Scenes way better than groups?

Hello, newbie Z-wave user. I am a long-time Insteon user so I am very familiar with the concept of scenes. I understand that Hubitat scenes give you the ability to set the individual state of each device in a set (not just all on/off/etc.) and a group basically gives you the ability to set them to all on/off. So scenes seem way more flexible/powerful. Am I missing something? Why would you ever use a group instead of a scene? Thanks for any tips! I'm sure I'll be scouring these boards often looking for answers!

Scenes put more load on the hub/mesh than groups from statements from HE staff, so unless you need to set the exact condition of the devices (e.g., dimmer level) if you use groups instead you should be better off overall for any simple on/off requirements.

Scenes are meant to be "activated", as in turned on with a button push, and IMO are not intended to be turned off. The hub does allow you however to turn off a scene and turn all off or restore to prior state. Groups as you said are meant to be on/off (or all set to a level).

Looking at groups, it looks like they have Zigbee group messaging, and also can show the group state in the virtual device, such as if its all or partially on/off. Groups with dimmers I think you can also control the level of all the devices at once (have not tried it).

So yeah you could just always use scenes instead of groups unless you need one of those couple extra features groups has.

Thanks for the tips, guys. Okay, I didn't realize that groups could also hold dim levels. I get my first dimmers today :slight_smile:

Since that's the case, I think I'll go simple and just use groups for most of my stuff. I don't need complex lighting levels all over the place.

I have a couple of related questions:

  1. Is a group, then, the best way to make a simple 3-way dimmer setup? (I have one dimmer wired to line and load, other just wired in place.)
  2. Do you know if there is a way to have a button LED state (on/off) tied to a switch state? (I am using the ZEN32 keypad.) I'm trying to recreate my Insteon keypad as much as possible.

Thanks again!

You can't set dimmer level in a group, e.g., can't say "turn on these lights at this dim level." You need to use Scenes to do that.

What? Of course you can. You can also set color and color temperature for a group, and enable metering for cough cough Z-wave. You just can’t set individual dimmer level, color, or color temperature in a group. It all has to be the same setting.

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Great, thanks Ken. But how do you do this? I can't find any dim settings in the app.

Its not in the app, when you create the group using the app it creates a virtual devices which is like a new light that then controls all the lights in the groups at once.

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Sorry, I meant the group app. I only see a way to add devices to the group, not adjust the dim levels.

Correct, when you make the group in the app, it automatically creates a virtual device tied to the group. You can set the on/off and dim level to the group and it will be set on all devices. The group app is just a way to configure it, the virtual device controls the state of it.

Sorry I meant individual dimmer levels like first light in the group set to 50% other light 40% etc.

Looking back I don't know why I thought this but for some reason I thought he was setting different dimmer levels on the bulbs in the group. My bad.


Thanks, @jtp10181 . Now how do I sync the state of the group to the each dimmer? I want a press of the each dimmer to set the load to the group level.

Thats not what groups are for. Check out the built in Mirror app to mirror one device to another for a virtual 3-way.

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Typo (I think) in above confuses me a bit. What exactly are you trying to make happen? Do you mean if you turn on one of the lights in the group, you want all the lights in the group turn on?

Yes, exactly. And I want double taps, dim up and down events to be passed or synced among all devices.

This you can do w/a rule, or simple automation, button controller, etc. E.g., double tap button (or switch if it supports/reports double-taps), turn on group #1 at dimmer level X.

This may require mirroring using the Mirror app as @jtp10181 suggests. I haven't needed to do this myself, so don't have experience in that area. Z-Wave Association (if your switch/driver support it) may also cover this, but not sure as I only played around w/associations for turning on/off, not dimming.

I think you will want to use the button controller and the mirror apps. Here is a sample Button Controller setup which basically syncs up all 3 of these switches for 3x up (button 5) and 3x down (button 6) taps. If any of them are pressed it carries out the same action.

I have never used the Mirror app, but it should be able to be setup to sync the on/off and dimming levels between multiple switches, which is the other half of your request.

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Thanks guys, appreciate the tips. I was able to get what I wanted from the mirror and button controller apps, but the remote response time is horrible. There is a 2 second lag. Will an add on switch in the remote location do what I want? Has anyone tried that?

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AFAIK, add-on switches in a 3 or 4 way don't do automations, in the sense that I believe you can't trap button presses w/them and set up automations that only rely on the add-on switch. Someone else may correct me on this, not 100% sure.

Yes, that's what the specs say. No automations possible with add on. But does the add on control the dim level, not just on/off? Has anyone tried that?