Since release 0.51.13 you can add Virtual Switches to your NEEO, but what are these good for?
Well, the possibilities with these are almost endless. You can use them to implement a party switch in your house, you can use them to tell NEEO who is home, you can use them to quickly enable or disable automation and much much more. You can even use them to group lights from different brands/rooms and control them all with a single switch.
The basic setup is quickly done. In the NEEO App when adding a device, search for "virtual" and add a "NEEO Virtual Switch". Give it a name which makes sense for your use case.
After setting up the switch you then have to create recipes which are triggered based on the virtual switch state. Check out the examples below for a detailed explanation.
Example - Party Mode
Some friends dropping by for a surprise visit and you are totally not ready for that? No problem, hit a single switch on you NEEO and your complete home immediately feels like you have been expecting them.
After adding a virtual switch and calling it "Party" you can go ahead and setup the recipes to make it functional. The first recipe which is triggered when the party-switch is activated includes all the commands you need to get your party started. For example:
- Turn on the colored Hue lights
- Turn off the bright standard lights
- Turn on some LED stripes
- Start the music on Sonos
- Turn on the Pinball machine
- Unlock the door
- Turn the coffee machine on
- Send a message to your family to let them know you are having a party
You can then also add a recipe which is triggered if the party switch is powered off to bring your home back in a normal state.
Example - Automation Toggle
When doing automation based on motions sensors, it sometimes is handy to be able to disable the logic without having to actually delete the rule itself.
After adding a virtual switch, you can use it in recipe conditions. A typical recipe would then have the conditions "If motion sensor is on" AND "The light level is below..." AND "The virtual switch is on". This way the recipe is then only triggered when the virtual switch is set to ON.
Example - Light Grouping
By using a virtual switch you can come up with group of lights. Especially when you have different light brands which you can't group together with the original app this is something you can only do with NEEO.
So let's say you have some Hue and some LIFX lights in your living room. You can now add a virtual switch called "Living Room Lights". After adding the switch, you can then create two recipes, on which is triggered when the virtual switch is on and another one which is triggered if the virtual switch is off. In the on-recipe you ad all the commands for the lights which should turn on and in the off-recipe you add all the power off commands.
Voila, a single switch controlling multiple lights from different brands.
I am looking forward to your feedback on this. I am convinced you can come up with much more crazy use cases compared to our examples. This thread is for sharing these.
Feel free to post any questions you have.
Few examples but kind of like whats mentioned above with the virtual and just to save me extra clicks\make it easier for the family.
Lights - Mixture of lights turning them all on off from rooms screen as i dont use the sliders really.
Game Mode - Commands to turn game mode on/off on TV. TV often left in game mode when moving between Plex\xbox\stb etc.. - however i think this is one for the new Virtual Switch
Sonos Resume - each room just hit play on Sonos to resume what was last played. I often listen to radio so dont need to see\use controls and the good thing with sonos is it sees its started so easy to then turn off.
Edited to add one more which may be the reason it was actually built - An accessory device do not give you a recipe to edit. So create a Dummy one and add commands.
I'd like to create a virtual switch for my hue lights. The light recipes are already there and I want to use the possibility to make use of them as a shortcut in my other recipes. I added a virtual switch to my devices, no problem so far. What I don't understand is how to connect the recipes to the switch states. How can a configure an "and" condition? Sorry, I don't get it.
Has anyone come up with a use for virtual switches yet? I'm a bit confused as to their purpose. The original example of a 'party mode' could be achieved with a recipe turning on all those devices couldn't it?
Like I have a 'goodnight' recipe which turns off my tv and sonos, turns on the lights in the stairs & upstairs hallway, waits 15 seconds and turns off the lounge light, waits another 5 seconds and turns off the dining room lights.
I'm not saying these switches are a bad feature - I just don't understand them.
Hi Patrick. Please can you explain how to do this with clear and simple step by step instructions. Honestly, I work in IT but even I'm completely baffled. I set up the switches but don't get how to link them to recipes.
I understand this is Neeo's version of macros but it needs to be explained in a way non-Neeo engineer or non-developer people can understand.
In the meantime I will keep tinkering until I work it out.
Jakob Winter you can do exactly that, create the virtual switch, create custom recipes that react to the state of your switch, then on the shortcut page of your main recipe add a shortcut, look for the virtual switch and add the toggle command
Patrick though these new switches go a long way in achieving much richer shortcuts, I would still think it simpler in many cases if we could simply have a shortcut to a recipe directly. I imagine that doesn’t sit well with the way the NEEO database works but it would be a much simpler UX.
The ability to move devices between rooms was also an important one for Z-wave devices. In other words, with these two things I was able to get very close to my perfect light recipe. On the app that is. The remote is still crippled by flaky debouncing and somehow adds a lot of wasted space between widgets, forcing my virtual switches on a second page ... any update on the debouncing issue?
Niels de Klerk I played with the dummy audio device in the past (to circumvent we cannot pick icons for devices / recipes) and it caused all kinds of strange behaviour (don’t remember the details but documented it in another thread many moons ago). I however duplicate MANY real devices. As many do, I duplicate my source devices to have multiple recipes. I also duplicate my sink device for EVERY recipe that uses it so I can have multiple recipes in the active now area. Basically this is to circumvent the fact NEEO refuses to treat smart devices like smart devices and imposes an assumption mode on then nobody wanted. Something I still find slightly stupefying after the whole “we don’t have an assumption mode because you shouldn’t have stupid devices” mantra.
Patrick this is how my light recipe now looks like, using two virtual switches. One master on / off switch and the other to put all dimmers to their max value. One could add more virtual switches for additional moods / scenes. Very happy with this. However, a couple issues remain:
1) for some reason on the app the title of the screen shows the name of the first device, in this case “table”. On the remote this shows “light”.
2) if I use the widget instead of the slider the three buttons on the bottom go to a second screen on the remote, on the app they stay on the same screen, as you would expect as the widget should use the same height on screen as the slider
3) on both app and remote it shows “multilevelswitch 1” under every slider, which is pretty pointless
4) if I put the widget instead of the slider the app still shows “multilevelswitch 1” but the remote shows “toggle 2” which is confusing and still pointless
5) debouncing is still better on the app, though it seems to have improved with the last firmware update
6) the “activating recipe” and “leaving recipe” circle routines needlessly delay proceedings, nothing is actually being activated, we just want to see the controls asap
7) it would be great to have the possibility to put the light recipe on the home screen, I currently have it in a room called “lights” but thanks to the virtual switches all custom recipes are now neatly inside the light recipe, meaning I have a room with just one recipe. Adding an extra click, open room, open recipe, where just open recipe would be cleaner. I imagine many other users would like their most used recipes on the home screen and use rooms to group the other recipes.
Most of these comments are pretty minor but the devil is in the detail and these changes would turn a good UX into a great UX.
The concept of these virtual switches is still confusing me. I understand these can be used as shortcut within a recipe. What I am trying to achieve though is a recipe button acting as a toggle switch. E.g. I got one Hue light and within a room I want to have one recipe button that toggles this Hue Light on and off.
Can this be done, can a recipe button act like a toggle (on/off) switch? And if yes, would someone be willing to explain how to achieve this?