Cynical Lutron

Cynical LUTRON #

This plugin gives Indigo partial control over some [LUTRON]( home control installations. Specifically, it lets you work with motorized shades, drapes, and blinds connected to a wired Lutron control interface device. It is not a complete Indigo interface to all Lutron systems, so please don’t get your hopes up too high.

Overview #

  • Create a Control Interface device for your entire Lutron system. There is usually only one of those.
  • Create a Shades device for each rolling shade or horizontal drape controller in the system.
  • Create a Venetian Blinds device for each venetian blind controller in the system.
  • Create a Phantom Button device for each programmed phantom button in your control interface that you want to work with.

Supported Devices #

This plugin requires a QSE-CI-NWK-E control interface that is wired into a Lutron 4-wire bus and connected to your Macintosh either through Ethernet or a serial port. This interfaces goes with Lutron’s wired installations. The wireless type uses a different interface and is not supported.

The only device types you can control are drape, shade, and blind devices. You can have other Lutron equipment on your network; the plugin will ignore them and do them no harm.

This is not a full-fledged Lutron interface supporting all devices made by Lutron - that would be a rather gargantuan task.Cynical Lutron manages just shade devices, and just wired Lutron installations. This is what I have in my house.

Devices #

Control Interface Device #

This is the Indigo device representing the Lutron network interface (the QSE-CI-NWK-E) itself.

Configuration Settings #

Setting Value Description
Address ip address or serial port Network name or address of Ethernet control interface; or full path to a local serial port.
Keep Alive checkbox Talk to the device every so often to make sure it is still usable.

To use the Ethernet interface of the controller, simply enter the hostname or address of that interface. To specify a non-standard port, use hostname:port.

To talk to an interface connected to a local serial port (via a USB adapter), enter the full path to the serial device (starting with a slash). The plugin will configure the serial port appropriately. To talk to an interface that is connected to a network serial adapater, enter the address and port (separated by a colon) of the interface device. You need to configure the serial parameters on that network device.

Device States #

The system device’s state tracks the receiver’s general state:

State Meaning
preparing The device is trying to initialize the network port.
connecting The device is trying to establish a connection.
exploring The device has connected to the Lutron system and is now examining it.
ready The Lutron system is ready to use.
unavailable Something has gone wrong and the device cannot be used right now. Check the Indigo log for details.

It may take a while for the exploring phase to conclude. This is where the plugin interrogates the interface to find all configured devices and their capabilities. The more devices are in the Lutron network, the longer this will take - epect about a second per device, supported or not. (This is how long it takes the Lutron interface to deliver its report.)

The Lutron network will be re-discovered every time the plugin is started or restarted. If you ever make changes to your Lutron network - wiring in new devices or removing any - be sure to restart the plugin. Note that disconnected or otherwise dysfunctional Lutron devices are usually still reported by the interface, though they won’t respond to any commands.

Shades Device #

This device represents a motorized roller shade or drape. These devices can open or close linearly. Indigo sees them as regular Dimmer devices, and you can control them by telling them to “dim” - off means closed, on means open, and a dimming level is simply a position in between. It’s really that simple.

Shade devices also respond to the custom Move action, though they ignore any tilt action requested. Use this to move a shade to a calculated location.

Venetian Blinds Device #

This device represents motorized Venetian Blinds - an array of slats moved by a motor. These devices can open and close just like shades, and they can also tilt their slats in various directions. Their motion has two dimensions.

You can command blinds to any position and tilt angle using the custom Move command. But blinds are also standard Indigo dimmer devices. The dimming action can control either the position or the tilt of the blinds, depending on how you configure the device:

Configuration Settings #

Setting Value Description
Dimming Changes Tilt checkbox If checked, dimming controls the tilt instead of the position.
Default Tilt number Whenever positioning by dimming, set the tilt to this value.
Default Position number When tilting by dimming, set the position to this value.
Tilt Negative checkbox When tilting by dimming, reverse the tilt angle."

In Indigo, the tilt angle of venetian blinds ranges from -100 to 100. Zero means open (parallel to the ground). 100 is fully overlapped (closed), with the slats pointing upward as you look out. Negative numbers indicate reverse orientation (looking down). Negative tilt values tend to keep out the sun more but may make it easier to look in. Experiment.

When you connect the dimming action to the tilt angle by checking the Dimming Changes Tilt checkbox, the standard brightness range of 0-100 is mapped either to positive or to negative tilt values, depending on the Tilt Negative checkbox. This makes the action more dim-like. Note that 0 means open and 100 is fully closed. If you need to control the full tilt range of a device, use the Move action.

Whether you link dimming to position or tilt, you get to decide what happens to the other setting. If you leave the Default … field blank, it will be unchanged by dimming. If you set it, then any dimming action will also set the complementary value accordingly.

The Lutron system does not provide feedback for the tilt angle of venetian blinds. The plugin tries its best to keep the device state up to date, but if blinds are tilted by other means (say, a Lutron button or remote control), the device state will not always update to track the change. The position of blinds is always tracked correctly.

Phantom Button Device #

In addition to providing a network interface, the QSE-CI-NWK-E also contains up to a hundred software Phantom Buttons that can be programmed to move any number of blinds, drapes, and shades to arbitrary positions. The plugin does not currently provide a means to create or alter these buttons from within Indigo; but it does allow you to trigger them. In effect, each phantom button can act as a Lutron-managed group of Lutron devices.

When defining a Phantom Button device, Indigo will show you a menu of all phantom buttons programmed into your network interface. Simply pick the one you want:

Configuration Settings #

Setting Value Description
Button menu The phantom button to work with.
Dimming Changes Tilt checkbox If checked, dimming controls the tilt instead of the position.
Default Tilt number Whenever positioning by dimming, set the tilt to this value.
Default Position number When tilting by dimming, set the position to this value.
Tilt Negative checkbox When tilting by dimming, reverse the tilt angle.

You can move the devices of a phantom button in three different ways:

  • You can “press” the button using the Press Phantom Button action. This moves each device to its pre-programmed position.
  • You can use the Move action to move all devices of a button to an arbitrary position and/or tilt, just as if they were venetian blinds. All devices move to the same position and/or tilt angle. Shade and drape devices move to the commanded position and ignore any tilt setting.
  • You can treat the Phantom Button device as a standard dimmer. The device will operate exactly like a Venetian Blinds device, and the various configuration settings work just like that. Obviously, again, attempts to set the tilt of a shade or drape device is ignored.

Lutron systems do not report state for phantom buttons. Cynical LUTRON creates a synthetic dimmer state indicating the maximum position of all member devices. In other words, a phantom button device will be fully open (100) if all its devices are fully open, and will be fully closed (0) if at least one of its devices is fully closed. Phantom button devices have no tilt state, and the device state always tracks the motion position regardless of the Dimming Changes Tilt setting.

Actions #

Move Action #

Explicitly moves a shade, drape, blind, or phantom button device to a given position and/or tilt angle. You may give either a position or a tilt or both; leave any aspect you want unchanged blank. Note that both position and tilt are dynamic, and thus can be calculated values.

Configuration Settings #

Setting Value Description
Position number Move the device to the given position. 0 is closed; 100 is fully open.
Tilt number Tilt venetian blinds to the given angle.

Positions range from 0 (closed) to 100 (fully open). Values in between are proportional - 50 is half open, etc.

Tilt values range from -100 to 100, as described for Venetian Blinds devices.

Stop Moving Action #

Tells a device to stop moving and stay in whatever position and attitude it currently finds itself. If the device was not moving, this does nothing.

Press Phantom Button Action #

“Presses” a programmed phantom button on the control interface, causing every programmed device to move to its pre-arranged position and attitude.

Send Low-Level Command Action #

This is the expert option. It lets you send any low-level command to a Lutron device. This will require that you understand the command language of the control interface. Cynical LUTRON will still process any resulting state updates and set device state accordingly.

Notes #

Release Notes #

Notable releases:

Release Notes
1.1.0 Released under Apache 2.0 license.
1.0.2 Support for Indigo 7.
1.0.0 Released due to lack of complaints.
0.9.0 First beta test release.