Step by step guide to scenes

Introduction

Often in an automation system or in a smart home you need to have a switch that allows you to command more than one devices or subsystems. Trivially you can mount a relay that commands more devices linked by cables. An operation of this kind could be more expensive if the devices are scattered on long distances or if you have a lot of devices. It would not be better to have a virtual device that allows you to do all this?

AirQ Networks control units provides you this virtual device: the scenes.

A Scene is a virtual switch

A scene allows you to do a set of actions just by clicking a button from the control unit software. The schema of a scene is:

If scene A is ON then execute a_1, a_2, ..., a_n 
if scene A is OFF then execute b_1, b_2, ..., b_n

where a_i and b_i are actions. An action is an entity that allows you to do something, like switch ON/OFF a relay of a control board, send an alarm by SMS etc.

Actions are the same for the rules. Please take a look to the step by step guide to the rules to know what actions are available. 

Manage a scene

To add a scene, go to the Scenes section from the top menu of the control unit software. The management interface of the scenes is divided into tab. The tab with the symbol “+” allows you to add a new scene.

scenes interface

A screenshot of the scenes interface

As described before, a scene has two states: ON and OFF. OFF status is optional.

To add a scene, you have to set:

  • A name;
  • At least one action for the ON status (when the scene turns ON, all specified actions are executed)

After you have added the scene, you can add the scene for the OFF status.

OFF status actions

Optionally you can add actions for the OFF status of a scene

action selection for OFF status

actions selection for OFF status

Please note an important difference for the actions between the rules and the scenes: in the scenes, all actions are executed only one time with no delay (in the rules you can set manually the delay and the duration). The actions can be re-executed only after the scene status changes.

For example, suppose you have a scene that turns on the relay1 and relay2 of a control board if the scene is ON, otherwise switches off the relays. Suppose that the scene is in ON status (the relays are turned on), if you turn off the relay 1 from the dashboard (or from the devices summary view or by a rule), the status of the scene doesn’t changes and then can’t re-switch on the relay. But if you turn off and on again the scene, the relay turns on another time.

Obviously, you can change statuses of a scene, delete it or change its name.

ON/OFF vs enable/disable

You can command a scene using two kind of switch:

  • ON/OFF switch ON_OFF scene button. With this switch you can change the status of the scene. If you put ON the scene, all actions for the ON status are executed, otherwise all actions for the OFF status. If status is ON, the button is blue;
  • Enable/disable switch enable_disable scene button. If you disable a scene, this becomes “freeze”, and the control unit doesn’t consider the scene during the system logic computation. If enabled, the button is blue.

If you turn on a scene, and this is disabled, the control unit enables the scene before switching it

Define behaviors at the restart of the unit

Since version 3.6.5, you can choose the behavior of a scene when the central unit restarts. Previously, the actions of the current state of a certain scene, were performed every time the central unit was restarted. Now you can set this behavior manually, selecting/deselecting the option Perform actions on reboot. This option:

  • if enabled, for every restart all the actions for the current state of the scene will be executed. For instance, if you want to notify if the unit is restarted, you can add a scenario, define the email action for the ON state, enable the option and activate the scene.
  • if not selected, when the unit restarts, the actions of the scenario won’t be executed. If you have a scene which in the ON state opens a blind linked to an AirQ 306, this action mustn’t be executed when the unit restarts, so this option mustn’t be selected.

 Some examples?

If you want to see some example of the using of the scenes, go to the Application section. This section is constantly updated in order to show different uses of the AirQ Networks products.