I have 20 switches on the main level of my home. Many are 3 way switches. The most complicated panel has 4 switches and 2 of them are 3 way switches. What is the most complete and cost effective way to connect all circuits to my smarthome configuration?
All the major brands will be equally “complete“ so unless I’m missing something, that’s not really a factor in selecting brands.
Most “cost-effective“ means different things to different people, in particular if you want to control for the possibility that the SmartThings cloud will be unavailable, which tends to happen about once a month.
But if you just want to know the least expensive option for a “good“ budget model ( on a good/better/best scale) that will probably cost out to be the zooz line because a number of their models offer you the option to just replace the master switch and use your existing accessory switches with your existing traveler wires. That can save you a lot of money relative to other brands which require that you replace both the master and the accessory switches. These are Z wave switches which communicate directly to your hub.
In addition, if you are buying at least a dozen at once, contact @thesmartesthouse and see if they can offer you a quantity discount. (zooz is their house brand)
There are even cheaper no label Chinese brand WiFi switches, but those are not safety rated and I personally wouldn’t use them.
Thanks for the recommendation @JDRoberts!
@Kevin_Piper, a few things to check before getting Zooz switches: please make sure you have power/neutral in at least one of the boxes for each 3-way/4-way - that doesn’t mean just a hot wire, you need to look for a bundle of black wires in multi-gang boxes or a 14-2 romex with a hot black lead. We also recommend checking the total Wattage of your light fixtures, especially for dimmers. Chandeliers may be a challenge. Please don’t use the switches with fans, fluorescent tube lights, or low-voltage lighting with electronic transformers. Most LED bulbs will be fine!
There are 2 different lines of switches for paddle style so we recommend looking at the comparison charts below to choose the best fit for you:
Feel free to ask us any questions either here, or get a quote here: https://www.thesmartesthouse.com/pages/contact-us
I do have 1 ceiling fan in the mix of switches and use LEDs for all lighting. I understand not putting the fan on a smart switch, but want the panel to look uniform.
You can probably use the GE fan switch and it will look very similar to the zooz rocker switches. Not identical, though, so it depends on exactly where you are using it.
The Zooz switches are a brighter white than the GE ones - at least the older models. If I remember I will post a picture tomorrow as I have one of each in the same gang box.
I bought my first Zooz switch and I’m really not happy with it. It has a noticable hum when it’s turned on. And it is a simple on-off, no dimmer. I’ve tried it in several different locations with several different loads and nothing seems to help. So, personally, if I had that many tp put in, I would wait until Inovelli launches their refurb store or comes out with their new line of switches. Had better luck with them.
Hi Ryan, sorry to hear that! Which model did you get, the ZEN21 or ZEN26? We’d love to hear more details about the installation and perhaps replace the switch for you or troubleshoot the installation since we haven’t been able to replicate any humming sounds in-house. Feel free to get in touch with us here:
Using it to control a bathroom exhaust fan. I originally had it connected to an outside socket that was powering all my xmas lights (not a TON of them but quite a few) but the noise was so loud I couldn’t stand it. I figured with the fan, it would drown out the noise.
It’s working…just crackling a lot.
Hi Ryan, that could explain at least part of the problem. The switches are meant to be used with lighting only, the documentation mentions they shouldn’t be used with fans. Even if the switch is working now it may fail over time. GE makes dedicated fan switches and we always recommend using these for fan control, even if it’s 1-speed.
Have you tried using the switch with just a regular light fixture?
Actually, the documentation says the switch can be used with a motor of up to 0.5 hp. From the instructions that came with the switch.
This is a switch mind you…not a dimmer. And since a 24" commercial grade exhaust fan is only 1/2 HP, I highly doubt my little 12" one is more than a 1/4 HP if that. And to answer your question, I did try it with LED lights and that’s when I was getting even more noise. It’s fine…I can’t return it since I clipped the sides off to get it into the wall. So, if it fails, it fails. No biggie. But you can bet I won’t be buying any more of them. Especially since there seems to be some confusion about their capabilities, even by those who sell them.
Hi Ryan, Zooz is actually our in-house brand and we have already removed the HP rating from the documentation for on off switches in the latest production run for all models so hopefully it will be less confusing for our future customers.
If you’re not happy with the switch, you can get in touch with our support to have it returned or exchanged for a well-working unit since it seems like the one you receive doesn’t behave as it’s supposed to. Just send us the details and your order number here and we’ll be happy to help:
Confusing? I don’t think your documentation is confusing at all. What I find confusing is why you’re changing the claims on your device. Does it not work with a 1/2 hp motor? If not, then why did you make the claim in the first place? If it does, then why remove the claim?
Since the switches are combined of both electrical and electronic components we believe that some of the specification of the electrical part was pasted into the specs of the device but we later found that the electronics didn’t always react well to motor loads so we removed the specification. We hope that answers your question better.
Finally following up to my post about color differences in case anyone else comes across and interested. The left and center are GE and right is Zooz. Noticeable difference.
@TheSmartestHouse, I still have not done anything because it seems like a major undertaking considering the number of switches and the fact that several are 3 way switches. I would like to start just by controlling 2 lights without replacing any physical switches due to appearance.
1 is on a single switch, so pretty simple. The other is on a 3-way switch.
Could I use something like the "QUBINO Z-WAVE PLUS FLUSH 2 RELAY MODULE ZMNHBD3 "? or does the 3 way switch rule this out?
You could but only if you have direct connection to power and load (lights) in the same box. The way that’s usually wired is as shown in Option 9 (scroll all the way down) in the diagrams shown here. The most common way to wire 3-ways is shown in the first 2 diagrams and this is a situation where you wouldn’t be able to use Qubino or any other relay we know and keep the 3-way fully functional.