Scene issue with "off" events & feature request

I have scenarios where I want a scene to transition to another scene when the first scene is turned off.

I have the scenes set up to "ignore activate switch off". Then I have a trigger in RM to handle the "off" event.

I have a scenario where the scene does not work as expected. This scene contains 4 Lutron dimmers. When the scene button is turned on there are multiple events - the "on", then an "off", then another "on". The "off" event then triggers the RM rule. See the scene event screen shot below:

I have another scenario where this does work as expected. In this case the scene is a HE Button Controller button push. There is no phantom off event.

I wonder if there is an issue with timing of messages between the HE scene monitoring logic and the Lutron status reports.

A feature request that I think would fix this issue and make the Scenes app more user friendly is to be able to further configure the "off" settings for scenes within the Scenes app. I would have 4 settings for "off" switch push:

  1. turn off all the devices in the scene (the current default),
  2. the current "ignore activate switch off" functionality,
  3. restore previous levels for all devices in the scene, and
  4. activate another scene.

Why not just activate the second scene instead of turning "off" the first one?

Also, why do you have the scene set to "ignore activate switch off" if you want to turn the scene off? Turning that option on changes the scene activator to a momentary switch. It turns on and then immediately off. This is by design. That way, you are free to pick another scene or reactivate that scene without having to first turn the activator "off".

If you switch off "ignore activate switch off", i think that will solve your problems.

If you want to activate another scene while one is on, just do it. There is nothing stopping you from going from one scene to the other. If you have ignore off activated then you can transition from scene to scene as many times as you want. No need to turn anything off.

All of the features you have requested are already available. If you want to restore the lights to their previous level, then create another scene with a capture device. Capture that scene before activating scene 2. Then you can transition back to scene 1 and the lights will be at their previous levels.

Because of Alexa. I want to be able to say "Turn off Movie Lights" and have it revert to previous or change scenes.

I understand that one can do that via RM and capture buttons, at least in theory. As that is what I was trying to do. But there is a bug as there should be no off events when pressing the on button.

The feature request to control "off" via the Scenes app is to simplify the process.

No, that is not a bug. Just because it doesn't do exactly what you want it to do doesn't mean it's a bug. If you have a new feature request, that is one thing. But i would not characterize this as a bug. It is working as designed.

Creating an "off" event when pushing an on button is a bug. There are no "offs" in the Scene log. And it works as intended with buttons. As I said, I think there is a timing issue with status monitoring and dimmer changing.

I told you why....when you activate ignore activate off (aka IGNORE OFF) you are telling the scene activator to act like a momentary switch. Therefore the switch is reset so you can activate the scene again. Otherwise, we would have to write a rule for every scene to turn the activator off manually. If you don't want to ignore the off events, then turn off ignore off events. Simple as that! Again, it is working as designed. Just because it isn't working the way you want it, doesn't mean there isn't a reason for it.

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Sorry, that's not how it works. Enabling "ignore activate switch off" does not turn it into a momentary switch. All it does is cause the switch to not send off commands to the devices included in the scene. The unexpected off events do not occur when the scene is programmed to only push a button.

The system has a tracking function that monitors levels and sets the switch status to on if all the levels match the defined scene, otherwise it turns the switch to off.

If things worked like you believe they do, then making a change to the Scenes app would be even more useful to control sending an off command via voice.

No, turning it on does. Which is exactly what I said. It automatically turns itself off so the next time you want to turn it on, it's ready. Because you are ignoring off events. If you don't want to ignore off events, turn that option off.

It does work how I'm saying. Why do you automatically assume I'm wrong when you're the one with the problem? Isn't it possible that you're the one who's wrong? Why not try it and let me know if it still automatically turns off after you turn off that option?

This is not true. When you turn the activator switch on, it does not turn itself off so that it can be turned on again. You can turn it on over and over, and each time it does the same thing, i.e, activate the scene.

I think what is happening is a race condition. Because the app is turning those dimmers on one at a time, The logic in the app that checks to see if the scene is fully set or not is fired by the first on event (or subsequent one). It checks and sees that the scene is not fully set (yet), so sets the activator switch to off. More than one instance of the app is running at the same time. With the option to ignore off set, as you have it, nothing happens when that off event occurs, it is ignored in the driver.

I'll have to think about how to handle this race condition. It is only an issue because you are using another app to look at the state of that switch. It could be that what is needed is a short "dead" period upon activation where it is not watching the scene state.

I will also have to think about your feature requests. Why can't #4 be done by an RM trigger? Assuming this "bug" is fixed.

Then why does the scene activator show as off in the dashboard?
Plus, switch state equals off. So, if you turn it on, how does it turn off again? I didn't turn it back off. More magic? LOL

The switch state reflects the Scene condition. If all of the Scene devices are in the settings of the Scene, then the switch state is On. If any one of the Scene devices is in some other state than those specified in the Scene, then the switch state is Off. This mirrors the way an LED on a Lutron keypad button that activates a Lutron scene works: it will only be lit if the scene is fully activated, Turn off a single light of the scene, the LED goes out. Press the button, the scene is reactivated.

As I pointed out above, this behavior is interacting with Scene activation DURING Scene activation. The hub is so fast that it spools up a second instance of the app while the first instance is busy turning on devices, in response to one of them being turned on. The logic at that point yields that the Scene is not fully activated, so it sets the switch state to Off. When the final dimmer turns on, another instance runs, finds the Scene fully activated, and sets the switch state to On. The OP needs this intermediate Off state not to happen, as it throws an event that trips his RM trigger when it shouldn't. It's not really a bug per se, it's simply a side affect of the way things work. However, his complaint is valid, and should be addressed in the app. The app should not be checking the scene state during activation, but only after the scene is fully activated.

Thanks. I think this issue is all, like you say, due to scene monitoring. I originally came upon the issue because I had a Scene that was just a Lutron button that didn't have a race condition because there were no levels to monitor. When I added some dimmers, I saw the presumably scene monitoring issue causing the off events.

Maybe the most elegant way to address the issue is to decouple the power switch from scene status. Similar to the way the Lutron buttons do. The button is a different entity from the LED. In Lutron the LED has an on/off state the button does not. So you could add an "IsActive" state to the Scene device that is independent of the power state. In my use case the power state isn't important, but the ability to push an explicit off button is.

Another way to get to what I'm looking for, and maybe the best work-around until/if you make a change is to set up a virtual switch that triggers scenes via RM actions.

Note that the Lutron Button Integrator app does items #4 (or #1 or #2) - there is a setting for an Off scene (which as you know can mean any levels, not just off, in Lutron programming). I think there is a scenario where you could retire that app. The normal Button Controller app has a lot more capabilities in general, including being able to activate phantom buttons. NOTE: a bug, I think, It appears that pressing buttons per mode is not currently working, so the Button Controller app cannot currently mimic the scenes per mode of the Lutron Button Integrator app.

#3 can also be done in RM via the scene captures.

My feature request was an attempt to make the Scenes app full-featured for an "off" action.

Just found and fixed the bug in Button Controller - a typo.

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Bruce -

  1. is there any update on changing the Scenes app to ignore device state changes until the scene is fully activated?

  2. related in the scene tracking/monitoring functionality - if a scene that has "ignore off" set has its switch turned off the scene tracking pauses until any device in the scene is changed away from and then back to the levels defined in the scene. Is there a way to reactivate the tracking after a slight delay (5 seconds?)?

I say this as the dashboard scene tile does not track scene status (I thought it used to in the old dashboards). So having the scene switch on the dashboard is the only way to monitor on the dashboard.


I was having a hard time understanding this function and this did it for me. Thank you.