Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Can I use an RA2 in-wall switch without a load attached?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    20

    Can I use an RA2 in-wall switch without a load attached?

    Have a special use case where I want to use a RA2 switch like a single button keypad for automation. I want to wire it into an existing 1-gang box disabling the load so it doesn't actually control the load. (The load would be hardwired always on).The application is to install a smart LED bulb so the wall switch doesn't actually switch the load on or off. Instead, a custom integration app will get the switch on/switch off commands and instead issue an API to dim or brighten the smart LED.(It's for an internal lab project; not for a client)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2,076
    Yes. Make sure you use the neutral model and have the neutral connected.

    FYI, you can also use a phantom (software only) switch.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    20
    Thanks!Can't use software/virtual switch because the whole point is to make it look like the existing switch still functions "as normal".

  4. #4
    You can also use a Pico. If you want to dim the bulb with the wall control a Pico will work better as the Pico sends all button activity (press and release) over the Telnet interface while a regular dimmer does not send button pushes for the dimming rocker. There are several inexpensive 3rd party controls that you can map Pico button actions (including a derived "held" action) to smart bulbs.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    20
    Pico is not appropriate for this use. Pico's do not look like existing Maestro decora switch/dimmer and do not have indicator LED for on/off. Also, Pico is not supported by HomeKit while actual dimmer/switches are.I don't need dimming control, that will be done automatically. Just on/off as the actual load has to be tied off so the smart bulb is kept powered on continuously even though it may be "off" through software.In case you are wondering, I am simulating basic Apple adaptive lighting using a tunable white smart bulb. Dimming level and white color temp will be adjusted automatically, but on/off still needs a physical control and not relying only on a motion sensor. Ketra is a bit out of my price range :-) and also requires HomeWorks which is also overkill.Waiting for Lutron to implement something like this when they can't even put Pico's into HomeKit integration isn't going to happen.

  6. #6
    Makes sense. Not sure how you're planning on implementing the light changes, but there is existing circadian logic available for Hubitat (which is a great way to add conditional functionality to a RadioRA 2 system), Node Red, and even Home Assistant.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    20
    It's just a proof-of-concept in my own home (hence the switch has to look and work like a switch so it will mostly be "invisible" to others). will probably use IFTTT or a some other glue to do the actual dimming/color temp changes.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    1
    Bill, Can you give me an example of "conditional functionality" you've added to RA2 via Hubitat? I asked Lutron to add even simple conditional to dimmers (as in "only dim" or "only brighten" along with the setting) at L2 training but I have heard nothing and this was years ago. I'm a developer so I've put together a windows app that listens for RA2 commands and then can react -- but that's the issue I've got. All I can do is "react" - which seems insufficient. Here's a common scenario (which my suggestion above would solve): There is a "welcome home" key in the entry of the house which lights up the foyer, the hallway into the house, and say a kitchen light to 50% -- enough light to get in late at night without being too bright. The problem is that if someone comes into a dark foyer/hall while others are already in the house (in the kitchen with lights on), the button ends up actually dimming the kitchen light. Not good. Sure, I can drop the kitchen light from the pathway lighting scene but that just ruins the scene's usefulness.So, I want to set the kitchen light to 50% "if it's currently below 50%". My app does work -- but I can only react to the notification that the light has been dimmed -- and then put it back where it was. This is sloppy. Another option is to make the button do nothing in RA2 programming and then have my app actually do all of the lighting changes. This does work but I just don't love it because it reduce response time and puts an app (and the server running it and the network) in place as potential failure points between the RA2 button and the lighting load. I'm not a fan of that. Everything I've seen with these home automation apps/services is doing something similar and it just feels too fragile for me.Anyway, that's why I'm curious. BTW, My current best solution is to program the button to set "local loads" (the foyer and maybe the hall) and that's it. Then have my app listen for the command and conditionally decide what to do with other loads based on their current states. This works better - there is a small delay in the secondary loads but it's typically not noticeable as they respond before the user can move into that area. I still don't love running my own lighting control system on top of Lutron's.

  9. #9
    Yes, Hubitat can do conditional based on current state very easily. So it will do what you want to do (don't adjust dimmer if already on) and what you are already doing. The most common conditions I use for lighting are time of day and amount of light.

    So for keypads a single button will do different light levels based on mode (time of day). Generally you program the lowest light level directly on the button then higher levels to phantom buttons. When you press the button the lights will go to their low program, but then Hubitat immediately triggers the phantom and the lights go to the higher level. It's all seamless and very fast. I further program the lights to adjust when the mode changes (e.g. from day to evening to night).

    I have a lot of motion sensors in my home. Some Lutron some Zigbee (NYCE and Philips Hue). The Hue sensors have light level measurement on them. So some lights are turned on only when light levels are low enough. I use the NYCE sensors where something smaller than a Lutron sensor is needed, they work great at foot level in stairwells. Some of the lights go on with motion only during specific times of the day.

    And that's just the start. Another simple extension, I have a water leak sensor that will flash the lights if water is sensed. One of the Hubitat founders has a RadioRA 2 system so they're pretty responsive to any questions or issues.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    21
    I'm jumping in to this conversation mid thread.

    That is awesome Bill!

    I just ordered a Hubitat a few days ago. I'm excited to play with it.

    One thing I was considering was using the Hubitat to make a RRD-PRO control a local load, but also serve as a trigger to control other dimmers. Basically act as a one button "keypad".

    In your experience, would that be possible? Much if any noticeable delay?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-15-2018, 12:24 PM
  2. Caseta In-Wall Switch requires neutral but In-Wall Dimmer doesn't?
    By ccoulson in forum General Discussion - CAS
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-27-2017, 11:00 AM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-05-2016, 08:17 PM
  4. Can't get app to control in-wall switch, load adaptor
    By Rfriedmanbb in forum Troubleshooting - CAS
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-25-2016, 12:11 PM
  5. RPM-4U Dimmed Load below 100% Will Switch Off
    By Armando B. in forum Troubleshooting - HWQS
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-11-2014, 03:52 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •