Wait until Version 2.0, when each switch can do every function, rather than buying 1 switch type per function.
Meh… not my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, they look cool, but I think operationally they won’t be as nice. I like to have the “click”, the tactile feedback when I press a switch. I’m often not looking at the switch when I hit it and feeling the switch move confirms to me that I’ve hit it.
Honestly, the is an area where the Z-wave switch are a bit lacking over the old fashion switches, especially the dimmers. Now, the benefits of having a z-wave switch more than make up for the small lack in tactile feedback.
With these, you’re losing even more tactile feedback while not really gaining anything over a standard z-wave switch (if you already have a setup like SmartThings) except some looks. – Well, I do like that with the dimmer you can jump right to a dim level rather than having to hold up or down on the switch. – To me though, the advantages do make up for the loss in tactile feedback or the higher cost ($85 for a connected on/off vs. $45 for a GE 45609).
Obviously this is just my opinion and based on my preferences. You might really love the looks and don’t care about the touch of it, in which case this makes a lot of sense for you.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked a z-wave switch while walking by it and nothing happens. You have to give it a good press…and then hold it for a second or it wont register. I really dislike using z-wave switches manually.
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It's cheaper to mount an android device into a 1-gang box running an app where you can touch the screen to input (in a form or manner of icons or buttons) on it. There's my idea, someone take it. If you use my idea (in whole or part to "springboard" into newer ideas, in perpetuity), I get unlimited free devices, and to be on your board of directors.
An Android control panel could work very well. Especially one with an AMOLED screen being black pixels aren’t lit. A simple kernel modification can leave the touchscreen active by displaying an all black (completely dark) screen, and wake instantly on touch.
However, I don’t think mounting it in a the control box would be the way to go, you’d still need the actual switch in there too with its own radio. I’m kind a brainstorming while typing here…but maybe it would work to wire up a zigbee radio inside the box and split off power which would run to a docking station for the device that would sit on the outside of the wall in place of the switch bezel.
There would also obviously be a lot of work on the app side of things. There would also be the issue of how to replace them when they go bad, as finding the same device could be tricky in a few year, and you’ve built a custom dock for it.
The app side would be the piece of cake version compared to the hardware side. Apps can be refined multiple times, hardware you have to get right sooner or later.