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Using separate momentary switches to increase/decrease RGBW brightness


Stygian Shade
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Hi,

 

I have purchased a Fibaro HC2 with several devices, including Fibaro dimmers (FGD-212) and Fibaro RGBW controllers (FGRGBWM-441) for LED strips.  I wish to use these in a home installation, where one of the goals is to try to achieve basic functionality via manual switches, using HC2 mainly for enabling scenes.

 

For each of the dimmers connected to the main lighting, I intend to use two momentary switches, where one switch increases brightness and one decreases it.  I understand that this can be achieved by setting parameter 20 (switch type) to 2 ("roller blind switch").

 

I intend to use RGBW controllers in two cases:

1) One controller driving an RGBW LED strip, with two momentary switch inputs

2) One controller driving two CCT (dual white) LED strips, with two momentary switch inputs

 

For LED control I would like to achieve similar switch control behaviour to the dimmers:

  • One momentary switch increases brightness of all output channels
  • One momentary switch decreases brightness of all output channels
  • HC2 can override current output settings to set RGBW values when a scene is activated.  In this case I would like to be able to set each RGBW channel independently.

 

For the CCT case, I would like the same behaviour, as the only difference is what the output channels represent.  I am happy for the switches to control the brightness of both CCT strips together, but I would like to be able to use HC2 scenes to set the brightness of each channel independently, thus providing independent control of the white tones and strips in scenes.

 

I have studied the manual for the RGBW controller and it's not clear to me whether it is possible to achieve what I want.  The "brightness" setting seems to allow all channels to be controlled together from a momentary switch, but it doesn't look as if I can dedicate separate momentary switches to increase or decrease brightness.  It is not obvious to me from the manual how the brightness setting works with a single momentary switch.

 

Can anyone advise me whether this is possible, please?  If not, can anyone suggest an similar alternative configuration that is possible?

 

Many thanks,

 

Jim

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You can use associations to control a RGBW device, that is what i do.

So if you have a dimmer V2 then S1 controls the light that is attached to the dimmer, and then S2 controls the RGBW device (on, off, dim up/down)

So whatever you have set, it controls the brightness only.

 

I understand your preference for controlling your lights "roller shutter style" but i would suggest otherwise.

From my experience you now get double the buttons (a hassle), and never can remember which one was dim up or dim down. and its a extra installation cost (button wise and installation wise)

With your RGBW example you now have to "waste" a dimmer V2 (+ a fibaro bypass to get it working without load) to get the same function as you want with 2 buttons, so its also an extra expense. ( if that even works roller shutter style, i don't know)

 

Use push button style and get a "scene control button" using S2 instead (or many other options).

You can then execute scenes, depending on time, light, sun etc and use 1,2,3 klick or pressed to execute scenes so you have more flexibility.

1 klick is regular light (and it can execute different scenes depending on sun up/down, time of day etc) 2 can be light 100% (logic as its the same function with push button dimmers), 3 can then be dinnertime and pressed button is always all lights off. (Or whatever you thing works for you)

No more pressing 4 different dimmers to set the light every time you do something.

Especially when you have multiple lights in one room.

You can then also use S2 to control multiple lights at the same time directly, Ex in the kitchen (celling, table, under uppers, shelf's) with one button instead of you having 8 buttons for 4 lights.

You can also choose to control Sonos for example directly from a dimmer (play, pause, vol up/down, next song etc)

 

In the end, do what you feel is right for you :-)

 

Edited by speedy
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  • Hi Speedy, thanks for your reply.

     

    On 7/14/2018 at 12:19 PM, speedy said:

    You can use associations to control a RGBW device, that is what i do.

    So if you have a dimmer V2 then S1 controls the light that is attached to the dimmer, and then S2 controls the RGBW device (on, off, dim up/down)

    So whatever you have set, it controls the brightness only.

     

    How does S2 (switch 2?) control dim up/down in that case?  I haven't yet had any of these devices installed, so I haven't been able to experiment with them myself yet.  I can see scope for configuration with RGBW controller parameter 14, but without being able to experiment it's not obvious how some configurations will work.

     

    Quote

     

    I understand your preference for controlling your lights "roller shutter style" but i would suggest otherwise.

    From my experience you now get double the buttons (a hassle), and never can remember which one was dim up or dim down. and its a extra installation cost (button wise and installation wise)

     

    That's a fair point, but in my case that money is already effectively spent - I have already bought dimmers, RGBW controllers, and the electrician has already completed "first fix", so I wouldn't benefit much from that.  Also, I'm hoping to use a momentary rocker-style switch where up/down is fairly obvious.  I'm asking my question now because the RGBW controllers haven't been connected yet, so it might be possible to change the switch wiring configuration.

     

    Quote

    With your RGBW example you now have to "waste" a dimmer V2 (+ a fibaro bypass to get it working without load) to get the same function as you want with 2 buttons, so its also an extra expense. ( if that even works roller shutter style, i don't know)

     

    I don't understand what you mean here.  I wasn't expecting dimmers to be involved in the RGBW/CCT LED strip lighting - just RGBW controllers.  I only mentioned the dimmers because I wanted to point out that I wanted to achieve similar switch control behaviour for the two cases.

     

    I have a separate remote for scene control, which will cover the common cases, but I would like to be able to mix the two types of control where necessary.  As I mentioned, I'm also attempting to achieve useful switch control for those inevitable periods when the HC2 is out of action.  I do expect the scenes I have already roughly worked out will cover perhaps 90% of uses, but just as you might have trouble remembering which switch is up/down, I'd have trouble remembering lots of scenes, so I'd like the ability to do convenient manual tuning with a switch occasionally.  Your first comment about using S2 for on/off/up/down suggests that that might be possible even with one switch; could you please explain the behaviour with that case, because I have not been able to understand it by reading the manual?

     

    Regards,

     

    Jim

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    4 hours ago, Stygian Shade said:

    Hi Speedy, thanks for your reply.

    How does S2 (switch 2?) control dim up/down in that case?  I haven't yet had any of these devices installed, so I haven't been able to experiment with them myself yet.  I can see scope for configuration with RGBW controller parameter 14, but without being able to experiment it's not obvious how some configurations will work.

    Please login or register to see this link.

    See page 17 for associations and using dimmer V2 for controlling RGBW device. 

    You set the dimmer to control RGBW device using associations 4 and 5.

     

    Parameter 14 is not available if you use Hc2, only with secondary (other than fibaro) controller.

     

     

    Quote

    I don't understand what you mean here.  I wasn't expecting dimmers to be involved in the RGBW/CCT LED strip lighting - just RGBW controllers.  I only mentioned the dimmers because I wanted to point out that I wanted to achieve similar switch control behaviour for the two cases.

    Ah, ok i missunderstood.

    Normally mixing low voltage and hight voltage in the same connectionbox is not allowed so its not common to do this (at least here in Sweden)

    From my understanding you need 4 switches to control the RGBW device (one for each channel) and cant get the roller shutter function only toggle or momentary so it won't work in the same way.

     

     

    Quote

    I have a separate remote for scene control, which will cover the common cases, but I would like to be able to mix the two types of control where necessary.  As I mentioned, I'm also attempting to achieve useful switch control for those inevitable periods when the HC2 is out of action. 

    That is a good idea, i always recommend connecting dimmers with physical switches.

    Always connect as much as you can with buttons, directly to the light, and always use both line and neutral to the dimmers.

    So the house can work "normally" even if the HC2 breaks and you don't need an attached light to make the dimmer work.

     

    Quote

    I do expect the scenes I have already roughly worked out will cover perhaps 90% of uses, but just as you might have trouble remembering which switch is up/down, I'd have trouble remembering lots of scenes, so I'd like the ability to do convenient manual tuning with a switch occasionally. 

    I see your point, i didn't think you had up/down switches, then its more "logic" to control lights up and down.

    I only use push button style switches in installations.

     

    Quote

    Your first comment about using S2 for on/off/up/down suggests that that might be possible even with one switch; could you please explain the behaviour with that case, because I have not been able to understand it by reading the manual?

    You use S1 to control the connected light with momentary (push button) switch (on, off, dim up/down) and 100% with 2 click.

    You use S2 with associations (Group 4 and 5) to control a second device (RGBW) or any other device near by.

    You can also use S2 to control scenes instead of a device, and then you don't need the remote.

     

    Ex 1.

    In my kitchen i have 2 switches (with 2 buttons each) that controls 4 different lights.

    These switches are connected to 2 dimmers, the other lights, 1 dimmer and 1 RGBW device are installed in a different location and are controlled wirelessly using association.

    That is 4 buttons for 4 lights.  (no scenes)

     

    Ex 2.

    In a bedroom i have 4 different lights (dimmers) and 2 blinds (roller shutter devices) controlled with only 2 buttons.

    S1 controls the entire room (on, off, dim up / down) with associations but is only physically connected to the ceiling light. (this works without a homecenter, devices speak directly to each other)

    S2 controls the blinds and scenes in the house.

    1 click is blinds up or down, 

    2 click is morning lights,

    3 click is not used (backup)

    Pressed button is all lights off in the house (good night scene)

     

    So with only 2 buttons i can control a room with 4 different lights, 2 blinds and execute scenes that i use daily.

    If i need a specific light setting i use the App.

     

    I could connect all of the dimmers and blinds (and with up/down dimming switches as your example) but i would have 8 light buttons, 4 roller shutter buttons and a remote to use scenes.

    So now it just got a bit complex with 12 buttons to control the same room with the same functions as i get with 2 buttons.

     

    Sometimes a remote is never where it should be and it can sometimes be more logic to control everything from the switches on the wall instead of a remote.

    The remote needs batteries, is never in the same place or ends up sitting on the wall next to the wall switch.

    And if you don't find the remote you cant execute the scenes.

     

    But as you will use up/down switches, this behaviour will now differ from all other switches so then its not so logic any more :-) 

    Thats why i would suggest not using up/down switches, all other things use push button switches, so somewhere you will run into a different way of controlling stuff.

     

     

    But this is just my opinion and what works for me, it may be the wrong solution for you as you.

     

    Edited by speedy
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  • Hi Speedy,

     

    Thanks again for your detailed reply.  I have only just had a chance to read it as I've been busy with work and tidying up the house after the workmen leave each day.

     

    I think I now understand what you mean about using the dimmer associations.  I can see that it might make sense, but I'd have to sacrifice the up/down roller behaviour for the main lights, and I'm not sure that I want to do that.  I'll give it some more thought.  The electrician has just gone on holiday, so I probably have a week or two to decide before any of the Fibaro devices are wired in.

     

    On 7/15/2018 at 5:15 PM, speedy said:

    Ah, ok i missunderstood.

    Normally mixing low voltage and hight voltage in the same connectionbox is not allowed so its not common to do this (at least here in Sweden)

    From my understanding you need 4 switches to control the RGBW device (one for each channel) and cant get the roller shutter function only toggle or momentary so it won't work in the same way.

     

    We have the same rules here, for obvious reasons.  The electrician has arranged for the the 24V switch connections to be in a separate box to the 240V, but close enough so that he thinks they can be behind the same faceplate.

     

    Using 4 switches for the RGBW channels separately is definitely clumsy - I wouldn't want to do that.  If RGBW parameter 14 was available (and I note that you point out that it isn't with HC2), then I was hoping to configure brightness mode to tie the channel brightness together when using the switch.  I might be able to achieve similar results with Lua, I suppose.  I haven't investigated that properly yet, but it would involve surrendering control to HC2.  I'm less worried about doing that for the RGBW lights,  as they are only controlling accent lighting.

     

    I do accept though, now, that what I originally wanted doesn't seem to be possible, so I'm going to have to consider alternatives.

     

    On 7/15/2018 at 5:15 PM, speedy said:

    That is a good idea, i always recommend connecting dimmers with physical switches.

    Always connect as much as you can with buttons, directly to the light, and always use both line and neutral to the dimmers.

    So the house can work "normally" even if the HC2 breaks and you don't need an attached light to make the dimmer work.

     

    Yes, that's good advice.

     

    On 7/15/2018 at 5:15 PM, speedy said:

    So with only 2 buttons i can control a room with 4 different lights, 2 blinds and execute scenes that i use daily.

    If i need a specific light setting i use the App.

     

    I could connect all of the dimmers and blinds (and with up/down dimming switches as your example) but i would have 8 light buttons, 4 roller shutter buttons and a remote to use scenes.

    So now it just got a bit complex with 12 buttons to control the same room with the same functions as i get with 2 buttons.

     

    That's a good point.  :-)

     

    On 7/15/2018 at 5:15 PM, speedy said:

    Sometimes a remote is never where it should be and it can sometimes be more logic to control everything from the switches on the wall instead of a remote.

    The remote needs batteries, is never in the same place or ends up sitting on the wall next to the wall switch.

    And if you don't find the remote you cant execute the scenes.

     

    But as you will use up/down switches, this behaviour will now differ from all other switches so then its not so logic any more :-) 

    Thats why i would suggest not using up/down switches, all other things use push button switches, so somewhere you will run into a different way of controlling stuff.

     

    Thanks for taking the time to explain in detail how you have set things up in your house.  You have given me a lot to think about.

     

    Regards,

     

    Jim

     

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    On 7/17/2018 at 8:55 PM, Stygian Shade said:

    I was hoping to configure brightness mode to tie the channel brightness together when using the switch.  I might be able to achieve similar results with Lua, I suppose.  I haven't investigated that properly yet, but it would involve surrendering control to HC2.  I'm less worried about doing that for the RGBW lights,  as they are only controlling accent lighting.

    This is possible, but you won't get  2 switch dimming as your other swtiches.

    You can dim 1 channel (Red for example as this color will be most used so the light will look warm) and then set all other channels according to the level of red channel.

    So if you have found a nice looking light color with mixing R+G+B+W then for example looking at your RGBW device you might have these colors:

    Red = 200

    Blue = 100 (Red / 2)

    Green = 20 (Red / 10)

    White = 40 (Red / 5)

     

    Then if you dim red to 100 then set B G W to

    Red = 100

    Blue = 50 (Set in lua 100/2 = 50)

    Green = 10 (Set in lua 100/10 = 10)

    White = 20 (Set in lua 100 / 5 = 20)

     

    You always have to round your values to 0 decimals.

    But, then the scene will start every time you change brightness (with app), colour or similar so there is more to do in this scene :-) 

     

    On 7/17/2018 at 8:55 PM, Stygian Shade said:

    Thanks for taking the time to explain in detail how you have set things up in your house.  You have given me a lot to think about.

    No worries, good luck with the system!

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