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Author Topic: Best switches? Jasco/GE z-wave switches versus Leviton Vizia switches. Others?  (Read 15863 times)

Offline neverdie

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In 2009 I installed a bunch of Leviton Vizia z-wave switches in my house.  At the time, they seemed to be the best z-wave switch available.  The alternatives weren't getting good ratings at the time.

Now I notice that Jasco/GE switches are much cheaper and yet also seem to be getting good ratings on Amazon.  I'm plan to add more switches, and so I'm considering them.  Are there any gotcha's from a z-wave perspective that I should know about the Jasco/GE switches before I order them?  Are they at least as reliable as the Leviton Vizia z-wave switches?

So far, my only gripe about the Leviton switches is that if they are controlling a light not visible from near where the switch is, it's often hard to know from looking at the switch alone whether or not the light it controls is on/off without positioning my whole head and eyes  12 inches in front of the switch--the itty bitty green LED beneath the switch is generally too dim to discern in a brightly lit room.  I *hate* that.  At the very  least, I'd like to replace the most bothersome Leviton switches (e.g. the ones controlling outdoor lights) with ones whose state is easier to see from a distance AND which is still A+ for z-wave.

Comments/suggestions welcome.

Offline asterix406

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I have had a great experience with Cooper Aspire switches,

Greg

Offline Freakin

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The Jasco/GE switches don't support Instant Status, so your Vera won't know status has updated until the switch is polled.

Offline garrettwp

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Cooper and Leviton are the way to go for quality and instant status support. Spend the extra money and buy the better switches.

- Garrett

Offline smwein

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Can you give me a model number of a non dimmer Cooper Aspire switches?  I see a lot of them on Amazon. 

Thanks
Steven


Offline neverdie

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Thanks for pointing that the "instant status" difference.

I definitely want my z-wave system to be as responsive as possible, without noticeable delays.  I did an X10 system in a previous house before z-wave existed, and the delays between pressing a scene button and the lights reacting was a major disappointment as far as my wife was concerned.  The overall unreliability of X10 (hopefully not an issue with z-wave?) ultimately proved to be a deal killer.

Therefore, this time around with z-wave, I don't want to do *anything* that might contribute to slow response or unreliability.  I suspect that using polling as an alternative to instant status tends to create slower responsiveness, since (I suppose) the network could get clogged with a lot of polling messages that might create contention with more urgent messages like "turn on the light *now*!"  Is my suspicion valid, or is the whole z-wave network so fast that lots of polling is pretty much unnoticeable?

I have read some posts on MiCasaVerde by some people who claim their system is too slow.  I suppose it stands to reason that the z-wave "scene" class, implemented on some switches and not others, might also help speed things along.  Does Vera take full advantage of the scene class, or does Vera implement its scenes by sending individual messages to each switch in the scene (even if all switches in the network actually do support the scene class)?  i.e. Is Vera smart about taking full advantage of the scene class?  Does having even one switch in the network that don't support the scene class put Vera in a mode where Vera doesn't take advantage of the scene class at all?

Is there anything else about switch selection that could impact responsiveness or reliability of the entire z-wave system?

Offline neverdie

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On the topic of ensuring rapid scene execution and overall system responsiveness: am I better off with all Leviton Vizia z-wave switches?  Could adding a copper aspire z-wave switch to the mix (even though it is supposed to be scene class aware) lead to a slower execution of a scene?

I'm trying to think of all of the possible gotcha's *before* buying the switch hardware and installing it.  I don't want to go through all that money and installation work only to discover a disheartening "Gotcha!" after the fact.


Offline Freakin

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Instant status is only relevant when you want scenes to execute based on the switch. 

So if you have an in-wall scene controller then it will update the devices in the triggered scene immediately, but if you have a bunch of GE switches and use one of them to trigger another scene (when I turn on one kitchen light, turn on all the others) then that will not be quick enough for you.

Offline neverdie

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Thanks, Freakin.  I guess there's no downside then to adding some GE switches to my system if I'm not planning to launch scenes from them....

Offline garrettwp

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You say that now, but maybe in the future you might want to do something.

- Garrett


Offline packhawk

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So maybe a silly question can you mix n match?

GE 45609 with a leviton VP0SR-1LZ

hate the my house has freaking 3 ways in 80% of the rooms

Offline garrettwp

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Yes, you can mix any brand z-wave switch. They do not have to be the same. I have a combination of leviton, intermatic, ge around the house.

- Garrett

Offline wilme2

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You say that now, but maybe in the future you might want to do something.

- Garrett

Yes, but it would likely be just one or two switches that would need instant, and that one or two can be replaced.  Ge/Jasco at Lowes are cheap enough that one could save enough now to buy a few more expensive ones when the need arises down the road...  I just installed about 6 sets (including 3 and 4 way installs) and could not be happier.  If I need instant status down the road, I can replace a few and still be ahead...  Or even just use a scene controller next to the switch...
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 04:34:28 pm by wilme2 »
Long Live UI5!  (OK finally made the switch to UI7 in January 2018, and am pretty happy....)

Offline packhawk

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Yes, you can mix any brand z-wave switch. They do not have to be the same. I have a combination of leviton, intermatic, ge around the house.

- Garrett

So i could run the GE mater with leviton slave