Thought it might be helpful to get some commentary started on different manufacturers and how well they do or don’t work in the SmartThings environment. Obviously everyone will have different results based on things like distance from hub, number of devices, type construction, etc. But if we get a large enough sample size of users we should be able to start getting some general information available for new users who are deciding what they want to look for and what options are available. To that end… here’s my thoughts on GE/Jasco. If you have any of their products, please add your opinion to this thread.
Appearance: I, personally, like the look of these switches, just an uncomplicated up/down. All of mine are white, though I believe that Almond and even brown might be available for the switches. The outlets only come in white. One of the nice things about these is that they blend in nicely with rockers switches of the same style. In one area I have a z-wave switch right next to a plain on/off switch and they do not look out of place next to each other at all. They use a pretty bright blue LED indicator light that is by default on when the switch is off. Smartthings has decent success changing this, but be aware that it is pretty bright, possibly too bright for bedroom conditions.
Physical traits: When installing be away that these switch are a lot thicker than traditional switches. Especially if you have a lot of wiring in the wall area it may be hard to push these in. If you have a plaster (like me) it’s entirely possible you’ll have to chip a bit of it out of the way to get full access to the wall slot in order to get your switch in. I’ve never been unable to get a switch in, but it has been a challenge at times. The switch can be a bit mussy to the touch. There isn’t a solid click when pressing it like a rocker switch over my Evolve switches, but this is only a minor thing.
Operation: All my GE/Jasco switches and outlets work very well with SmartThings. Pairing them has been super easy and functionally they work great with only one issue (more about htat later).
Here’s the one things to be aware of with GE/Jasco: Lutron holds a (stupid) patent for z-wave switches regarding the switch reporting back to the hub when it has been physically changed. If a company does not licence this patent from Lutron, their switch is not allowed to report back to the hub and say: I’ve been turned on, or I’ve been turned off, or I’ve been set to 50% dimming level. There are ways to get around this that work to varying degrees.
First, while it can’t report what has happened, it can report that some state in the network has changed and this “alert” triggers the ST hub to poll the switch and ask for it’s current state. For On/Off switches or outlets, this works fine 99.99% of the time. For dimmers… no so much. What’s happens is that the dimmer is pressed off and starts to reduce level to 0%. The Hub sees the alert, polls the switch and asks: “Hey, are you on?” The light, which is reducing through 80 or 70% right now on it’s way to zero says: “Yep! I’m on!” because it still is. Granted, it will be off in just a split second more, but when that poll goes out, the dimmer is still technically on, so ST reports it as on.
The second solution is that every so often the ST hub will poll every device in the network just to see what’s happening. Right now this is a command issued from the cloud to the hub and I believe happens every five minutes. (ST things is looking at ways to improve performance of this without overload their network.) This will update everything properly, but of course has a delay of up to 5 minutes from when the event happened.
GE/Jasco devices that I have:
45609 - On/Off switch. DOES require neutral. Can be used as a master in a 3-way setup.
45612 - On/Off/Dimmer. Does NOT require neutral, only for Incandescent lighting. Will not work for CFLs, even dimmable. May work with LEDs if the load is high enough. Can be used as a master in a 3-way setup.
45606 (maybe 45607?) - This is a discontinued product but still available on eBay or Amazon I think. It’s a dimmer switch that DOES require neutral and works with LEDs and should work with dimmable CFLs. Can be used as a 3-way master. Please be careful when buying these… may sure you’re getting the right product here if you want the neutral. The vast majority of GE/Jasco dimmer switches will be 45612. Here’s the best way that I know of to be sure of what you’re getting: The 45606 (or 07?) have wires coming out of the back of the switch. The 45612 does not. The 45612 has spots to screw in your walls wiring directly to the switch.
45610 - AUX unit for three-way setup. DOES require neutral, even if used with a 45612. Also works with the 45606 or 45609.
45605 - Outlet - The top outlet is switched on and off via Z-wave, the bottom is always on. It does have a button to manually turn the top outlet on or off, but this button can be hard to get at if there are two things plugged in.