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Thread: IFTTT and Lutron dimmer "off" unreliable

  1. #1

    IFTTT and Lutron dimmer "off" unreliable

    Hi,

    I've purchased two Caseta dimmers and one standard Caseta hub. I also have a Google Home / Google Assistant voice control system (Google's version of Amazon's Alexa).

    Since Google Assistant and Lutron Caseta can't talk directly, I'm using IFTTT to allow control of the dimmers by voice using Google Home (AKA Google Assistant).

    To achieve this, I've created one scene for both dimmers to be on at 70% and another scene for both dimmers to be off (using the Lutron Android app).

    In IFTTT, I've set up two applets - one accepts a voice command in Google Assistant to trigger the dimmers to 70%, and the other applet accepts a voice command in Google Assistant to trigger the dimmers to turn off.

    I find that the dimmer response to IFTTT isn't very reliable. Specifically, I've had trouble getting the dimmers to turn off using Google Assistant and IFTTT. Sometimes the lights go off, sometimes they don't. The problem appears to be between IFTTT and the Lutron hub, since I can control the lights with the app and since Google Assistant gives the proper response. for example, I can speak the command to Google Assistant, it gives me the proper response "OK, turning off the lights", but the lights stay on (the dimmers don't respond. To date, I haven't had any problem turning the lights on - it seems to work correctly. It's just the off command that is unreliable.

    I've only had the system running for one day, so it could be more unreliable results could pop up over time.

    Can Lutron / anybody help to find root cause why IFTTT command to turn off the dimmers is not reliable? Is this a bug between IFTTT and Lutron? Can Lutron release a software patch and push the software update to the hub?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    421
    You're at the mercy of IFTTT and their throughput. It's known to have problems from time to time. I would not implement anything that depended upon it, especially not demand control of lighting. Schedule stuff, maybe. But never anything where I want lighting control NOW.

    What's happening is the Google cloud is handing off the command to IFTTT. Which absorbs it and typically responds back with an OK, even if it hasn't been able to contact the next link in the chain. Which is the IFTTT server contacting the Lutron cloud service. That, in turn, handles getting your in-house Hub to handle the actual lighting controls.

    The most effective solution is likely to be direct Google-Lutron-Hub processing, leaving IFTTT out of the loop entirely. Given the new nature of Google's offerings, and Lutron's known diligence for creating quality solutions (aka, taking a while to get it right before releasing) it's unknown how long it'll be before that becomes possible.

    Welcome to the bleeding edge.

    With any of these systems you're always going to be at the mercy of all of the links in the chain being up and running, and working effectively. If your local internet connection goes down, you're stuck. If the link to your voice handler (google, amazon, etc) has trouble, you're stuck. If the link from there to the vendor product cloud... etc. You get the picture. This isn't necessarily a "bad thing" as cloud interaction makes it possible to avoid having everything purchased, set up and maintained on-site. Otherwise you'd have to have something in the house doing ALL of the voice recognition work and then interacting directly with any on-site lighting bridges. It's certainly within the realm of being technically possible, but as yet nothing like Alexa or Google Home has presented as convenient a solution, and certainly not without much greater expense to purchase, setup and maintain.

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