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

what brand and devices is that (I’m looking for fan speed control)? Looks very cool.

First off, thank you JDRoberts for all your contributions to these forums. I hope one day I can be as helpful.

Second, I was hoping you’d share a bit more on your preferences for Coopers vs Levitons?

I am between Leviton VRMX1-1LZ vs Cooper 9540. The Leviton can both be found for cheaper and “works with SmartThings.”

I will be hiding these in a closet anyway, so I care less about the physical feel of the switch and just how well the dimming functions work and how well it works with ST Hub.

Sorry to revive an old thread, but I was doing some research, and something isn’t lining up right.

@JDRoberts - did you maybe get this backwards? Doesn’t Linear support group association because there’s no traveler? If GE supports it, I can’t find any documentation on it.

Take a look at my post history for linear association groups. The manuals are incorrect. The dimmer supports 0, not 3 & the transmitter (‘accessory’) supports 1, not 4.

I can’t speak to ge switches.

This preference is due entirely to the physical feel of the dimming buttons. If you aren’t going to touch the physical switch, then the Leviton Vizia RF+ dimmers are as good or better than the Cooper Aspire dimmers.

However, Leviton’s Vizia RF (non-plus) dimmers, such as the one you mentioned, do not have two-way communication with SmartThings and have to be polled like the lower-end GE dimmers.

I don’t understand what “instant update” benefits are completely when I compare say the GE which I have to one of the Leviton’s with instant update. What is the scenario that I need the “instant update” feature? @Ash mentions two way communications as well , is that what instant update is?

There’s no particular benefit to instant update if you just want to send a command to the dimmer so it turns the lights on. You can and they will whether you have instant update or not.

Instant update is the most useful if you want to have multiple things happen when a light comes on and so you need to know that someone turned it on at the wall switch.

So let’s say you have a switch which directly controls the current to the ceiling fixture by the front door but you also want a “virtual three-way” where another light at the top of the steps, on a different circuit, also comes on when you flip that switch.

It’s easy to have the two lights come on at the same time if the command is coming from the network. You just set it up so that A command is sent to each light.

But what if someone turns on the wall switch for the downstairs ceiling fixture? Somehow the hub has to know that that switch was turned on so that it can then send the command to the light at the top of the stairs.

That’s where instant update can matter. If the switch itself immediately tells the hub that it was turned on, then the hub can almost immediately tell the upstairs light to also come on.

If the downstairs light Doesn’t tell the hub that it was switched on, then you have to wait for the next time that the switch is polled, that is the next time that the hub asks the switch if it is on or off.

The problem is if you set up too much polling you can cripple your network because all the traffic is just questions from the hub asking devices “are you on or off?”

There are some workarounds involving association groups but they’re a little complicated and among other things require that the switch be within one hop of the hub.

So many people will never need instant status, and won’t even know that they don’t have it. But some people will definitely notice it in some situations.

If you search the forums for “the big switch”, that was a very popular smartapp for the V1 hub which allowed one light to follow another. You will see a few people complaining that there was a noticeable delay before the follower caught up with the leader. Now a noticeable delay for lightning might be only two seconds But it still bothers some people. One of the ways to fix that problem was to get an instant status switch just for the master. :sunglasses:

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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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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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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.

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

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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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“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:


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.

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.

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?



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.

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.

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.

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.