Lowest Cost Z-Wave outlet/switch for 12V lighting


(Morgan Young) #1

I am looking for some low cost Z-wave switch of some sort. I’m wanting to do some simple under cabinet lighting with LED strips. I have a galley style kitchen and will require two separate systems since I can’t get wire from one side of the kitchen to the other. On one side I have a mounted microwave with a standard outlet in the cabinet above so wiring will be hidden from normal view. On the other side of the kitchen, I have an appliance storage cubby (can opener, mixer, etc) with a sliding door also with an outlet inside, so wiring on this side will be hidden as well.

So, because I’ll be able to have wiring on both sides hidden, I’m not really tied down to in-wall z-wave outlets or external modules. The LEDs will be 12V so there will be a small wall wart involved on both sides. What are my options for the Zwave part on controlling these lights? Are there any 12V Zwave options out there? Just want on/off control though ST and both sides will be paired together in ST to work as a single light. Might eventually add a motion to turn on but that’s not the priority here.


(Beckwith) #2

@myoung84

I’m also adding LED strips in my kitchen. But I would also like to add dimming and in some cases color control.

I have my sights on Fibaro’s Z-Wive RGBW controller and have preordered it:

I wouldn’t call it “low cost”, but they also have simple relays in the same format that is supposed to be available later this year.

It is unclear how much of it works now with SmartThings or when and if full integration will be done. Otherwise you can use FortrezZ MIMOlite which can be driven off of 12V DC, but it is bigger and costs about the same.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #3

I dunno… for this application, two modules ($80-$140), two light strips, or one long one with connectors ($20-$40), two power supplies ($20-$30). That’s $120 to $210.

Versus two Philips Hue lightstrip kits for about $180. I think I would go the Hue route. Much cleaner install, and they are really good looking strips (with a great local API).


(Beckwith) #4

You may be correct about cost and simplicity especially if you already have Hue. For me, however, I need the RGBW “true white” capability for work lights. I also need 24v capability for long runs and higher density 50/50 LEDs for brighter output.


(Ron S) #5

I can personally vouch for the Philips lightstrips. I don’t use them in my kitchen though but I have one lining the mantel above our fireplace and one on the bay window behind the living room sofa. Though at times wish they were a little longer. Works solid with ST along with dimming and of course with the stock Philips Hue app as well as other apps.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #6

Well… my recommendation was with the OP’s specific application in mind. I have a spiral staircase whose treads I would like to illuminate with lightstrips and using the Hues would be an expensive nightmare for this. What is the maximum output of the Fibaro controller?


(Beckwith) #7

At 12V - 144W combined, at 24V - 288W combined.

However, @urman made it sound like it would be difficult to add Z-Wave color control. Sounds like ZigBee (like Hue) is easier and more likely to be supported by SmartThings. However, other than Hue, there doesn’t seem to be any supported choices yet.


(Morgan Young) #8

Colored lights aren’t what I’m looking for, I just want a warm white LED. I’ve also got several cabinets that will need separate strips and I don’t think the 4 meters worth of strips will be quite enough so I’ll be in for another HUE strip on top of the starter kit. I can get a 5 meter strip for about $8 and can cut the strip and solder on my own wires as needed. I’ve used these in the past for other projects will good success.

So, my initial thoughts on the project were a couple of Zwave in-wall outlets and then wire up the two LED chains to a couple wall warts. Lowes has the Iris labeled outlets for $35 so two of those, the LEDs, and transformers I’m in for about $100. Not bad I guess…


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #9

Yeah… I was actually contemplating using the cheapo IR controllers and extending their receiver to a nearby iTach IP2IR and controlling it via calls to HAM Bridge. A bit of a kludge, but 5 Hue lightstrips is simply not an option (even if I could find a way to hide all of that wiring).

Just another “wait and see” item on my list. (c;


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #10

Would you mind sharing your source for these?


(Morgan Young) #11

Amazon. I’ve bought the waterproof strips in the past.


(Engelwood) #12

Not strips, but I used the following for some under cabinet lighting in my laundry room:

GE In-Wall Outlet (Duplex Receptacle)
Wiremold C110 White Cordmate Kit Painted to match the wall color
Lightkiwi E7574 12 inch Warm White Modular LED Under Cabinet Lighting

I use the “Big Switch” app so that when the overhead lights turn on in the laundry room, the under cabinet lights also turn on.

There is a ~1 to 2 second delay here, but the WAF has been high even with the delay.

I was originally going to go the Fibaro route, but lack of availability and no guarantee that it would work with SmartThings made me go this route instead.

Some negatives are:

  • Time delay
  • No dimming
  • Not as clean as I would have liked (Even though nobody notices the painted wire hiders)

Positives are:
-Easy install
-Nice lighting
-Happy wife


(Spec) #13

FYI, ordered the Fibaro from ASIhome, they are saying 7-10 days shipping. I went this route because the price is similar to the Mimolite but it has 4 I/O. I am going to try to get it to work on a wired alarm application.


(Beckwith) #14

The Triangle Bulbs look good. For my custom made light fixture, I went with a little more lumins from 50/50 LEDs:

For a little under $30.00 you can get Red Blue Green White (RGBW) 16 foot kit:

A little over $50.00 gets you 32 feet.

There are so many choices, it can be confusing.

And there is no good SmartThings solution yet.


(Beckwith) #15

I ordered one also. ASIhome sent me an order status update with a 10/22 ship date.


(Todd Wackford) #16

What do you think a ST solution would look like? Software? Hardware?


(Beckwith) #17

The need is pretty much the same as Philips Hue without locking you into Philips infrastructure. Don’t get me wrong, Hue is quite impressive. I just don’t see them keeping up with the LED advances (i.e. RGB+White) or unique LED strip needs (i.e. ultra-flex, length & power). There are scads of affordable creative LED strip solutions available on Amazon alone. Go to Alibaba and you find next year’s technology, but more difficult to sift through.

Everyone who gets RGB must get a controller so there is a need to move to the automation stage. In theory, if SmartThings creates an RGB(W) interface to ZigBee (Hue), it should be usable with other ZigBee LED controllers. Same goes with Z-Wave. However, with LED strips, Fibraro is the only Z-Wave controller around and Hue is Hue specific.

Having the ability to control an LED strip through SmartThings opens up a plethora of automation capabilities. Fibaro Home Control has a pretty good interface including party mode. But I’d be happy with just dimming and color control for now.


(Acastal) #18

I have a hue lightstrip and while I like it’s functionality the light output to me seems pretty low. I use my under cabinet lights even during the day when cutting etc and I don’t think that the hue lightstrip would “cut” it. . . :smile: That being said the maxlite LED ones I use draw like 9 watts per foot when not dimmed, are not color, and were about $50 each. They are neither cost effective power wise nor purchase cost wise. I use the evolve dimmer for them (and a motion sensor above the cutting board) and it works great.


(Darryl) #19

Did you ever get this? Figure out how to make it work? I want one too!


(Beckwith) #20

There has been progress with a couple different choices. I’ll create a new thread to summarize my findings.