Getting ready to buy dimmers. outlets and switches for a full gut remodel. Need opinions/advice!


(Elijah Saintonge) #1

Hey Everyone,

I’ve read through the long devices thread (or skimmed through more accurately!) and want to share what I’m leaning towards buying and get any opinions out there. Particularly since this will represent a good investment since I need 20 dimmers, 4 fan controls, 10 smart outlets, 4 3ways and 10 smart switches.

Would love some advice before buying.
I have neutrals in all switch boxes although the dimmers I’m leaning towards don’t require one.

Here’s what I’m thinking so far:

Dimmer: LUTRON PD-6WCL-WH

3 Way: I’m really not seeing a whole lot of options here but thinking: GE 45613

Switch:
Aesthetically: [TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch](http://TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch)
Also considering: GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Smart Switch

Outlets: GE (12721)
Really dislike the zwave logo on the outlet. Suppose I need to let some stuff like that go as I’m trying to move in in three and half weeks…

Fans: GE Z-Wave Plus Wireless Smart Fan Speed Control

Also there are a couple locations where I’m planning on using Lutron Maestro to match tile color and was planning on using the Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Dimmer, 2nd edition with them in the boxes.

Any suggestions or opinions would be very much appreciated!

Thanks,

Elijah


(Ray) #2

What’s your budget for switches and outlet? GE line is kind of in the middle. I would stick with Lutron line of products and their hub for reliability . I believe ST is now fully integrated with Lutron and much nicer looking than GE. This way, you won’t depend on ST at all.


(Elijah Saintonge) #3

I see the Caseta Multi location switch, but am I crazy that I don’t see a Smart Decora toggle switch by Lutron? Or an Outlet?


(fightingmajor) #4

Go check your local lowes. I picked up a couple of the Caseta Lutron starter kits with the hubs for $25 each.


(Elijah Saintonge) #5

So what’s the advantage of using their hub? Don’t I want everything in one place in smart things?

Thanks for the reply


(fightingmajor) #6

you need the hub so they can talk to ST. One switch comes with a remote than you can mount on another wall creating a 3 ways switch without running wires. Really this are best for people without a neutral wire. I like these and the GE switches. Both are honestly really easy to install.


(Elijah Saintonge) #7

Thanks.
So the smatthings hub won’t be able to control without the additional Caseta hub.

I put neutrals at all switch locations.


( Cosmo) #8

I had a dozen Lurton before the official bridge to ST came about.
I pulled them and replaced with GE when I came to ST, again because it was before they were supported.
The Lurton are nice, but look different from anything else, and you can’t match all switches to be those through the whole house. Not enough switch types to handle all (my) needs.

Now, I have (2) Leviton and (40+)GE in my house. Both are highly reliable and look nice.
(Almost all GE so as to match everything.)

With GE: switch, dimmers, fan controls, aux switches, zwave or zigbee all look identical, and the cost is lower. So you can mix zwave and zigbee to get rock solid mesh, and nobody beside you will know there’s a difference between one to the next.
Over a year now, extremely happy. And I have all of the device types mentioned above.


(Elijah Saintonge) #9

Thanks man, I’ll look at the GE dimmers


(Christopher Capitumino) #10

I got the Leviton dimmers for my upstairs loft. I think they are nicer especially for visitors. They have LEDs to tell you what the brightness level is and dedicated buttons for dimming and pressing the bottom toggles on and off. I got them on sale last month and reliability has been great. The 3 way on the dimming is great as the add-on switch is exactly the same minus the LED.


#11

Welcome! Sounds like an exciting project! :sunglasses: ( I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own needs and preferences.)

You may have already looked at this, but for anyone else finding this thread later, the following topic discusses the various features that switches might have and why you might choose one brand over another. The discussion of light switches starts around post 40.

If you’re asking if Lutron makes a rocker switch, no, they don’t. The fact is that all networked switches rest in a neutral position, not up for on and down for off. When you’re buying a rocker switch that is networked it’s just so that it seems natural to someone who is used to the non-networked switches. But the switch is always going to return to the neutral position.

Lutron chose instead to make a momentary switch that looks like a momentary switch. You press for either on or off, or hold for dim.

Their pico remotes come in many different styles and colors and can be used as an auxiliary in a three-way set up with almost all of their master switches. So that’s what most people who get the Lutron switches do.

The picos themselves can be quite inexpensive, anywhere from $19 to about $29 depending on the style, so if you already bought the bridge and the master switch they are an inexpensive way to add a virtual three-way anywhere you want.

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products/Pages/Components/PicoWirelessController/Overview.aspx

But there are a number of other brands and options.

The Lutron maestros are good switches for anywhere that you don’t need a networked switch. But they will not combine well with the Fibaro micros. If you want to use the Fibaros, just use a regular dumb switch with them.

Outlets

Again, see the device class feature thread for some discussion of these:

At present, Lutron does not make a networked outlet that will work with SmartThings.

There are a number of zwave brands that work well, so you just have to find one that looks the way you like. The gocontrol/linear model is one of the plainer ones, no logos, and is popular for that reason:


(Elijah Saintonge) #12

Thanks very much for the informative reply.

By these you mean: Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Dimmer, 2nd edition

Right?

If they don’t combine well with the Maestros and I want dimming at the switch as well as through automation would you recommend a dimmer that in your experience works with them?

Thanks very much for you help,

Elijah


#13

Yes, sorry, it’s the same issue–The maestro switches are smart switches, just not networked switches. (I use several in my own house for areas where I don’t need any networked control, just because they’re less expensive.) so you shouldn’t use a smart networked micro of any brand with them, it just won’t work well.

As far as which dumb switch to use with a micro, you can use anything really. It’s the micro that will control the dimming, the switch is just to give you a manual way of activating the micro.

I think the switches which are most intuitive for people are retractive ones, also called momentary switches, where you press once for on/off and you press and hold for dimming.

People use a lot of different styles, so it depends on whether you want something that looks like a traditional switch or are you willing to go to something more modern.

I personally really like the LeGrand adorne line, and @Mike_Maxwell has a number of posts and even a video on how he set them up to work with the Aeotec micros. They come in a bunch of different colors. Dimming on these is press and hold.

But you can also even use a conventional toggle switch.

I suggest you start a new thread in projects and title it “best US switches to use with in wall micros?”

you should get lots of responses with different suggestions. :sunglasses:

Make sure you put “US” in the title because the device selection for the UK is quite different and the micros are popular in both places.

Whatever you use, once you put the micro in the wall, it’s the micro that controls the dimming. The switch is just sending a pulse message to the micro telling it what to do next. That’s why the switch itself doesn’t have to be a “dimmer.”


(Elijah Saintonge) #14

Excellent. Thanks very much.


(Chris) #15

curious as to why you mix and match z wave and zigbee switches? i have managed to keep them all Z-wave so far


(Chris) #16

I like the GE z-wave switches personally. i have quite a few switches, dimmers, fan controls and wall outlets in my house currently.
i believe the new style GE switches came out (look the same) but have like updated firmware in them making them faster and more reliable but I’ve never had a issues with mine


#17

Lutron isn’t zigbee. They use their own proprietary protocol, clear connect, in the 434 MHz range.

Some people want to keep everything on the same protocol. Others select based on the specific feature needs for each device. As a multiprotocol platform, SmartThings allows for either choice. and choice is good. :sunglasses:


(fightingmajor) #18

For my use, some wires in my house have a neutral and some do not.