Leviton vs GE: is the extra cost worth it?

A number of years ago I set up ST in our old house with the hub, some light switches, outlets, door lock, and Alexa.
We have since moved but we haven’t sold our old house, so we still use ST to make it look like someone is home.
I have been dealing with some serious health issues which have resulted in cognitive and memory impairment, plus I’m no programmer.
So, I feel like I’m starting all over.
I have temporarily put in our old hub in the new house until the old one sells and I can set everything up.
For right now, I would like to put in a couple light switches to control the kitchen and garage (fluorescent) and a light switch for our outdoor floodlights (switch will control 4 lightbulbs rated at 16w,130mA each).
I went onto the ST website and there is a heavy Leviton presence there. Is that one better than the GE Z-Wave 12722 switch?
I want to get the most reliable light switch and am willing to pay the extra $10 if the Leviton is better, but if it’s not, then I’d rather get the GE and save $10 per switch and, effectively, get one free when I’ve purchased 4.
Can anyone recommend which switch is better?

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The question of value for dollar is always somewhat subjective, but there is a known problem with the GE switches in the older generations where about 15% of them would go bad in the first six months or so after the warranty ran out. This has nothing to do with SmartThings, you can see the discussions on many home automation boards for many different controllers. The devices aren’t technically defective because they are out of warranty, but still, it is a reliability issue.

Many people still feel that it’s worth it because they save enough money on the GE switches upfront that they can justify just replacing 10 or 15% of them after a couple of years if needed.

For example, in your case you are talking about a 20% savings upfront, which would more than cover the cost if 10% of the GE switches go bad and you have to replace them yourself in three years.

On the other hand, if you have to pay someone else to do the installation each time, then that’s enough of an added cost that it would make the GEs more expensive over time.

Personally, from an engineering standpoint, if you are looking at a good/better/best categorization, I would say that typically the GE switches are budget switches in the “good” category and the Leviton are in the high-end of the “better” category. But then the Leviton may have features that you aren’t even going to use.

So I think you will find people arguing both ways, if your only criteria is reliability, the Leviton will score higher. But it may not be enough to justify the difference in price.


BTW, another alternative to consider that probably wasn’t available the last time you looked at SmartThings is the Lutron Caseta switches.

Lutron is an engineering company that focuses on lighting and holds many patents. Lutron switches would fall into the “best” category for both reliability and technical design.

There is now an official SmartThings/Lutron integration. You will need to buy a Lutron SmartBridge (one SmartBridge can support up to 40 devices), but for responsiveness and reliability, they are hard to beat. These are the ones I use in my own home. :sunglasses:


Since I am quadriparetic, reliability is very high on my list of priorities, and is one of the main reasons that I chose the Lutron line.

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I am using GE 12722 and never had any problem with them.
I don’t know where @JDRoberts gets his info about failures, but that’s not my experience.
Also check this thread GE Z-Wave devices on sale at Walmart - YMMV about them being in clearance at Walmart. I just got 3 more today for $19 each.