A little background/story for the devs;
Im a long-time user of both the Ring alarm products, and Doorbells/Cameras. I’ve used them for years and have mostly loved their functionality and the App interface for controlling them. Given that experience, and the ability to synchronize all of the devices above, I recently decided to jump into the Ring Smart Lighting ecosystem. I started by purchasing a few Solar Path lights, and some traditional A19 LED bulbs.
After setting everything up and creating some automations to turn on our porch light every night @ dusk my wife immediately asked a very reasonable ?; “Will I be able to manually turn that light off when we go into the jacuzzi on the porch?”
Assuming this system would work similarly to every other smart lighting system we have/use (Aka Hue, Caseta, etc…) I said “of course!” and promptly attempted to add her to the simple light group I had just created for my Spotlight cam, porch, and new path lights…
Unfortunately, after telling her where to navigate in the app to see/control the new devices, and her repeatedly saying, “There’s nothing like that in here” I looked at her phone and realized;
She wasn’t crazy, she in fact couldn’t see the devices!
Figuring it was a permissions issue, I went into the settings pages on my phone to sort this out only to quickly realize what I needed to do was impossible because the only method for sharing lights today is by adding users 1x1 to each and every device!
If you are someone like me with 10+ Pathlights and various other bulbs/spotlights scattered around the house, this means going into each device, typing the users email, and sending out repeat invites…
As tedious as that is for the admin, it’s even worse for the user receiving these invites! They have 15-20 separate email requests they must open and individually accept, this is simply absurd!!
All of that being said, my feature request is actually quite simple and common-sense and could be accomplished via any of the methods below;
- Make restricting lighting access an opt-in setting: By default automatically allow users besides the initial person that setup a light and/or light group to control the light or light group… If a user wants to disable this functionality, simply add a flag for that into the existing device/group settings area.
This is the simplest and my preferred way to handle this, and frankly should have been present from Day 1!
- Add an option to automatically share new light devices/groups with other existing users during the device setup process: Add a checkbox along with the motion and other settings setup process that’s says “Allow other users on this account to access and control this device/group?”
Given that Ring lights already allow any and all users to control them via Alexa, the necessary framework/API’s to enable group-sharing functionality must already exists, so why not expose them directly to users?? Additionally, if the concern is security, then why does Ring even allow all users voice-control, but not direct control via the app?! This logic is completely counter-intuitive and contradictory, it should be resolved ASAP!
Hopefully you guys already have something in the works for this, if not please get on it! Honestly, I would love to dive deeper into the Ring Lighting ecosystem and stop buying these crazyexpensive Hue lights/fixtures… but if you guys can’t properly implement something as basic as this, I will be forced to abandon this environment. This is simply not a long-term viable way to do business, this shouldn’t have even got out of Q/A as-is!