Replace z-wave Leviton VIZIA-RF controls

Hi, I am working on a home that has the above system for what once was a home theater. VIZIA-RF is a discontinued system. It consists of two RZCS4-1L z-wave scene controllers (supplied only by hot/neutral/ground) located at the entry to the room. Leviton advises these require a remote for programming which is long gone apparently. And, in a back room nine (5 or 6 seem to do something) RZ106 dimmers (600w). Current system appears to have lost its program and only has some limited functionality. Wiring is with neutral but no travelers. Again, the convenient control in a 3-gang box at the room entrance. It has the current scene controllers.

I am looking for a cost effective “smart” system to replace this. Pulling wires for travelers is not a desire due to poor access but can’t be ruled out if the only good option. While not very elegant, one solution under consideration is to blank off the convenient controls, add up to 9 (non 3-way) smart dimmers and put an Alexa speaker in the area. The homeowner wants to be able to get the lights on “easily” from the entry to the room.

Suggestions??

Photos:
IMG_0959 (002)

Definitely doable with available products.

Is this all lighting? I think if you could sketch out the system, you will have more recommendations.

Edit: There isn’t much info on those RZ106 dimmers working with Smartthings, or any hub that I could find. So unless someone can confirm that that are viable - in addition to the products MD is suggesting below, you might want to look into the replacing those as well.

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This should work for you. Top Button is switch, but it can be turn into Scene Button, and 4 buttons are scene buttons, which is matching whit what you have.

Also adding Alexa to third gang is easy with ecobee switch

Thanks, so helpful and right in line with what I am looking for. More questions in reply:

  1. Do I need a hub, suggestions?
  2. Will the Vizia RZ106 connect to the hub or the Zooz ZEN32, or do these need changing
    3 Will it fit behind one slot of a 3 gang standard rectangular electrical faceplate as shown.

yes all lighting.

I will work on a sketch.

This forum is for people who are using the Samsung SmartThings ™ home automation platform, so all of the questions and answers are assumed to be in that context. So anyone responding to you here is going to assume that you are using the Samsung SmartThings system, and therefore if you are talking about Zwave, that you have a smartthings hub or a “works as a smartthings hub“ from Aeotec.

This is a very busy forum, so it often comes up near the top on general Google home automation searches, but it is not a general forum.

If you do want to look into other brands, the Reddit home automation subforum is brand agnostic.

It’s very important to understand that the smartthings system is largely cloud dependent, even though it does use a hub. For example, the SmartThings app will only work if there is active Internet and the smartthings cloud is operational.

Historically, smartthings has had pretty frequent reliability issues, usually at least one a month. So it hasn’t become real popular with professional installers who don’t want to deal with client questions when the system is being flaky. Obviously that choice is up to you

The system that your clients currently have installed, the one with the Leviton devices, was able to operate without a cloud, although it also didn’t have an app when it was first installed. you could probably make it work again, but I think most people would update to newer technology, and specifically something with an app because that’s just what people expect these days. Also voice control.

There are quite a few choices, and the Zooz Devices that others have mentioned are very current zwave technology and well priced.

But I think you do have to ask yourself the separate question of whether you want to base all of this on SmartThings to begin with.

There is an official status page. They don’t post all of the glitches there, but it will give you some idea:

https://status.smartthings.com/

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BTW, the Leviton Vizia RZ106 is only rated for incandescent bulbs. Or dimmable halogen. It won’t work with dimmable LEDs. So again, I think most people would look at upgrading those to newer technology.

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One more thought…

If it was me (and I’m surprised Leviton didn’t suggest this), and you didn’t want to go with Lutron, i’d consider just upgrading everything to the current Leviton Wi-Fi versions.

These don’t require a hub, have a nice app, work well with the various smart speakers, and would just be a one to one swap for the existing devices.

Here’s the scene controller:

And here’s the dimmer switch, which does work with LEDs as well as incandescents.

They also have a dimmer switch that can support a higher load if you need that.

These aren’t the least expensive devices you can get for this use case, but they are well-built, reliable, work with a number of different systems or as standalones, and would basically just be a technology update to what’s existing there now.

If you have a contractor’s license, you should be able to get them through one of their contractor channels at a lower price.

Again, no hub required. And you don’t need smartthings, although some of the models do also work with the SmartThings system if for some reason that is a requirement.

(Note that Leviton makes devices on a number of different protocols that look very similar, what I am suggesting is the “Decora smart WiFi“ line which is Wi-Fi, not zwave, zigbee, or Bluetooth. So make sure you are looking at the right model each time.)

You can even add in wall outlets and fan switch controllers if desired.

https://www.leviton.com/en/products/brands/decora-smart

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I’m thinking for the reasons that JD has stated above, being that this is for a client, that a stand-alone system would offer more satisfaction, especially considering the associated cloud based abilities.

My experience has been that there are compromises with Smartthings connectivity, mainly with delays in responsiveness from the controllers.

Also, the additional education/support involved to the client could be substantial when relying on a hub like Smartthings, Hubitat etc…

I think you’ll find the people here willing help you and your client achieve your objectives, regardless of which way you want to go, though.

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How good of a job is Leviton doing on keeping their firmware updated?

Historically they’ve had some issues with third party zwave hubs that don’t do “over the air” firmware updates, which includes SmartThings, but there’s no hub with the WiFi models I listed, so that’s a nonissue for those. The updates for those are distributed through their own app.

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