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Author Topic: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation  (Read 5040 times)

Offline TC1

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Re: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2014, 07:47:02 pm »
Really? I just press the paddle for less than 1 second longer than a turn on tap and the light goes to my desired level. I think the justification for Leviton switches is instant status and general build quality.  I personally like the usability of the GE dimmers much more.

Maybe I'm not following correctly, but how does it go to your desired level? It has to ramp down from whatever level it was previously, correct? So it turns on initially at say 100% (assuming that was the previous level) and then dims down?

The other justifications for Cooper or Levitons is better grouping and direct association control, which is slightly better than the lower end dimmers. One of my goals is two get two different lighting circuits in my kitchen (different thanks to my forgetful contractor) to dim each other without the need for Vera. That's also why I bought Z-wave thermostats that also have on-board  scheduling. The idea being that if Vera goes bad (or I move), the house still functions. 

Don't get me wrong, I like saving money too. I have GE everywhere I need just binary switches. To me, the upside is that Leviton and Cooper have recently released new dimmer models that not only function as good or better than their previous models, but at an also lower price point.

As Z-waver said, choices are good :)

-TC

Offline S-F

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Re: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2014, 08:01:42 pm »
The way the GE dimmers work is if the switch is off, you hold the paddle up and the light ramps up from 0% slowly until either you release pressure or it reaches 100%. This is how they control dimming. So if it's at 70% and you hold the paddle down it dimms the light down until you release pressure or it reaches 0% and vice versa. If you tap the paddle it will ramp up to the last set point if it's off or ramp to off if it's on and set to any level.

So to the point, if the light is off, and you tap the top of the paddle it will go to the previous set point and if you want you can adjust the level from there but that's just extra unnecessary work.

The Leviton and Cooper switches definitely do have their perks. Instant status, associations, build quality and so on. I would have only Leviton parts except I got almost all of my switches when Radio Shack had their clearance sale and I got GE switches for around $10 per. I've got something like 15 of them. I'm poor so $10 Vs. $75 was a no brainer. That's $150 Vs. over a grand. I must say though that the GE switches are not robust. I love operating them and I love the price but I've had a few buy the farm and I have others which do stupid things. The 3-way in my kitchen, maybe 1 in 40 times, when you tap it on it flashes and then.... no light. You have to tap it off, wait a moment as it ramps down in it's imagination and the tap it on again. Stupid junk. As for usability though, I haven't seen anything I would want more and all of the other switches seem like low tech to me.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 08:14:21 pm by S-F »
My forum account was apparently hacked by a leprechaun. And he's drunk all of the time. If a post of mine seems a little off kilter, it's probably because he made it.

Offline TC1

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Re: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 08:19:25 pm »
Got it. Thanks for the clarification. :)

I was avoiding GE dimmers because they are only 2-wire (hit or miss with LEDs unless you want to do resistor load tricks), but it looks like they are now releasing the new 457xx series which are 3-wire. Plus they will also have light almond trim kits, which the wife is demanding on certain walls. If I keep her happy, I get to buy more of this stuff  ;D

It will be interesting to see how versatile the new GEs are when it comes to direct association control. i'm assuming they have a new Z-wave chip and updated firmware.

-TC

Offline S-F

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Re: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 08:34:36 pm »
Bah! If you're happy with the usability of the Leviton switches and can swing the cost I suggest you stay with them. The instant status and the better quality build are not to be overlooked.

As for LED functionality, yeah, I'm going to resist the move to LED for years. I'm stocking up in a big way on 60W incandescent bulbs. I'm buying them by the case of 48 for $20 (if anyone knows of a good deal I'm all ears!). The ability to ramp from 0% is important to me as wakeupramp has literally revolutionized my mornings. I don't really like getting up. Even with the regular Leviton (LED Switches" they don't seem to go below around 10%. Also all of my house which I didn't build is wired with switch loops. No neutral to the box. The last thing I want to do is re-wire 70% of the switches in my house. That would take something on the order of 80 - 100 hours. If I consider my time as money that's something like $3,000! I'll just stick to common sense for turning lights off when I'm not in a room and letting Vera do it when people like children forget.
My forum account was apparently hacked by a leprechaun. And he's drunk all of the time. If a post of mine seems a little off kilter, it's probably because he made it.

Offline BulldogLowell

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Re: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2014, 08:38:14 pm »
You will have no difficulty getting opinions here

I'm not a prophet @boojew, just been 'round the block!

lots to think about here...

Offline TC1

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Re: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2014, 08:46:37 pm »
@S-F, FYI I hate the Leviton aesthetics (I bought two during an Amazon sale and only paid about $54 a switch), the skinny dim bar is its downfall, IMO. Right now, the new Cooper RF Decorator series from Staples is my leading contender as my house standard.

If anyone is interested in the new GE/Jasco dimmers, here's their certification page. Still not widely available form distributors yet.
http://products.z-wavealliance.org/products/842


Offline S-F

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Re: Z-Wave Dimmer - Independent Operation
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2014, 08:56:31 pm »
Yeah, I think using them is ridiculous too, but they are rock solid!

One thing that is absolutely worth mentioning here is that the new version of HomeSeer is claiming to support instant status with GE switches through some kind of Z-Wave update. That's all I know and I haven't seen much about it, but they're publicly stating this. If Vera can bring this to the table I have little reason to change switches. Leviton parts are 50% more so unless the failure rate of my GE switches increases rapidly I'd never see a return on investment.
My forum account was apparently hacked by a leprechaun. And he's drunk all of the time. If a post of mine seems a little off kilter, it's probably because he made it.