3-way Dilemma Leviton or Linear for Kitchen/Living area. Instant or Not?


#1

Morning all… About to start a total reno of my kitchen/living room and will have about 16 recessed LEDs wired on 3 way switches. I am debating on whether to go with the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ that supports INSTANT status or the Linerar WD500Z-1 (no instant). I also need a Fan Zwave device (no light, fan only). I’m trying to think of why I would need instant status for the kitchen living area. The Leviton switches are about $45 each + $20 for add on. The Linear is about $30 + 27 for add on. Not much of a price difference. I see that the Leviton are low voltage, has anyone had any experience with either? Preference? Also thoughts on a sceneario for Instant required?

Finally, any thoughts on where to get the switches in bulk or discounted? I was getting single prices from Amazon.

THANKS! Looking forward to hearing from you all and to pull the trigger on the purchase.


(Joe) #2

I personally like the GE ones. I have 16 so far. They have non dimmer and dimmer switches in both paddle and switch. Also they are the only one that I know of that have a smart fan switch so far. You need a fan switch for a fan.


#3

Leviton also has a zwave fan switch. It has more features than the GE, but is also more expensive.


(Joe) #4

I would not pay double for that switch. GE is like 39 at lowes or amazon.


(Joe) #5

Sorry 44.50 on amazon with a 4 star rating of over 1400 customers. The other has a 3.4 star rating with only 20 or so.


#6

I’ve read that the GE 3way Dimmers should be used on incandescent lights. Worried about my recessed retro fit LEDs. I’m putting in about 18 of them throughout the entire space (not on one switch :wink:


#7

Different switches have different features and different people have different preferences. The following the thread discusses some of the different features by brand:

Instant status

Most people don’t care about instant status but the ones that do care a lot. The two most common use cases for why you would want instant status are:

One) it just bugs you when the status in the smartthings mobile app is five minutes behind the actual switch status. Again, this doesn’t bother most people, because by definition you just used the switch on the wall and you can see whether the light is on or off. But for some people, this makes them crazy.

Two) from a more practical standpoint, if you’re going to have turning on one switch trigger other events in SmartThings then instant status is a real advantage. For example, if you want turning on the kitchen switch at the wall to also turn on a light on a different circuit altogether. Or if you have a switch which is intended to turn on a light and change a mode and start some music playing. If your switch doesn’t have instant status, again, it can take a few minutes before SmartThings gets around polling it and Detects the change. More typically it’s a few seconds. It’s long enough that you notice the delay, but not necessarily long enough to be annoying.

If you like instant status, there’s a brand-new line of switches from homeseer that not only have instant status, they also support double tap and triple tap. Some people really like this feature. It’s commonly used when you have multiple lights in one room, again typical of kitchens, and you want to use one tap to turn on just one light, and the double tap to turn on all the lights in the zone. Of course double and triple taps are not intuitive for guests, and a lot of people don’t ever use the feature, but in some homes it’s very practical. :sunglasses: :bulb:


#8

The GE light switches are made by Jasco, and come in many different models. The older models that do not require a neutral wire were only rated for use with incandescents. The newer models do require a neutral wire and do work with dimmable LEDs as well. So you just have to check each model.

You can check the specs on the manufacturer site, but don’t buy from them, you’ll find them cheaper elsewhere.

http://www.ezzwave.com/in-wall-smart-dimmer/


#9

As far as where to shop, we have a deals category in this forum where much members post individual sales that they find. There’s often a lot of good discounts there. In particular, Lowes can be a good place to shop because you can stack coupons.

There’s also a thread in that category for reputable home automation dealers. Quite a few of them will offer bundle deals, or you can write them and ask if they have volume discounts.


(Jimmy) #10

FWIW, i’m using the newer GE dimmers with LED lights throughout the house just fine.


(Ben W) #11

Another GE Dimmer guy. They are great. Costco Flood Led bulbs in cans. Can’t speak about the others on build quality, but the GEs are great looking switches with good feel.

Not sure how useful instant status really is. The GE usually update in the app within 1-3 seconds, which works well for my needs,

Got most of mine at lowes, you can use the $15 off $50 or 10% $100 or more to bring the price down some. Used to be able to find them at lowes for around $30 but I think they fixed their pricing.


(Chris) #12

GE’s here also. When I first started looking for smart switches I thought I really wanted the instant status, but I just couldn’t justify an extra $20 per switch x 30-40 switches. I have been happy with the GE’s, even without instant status. I do have a couple of automations set up so one switch press changes a few other switches, but the delay has been minimal, maybe 5 seconds at worst, but typically around 2-3. There’s also something to be said for being able to pick the switches up from the Lowe’s down the street if I feel like adding a couple on a spur of the moment, rather than having to order online and wait for them to arrive.


#13

Can you adjust the dim rate on the GE?


#14

I do not believe that’s possible.


#15

Same here. To be clear, the newer, with neutral connection models. And I’ve found they dim down real low too.

I had some Cree dimmable bulbs in place that claimed to be compatible with certain Lutron electronic dimmers (non Z-Wave). The bulbs buzzed like mad. And they did the same with the GE dimmer when I switched over. I switched the bulbs to Phillips Warm-Glow LEDs and I could not be happier. Dims down real low and zero buzzing from the bulbs.

The GE dimmers can emit a very quiet buzz at less than full on but it’s very quiet and barely perceptible.

Note - for the GE Fan Control, even if you set LED indicator as always off in SmartThings, it will come on when the switch is on. A bug I guess.


#16

Sure. There are several different parameters that can be adjusted, including the step rate, the step time, the starting point, etc. All of these collectively are usually referred to as “ramp rate.”

In order to be able to change them you need a custom device type handler that can access those parameters. There are several that have been developed in the community. Some of them require that you make the parameter settings in the code and just run it once. Some of them let you access them through the device tile that you see in your things list.

Once you have the parameters set to the way you want, you can go back to using the official device type Handler so that the device will run locally. You only need to use the custom code for long enough to set the parameter settings as they are stored in the switch itself.

You will find further discussion and some of the device type handlers in the following thread. You can ask any follow-up questions there and people should be able to help you.


#17

I stand corrected per JD’s later reply. I thought I had read this wasn’t possible. My bad.


#18

I’m tired today, but as I’m thinking about it, they may have added ramp rate configuration to some of the stock device handlers. Then you wouldn’t have to fool with any custom code, just switch to that device type handler, change the ramp rate parameters, and switch back. But I’m just not sure if that actually got added to the official code.

@johnconstantelo or @jody.albritton might know.


#19

Looking again, I had seen the thread before that JD linked to above and towards the end there is discussion that there were some firmware revisions causing issues relating to ramp rate …


#20

Got ya’ @JDRoberts

FYI, @Nezmo

You sure can, but it will require a temporary use of a custom device handler - and maybe the proper firmware as mentioned above, but it won’t hurt to try. Once you change the rates, and you’re happy with it, just go back to ST’s default handler “dimmer switch”. I did this for all my GE dimmers which are all 4xxxx series.

I put this DH together for me, and it’s easy for anyone to use. Here’s how:

(I’m assuming you know how to create your own DH via the IDE)

Key parameters to understand:

Dim Rate Adjustments: (stolen in part from the post JD linked above)

Both the number of steps (or levels) that the dimmer will change and the timing of the steps can be modified to suit personal preferences. The timing of the steps can be adjusted in 10 millisecond intervals.

When Receiving a Z-Wave Dim Command:

Parameter 7 (number of steps or levels) : Valid values (default = 1) 1-99
Parameter 8 (timing of the steps) : Valid values (default = 3) 1-255

When pressing the Dimmer’s rocker (Manual Control Dimming):

Parameter 9 (number of steps or levels) : Valid values (default = 1) 1-99
Parameter 10 (timing of the steps) : Valid values (default = 3) 1-255

Here’s the code:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/constjs/jcdevhandlers/master/devicetypes/jscgs350/my-enhanced-ge-dimmer.src/my-enhanced-ge-dimmer.groovy

Once you Save and Publish, go to the device in the app and via the Device Preferences section, make any parameter changes and tap on Done. Then tap on the “Fix Ramp Rate” tile. If I remember right, just turn on/off the dimmer and you should notice the change.


GE Zwave+ on sale at Lowes
GE Z-Wave switch half second delay