plan44 matter beta README

Following the matter SDK v1.0.0 release on October 4th, 2022, all devices (P44-DSB-xx Digital Strom bridges and P44-LC-xx standalone controllers) can install a public beta firmware which enables the devices to work as matter bridges. This readme explains how to use the early beta matter implementation.


A P44-DSB or P44-LC device

The following devices are supported:

2.7.0 release or 2.7.0.x beta firmware for your P44-xx device

The matter beta functionality has been available as a public beta version since December 2023 and will be available to all users from firmware release 2.7.0.

From regular firmware 2.6.9/1.6.9 onwards, you can switch your device to receive public betas by yourself without registering: Press the "Beta..." button next to the "Check for new firmware version...", then use the switch to activate public beta versions.

A suitable smart home ecosystem and corresponding hardware

  • Apple has officially released matter since iOS/tvOS 16.1 (also in macOS Ventura and watchOS 9.1). Apple Home via matter already works very well for lights, blinds and some sensor types, even with the non-certified P44 beta firmware. The requirements are an iPhone or iPad for the user interface and an AppleTV or HomePod mini for the "home hub" functionality, all of which must have at least iOS/iPadOS/tvOS 16.1 installed.

  • The open source solution Home Assistant, with full support for blinds and buttons, has a very good Beta Matter integration. As the P44-xx is connected via LAN, there are no further requirements. The Matter beta functionality can be activated with a few clicks in the web interface.

  • A Smart Home Hub V3 or newer must be available for integration with SmartThings.

  • An Echo Dot 4 or newer is required for Amazon Alexa.

  • Google Home** can be used, but only if the Google account used is a developer account that allows the VID/PID 0xFFF1/0x8002 for testing (the details are somewhat unclear). The hardware requirement is a Nest Hub 2 or newer.

How to activate the matter bridge on the P44-xx

Once the above requirements are met, onboarding is easy:

  • Open the web UI of the P44
  • On the "System" tab, there is a new section "Matter bridge (beta!)". Click on the "Matter bridge..." button
  • If you have never used the matter functionality before (with a beta firmware), a dialog offers enabling the matter functionality now. Click the button to enable matter and reboot the P44 device. After the restart, navigate to the same dialog again (as described above).
  • If matter functionality has been enabled, a dialog appears indicating that at least one device must first be activated for "bridging" (if one has already been activated in a previous attempt, the message will not appear again). Note: If this button is not displayed despite firmware version 2.7.0.x (or 1.7.0.x for P44-LC) installed, reload the web user interface in the browser - sometimes the previous version of the web user interface from the browser cache remains active.
  • Select at least one device from the device list that is to be connected to matter. Open the info dialog with the (i) button and click the "Enable for bridging to matter" button
  • Alternatively, for P44-DSB devices, you can also create a virtual Digital Strom "bridging" device to mirror a Digital Strom room state as a matter switch or dimmer, see below.
  • Back on the "System" tab, click on "Matter bridge..." again.
  • The dialog now displays a QR code (the so-called onboarding code)
  • In a matter-enabled smarthome app (such as "" on Apple devices), select "Add accessories..." and scan the QR code. For other systems you may need to manually enter the pairing code displayed below the QR code instead.
  • The Smarthome app will guide you through the setup and will probably ask you whether you really want to add an uncertified accessory (this must be answered with Yes for the time being, see why below).

Once onboarding is complete, all devices selected for bridging (see second step above) will be visible in the Home apps and can be controlled directly or, if necessary, via the voice control assistants (hey Siri, ok Google, Alexa).

Further devices can now be added by clicking the "Enable for bridging to matter" button (in the device list, in the info dialog of the respective device) as described above - but please give the smart home system a few minutes to synchronise afterwards... Also note that not all device types can be represented in matter, and not every device type is supported by every smart home ecosystem.

At this time on/off devices, dimmed luminaires and plug-in devices, coloured luminaires, temperature, humidity and brightness sensors as well as shutters and blinds are supported. Further device types will follow.

For questions, discussions, suggestions etc. there is a new section for matter in the plan44 forum.

How to bridge Digital Strom room state into matter

In the P44-DSB products, you'll see a new device section called "Bridging". Bridges are a special kind of devices which can bring matter support even into Digital Strom rooms without any P44 based lights, just standard dS terminal blocks!

Bridge devices can be created by clicking on the "+Bridge" button, and then placed (in the dSS) into a Digital Strom room. Bridge devices appear in dSS as a light with a local button.

A bridge device does two things:

  • it listens for Digital Strom scene calls happening in the room, and then transmits the resulting room state to matter, where it is displayed like a dimmer slider. So if preset3 (standard setting: 50%) scene is called in a room, you'll see 50% in matter

  • when the room slider is moved on the matter side, the bridge device will translate this to the nearest matching scene and call this scene in the room. For example, when you move the slider to 70%, the nearest scene is probably preset2 (75%), so this will be called in the room.

So in rooms with standard 100%/75%/50%/25% scenes, all you need to do is create a "Five Level room state bridge" and move it to the room you want to see and control via matter. If the scenes in the room have non-standard levels, just call these scenes in the dSS, manually set the same level in the bridge device, and save the scene.

If you change the button function to an area button, the bridge will mirror the area state (on or off) instead of the entire room. The "on-off" bridge device just maps off and on scenes, but not preset2..4.

What about certification?

The current beta version is not certified. It sails under the generic TestVendor1 vendor ID (0xFFF1) and uses the SDK bridge_app example's product ID (0x8002), which is basically correct as the p44mbrd application was developed based on the bridge example.

Thanks to the cooperation with Becker-Antriebe it is now foreseeable that the plan44 matter bridge can be certified in a few months.

How stable is the beta?

In the case of operation with Apple Homekit, the answer is: stable!. My own office and home installations each have several Matter bridges that have been perfectly controllable with Apple Home for months, in parallel with Digital Strom. SmartThings and Alexa have meanwhile (autumn 2023) followed suit and in my (more limited, at this time) tests also work with the P44-xx bridge. So far, only Google requires users to setup a developer account to operate non-certified matter devices at all. I am also very interested in any reports of experiences with other commissioner/controller software supporting matter devices, such as Home Assistant.

But of course a beta setup like this should not be considered productive and must not be used to provide functions that are indispensable in the Smart Home.

Please also do not expect this beta setup to transition to a non-beta setup without having to set up the bridge in the smart home system from scratch!