Are there any zigbee or zwave outlets that default to ON after losing power?


(Marco Paganini) #1

Hi there,

My house was wired with the dreaded wall switches controlling one outlet in the room. On this outlet, I connect a light tower and things work – the wall switch now controls the tower.

I’d like to use SmartThings to control these outlets, but the problem is that every outlet switch I’ve seen falls into two categories:

  1. Outlets that come back in an OFF state once they lose power (most): With these outlets, I can turn the light on at the wall switch and off using a smartthings remote, but then I can never turn it back on using only the wall switch. I’d have to turn both the outlet (using smartthings) and the wall switch on, which is annoying.

  2. Outlets that retain the last state once they lose power (Peanut is an example): In this case, the outlets retain their previous state. It’s a nice addition, but doesn’t help me much: Again, if I turn off the outlet using smartthings, I need to use both the wall switch and smarthings to bring my light back on.

I’m looking for an outlet that comes back in the ON state (or can be configured to do so). With this configuration, I could turn on the wall switch and walk to bed, using the smartthings remote to turn the light off. Next day, I’d just need to flick the wall switch off and back on to get light again (no need for the smartthings remote.)

Is there anything like this? I imagine zwave/zigbee light bulbs could work? I’m supposing here they turn back on once they receive power, regardless of their previous state on smartthings (but I really know nothing about them.)

Regards


(Tony Fleisher) #2

Have you considered installing a smart switch for this?


#3

Most smart lightbulbs turn onto full white after power is restored. The manufacturers believe that this is what most people would expect if they mistakenly turned the power off at the switch. We are starting to see some bulbs that give you a choice (Hue is in the process of implementing this right now), but in any case if you want this, you can definitely get it from a smart bulb. However, you should be aware that these bulbs are designed to always have current. Flipping them on and off at the switch can cause them to be damaged by the inrush current each time the power comes back on. An occasional power outage won’t be a problem, hope flipping them on and off every day will definitely shorten the lifespan of these bulbs, so the manufacturers do not recommend it.

As far as the pocket sockets and outlets go, there is an FAQ for that. There is one model listed there which has the behavior you are looking for. So just read the FAQ (this is a clickable link)


(Marco Paganini) #4

Yes I did, but smart switches have a few disadvantages:

  1. They’re expensive. A single switch runs for $35 which is more than two smart bulbs or two outlets.

  2. They require installation (not much of a big deal)

  3. They apparently require neutral and hot at the switch location (and not all boxes have it)

I happen to have a ZigBee module that can be installed inside the box, but that thing is pretty much impossible to fit in a regular box with all the 12-gauge wiring and the switch itself.


#5

Lutron Caseta switches do not require a neutral. But they aren’t cheap, either.


#6

Also, after rereading your description, another option would be to use a smart bulb with one of the various smart switches designed specifically to work with them. Some of these are switch covers which fit over the existing switch. Other people just put a child lock on the existing switch and then put the battery operated switch next to the original switch. In either case, you protect the radio inside the bulb from the inrush surge, you still have a wall switch, no wiring is required and you only have to turn on one device. :sunglasses:

See the following FAQ:


#7

I have one Sengled light bulb in the basement that I used for a power fail indicator. I poll it every 5 minutes to see if it is on and if so I know the power failed and then use WebCore to take corrective action. You can use something like this to re-activate the outlets that you are controlling.


(Marco Paganini) #8

Hmm, that’s an interesting option as well. I right now have to open the wall and take a look. I think I have neutral+hot there. If so, I could be able to use the Monoprice zwave modules I have laying around. The problem with those is that it’s a gigantic pain to fit them in the box with all the wires…


#9

That should be fine for the switch, but probably not to code for the outlet. US outlets need to support 15 A. Most of the micros only support 10 Max, and only seven or so per receptacle. So just read the specs carefully to make sure everything matches up.


#10

+1 for the WebCore approach. Works just fine for me.

J


#11

If you’re looking for non-dimming control of lamps, look at Sonoff devices. Many of the custom firmware for these devices allow you to control their boot up state, on, off or matching previous.


#12

Monoprice Z-Wave Plus Smart Plug and Repeater with 2 USB Ports coupled with RBoy apps device handler will do what you’d like and more. After power failure choices are Restore last state, Stay on, or Stay off. Plus, since the device measures wattage consumption and kWh usage, you can change how often it reports said information based on absolute wattage change, power consumption changing by a percentage set by you or frequency in seconds set by you. They’re also the best and most reliable smart plugs I’ve used so far. I pick them up when they’re on sale for under $20 which is actually pretty often. Unfortunately, the most recent sale seems to have cleared out inventory, but they have more on the way.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=122&cp_id=12212&cs_id=1091804&p_id=27481


FAQ: How Outlets behave after a Power Outage (Brand differences)
(Marvin Chan) #13

I didn’t read everyone’s response, but I have one that I just took out that switch that controls that outlet and directly hardwired it to constant power so I don’t have anyone accidentally turning off/on that outlet. Seems like the easiest way to do what you are asking, instead of installing multiple things, you just take it out of the equation and always have it to on.