SmartThings Community

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

(Dale C) #68

That was a great answer! Thanks for the detail. I get it now.

I went ahead and bought two of the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ on Amazon for $39. The GE Dimmer 12724 are actually more expensive at $40 and don’t give some of the higher end functionality of the Leviton. I wonder if I just got lucky on sale or if Leviton is just getting more competitive?

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#69

It does look like the price has been steadily dropping: http://camelcamelcamel.com/Leviton-VRMX1-1LZ-Universal-Magnetic-Voltage/product/B005Y8JC6Q

I just ordered some to replace my Insteon switches, which have been such a pain to get working with ST

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#70

My guess is that Leviton is getting ready to release Zwave plus versions of their switches, and the price on the older classic Z wave versions is starting to drop as retailers try to reduce that inventory before the new models come on the market.

We’re seeing this in all kinds of Z wave devices from most manufacturers.

Zwave plus has a significantly longer range, about 50% longer, a longer battery life (although obviously that doesn’t apply to wired switches) and a feature which is very important for wired switches: greatly improved ability to pair in place even several hops away from the hub.

(Dale C) #71

Cool, never seen this great website that tracks product pricing. :slight_smile:

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(Ash Raj) #72

Leviton’s Vizia RF+ dimmers have instant status, but Vizia RF dimmers (like the one you purchased) do not. In the past, Leviton had to pay to license Lutron’s instant status patents, so their Vizia RF+ devices were nearly double the cost of their Vizia RF devices. Lutron’s patents expired earlier this year, but Leviton hasn’t updated their Vizia RF+ pricing to reflect this yet.

The good news is that HomeSeer’s HS-WD100+ dimmers just came out a few days ago. They have Z-Wave Plus and instant status for only $45. (That price wouldn’t have been possible before Lutron’s patents expired.) I haven’t tried them yet, but on paper, they are the best Z-Wave dimmers.

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#73

“Best” remains subjective. Based on their published videos, The new Homeseer switches have a very audible click which might bother some people.
Also, they only come in white.

More importantly, the new Homeseer line uses the “central scene command” which SmartThings does not include support for. They can probably still be made to work, but someone is going to have to write a custom device handler for them.

They are certainly promising devices, but until some community members actually have them working, I don’t think we can label them “best” yet. :wink:

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#74

I’m just getting started with the hub and buying pieces as I go. I was looking at dimmers and regular switches for the main living areas of the house and need to keep the WAF as high as possible before she puts her foot down. Are the Cooper dimmers and switches still the way to go as far as (nearly) instant action when the switch is flipped? I’m planning on putting dimmers in for the cans in the living and dining room and switches for the kitchen and outdoor lights.

(Chris ) #75

So far I’ve been pretty happy with my GE dimmers with ST, the wife is good with them as they’re simple decora style on/off but in truth since they’re used for the outside lights and programmed she doesn’t have to interact with them.As for looks I like legrand adorne touch dimmer but it doesn’t work with the system.

#76

Enerwave dimmers and switches are relatively inexpensive and appear to be officially supported, but are not mentioned in this thread. Are they identical to another brand? Anyone have experience with these devices?

On devices without “instant status”, e.g. Linear, how long is the typical poll cycle, assuming 20 powered devices? Can this be improved by polling specific units more frequently?

Does a 3-way slave switch that transmits (rather than using the traveler wire) inherently provide instant status?

Thanks,

Stewart

#77

Homeseer has a brand-new line with one dimmer switch with instant status update, one regular switch, and one auxiliary switch. The dimmer switch has instant status update. They are not on the official compatibility list yet, but there is a community created device handler.

These are very plain looking white rockers, but they do have both a double tap and triple tap feature which use the central scene Command set and so should work much better than double taps that rely on physical timing.

#78

on a good better best scale, Enerwave devices tend to be right on the edge between good and better, but are priced somewhat higher than most of the other “good” level switches, so as switches they tend not to be quite as popular. For example, you can get a linear/GoControl switch almost always about five dollars less then a similarly-engineered Enerwave.

Enerwave does make a number of devices which have features not available from other moderately priced brands, and those do tend to be quite popular in the community. For example, they have a good ceiling mount motion sensor. Also the Enerwave SC seven, which is a seven button wall-mounted device. They also have the only 20 amp zwave wall receptacle that I’m aware of.

But they’re just priced a little oddly. For wall switches, most sensors, and inwall receptacles they typically run about 15% higher than similar other brands like gocontrol or GE. So noticeably less than the high-end brands like Cooper, but they’re just kind of an afterthought in most of the device categories.

#79

Yes, if you’re using a method where the aux communicate to the hub rather than directly to the master, in the sense that the hub is aware of the command before it is issued and so can update the status for the master.

Technically this isn’t the same as “instant status” which in this context refers to situations where the device state is changed at the master wall switch and then reported to the controller. In your example, the auxiliary is acting as a “remote” for the master, it’s not the master itself reporting its own status.

That’s a technical detail, but technical details are what patents are made of. :wink:

And as @professordave points out in the post below, if the wireless communication method is one where the aux communicates directly to the master without going through the hub, such as the Leviton Vizia+ series or with direct Association, then the hub will not be aware of the master’s state change.

(DavidK) #80

Hmm, technically the hub is not involved at all. I have some linear 3 way switches and the aux switch instantly controls the master dimmer wirelessly, but it does not go through the hub at all. You will not be able to tell by response time which is the master and which is the aux.

#81

Good point, it depends whether you’re using direct association or not. ( or a method like the Leviton Vizia series where again the hub is not involved. . )

If you are using direct Association, then the master has to support instant status update for the hub will not know that the state changed.

If instead, you are using the method where the aux communicates to the hub and hub communicates to the master, then the hub knows the master’s state.

I’ve corrected my post above. :sunglasses:

#82

There’s also more discussion of specific features and different people’s preferences in the following thread. The switch discussion is about two thirds of the way down. :sunglasses:

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(James Foster) #83

Really…

#84

What Mike was referring to is that there are a number of micro devices available which fit inside the wall and give you networked control of a light fixture. You can then use them with a number of different button or switch devices to give you manual control at the wall.

An integrated device has The manual switch mechanism with a built-in radio.

But the micros are very popular for a number of different reasons. They can solve some wiring issues which the integrated switches generally don’t, and they may have some specific features that someone is looking for. For example, as it happens, there are almost no integrated switch devices for high powered devices like hot water heaters, but there are Micro solutions for those.

So you can add network control to an existing light switch either by replacing it with an integrated device or by adding a micro in the wall. Different ones will work for different people. :sunglasses:

(Steven ) #85

Slightly off topic but…
Im looking at adding smart dimmers and trying to decide between Leviton DZ6HD-1BZ Decora Smart dimmer and a GE smart dimmer. The Leviton manual says in a three-way configuration, you NEED a second leviton remote switch in the other switch location. GE seems to just use the traveler. (I should note, the current light switches are not Dimmers.) I like the Leviton features better, but cant figure out why I would need the extra remote switch, unless that was to allow dimming control at both locations, which i really don’t care about. The instructions seem to suggest its mandatory. Has anyone installed just one?

(Steven ) #86

Nevermind. Reading the GE instructions more carefully, their Smart switches ALSO require a smart remote at the other location. This is regardless if its a dimmer or not.

#87

Zooz (zwave) and Lutron Caseta (ClearConnect) both have models which can use a physical traveler wire to an existing conventional dumb auxiliary switch. I think they’re the only ones, though.

(BTW, the Zooz marketing materials are incorrect in saying that they are the first switch with this feature: Lutron beat them to it by a couple of years. But I believe they are the first Z wave switch with this feature. :sunglasses:)

http://www.casetawireless.com/Documents/0301710a_Caseta%20Advanced%20Inst.pdf

If you want to use the Lutron switches with smartthings, you will also need the Lutron SmartBridge for the integration. Zooz switches can pair directly to the smartthings hub.

@TheSmartestHouse

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