GE In-Wall Smart Dimmer Switch (ZigBee) or Z-wave

(Tyler) #1

I see GE now has a Zigbee and Z-wave option in the ST store. I am trying to decide what one to puchage for my house. could some one tell me if one is better then the other? I plan to use it with the V2 hub ( if it ever comes out).


They’re about the same, with one big difference: zigbee repeats for zigbee, zwave repeats for zwave. But battery operated devices don’t repeat at all. So it depends in large part on what other devices you’ll have.

If you plan on having a roomful of battery-operated zigbee sensors, a zigbee wall switch could go a long way towards making everything else work better.

If you plan to have almost all zwave devices, zwave wall switches make more sense.

See the following for additional discussion:

(Tyler) #3

thanks for your help. this is very useful information.

(Võ Thanh Minh) #4

Can use 220voltage? Help me


The GE switches cannot use 220 voltage.

If you have a hub using the UK Zwave frequency, see this topic:

If you have a hub using the US Zwave frequency but live in a country that uses 220 voltage, see the following topic:

( I hate Mondays) #6

I’m about to replace most of my switches/dimmers with GE dimmers - purchased 4 z-wave (12724) to test, got 4 z-wave more. I also just added a Keen vent in one of the furthest away bedroom. I’m now thinking of mixing up things, getting some z-wave and some zigbee. I’m thinking, maybe, mix them where I have two dimmers in the same gang box, use a zwave and a zigbee. Spread them so that I cover the whole house with both technologies. What do you guys think?


Some people like to stick with just one protocol, other people, including me, prefer to pick the best device for each use case regardless of the protocol it uses.

As long as you have a strong backbone for your network for both Zigbee and zwave, it should be fine. They don’t interfere with each other.

In a typical U.S. House, you need one repeater for each protocol about every 10 m. (Maybe every 20 m for zwave plus). It’s really best to just think of zwave and zigbee as two completely different networks and lay each one out separately.

As far as putting one switch of each protocol next to each other in each double gang box, I don’t know. It’s true that the two frequencies don’t overlap, but you can still get bleed over noise just from proximity. Myself, I would be more likely to put one on each side of the room. But I tend to err on the side of caution. :sunglasses:

( I hate Mondays) #8

For that exact reason I am thinking of mixing them. Since zWave is under 1GHz, it should theoretically propagate further through walls, so yeah, zwave should, in theory, work better. As far as placing them close to each other in the same gang box (I have som 2-gang, 3-gang and even 4-gang boxes), I don’t think they would interfere at all. I am not sure, but I believe the two versions are visually identical and hoping they work exactly the same. But it becomes obvious I may need a zigbee repeater for the Keen vents. Sometimes, the one Keen vent I have misses commands. I have some zigbee OSRAM (HA profile) on the outside of the house, not sure how much they can help the zigbee network inside the house. Outside walls are metal-mesh + stucco, therefore providing a somewhat screened environment - not good for RF data comms. Since I’m building my network, just thinking out loud, I should mix them…


Don’t count on the Osram to repeat for anything except other bulbs:

( I hate Mondays) #10

Thank you, yet another reason to use some zigbee dimmers too. I have four OSRAM Color Lightify bulbs and they’re all outside of the house. As a matter of fact, they are the only devices outside of the house - the lights around the house (front door, garage door, utility door). I also have some Hue zigbee but I am not counting on them for any repeating as they are actually connected to the Hue hub, so they only repeat to themselves…

(Kevin) #11

Ive only got 2 zwave ge switches but they are in the same gang box. So no issues there, they are almost touching actually lol. But honestly I’m starting to steer away from zigbee since its such a locked in system. Migrating off ST to something else becomes more of an expensive situation with zigbee. Lights that will pair to Hue, like Cree, is what I’m doing. My Osram GardenSpots are now a year in starting to honestly look dim and having a little bit of a short or something in the extension of 3 lights I bought.

I mean sure if you have a bunch of other zigbee things, a couple of switches will help beef up the network. Myself, I have a few bulbs and they will repeat for each other. But if someone was asking me straight up, zwave as much as you can. I hate the repair/remove processes but at least I dont fee like I’m locked in with the devices.

( I hate Mondays) #12

If I am to change all the switches, I need about 25 dimmers/switches - given the fact that the price of a dimmer is slightly higher than the price for a switch and all my bulbs are dimmable LEDs (yep, all LED, save for three CFL bulbs in the master bedroom fan which I never use and will change soon - even the lights in the garage are LED, patio has 10x19W of LEDs, etc.) I am thinking of having them all dimmers. And since zigbee is sensibly more expensive, I’m thinking of getting about 5 zigbee dimmers to spread around the house to help with the current Keen and the future ones. They are zigbee. With that, I should have a pretty strong network for both technologies.

Thank you for your advice guys.

One last question: does anyone have both the zigbee (45857GE) and the z-wave (12724) dimmers? Other than the fact that they use different technologies, is there any perceivable difference between them? I am assuming the look and feel is exactly the same. Response times? Do they act exactly the same to an untrained user? Thank you


One thing to consider… Because zigbee can get drowned out by Wi-Fi, particularly boosted Wi-Fi, it is less popular for a fixed location devices like light switches. Personally, I use pocket sockets as zigbee repeaters. Much easier to relocate if I hit a Wi-Fi kill spot.

(Kevin) #14

I’ve never had a wi-fi + zigbee issue and I have a strong ass Nighthawk wifi router. With zigbee stuff sitting right beside it. But anyway…

I dont know about switching ALL switches to smart switches. That seems kinda crazy to me lol. I look at it like this, break even is when a switch controls more than 3 bulbs. 3 cree connected are about 45 dollars. GE switch is about 45 dollars. Now in places where a standard bulb wont work or doesnt seem right, sure. I dont know your house or setup but here, I have went with mostly smart bulbs just because of number of devices controlled. I started down the route of zwave switches as I ran into the limit of cree bulbs at once. From experience, more than say 10-12 cree bulbs, you start having flakey responses from them. Moved all but like 10 to my Hue hub, and its perfect.

Then again you do say untrained user. I have the benefit of living alone :wink:

( I hate Mondays) #15

I got three Hue lights for Prime Day, replaced the white dumb LEDs in the kitchen island overhead lamp. Put a smart dimmer in the wall and hardwired the bulbs (power always on). Then connected the dimmer switch and level to the bulbs via ST. Tried Smart Lighting but it won’t run locally, presumably because of the Hue Bridge in the middle. Hell ensued :wink: leave my kitchen alone! I want my light white! I don’t want colors ;))) of course, she will have to learn to live with it :wink: yes honey :wink:

Moral to the story is: trying to use as few as possible smart bulbs because they are not as easy and user friendly to control as smart dimmers. And I won’t pull out the phone to dim a light or turn it on/off. So smart dimmers it is. As for replacing them all, that’s going to happen in time. She already asked me what I’ll do when we sell the house. Wait, what?! We’re selling the house???!

This is the overhead lamp:

(Kevin) #16

Nah I understand. I just got those 3 hue bulbs put in tonight. Not impressed with their white light. The Cree’s are a little brighter and do white better. But in my coaching of others setting up home automation I hear about the fight of the use of wall switches and such. What I think the goal is/should be is never touching a switch again. Its to the point now when I go into an unautomated room I get kinda miffed that the lights didnt come on automatically. And other than the ‘going to sleep’ part of it all, everyone who’s been here has commented on how nice it is. When friends stayed over, I setup mini mote’s to turn off lights for them. For me alone its fine, I just hit ‘sleep’ routine and I’m done, or button 1 on my bedroom minimote.

If I had to share the space I know it would be different. What has stopped me from doing more switches is that the toggle style switches are kinda ugly since they just sit in the middle. And I’m too ocd to mix and match paddle switches (decora) and toggle. So I priced it out, it would cost me like 400-500 just to buy new replacement switch covers in the same stainless style that I have. Looking at your pic you have similar to mine, to do my whole house its just too expensive. Tried selling them to friends but had no luck so far.

But good luck :). Like I said tho, I’m going mostly zwave or hue compatible for my stuff. Just so if I want an exit strat to vera/homeseer/HA/OpenHab something, it will be easier. I’m not 100% sold on the direction of ST right now.