I just bought and integrated a bunch of Ikea devices into my existing setup and noticed that Deconz creates a group (type LightGroup) for each Tradfri remote control. These don’t show up in the Phoscon app but are there when using the API (e.g. with the great
ph tool) and thus also in Homebridge and clutter up my HomeKit accessories list.
What is the rationale behind this and can I safely delete this artificial group?
Those aren’t artificial groups and you also shouldn’t delete them. Those are zigbee groups and the true power of the standard. They are immune to routing issues (as they use broadcasts) and allow you to control your devices, if set up appropriately, when your coordinator is down. It’s best to set them up via the old web app and you typically subscribe one or more lights to a switch group. The more fitting capabilities switch and lights have (meaning matches of client and server clusters), the more benefit you get.
To be fair in this regard: you need to keep a close eye on the capabilities a device offers to leverage them according to your needs or requirements. Especially cheapter devices do not offer the versatility you might want and it also doesn’t allow you to retain more complex automations as it would with an automation system in the back.
It’s great as fall back and to increase WAF if sh** hits the fan. I’d hope more people would appreciate that
Ah ok, now I see what you mean. It is a bit confusing that they don’t show up in the Phoscon app but only in the API/old webapp.
But what good does it do to add lights to the switch group? They are grouped now but I still would have to tell the switch somehow what to do when a button is pressed, i.e. create a direct binding. I see no option to do that in the old app (they only know on, off and scenes but I can’t assign scenes to buttons let alone configure dimming). For that I had to create a group in Phoscon, add the switch and some lights and configure the desired behavior. But I can’t use the Zigbee group for that as it doesn’t show up in the Phoscon app. So again, what use is it than?
I stand corrected. I played around a bit, assigned two lights to the Tradfri remote using the old webapp and the remote is now showing up in Phoscon as a group. I can’t assign actions to the buttons individually but it appears the default actions (on/off/dimming) seem to work.
Does it work that way for all types of switches? I have a few Busch Jaeger ZLL switches and I remember that they used to be a pain to set up correctly and configure the buttons to switch certain groups.
Well, as said, you need to know what a switch and the device to be controlled is capable of.
The grey client clusters of the remote (left) can controll the blue server clusters of the light (right). As you can see, I wouldn’t be able to execise any color control on the light, as the swtich doesn’t support that cluster… However, the principle is generally applicable, mainly excluding the cheap devices from China.
The BJ is indeed a rather tough nut to crack. It’s 75% due to the hardware limitation of the device itself and based on that, the remaining 25% go to deconz. It worked flawlessly and pretty flexible once I deleted any preconfiguration deconz made and set it up from scratch via deconz GUI.
@Swoop Thanks a ton for the explanations. I ended up resetting my whole network and setting everything up again using direct bindings - I used Phoscon groups before which I learned are implemented as rules requiring an active gateway rather than native Zigbee bindings. To be honest, once I learned the difference I was a bit disappointed that deCONZ/Phoscon doesn’t do that under the hood by itself. There is a lot of room for improvement there IMO.
But having to fight with the battery-powered wall-mounted Busch-Jaeger transmitter, I kind of understand why asking for that level of device support might be unrealistic
Anyway, thanks for the discussion!