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Thread: strange behavior differences between hardware switch and app

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    strange behavior differences between hardware switch and app

    Note my problem is almost the opposite of what is described in this thread:

    https://forums.lutron.com/showthread...-at-the-switch

    I mention that because they may somehow be related.

    I have a Caseta Smart Dimmer Switch. As far as I know it is an P-PKG1WB-WH. It's too bad the Lutron app cannot tell you that.

    It is controlling some cheap LEDs.

    After the install everything was working fine. I setup a program to turn the lights on at about 25% at sunset and it worked for about 3 months.

    Then at some point I tested the hardware buttons on the wall switch (it's in an inconvenient location so I did not routinely use it; however I do know it was working fine at the beginning).

    Now the hardware buttons on the wall switch are nearly 100% unreliable.

    The APP can control the lights "fine". I say "fine" because it is true that using the app I cannot set the switch to 25%. I must set it to 100% and then slide down to 25%. But that "trick" does work.

    At some point the performance degraded and the SCHEDULED EVENTS stopped working; the lights do not turn on at sunset. I then modified my original 25% event to go for 100% and then I created another event that fires one minute later to set the dimmer to 25%. This does not work. In the dark it’s possible to see the LEDs are “on” at about 1% but that’s all it can do.

    Using the hardware buttons on the switch does not do anything.

    The user interface in the app will allow me to turn on the lights at 100%, dial down to 25% and the scheduled event that turns them OFF at night does work.

    Some of this behavior may be explained by the cheap LED lamps but not all of it.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralden View Post
    Now the hardware buttons on the wall switch are nearly 100% unreliable... Using the hardware buttons on the switch does not do anything.

    This is problem number 1. If the device is wired properly the buttons on the local dimmer should always work as a local control.

    Are the lights controlled from multiple locations, i.e. are there any 3-way for 4-way switches? If so there are some hoops you have to jump through to make it work properly. If a mechanical 3-way wired to the Caseta device got flipped it would cause the symptoms you are describing.

    Resolving this issue will likely make the other issues go away.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Nope. The lights are directly connected to one Lutron and nothing else. I notice the following yesterday. The dimmer seems to work locally in the sense that the buttons animate the LEDs on the dimmer up and down without fail. And yesterday I was fiddling with it and found that after about 3-4 tries the lights did turn on to 100%. But quite reliably it fails and probably quite reliably it will work after 3-4 tries (using local buttons). What is very strange is that it works with 100% reliability from the app. Even stranger, it fails with nearly 100% reliability when the app is responding to a SCHEDULES task. The only thing that works with 100% reliability is the direct activation of the device through the DEVICES UI in the app.

  4. #4
    Lutron Technical Support
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Have you tried swapping out the LEDs for different lights? The best possible baseline would be an incandescent or halogen lamp. The other option would be trying LED lamps we have tested. These lamps can be found out Lutron.com/LEDFinder.

  5. #5
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    I have not as they are installed in the ceiling along with many others that are on non-Lutron switches and changing them is not a realistic option. However there is no doubt that them being wonky LEDs explains part of the problem. I have already had to replace one Lutron dimmer with a Lutron switch due to an LED fixture that cannot be changed. So I know that drill. What is strange about this case is how

    1. the Android app controlling the dimmer works without fail and
    2. the buttons on the dimmer fail about 95% of the time and
    3. the scheduled event part of the management protocol that talks to the dimmer through the gateway fails 100% of the time.

    That's borderline crazy.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    I have observed some "different" behavior (likely I just did not notice it earlier). The buttons on the dimmer do work. If I tap off and tap on several times in succession the lights will eventually turn on 100% and then I can dim them down. This behavior is true for the app as well. I can't just set 25% I have to go to full 100% on and walk down to 25%. It's a shame this trick cannot be encoded in tunable parameters in the dimmer and/or the app the way you can with Insteon dimmers. It's also rather unfortunate that it is not deterministic. I can never get the lamps to turn on with the local buttons the first try; it always takes a few tries. The app is deterministic. Always works on the first sequence of 100%, 25%.

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