Why do my LightwaveRF devices react intermittently to commands or experience delays?

Question

Why do my LightwaveRF devices react intermittently to commands or experience delays?

Answer

When dealing with "one-way" RF such as 433MHz systems like Somfy or LightwaveRF, it’s important to remember that communication works in a sequential fashion.  There's no confirmation of command, no routing, no re-transmission of command on failure, etc.

For example, if you have a Scene in a Z-Wave controller such as VERA Edge that turns on 3 LightwaveRF devices, what will happen is each command will transmitted one after the other, sequentially.  This means that there could be a slight delay between each device reacting.

RF technologies like LightwaveRF are also simply broadcast and hopefully the receiving devices will pick up the transmission.

The reliability of these transmissions can be affected by many things, for example each device has to receive all transmissions on their respective frequencies and process them, even if the transmission isn't specifically meant for that particular device.

It's therefore quite possible that a device may miss a transmission that is meant for it while it is processing a transmision that isn't meant for it.

Solution

To combat this, we usually advise that you space out sending multiple commands by a few seconds to minimise the chances of clashes.

You can also send repeated commands to ensure that at least one command gets through, although you have to be a little careful with the command type - for example, you wouldn't want to repeat a "toggle" command, else the device would end up back in its' original state!

Related Information

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Updated: 13/11/2015