Who makes the BEST Z-Wave dimmer? (Leviton, GE, Linear, Cooper)

Didn’t think Cooper was officially supported, I didn’t see the switches on the “works” with ST list. Not impressed with Caseta because of their lack of 3rd party integration. I regret now that I started with Wink and Caseta. As disappointed I am with ST, it’s by far much better than Wink. As for quirky, they took Wink off the market. Their CEO is now saying that they have money for couple more months and he is hoping to raise enough capital to keep Wink. Will shall see.

Oh, for me is not the extra seconds to switch aps but the extra hours to troubleshooting and maintenance. With every update that Harmony pushes out, I have to reset the connections to ST. And that wouldn’t be too big of the deal, but it times out and I have to try at least 5 - 6 times before I make it work. Then repeat the dance to the upstairs hub. Wink hub forgets the Hue lights on regular basis. ST hub doesn’t show the right state of the hue bulbs nor Wemo switches. Echo requires refresh every night. I feel like I am a beta tester for all these companies.

Hmm… So I just replaced all my dimmer switches with GE/Jasco, which I bought from Amazon. In total, I have about 15 dimmers plus 3 3-way add-on switches. For some reason, I didn’t uncover this thread before making the purchase. I am still within the return period. If you were me, would you swap GE/Jasco for Cooper? Are the GE switches really that bad? I.e. bad enough to warrant un-installing and re-installing 15 switches?

@Explosion5000 Andy, It depends how much money you want to spend. I have a bunch of GE switches and had no problem. They are definetly NOT bad enough to warrant un-installing and re-installing 15 switches!

Thanks for the buyer’s remorse counseling… I’ve been running the GE/Jasco switches for a couple of weeks now. WAF is pretty good (she doesn’t like holding the switch to dim after turning on), but other than that, no complaints. Even if I had gone the Cooper route from the get-go, that would have run me another $700+ over GE/Jasco.

Does anyone else with GE/Jasco dimmers notices that ST does not turn them to 100%? I have a HelloHome action for cooking that is programmed to set the dimmers to 100%. After I trigger this, if I go over to the physical switch, I can continue to brighten the light. Any idea if this is a GE/Jasco issue or ST?

I should be clear: The GE dimmers aren’t bad, they just have less features than higher-end dimmers. If you are happy with them, you don’t need to spend twice as much for the Coopers.

My problem is that all of the LED bulbs in my house won’t turn on with less than 10% power, however, they can be dimmed less than 10% after they have already been turned on. This means, if someone dims the lights to the lowest level and then turns off the switch — the GE dimmer won’t turn on the lights the next time the switch is pressed (unless you hold it). This confused guests and enraged my parents everyday. I was yelled at numerous times for installing “broken” dimmers.

The Cooper and Leviton dimmers have a feature that “kicks” on LED bulbs at low power levels by jumping to 10% and then back down. They also have brightness indicators, discrete dimming buttons, and two-way Z-Wave communication. However, if you don’t need those features, the GE dimmers are just fine. Some people may even prefer the GE dimmers because they look more traditional.

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Update on my preferred z-wave switches. I added a few more Leviton DZS15 to my network, only to realize that they don’t report instantly to the controller. The lag on these switches is horrible. I should have stayed with GE for the positive experience so far. Definitely these Leviton switches are now on the bottom of my list.

Glad I didn’t listen to your ranking when I recently bought 3 GE dimmers (the newer variety) for an LED application. :wink:

Leviton makes two lines of Z-Wave switches and dimmers. The Leviton DZS15 ($40) doesn’t have instant status, but the Leviton VRS15 ($56) does. (Since Lutron has a patent on instant status, Leviton has to pay a licensing fee to use this feature.) I was ranking the Leviton switches with instant status. I’ll clarify that in my previous post.

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Which exact model did you get?

Linear, while very similar to GE in most ways has 2 differences that set them apart:
1)Linear switches have green LED indicator lights.
2)Linear ‘remote’ switches for 3 way set ups do NOT require a traveler wire. This one is what made me go with Linear over GE.

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GE supports association for one group, the Linear master dimmer does not support association (although some of their original marketing materials said they did). The Linear auxiliary supports association for one group (used to create the virtual three way).

That’s most significant if you want to create a situation where physically changing one switch causes things to happen with other devices.

You can always Do that if the instruction to change the first device came through the hub, like from a routine, or even just toggling the device in the smartthings mobile app.

But if you start from the actual physical switch, it will work a little faster if that first switch supports either “instant status update” ( like the Cooper and the more expensive Leviton line) or supports “association” like DragonTech and GE. because the Hub find out about the change at the switch faster.

many households don’t need switches that support zwave association

For some people, association being missing as a feature won’t make any difference at all, because they never have the situation where they want to physically flip one switch and have other devices besides the ones on that circuit come on. But for others, association is very useful.

(I should also say that even if we’re not using the association to connect directly to those other devices, we might be flipping a switch on a Z wave and wanting a Zigbee device to come on. So Instead the association is used to send information from switch to the SmartThings hub. Rather than waiting for the SmartThings hub to get around to checking in from time to time. So we would have a rule for SmartThings that when the switch is flipped physically, something else should happen. Association between a switch and the hub or “instant status” each just let us tell the hub that the switch was flipped a little sooner. )

Three way setups connect one light to two switches. Zwave Association connects two devices directly to each other.

So three-way set up, whether it uses traveler wires are not, lets you turn on either of two switches and have the same light/lights come regardless of which which one is used.

If the connection between the two switches uses physical traveler wires, there’s a limitation on where you can put the switches. Typically one on each end of the hallway for example.

If the connection between the two switches is “virtual” (no traveler wires), you can put the second switch anywhere. :sunglasses: That opens up a lot of possibilities, which is why most manufacturers now don’t use the traveler wires for network switches.

“Association” lets you have one device control another device wirelessly. It can be used to set up a virtual three way. Or it could be used to have a motion sensor trigger a light switch or a contact sensor trigger a siren. Or it can be used to let the switch inform the hub when the switch is changed manually.

“Instant status” is a different feature which also lets a dimmer switch notify a hub when the switch is changed manually.

And there are indeed switches, like the Cooper’s, which actually offer all three kinds of options: no traveler wires, support instant status update, and support association.

check each model, not just the brand, for the features you want

Check each model carefully. Supporting “instant status update” will make a switch more expensive, so Leviton, for example, has two different model lines. I believe both support Association, but only one line supports instant status update.

And, as we started with, the GE switches are inexpensive switches that do support association. The DragonTech are inexpensive switches that support association for one group (which is all you need if you just want to set up a virtual three way). The Linear are in the next group up in terms of quality and price, but most models don’t support association.

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I recently installed the GE Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Dimmer #12724 and it works well so far with 4x 9.5w Phillips BR30 LED bulbs. Only downsides are despite it being listed as a supported “thing” on the ST homepage, it is not recognized through Connect New Device -> Lights and Switches -> Switches and Dimmers -> GE on the app itself, and it does not display the dim percentage, or allow to change the icon from a receptacle.

Is there an update or consensus on this guys?? Looking for Dimmers that are nice, work well and have instant status to ST… Can someone advise?

Nothing’s changed from the information above. GE switches are very popular because of price and ease of finding them at major brick-and-mortar retailers, but don’t have instant update status and appear to have a somewhat higher rate of failure after the warranty period runs out. ( Total project cost will still likely be lower, so many people are fine with having to replace some.)

Only Cooper and the Leviton Vizia series offer instant update, but both are high end devices.

So just comes down to what’s important to you. Different people have different priorities.

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My theory is that zwave plus switches will likely have a firmware upgrade as soon as the patent expires? Thoughts?

Certainly possible. The hail command exists in Zwave to enable instant status. It’s just that right now legally only those manufacturers that pay the patent for their dimmers can use it. I’m pretty sure that the in wall relays don’t have to pay the patent fee because they’re a different type of device, which is why just takes a parameter change with those.

The patent expires sometime in 2016, correct?

What are the chances of ST enabling over-the-air firmware upgrades?

Low. But I don’t expect to still be using st in late 2016 at this point.