Author Topic: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?  (Read 641 times)

Offline onepointbrewing

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Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« on: September 02, 2017, 05:55:34 am »
My kitchen has 4 lights in it

1: Kitchen Long
2: Kitchen Bench
3: Kitchen lower
4: Kitchen surround

Whats the best way of scening this for on and off of all the lights at the same time?

I originally had a scene called "kitchen on" and another scene called "kitchen off" however alexa says "I have multipe lights for kitchen, which one do you want?"

So whats the best way of using a scene to turn them all on together and all off together. I cant exactly call the scene something other than "kitchen"

What have people done?

Offline BigE-TX

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 12:57:33 pm »
By no means am an expert, but I love playing around with this stuff.  Create a group in alexa with all the lights in it you want checked off.  BTW, since using Alexa, I've been steadily re-naming devices in Vera to simpler easily pronounced names.  For example, "dining room light" became "chandelier".  Alexa could not find the device for a month, then I happened to spell check it and realized I spelled chandelier incorrectly.  Works fine now, BUT KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN USING ALEXA.  Name the group something unique but memorable.  Then the hard part.  Alexa likes group and Vera scenes to be called out in specific ways, such as  "alexa, patio lights on".  This become much more ominous when you create a scene and want it to "execute" and it's not really "on". 

Offline Nameless

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 06:44:37 pm »
A tip, if you can, create a group with Alexa and not in a Vera scene. I've had a much higher success rate doing this.

Offline JoeTomasone

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 02:08:24 am »
I'd put all of those lights in an Alexa group called "Kitchen Lights", then you can say things like "Alexa, turn off all the kitchen lights", or "Alexa, set the kitchen lights to 50%".

You can do this with other devices as well.  I have two thermostats - "Down Thermostat" and "Up Thermostat".  I put them both in an Alexa group called "Both Thermostats", and thus I can say, "Alexa, set both thermostats to 75 degrees" and she does it. 


Offline Sammy2

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 03:13:39 pm »
I'm looking into this. I'd like to keep my scenes and my associated macros with Panel Manager too so naming convention is getting to be an issue.

Right now I I have to say, "Alexa, set the Backyard Lights Off to ON" to get them turned OFF! To avoid confusion I called the Alexa Group "Patio Lights". I will try it out when I get home.

Offline Sammy2

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 05:07:29 pm »
Putting these three light controllers in a group called Patio Lights in Alexa did the trick.

Offline ember1205

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 07:54:59 pm »
Groups is the way to go...

My kitchen lights are:

- Table
- Counter
- Island
- Sink

I can control each individually (Alexa, turn table light on) as I've exposed them via HA Bridge to Alexa. Within the app, I created a group called "Kitchen Lights" (table, counter, and island) and "All Kitchen Lights" (table, counter, island, and sink). I can turn off all of the main lights leaving the sink on with "Alexa, turn kitchen lights off". Or, I can turn them all on or off by changing to "Alexa, turn all kitchen lights off".

Offline jrweiland

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 08:25:44 pm »
Rather than using groups in Alexa, I'm a bigger fan of using Virtual Switches to do things like this.

Make a Virtual Switch and name it "Kitchen".  Set up a scene so that when that Virtual Switch is turned on, it triggers those individual kitchen lights to all be turned on.

So you can say "Alexa turn on Kitchen" (or whatever you named the Virtual Switch) and it will cause all your lights to flip on

Offline ember1205

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2017, 08:28:08 pm »
Rather than using groups in Alexa, I'm a bigger fan of using Virtual Switches to do things like this.

Make a Virtual Switch and name it "Kitchen".  Set up a scene so that when that Virtual Switch is turned on, it triggers those individual kitchen lights to all be turned on.

So you can say "Alexa turn on Kitchen" (or whatever you named the Virtual Switch) and it will cause all your lights to flip on

Curious - how do you turn all of the lights off if you've turned a couple of lights on and the virtual switch is off? Using a group in Alexa allows you to still turn everything on or off with a singular command.

Offline jrweiland

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 08:47:38 pm »
If I were bent on using a Virtual Switch for this, I would make a second switch with a slightly different name with these scenes to help out:

Scene 1: If *any* of the lights are on, this switch would be on. 
Scene 2: Turning this switch off would turn off all lights.

Offline ember1205

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 08:49:27 pm »
If I were bent on using a Virtual Switch for this, I would make a second switch with a slightly different name with these scenes to help out:

Scene 1: If *any* of the lights are on, this switch would be on. 
Scene 2: Turning this switch off would turn off all lights.

If you were "bent" on it? Your prior response stated that you prefer virtual switches but this response is now different. And, in order to support this in Vera, you have to remember two DIFFERENT switch names... ??

Seems more complicated than it has to be, unless I'm missing something.

Offline jrweiland

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 09:31:38 pm »
Hope my idea didn't cause you any distress!

I can't write code, so I have tended to use a lot of Virtual Switches for my DIY workarounds. So I tend to look at things through that lens :)  "How could I fix this with some scenes, and a Virtual Switch?"

I'm sure there are lots of ways to achieve the end goal.

If you wanted to achieve it through Alexa's groups-- go for it! I'm sure it works great.  With my setup, I have just personally found the Alexa groupings to be finnicky, so it's not my personal fave.  If you wanted to achieve the goal with Virtual Switches-- here's how I would do it :)

Offline ember1205

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 09:39:18 pm »
Hope my idea didn't cause you any distress!

I can't write code, so I have tended to use a lot of Virtual Switches for my DIY workarounds. So I tend to look at things through that lens :)  "How could I fix this with some scenes, and a Virtual Switch?"

I'm sure there are lots of ways to achieve the end goal.

If you wanted to achieve it through Alexa's groups-- go for it! I'm sure it works great.  With my setup, I have just personally found the Alexa groupings to be finnicky, so it's not my personal fave.  If you wanted to achieve the goal with Virtual Switches-- here's how I would do it :)

No, no distress. Just a little confusion, maybe.  :)

I -can- write code, but I don't have much that I've written for Vera. I find that most things can be accomplished without it. Where I have written code is to control some logic where I prevent a couple of lights from being able to be turned on during the day and I turn off my garage lights three minutes after the door closes.

Virtual switches are useful for a lot of things. But, in the case of exposing devices to the various Echo devices, Groups have worked out much better because they keep things simpler. The method you described with using on virtual switch that remains off unless all devices are on and another that remains on unless all devices are off means that you have to expose two different devices to the Echo's and then remember which one does what. With Groups, you only need to remember one name, AND they support percentages (for dimmable lights). "Alexa, set Kitchen Lights 50%".

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 07:49:46 pm »
A multiswitch may be handy, depending on how you want Vera to work.
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Offline cgmartin

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Re: Best way of turning a scene with multiple lights on and off?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2017, 09:30:56 am »
In case it helps, this is the Virtual Switch setup I'm using for this scenario...

I used the files in this thread to extend Virtual Switch with a 3rd state "nothing". Here's how it is set up:
  • Create the 3-state virtual switch device: "Kitchen"
  • Create a scene "Kitchen Lights On", triggered by the virtual switch device "on" state:
    • Turns on the individual lights
    • Changes the Virtual "Kitchen" device back to "nothing" state
  • Create a scene "Kitchen Lights Off", triggered by the virtual switch device "off" state:
    • Turns off the individual lights
    • Changes the Virtual "Kitchen" device to "nothing" state

This way you can control the individual lights themselves in addition to controlling them as a group device. You are always able to turn them all on or off through the Virtual Switch since it resets itself back to the "nothing" state each time it is run. I hope this makes sense.

I like this method since I can choose a different set of lights to turn on vs. turning all off, which you cannot do with Alexa's Device Groups. And that I can manage it from the Vera hub and use with other scenes.