SmartThings Community

Advice in Switches/Dimmers?

Hi! I know there are some threads already about this but since theres new things coming out everyday, I hope someone can help here!

Im in a proeject of a new appartment for my parents, and the want to have all lights automated. I need then to buy a bunch of dimmers, switches, some 3-way, some multi way and some doubles (in a single gang)

They want something “premium looking”, So Ive been looking at Homeseer and Leviton devices. Dont know if anyone have other options.

Regarding this 2, I have a couple of questions:

Homeseer:
-For 3-way installations they have the same item for dimmers and switches, but this mean I cannot dimm from the slave position?

  • They have dimmers and swithches, but they dont have double swithches in a single gang. Where I would like to use this double swithches are in places were 2 3-way switches commute (2 slaves). I was wondering If I could use the Leviton double switch to virtually control the other Homeseer switches placed in the original position from the 3-way. Or is there any nice button wall plate I could use for this (those that are “scene capable”?
    -Does the double or triple press function available for the homeseer works with ST

Leviton
-If I understand well they have 2 lines, Decora and Vizia, wich should I choose?
-Where can I buy them from? In amazon the quantities are very limited and I need around 30.
-Is it worth it?

THanks!!

(I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized answers based on your particular setup.)

I’m tired today, so I’m not going to give you a very detailed answer right now. I’m sure others will chime in. :sunglasses:

As far as high-end switches, you might also look at the Cooper aspire line. Eaton is the Company, Cooper is the division, and Aspire is the model line. The switches might be listed under any of these names.

http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/dam/public/wiringdevices/products/documents/brochures/aspire-rf-brochure.pdf

Decora

Regarding Leviton, “Decora” is their trademark name for any rocker switch. It could be Z wave or not. I think the question you were asking is between their high-end “vizia” line and their lower cost zwave line where the devices start with the letter “D.” The difference is that the Vizia line has instant status and the lower-cost line does not. The Vizia models start with the letter “V.”

Shopping

As far as where to shop, Amazon is not always the least expensive. Check with the specialty home automation retailers, a number of them offer volume discounts.

Home Depot and Lowe’s also carry some brands, and it’s worth checking with their contractors desk to see if they can offer you a volume discount also. This may depend on the individual store, I have had more luck with this going into a store and asking as they may be able to place it as a special order with the discount.

Multibutton switches

First, you don’t necessarily want “scene capable.” That’s a zwave specific term but because SmartThings is a multiprotocol platform, any multibutton device that reports its button presses to the hub can be used to control the equivalent of scenes. And some Z wave “scene capable” devices don’t work well with SmartThings because they don’t report the button presses to the hub. It’s best to just leave that term out of things.

See the following FAQ for various multibutton devices That do work with SmartThings

You should be able to get the kind of control what you want with pretty much any of these, although there may be a slight lag, that’s another complicated discussion.

I can’t answer most of your questions, but I can say this… I LOVE my Homeseer dimmers. I have two dimmers and a 3-way slave. The slave works by sending the input to the dimmer to perform the commands (ie. triple tap down on slave gets sent to the dimmer to perform that command). So to answer that question, yes, you can definitely dim and use the double and triple tap commands from the slave device.
As for using the Homeseer devices with ST, they absolutely work. Check through the forums and there’s a post for a device handler for the dimmer and the switch (the slaves don’t need one since they work as i described above). There’s also a button handler smartapp that will let you program all of the options (single up, single down, double up, etc).

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Yes, you can.

I haven’t seen anyone having these. I use in-wall double relays that install behind regular switches and provide automation functions.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=z-wave+relay or
http://www.thesmartesthouse.com/collections/light-switches (they also provide quantity discount)

At their basic function, all light switches do the same thing so unless you plan on doing some complex automation instant status might not be needed. Check other manufacturers also and see if they look right (they look very similar to me) to you and most important if they do what you want.
Be aware of 2 things:

  1. For most of them you need neutral at the switch. Some houses do not have them.
  2. For most of them you need custome device handler to be installed in IDE. They are developed by people and posted in the community threads. They work good and provide some extra functionality.

Leviton does make a zwave switch which has two buttons in a single gang format, the VRCS2. It is quite popular in the community.

I know the OP is already aware of that since he posted in the other thread, but I did just want to mention it.

As for different features of different switches, there are some significant differences. In particular, Z wave direct association and instant status are both optional features, so not all switches support them. There are some other significant differences as well, such as whether physical traveler wires are used for three way switches and whether the auxiliary switches have radios or not. In addition, some switches are able to dim lower than others.

Most of these questions actually don’t apply when the micro relays that you mentioned are used as the micro relays generally have most of these features. :sunglasses: But it is something To be aware of when you’re looking at switches.

The Following topic discusses the different features of different device classes, including switches. The light switch discussion starts around post 40.

Yes, but if you reread my post I was referring to the basic functionality of turming lights On/Off and provide automation control. Not bell and whistles that are not always needed. Also, I wouldn’t call VRCS2 (2009 product and $200 ) popular. Just a handfull of posts about it.
I still haven’t seen anyone having these. But It’s a nice looking one.

Different people will be interested in different features, no question. :sunglasses:

Thank you.
This is exactly what I said
"Check other manufacturers also and see if they look right (they look very similar to me) to you and most important if they do what you want."

BTW, $200 would be a very high price for the Leviton VRCS2. It’s more commonly under $150.

http://shop.haworldonline.com/searchquick-submit.sc?keywords=Vrcs2

http://www.westsidewholesale.com/leviton-vrcs2-mrz.html

By any chance did you price it on Amazon? As it happens, Amazon is often not the least expensive for Z wave devices, unless they stock it directly, and not always even then. It’s always good to shop around because the specialty zwave retailers often do do have considerably lower prices.

As you point out, this is definitely an older device. Leviton is in the process of updating their line to Z wave plus. They haven’t released the new models yet, but there may be a replacement for this one which could be worth waiting for if there isn’t an immediate need.

It was just a quick look, but even at $150 when you need like 30 (see OP) still comes to $4500 just in switches. You get in wall relays for $30x30=$900 plus regular double switches and everything will cost approx $1000. Big savings.
@frantona Needs to define what he needs first, how he wants to operate and only then what he needs to get.
Personnaly, I wouldnt buy any devices that are that old.
But all this now is beyond the scope of the OP.
Let’s leave it there.
Good night everyone.

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