Group of lights as new Thing or not?

in the BTicino system already integrated by the openwenet/BTicino lights can be grouped in Areas, Groups and then there is also a General group (=“all lights”). So for example one can switch on/off one group or area of lights or can switch on/off all lights in the system.
This groups are not currently supported in the binding so if one switches off all lights via a “all lights” physical button, the corresponding Things/Items in OH are not updated yet.

I am thinking how to enhance the binding to support this, and I am in doubt if:

  • support “all lights” or “group” events in the already existing LightingHandler


  • define a new Thing “LightGroup” and handle commands/events there, similar to what is done in the Hue Binding

In the first case event support for groups will be automatically managed (but no commands handling would be possible), while in the second case the user will have to configure new LightGroup Things in order to see events and manage groups (commands would be supported in this case).

Any suggestion what is the best design, also considering that OH has already support for groups of items ?

Related GitHub issue is: [openwebnet] BTicino binding does not process general/area/group commands · Issue #14063 · openhab/openhab-addons · GitHub

@m4rk , @the-ninth and @bastler : I am interested in your opinion here!

for lights i dont miss the group feature. i have quite a few lights that i switch as a group, but this is a group defined in oh item. the disatvantage in oh is that groups are not switched at the same time but one light after each other. this at least for me is no problem if i switch a group of 3 lights in the living room for example (nearly not to recognize).

for shutters i miss groups a little. for example i have 5 blinds in living room. if want to open the lamellas it looks much better if all lamellas move at the same time and their position is more precise to each other than if it would be done with an openhab group.

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Tough question, both approaches have their merits.

My thoughts:

For the LightingHandler option I see two complications: groups and the PUL setting. For general/area the binding knows from the A/PL address which Things are affected, but how would it work for groups? What also cannot be seen from the A/PL address is if the PUL option is set for an actor, in which case it is excluded from area/group commands. Probably both group and PUL would therefore have to be set as configuration parameters for the switch Things, right?

However, setup of the option via a new Thing “LightGroup” would be even much more effort for the user. The Items would have to be managed in OH Groups reflecting the general/area/group structure from BTicino. Also probably scripting would be required to link those to the “LightGroup” Items/Things. And if the configuration is changed on the BTicino side, for example a new group is being used, this would have to be implemented in OH as well. Another possible complication is that if I remember correctly in OH status updates cannot be sent to groups, only commands. So either the user can implement their own algorithm to iterate through the groups and update their status, or send a command, which then may be sent to BTicino again unnecessarily?

So, from a user’s perspective I think I’d prefer an automatism implemented via the LightingHandler.

Still it would be very useful to be able to catch general/area/group commands to be able to include non-BTicino devices via OH.

I do remember testing processing general/area/group commands via “normal” Switch things. I think it actually worked partly, but not fully. Commands were not processed if they were the same as the previous command. E. g. processing ON and then OFF for an area worked, but for OFF and then OFF again the second OFF was not processed.

If that could be fixed somehow and a new LightGroup Thing would be implemented, we’d have the advantage of having automatic processing for BTicino Things, but still retaining the ability to include non-BTicino devices/logic in OH.

Also I agree with @bastler, being able to process groups for shutters would be important as well.

I am using groups. eg close blinds at night or whenever I want blinds or other things to be operated at the same time. It saves listing each item in my scenarios. I should use the group feature more, but as you say the binding doesn’t support it and so I didn’t really spend that much time on it.

I have a test server for OH4 with just the openwebnet binding installed to test the time sync. I have no rules or items, only the binding gateway thing.

I see this in the rules… Could it be related to my use of groups?

[WARN ] [openwebnet4j.message.BaseOpenMessage] - Unsupported DIM: 3 - frame *#13**3*0##

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