Best Z-Wave switches?

(Matt) #1

Hi All,

I’m very new to the HA scene, and SmartThings as well, just purchased my 2.0 hub last week and a Linear Z Wave dimmer. I’ve been enjoying the control and integration (with both the App, phone sensor, and Amazon Echo integration). The benefits have convinced SWMBO that the rest of the HA project is a good idea, so I’ve been researching some of the first parts of my HA Purchase, which will be the dimmers/switches around the house.

My question is - is there a preferred brand of switches? The LInear brands are obviously attractive from a price standpoint, to fit the house out with GE switches I’m looking at ~30% higher cost. The GE switches also don’t support scene modes, which for several areas of the house I would prefer to have. THere are several negative reviews on amazon though which indicate the switches have some issues, and just stop responding at random times. Are the GE switches worth the premium? or any of the other brands?



Welcome! (GE switches are actually the cheapest zwave switches at most retailers, btw.)

There’s no one right answer, it just depends on what important to you. Some people care more about reliability, some care more about saving money. Some have really strong aesthetic opinions, and may prefer blue LEDs over green LEDs or vice a versa. Ask five community members, you’ll probably get six opinions (counting one from the dog). :sunglasses: :dog:

The following thread has quite a bit about different brands, there are also more posts linked in the same thread but higher up, so browse around. (The following is a clickable link.)


In ST, scenes (ones native to devices, etc) are also not supported in the fashion I think you mean. In ST, those are SmartApps like ones you create yourself, find within the community, or one’s ST has built in like Smart Lighting.

You’re going to find very individual preferences, reviews, etc. For me personally, I have all GE devices. I’m also not experiencing the issues you describe above. I have over 70 GE switches. Over the last almost 2 years, I have yet to replace a switch. I’ve had a couple switches just decide to stop communicating, but usually cutting power completely (air gap switch), or using ST’s Replace feature has saved the day.

Also, GE’s are pretty darn cheap, especially when Lowes would have their contractor 4-pack special. I think you’ll be hard pressed to get much cheaper.

…and just as I was going to click on Reply, I saw @JDRoberts reply with his feedback. He’s spot on as always.

(Cody Truscott) #4

The Linear Switches, much to my dismay after installing ~40, turn out to not support association groups. Supposedly I’ll hear from Linear shortly on a solution to this false advertising issue.

Simple question: Is the minimote still required?

Yeah, the evolve don’t support zwave association either, but the cheaper GE and DragonTech both do, at least for one Association group. Different manufacturers just pick different features to support.

What did you want to use Association for? Motion sensor triggers? You can get the same effect, as I know you know, without Association for most things, it just may not be quite as snappy.


:arrow_up:️ This.

Because smartthings want customers to be able to mix and match Zigbee and zwave devices into Routines without having to actually know which is which, they don’t implement standard zwave scene functionality anyway, because then they’d only work with zwave devices.

Instead, as John says, you can create exactly the same results through a SmartThings smartapp or routine, but with ST you cAN include a hue bulb in the table lamp along with the ceiling fixture controlled by a zwave switch and a fan controlled by a Z wave switch, all in the same “scene.” So even if you buy a device that is a zwave scene controller, you will probably not use those features as the manufacturer provided them.

(Cody Truscott) #7

I setup the entire vacation rental house I manage in anticipation of this week when I finished my install.

Each bedroom has an entry switch/light. With the three association groups triggered by double tap, triple tap, the plan was as follows:
Single Tap controls overhead lighting
Double Tap controls Dooya Motorized Curtains
Tripple Tap turns on/(but primarily) off all lights in room, including the bathrooms.

Bedside Table
Single Tap/Dimmer Reading light
Double Tap curtains
Tripple Tap all lights off for sleep

In the Garage
Again, Single Tap for Overhead Lights
Double Tap for Garage Door
Tripple Tap turns off all house lights

Fan Switch
Single Tap for fan
Double Tap for heated fan


Got it. Yeah you couldn’t do that locally with the DragonTech Or GE, either, they don’t give you three association groups.

And double tap is always hard.

If you find a good solution, let us know!

(Cody Truscott) #9

So far no luck on finding a 1-gang triple momentary decora switch.


If I had the money I’d use @Mike_Maxwell 's approach of Legrand Adorne front plates with micro relays. Lots of color choices, very intuitive form. But the buttons are big, you’d need a triple gang box.


(Andrew) #11

@johnconstantelo can you give me some tips on how to find that contractor 4-pack special. I don’t see it online. Do I have to go to the store for that?


@ajma, yup, it was in the store and marked with a yellow tag on the shelf.

(Michael K) #13

homeseer has neat comparison charts of the switches they carry. not all inclusive but a nice reference anyway

(Ashley Borel) #14

What ZWave motor controller did you use for the Dooya curtains? I just ordered the tracks and motors and was looking for a controller that integrates with ST.