Turn on lights smoothly in sync (Zigbee groups)


I’m coming from Philips Hue and Home Assistant. But I don’t want to mess with my Smart Home Setup anymore and want something polished. But there is something that is very important for me. Turning on light bulbs smoothly in sync, like it is done in Philips Hue.
I was able to reproduce this behaviour with Zigbree Groups in Home Assistant.
But I am not sure if this is also possible in Homey.
I was reading that there is a Zigbee stack rewrite going on and that this is a feature that could be supported in the future. I also saw taht Homey documented Zigbee groups in their Zigbee documentation .

So here is my question now. Does Homey now support Zigbee groups or is there an alternative way to get light bulbs turning on and off smoothly and in sync with Homey. I have a lamp with three smart light bulbs and I want to make sure that they are turned on"nicely" and not one after one.

Thank you very much!

It’s not.

Not that I know of. Where did you read that?

The documentation only states that one-way group communication (from devices to Homey) is possible, not the other way around.

It’s also not possible for Homey (apps) to create Zigbee groups or bindings between two devices (for instance binding a remote to a light(group)). And FWIW, Homey also doesn’t support OTA updates for Zigbee.

All these missing features have long been pointed out to Athom, but the response has always been “interesting, we’ll take a look”.

There are some software-defined methods, like the <group> app. However, historically Homey has had quite bad support for sending commands to multiple devices at the same time. With three lights it’ll probably work, but no guarantees. The typical fix is introducing delays between each command.

@robertklep Thanks for the quick response. .
That’s really a bummer. I was hoping for a Homey native solution here.
As a work around I could of course also still use the Hue Bridge for controlling my lights, but then I have to configure scenes and zones and rooms at two different places.

It is a pity that such a well-designed product does not allow an aesthetically pleasing light setup/automation. Especially since the problem and the required feature are well known.

Is there a similar problem with z-wave or Thread lights?

AFAIK Homey doesn’t have any tools to group Z-Wave, Thread or Zigbee devices, so I would say that this issue exists across the whole range of protocols.

About controlling grouped devices per < group > app:
It has a setting to enter a custom delay time (in ms), which is used between every command to a device in that group.
When you turn the group device on, it fires the commands one after the other very quick, instead of Homey, which fires all at once.

When it’s possible to set that delay to, say, 50ms (just some value), you could control like 10 lights with a max of 0.5s delay between the first & last light.
You can make that delay maybe even shorter, that means experimenting with it until you found the shortest delay, without random lights not responding.

This is also an interesting app, maybe it suits even better:
Light Triggers