SmartThings Community

Z-wave/zigbee light switches (Canada)

I’d like to smartify a few lights in my place. I was planning on going with in-wall dual relays to keep my current switches/dimmers as a first pass into the house of the future (ha!) and also cheaper (for now). Is this a bad approach, should I just go for smart switches/dimmers?

Vision dual-relay appears to be working ok with ST but I can’t find the monoprice anymore. Then there’s also the Fibaro (though not in canada?). I would welcome any tips… I am planning on returning my wifi based tp-link switches and outlets as I would like to keep things as local as possible without a need to go back and forth to the cloud.

i think that’s a fine approach, my only concern would be space in the box.

Just a note that at the present time I don’t think any of the dual relays or dimmers will run locally with SmartThings.

These require custom code in order to handle the multiple endpoints and at the present time all custom code runs in the smartthings cloud.

So you were still going to have a cloud trip if you go with the duals.

@RobinWinbourne might know more, he uses a lot of the fibaro Devices.

As far as getting Fibaro micros in Canada, Aartech carries them

https://www.aartech.ca/zwave-inline-modules

Existing switches will work with in wall micros but not existing dimmers… to get dimming function out of a Fibaro Dimmer 2 you will need momentary (retractive / push-to-make) switches. Existing dimmers do not send on/off signals which is what the micros need.

In regards to local execution, as @JDRoberts pointed out, custom handlers will not run locally. However, I understand that the updated (native) “Zwave Dimmer Switch Generic” works locally and was mentioned somewhere else that it can operate the basic functions of the Fibaro Dimmer 2… so you could use a custom handler to setup all the device parameters and switch to the native handler for everyday (local) execution.

I’ll try to dig out the relevant threads but just had a quick look with no joy… can’t test as I have tenants living in my home now and they are in control of my system :sob:

This is the announcement about the native dimmer handler running locally:

Now I’ll try to find the post about it running the Fibaro Dimmer 2

Good point about the old dimmer switches.

As far as the Fibaro dimmer 2, It may be able to run locally now, but it is not a dual controller. The two refers to the second generation of that model, but it’s still a single controller.

The Fibaro dual relay is the “double Switch 2,” but again, I don’t think any multi endpoint devices run locally at this time.

Yeah, the double switch and double relay are the only multi-channel devices from Fibaro:

http://www.vesternet.com/z-wave-fibaro-double-switch-2-gen5

http://www.vesternet.com/z-wave-fibaro-relay-insert-2-1-5-kw-3085

I purchased the double switch a while back but never got it to work properly… spent hours trying but the second channel never worked for me.

The double realay works very nicely though using a custom handler from @cjcharles

The dimmer 2 will only control a single load, it can be connected to a second physical switch but that’s only for setting scenes / triggering virtual commands.

For a canadian user. Go with Lutron. Price is similar to zigbee/Z-wave switches and there’s no comparison. I live in both countries right now and HA is not nice to Canadian for both device selections and pricing. I have Smartthings, Wink 2, Phillips, Lutron and quite a few other hub/bridge. Phillips and Lutron are my favorites. They are basic, can be found at many retailers and super reliable. I am slowly switching all my switches to Lutron since Smartthings has direct integration.

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Lutron would require another hub. If I need another hub just to control lights then I’d rather not use ST at all.

Oh this is a deal breaker then. I guess I need to get native z-wave dimmer and switch for my kitchen then. But could Dimmer 2 be combined with some sort of intensity knob and switch? I really like physical presence of a knob/slider. The manual has a lot of options but I don’t understand if this would be possible.

Sliders are usually analog while the networked devices are digital. There are some dimmer devices which use a long hold to increase or decrease dimming which has some of the same ergonomics as a slider, but I don’t think you’re going to find an actual slider.

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Fibaro Dimmer 2 with momentary switch:

  • 1 click - toggle on/off
  • 2 clicks - turn on at 100%
  • press and hold (when off) - turn on at 1%
  • press and hold (when on) - phase brightness up / down (alternate holds)

Agree it’s not as ergonomic as a dimmer knob but if you want to get into home automation that’s about as good as it gets… anyway, it’s actually really intuitive, even my wife likes it!!

Yes I know how those work, I have one in the bathroom with a motion sensor, from lutron I think. As of now, I can’t see why it would make sense for me not to get a smart GE dimmer with everything included, it’s even probably cheaper(!).

yeah I know pots are analog but that wouldn’t be a bad solution. Get whatever interface you like in analog then put whatever “brain” you want behind it. Then you could simply swap the brain over time and keep the same human interface…

Before you start buying anything. One advice is to look behind d the switch boxes for your wiring Config. Some won’t work with smart switches while other won’t work with in wall relay module. Especially 3/4 ways wiring.