up. In fact even if you do use Rooms for other things, I suggest not using them in Room Lighting. This was tripping me up because what it was suggesting as defaults for the RL rule was not even close to what I needed. Better to build the rule from scratch by directly selecting the devices.

  • Don't think of it as turning on and off lights. Think of it as activating and deactivating the Room Lighting rule itself. Think of the RL rule as a just another device, and it activates/deactivates based on events you configure (the "means to" sections). When the rule is activated/deactivated, the things defined in the Device Control table happen. You don't necessarily have to turn on or off every device in the table, that's what the Act and Off checkboxes are for. If Act is checked for a device, it is turned on when the RL rule is activated. Vice versa for the Off checkbox.

  • You can think of a button event (ie button 2 pressed) as a toggle. You put it in both the means to activate, and the means to turn off. When you press the button, if the RL rule is active it'll deactivate. If it's not active, it'll activate. No more if/thens!

  • The devices in the "means to" sections do not have to be in the Device Control table. This was throwing me off. I used Zooz switches in smart bulb mode (meaning leave the relay on at all times) but I had the switches in the Device Control table so the rule activating/deactivating was issuing a "turn on/off" command to the switch. Taking the switches out of the Device Control table solved that.

  • You can define more than one "means to" method. Typical ones are "switch turns on" and "button pressed." For me I use button press, because my switches are in smart bulb mode. But I do have one switch that controls dumb bulbs so I don't use smart bulb mode. I realized I do have to have the switch in the Device Control table because the switch is the thing being turned on and off.

  • If you have external things that bypass Hubitat and directly control the lights - like Alexa voice commands - then you want to include the bulb(s) turning on and off as one of the things that activates/deactivates the RL rule. Say you press the wall switch, activating the RL rule, and the lights are on...then you use Alexa to turn the lights (smart bulbs) off directly...the RL rule is still activated. So when you try to use the switch to turn the lights on, it doesn't do anything. You have to press off on the switch to deactivate the RL rule, then on again to activate it. By using the bulbs (in my case a Hue group) as one of the things that activates/deactivates the RL rule, when Alexa turns the Hue group on and off, it activates/deactivates the RL rule.

Here is a good example of a typical room: pendants with Hue smart bulbs hanging over the kitchen island, a Hue light strip under the cabinets. I have 3 switches: Zooz on/off at one end of the kitchen, a Zooz scene controller at the other end, and a Pico on the wall above the countertop.

My goal:

  • Zooz switch - turn kitchen lights on (Hue scene) and off
  • Zooz scene controller - a button press toggles the lights on (Hue scene) and off
  • Pico remote - turn kitchen lights on (Hue scene) and off

This is the RL rule:

The devices to automate are a Hue group and a Hue scene. The scene does control the same Hue group but within Hue. I don't do any individual light control in Hubitat.


Even though the group and scene are the same bulbs, I have both in here. This is because I want the rule to use the scene to turn on the lights, but I also want the on/off status of the Hue group updated for external reasons.

The "means to activate" has the Hue group in it so that Alexa commands that bypass Hubitat still activate/deactivate the RL rule. The others are straightforward, a specific button on each switch.

The "means to turn off" (ie deactivate the RL rule) is set the same, but the configuration steps are different - you have to go into "Turn Off Light Options" at the bottom:

Again, that is so when Alexa turns the lights off, it deactivates the RL rule.

This is a rule I did for a Zooz switch controlling a dumb bulb, so I did not put the switch in smart bulb mode. It's just a "turn the switch on/off" rule. Notice that I mapped one of the scene controller buttons as a toggle. This works awesome and is so much simpler than Button Controller, Rule Machine, etc.

Notice that I have the same scene controller button (1 pushed) in both means to activate and means to turn off. This is what I meant when I said it works as a toggle. Press button 1 and if the rule is active it deactivates, if it's not active it activates. No more messing with if/then statements!

So these are the rules I have so far.


That all controls 7 Hue smart bulbs and 2 Hue LED strips spread across four rooms (outside front, front hallway, kitchen, living room), plus a dumb bulb chandelier and dumb bulb ceiling lights, using 4 Zooz switches, 2 Zooz scene controllers, and 2 Picos.

80% of that I installed in the last 2 weeks. If I hadn't bumped into the Room Lighting app last week, I would have done it all in Button Controller and it would have been far more complicated.


Great write up, thanks for taking the time to add to the community. RL is quite powerful and as a result can also can be a little daunting when first starting to use it. You nicely covered some the gotchas/confusion pointes that can come up when beginning to use the app. Well done.

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This is a great write-up about your experiences with Room Lighting and definitely filled with tips/ideas for other users. I only have one thing to add based on:

This is not necessary to have a button toggle Room Lighting. In the Means to Activate section, one of the options is "Toggle with Button Press". It should be the next option below "Button is Pressed". If you select the Toggle option and put your Scene Controller Button, it will Toggle Room Lighting On and Off with every press. It acts the same way as your example, but it a little bit cleaner. My understanding is that Toggle is for the same Button and Button is Pressed is designed for two different buttons (1 for Activate; 2 for Turn Off, etc...). Obviously, you can get the same behavior.

Also, in this example, I would recommend adding the light switch as a Means to Turn Off Room Lighting. This would allow for manual off of both the switch and Room Lighting.


Great write-up! I always have to remind myself of the mind shift with the activate/deactivate. It's a different way of thinking that gets some getting used to.

The only thing I want to add since you mentioned using Alexa is the "Command with Activator Device" and the Amazon Echo Skill App in case you weren't aware of it.


The "Command with Activator Device" creates a "Room Lights Activator" device, which can activate/deactivate your RL rule much like your "Kitchen (Hue Group)". You can add these to other rules and to the Amazon Echo Skill so the RL rule can be controlled by other means.

Also, I'm not sure how you feel about Basic Rules. I love that little app. Most of my rules start off as a Basic Rule until I want to get fancy with it (like Custom Actions from User drivers, comparing relative humidity for vent fans, etc.). It's very easy to read and my husband could edit / add rules using it.
Your Zooz Scene Controller can be easily achieved using the "Button" - "Toggle Switch":

Welcome to the club of people who get RL.

This I did not know would work, it may be a coincidence that it does. Good to know though.

Tagging @bravenel (app author) to make sure he sees this (the entire post not my comments) since usually all the RL posts are people complaining about it!

Oh, I have a pretty thick skin about complainers. Overall, as the app author, I'm pretty happy with the app -- it works well for my needs.


Thanks for the tip on the activator device. I did wonder if there was a way to get Alexa to interact directly with the RL rule. I'll have to experiment with that, although I do give my Alexa the individual lights. For example, RL will turn on and off the kitchen island pendants and cabinet strip together... But with Alexa I can control them separately.

You should still be able to do the individual light control with Alexa even when it's in use with the RL activator device. It's just a replacement for the "Kitchen (Hue Group)" since the extra step to create that group would be done for you through the rule, but both work!

Really? I love Room Lighting. Okay. I used to get annoyed with it until I realized that more times than not, I want the "Activate even if already partially Activated" and "Turn Off even if already partially off" options checked because inevitably either my husband or I would manually turn on/off one of the many lights involved in the rule and then the rule would stop working (particularly problematic with Scheduled Lighting). It's almost like it should be default to have these options on. But once you realize this, it's such a great app!

Thank you for this quick write-up. I've played with Room Lighting, but nothing too serious. I tend to use the Motion Lighting application. I revisited it and have converted a few things over. It works much better using the activator device with Alexa. Using individual devices in an Alexa routine was a hit an miss.

Question: In one room I have two different Room Lighting rules, one for day and one for night. It there an easy way to transition between the two? I think it comes down to each one thinking it is still active when I go between the two.

Have you explored the "Time Periods" option within Room Lighting -- that could allow you to just have 1 Room Lighting instance for that room (instead of 2).

I want to be flexible for the time and have it controlled with Alexa or a push of a button. It is the lighting scene for my kid's bedroom. I have it working with Rule Machine and can leave it there. Room Lighting seems cleaner and a nice little challenge for this room.