The Vera Community forums have moved!

General => Lighting & Load Control => Topic started by: catchingthezwaves on March 19, 2014, 03:19:33 pm

Title: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 19, 2014, 03:19:33 pm
I am in research mode, considering jumping into the z-wave automation realm and i would like some insight.  My goal is to automate a lighting system, perhaps thermostats and less likely security in my home.  This house is about 3,000 s.f. on 3 levels including basement the exterior walls are SIPs (structurally insulated panels). The scope of my project would include automating all of the light switches in my house lets say 50 switches with 3 or so being 3 way non dimmed and another 6 or so dimmed, the main desire is to be able to have away mode and good night scenes enabled.  I understand that the z wave system uses a mesh network so conceptually the more devices, the shorter distance the signals need to travel.  However, I have also read that some users with 30 or so devices have seen very slow response times for light switches and scenes to turn on (3-5 seconds).  One of my concerns is whether or not the system will work instantaneously.    Secondly I dont totally understand whether i need Micasaverde to control this type of system or if they can be managed other ways.  Lastly i would like to understand whether router on the third floor would be an issue.  Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: Z-Waver on March 20, 2014, 08:29:42 am
However, I have also read that some users with 30 or so devices have seen very slow response times for light switches and scenes to turn on (3-5 seconds). One of my concerns is whether or not the system will work instantaneously.
A 3-5 second delay in activating a device indicates a problem. A large number of devices is unlikely to be the problem. A properly functioning Vera setup should have responses in 1 second or less.

Quote
Secondly I dont totally understand whether i need Micasaverde to control this type of system or if they can be managed other ways.
I'm not sure I understand just what you're asking. Vera can be managed directly from your local area network(LAN) and even remotely, utilizing a VPN, without Micasaverde servers or accounts. The Micasaverde servers provide an added benefit of automatic backups, alerts and notifications, easy and secure remote access...

If you are asking if there are other Z-Wave controllers besides Vera, then yes, there are lots.

If you are asking if a Z-Wave controller is necessary, then yes, a controller is required for the setup/operation of a Z-Wave network.

Quote
Lastly i would like to understand whether router on the third floor would be an issue.
There's no way to know this. Radio frequency(RF) propagation is going to be different in every location and we have no way of knowing what your home is like. A thick concrete floor with lots of wire mesh/rebar might be a problem where a wooden joist floor might not. Typically, Vera is plugged into the router with an ethernet cable and the wireless Z-Wave network is used to control devices. Trial and error will be the only reliable way of identifying the best location for your Vera.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: BulldogLowell on March 20, 2014, 08:42:38 am
Just building on Z-Waver's excellent comments, regarding:

I have also read that some users with 30 or so devices have seen very slow response times for light switches and scenes to turn on (3-5 seconds).

It is possible that in your research you are seeing this issue as there are devices (Zwave switch) and there are devices (A/V systems, Arduino devices, Nest Thermostats, etc).  the typical zwave device adds easily and uses little system resources.  Other devices, serviced with plugins, are more needy with respect to system resources.  So when folks talk about lots of devices affecting their performance, invariably they are talking about plugins they are using to control the 'other' devices or to enhance the basic functionality of vera (e.g. PLEG, Heliotrope, etc.).

I hope that helps.  You came to the right place for help, there is a tremendous community of users to assist.  They helped me a lot; sometimes with vera's learning curve you may need a little push uphill.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 20, 2014, 09:53:42 am
This is incredible, thank you for your input.  I am clearly a long way from understanding the capabilities of the Vera and z-wave technologies.  i am excited about the opportunity to get going.  Is there a resource that can help me understand the breadth of elements that i will need to get started?  Aside from the 'starter' kits i have not been able to find information that breaks the system down.  Also i would like to understand YOUR suggestions for the best hardware to get started. Considering my scope. i would like to understand the "controller" and then switches  Thanks again!
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: curiousB on March 20, 2014, 03:11:45 pm
Best way to learn is by doing. I started with a single deadbolt lock and two plugin lighting modules. Add as you get more comfortable and ready to take on more.

Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: bucko on March 20, 2014, 08:48:29 pm
The learning takes place right here. It's all in the forum. With patience and steady reading posts, you can know all there is, including photos, schematics, connections of everything HA.

The key is having the interest in learning it. If you are not really too interested, so your goal is to only DIY a system to save $$ and move on, you may find HA a daunting task at best.

To be successful and satisfied with your end result for HA, look at it as a serious hobby first or it will frustrate you to the point of disappointment in the end.

But as I say about this forum,"If we don't have it......you don't need it!"
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 21, 2014, 11:16:11 am
I am generally convinced that i will move forward with a Vera Lite.  I feel that the wiring and programming will come. (with this forum's help)  i am still concerned about the reliability of the infrastructure that i have in place.  We live rurally, so in ground ISPs are not available.  We experience coverage outages during weather events, such as heavy snow.  I assume that the lack of internet connection would likely make remote access inoperable.  Does reliability of the ISP affect the functionality of devices like light switches?  Is there anything else that i should be concerned with?
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: aPL on March 21, 2014, 11:45:29 am
Does reliability of the ISP affect the functionality of devices like light switches?  Is there anything else that i should be concerned with?

What will you lose when internet is down:
- ability to connect remotely via browser or android app
- sms / email alerts from mios server
- video recording on mios servers

The automation / controll part is done fully on the unit, it will work as well regardless of the status of the internet connection
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 22, 2014, 01:08:44 pm
All helpful info.  I have another question.  Regarding real estate and resale of the property, is this system adequately reliable to hand off to a future owner without concern?  Not that I am wanting to sell off right away or at all for that matter.  I just dont want to install a system that has to be removed when/if our family needs to move on.

Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: SirMeili on March 22, 2014, 05:12:44 pm
All helpful info.  I have another question.  Regarding real estate and resale of the property, is this system adequately reliable to hand off to a future owner without concern?  Not that I am wanting to sell off right away or at all for that matter.  I just dont want to install a system that has to be removed when/if our family needs to move on.

With the investment I have in this system, I will likely take it with me. Normal switches and outlets are cheap enough to buy. If I install an alarm panel, it will stay but the rest goes with me.

I could also seeing this being a con for some potential buyers (if you market it as having a HA system). It depends on the market for your house. Some houses it is expected others it may put off potential buyers  who want to forego the complexity of such a system.

Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: WackyZWave on March 22, 2014, 05:30:00 pm
All helpful info.  I have another question.  Regarding real estate and resale of the property, is this system adequately reliable to hand off to a future owner without concern?  Not that I am wanting to sell off right away or at all for that matter.  I just dont want to install a system that has to be removed when/if our family needs to move on.

With the investment I have in this system, I will likely take it with me. Normal switches and outlets are cheap enough to buy. If I install an alarm panel, it will stay but the rest goes with me.

I could also seeing this being a con for some potential buyers (if you market it as having a HA system). It depends on the market for your house. Some houses it is expected others it may put off potential buyers  who want to forego the complexity of such a system.

Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk

would you say then it does not affect value?
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: TC1 on March 22, 2014, 08:02:31 pm
All helpful info.  I have another question.  Regarding real estate and resale of the property, is this system adequately reliable to hand off to a future owner without concern?  Not that I am wanting to sell off right away or at all for that matter.  I just dont want to install a system that has to be removed when/if our family needs to move on.

A properly thought out and designed Z-wave system has the advantage of still operating, even when the controller is down or gone. Meaning, you could move away and take the controller with you, but leave wall switches, sockets and thermostats in place for the next owner. But since each wall switch generally runs >$40, it would probably be worth it to uninstall them and replace them with standard $1.50 switches from Home Depot.

The key to designing a system that will function adequately, even when the controller is gone/down, is picking the right devices:

Thermostats- Don't be tempted to get a low-cost Z-wave only thermostat, it turns into a manual thermostat without a controller. Instead invest in a Z-wave thermostat that also supports local scheduling on the unit itself. When I move, I can leave my thermostats for the next owner and they can be programmed/scheduled right from their own faceplate.

Dimmers and switches- Get dimmers and switches that support direct associations, this will allow you to setup N-way lightning control without a central controller having to intervene.

Use in-wall Scene Controllers- By using Scene Controllers, you can control scenes from the in-wall controller once the controller has been added to the network and the proper associations made. Leviton Controllers and Dimmers/Switches are very good at this, some HA installers create entire house lighting systems without a central controller.

Ultimately what you do need a central controller/gateway for is complex scheduling or conditional scenes, and remote access of your HA functions. One the biggest WAFs is being able to unlock your front door and turn on the lights before you even get out of the car (you don't necessarily need Internet access, just be close enough to your wifi network), or adjust your HVAC system for cooler or warmer as you're heading home (you do need Internet access).

Hopefully some of these ideas will help.

-TC
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 23, 2014, 09:44:40 am
Thanks all for the excellent info.  One more question for now.  Is there a sticks and bricks store that has z wave devices for sale? I would like to understand the aesthetics, so that there is a visual consistency between all of the switches. While of course considering functionality.  Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: TC1 on March 23, 2014, 02:41:19 pm
The only big box store that I am unaware that hase z-wave devices in store is Lowes. They sell some zwave devices under their Iris home security/automation brand. You have to be careful though, some of the Iris stuff is Z-wave and some is Zigbee (a competing home automation protocol).

Your best bet is to simply look at devices online. Almost all the z-wave dimmers, switches, locks, thermo's, etc have online pdf manuals so you know ahead of time exactly how they will operate. There's also enough hi-res photos to see how they look.

What I and along with many others here have done is buy one of each different design on the wall dimmers/switches to see how we'd like living with them day-to-day. That way you don't make a big $$$ investment in something that is going to be all around your house.

And finally, just keep asking questions in the forums.

-TC
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 25, 2014, 03:32:02 am
Back to my original question of creating a lighting control system, with all of the input that i have seen to date the concept of using a vera controller is secondary to adding lighting control devices to the house as long as I design the system to have control-ability with z-wave scene controlling switches. Once the system is in place the addition of a vera controller would add even more control-ability.  It further seems to me that the lighting control devices would not be much different with or without the vera controller (exclusive of any t-stats and locks) 

So to boil my question down, is the following correct? To have lighting only scenes that are controlled within the house, you need to have scene capable devices, and once the Vera is in place those same devices are needed to allow you to control lighting along with the other systems, like HVAC and Security.

Cheers!



Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: Z-Waver on March 25, 2014, 08:55:19 am
Caution. While it is possible to install and use some Z-Wave switches without a controller, most switches require a controller at installation to initially include and configure the device. Some devices will not work at all until the have been included into a Z_Wave network. After that, it is possible for the switches to operate without the controller.

The Z-Wave controller(Vera) provides several functions. I creates and manages the Z-Wave network and includes(pairs) and configures Z-Wave devices. It also provides scheduling, control, logic and automation of the Z-Wave devices.

You can have scene capable Z-Wave switches and sensors that operate multiple devices without the presence of a controller, such as Vera. But, you must have the controller in order to perform the initial setup and configuration of those devices. Also, the controller does not have to be a Vera, even controllers like a GE 45600 Z-Wave Basic Handheld Remote (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013V6RW0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0013V6RW0&linkCode=as2&tag=zwavec-20)(I wouldn't recommend this) or a Aeon Labs Z-Wave Minimote (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007J26PIS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007J26PIS&linkCode=as2&tag=zwavec-20) can get a Z-Wave network started.

Understand also that a controller-less network is just a bunch of switches. There will no automation almost everything will be manual, so what's the point of that? What @TC1 was suggesting was that you can build your Z-Wave network and when you sell your house and take your controller with you, the remaining Z-Wave switches will continue to operate more or less like regular switches if you set them up correctly. The new home owner can then use them like regular dumb switches, or they can get their own controller.

I don't think that there is sufficient desire/demand from home buyers for DIY home automation systems that a Vera/Z-Wave setup would add much value to the sale of the home. So, as @SirMeili stated, I would likely take my stuff with me. But, if the automation and integration were extensive enough to compel a buyer, then leaving it would make sense.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: TC1 on March 25, 2014, 11:10:20 am
Back to my original question of creating a lighting control system, with all of the input that i have seen to date the concept of using a vera controller is secondary to adding lighting control devices to the house as long as I design the system to have control-ability with z-wave scene controlling switches. Once the system is in place the addition of a vera controller would add even more control-ability.  It further seems to me that the lighting control devices would not be much different with or without the vera controller (exclusive of any t-stats and locks) 

So to boil my question down, is the following correct? To have lighting only scenes that are controlled within the house, you need to have scene capable devices, and once the Vera is in place those same devices are needed to allow you to control lighting along with the other systems, like HVAC and Security.

Cheers!

To make a "controller-less" Z-wave network that will do some automation through scenes, you still need an initial programmer/controller to include the devices into the network and set certain parameters up. An example of a programmer is like this http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-VRCPG-0SG-Handheld-Controller-Programmer/dp/B001HT4MK2

Or you can buy a Z-wave USB stick for your laptop and use its software to setup your network.

But once you figure in the costs of getting the standalone network programmer, you might as well invest in a VeraLite that can do the same thing plus more. The handheld programmers are mostly fo HA installers who want to create basic networks for customers, without having to upcharge them for a permanent controller.

-TC
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 27, 2014, 08:58:51 pm
As I have started researching costs and specific devices, it seems that there is a real cost difference between leviton and GE devices.  Also there appears that there is some quality difference.  Is there a consensus that the GE product is a lower quality? 


I also have a programming question.  The in wall scene devices say that they can control up to 32 devices.  With the desire to set up an 'away' scene that would shut off upwards of 55 light switch devices.  Would this be an issue or would the controller handle these more complex scenes? 

Cheers!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: TC1 on March 27, 2014, 09:10:27 pm
Quote
As I have started researching costs and specific devices, it seems that there is a real cost difference between leviton and GE devices.  Also there appears that there is some quality difference.  Is there a consensus that the GE product is a lower quality?

I think if you ask most folks they'll say not necessarily lower quality, just maybe not as feature rich (or reliable). You need to research both devices and decide if a GE dimmer is good enough in terms of features for you, or you need the feature-set of say a Leviton dimmer. Both devices have all their instruction manuals online, so you can see everything you need to know for both devices before you buy them.

Quote
I also have a programming question.  The in wall scene devices say that they can control up to 32 devices.  With the desire to set up an 'away' scene that would shut off upwards of 55 light switch devices.  Would this be an issue or would the controller handle these more complex scenes? 

Actually, shutting all lights on or off is a simple scene. I know for a fact that the even the GE devices will honor the "all off" or on Z-wave command. It's basically a broadcast message that tells every light load device listening to turn on or off.

A scene controller should be able to issue a All On/Off command to the network, but again, check the online resources first. Another good idea is call one of the better online distributors and simply ask them pre-sales questions.

-TC
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 28, 2014, 02:26:43 am
TC, thanks for your your reply.  It seems that there IS value for the higher cost Leviton, as reliability is pretty important when it comes to an installed system-plus the feature richness is an added value.  So for the additional ten bucks or so to me, its worth the headache.  I have gotten a sense reading in this forum that the GE products are less reliable, and Lowes while convenient and available on site (at the store with Iris products) if i have to install, test and uninstall--Frankly I'd rather save the hassle.

As I continue to research, I'm leaning toward Leviton as my standard switch (for aesthetic consistency), but is there another mainstream manufacturer that should be considered?

Cheers! 

Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: SirMeili on March 28, 2014, 08:32:16 am
TC, thanks for your your reply.  It seems that there IS value for the higher cost Leviton, as reliability is pretty important when it comes to an installed system-plus the feature richness is an added value.  So for the additional ten bucks or so to me, its worth the headache.  I have gotten a sense reading in this forum that the GE products are less reliable, and Lowes while convenient and available on site (at the store with Iris products) if i have to install, test and uninstall--Frankly I'd rather save the hassle.

As I continue to research, I'm leaning toward Leviton as my standard switch (for aesthetic consistency), but is there another mainstream manufacturer that should be considered?

Cheers!

I would look into Cooper Wiring switches as well. They are up there with the Leviton, but have a slightly different aesthetic to them. I am not sure about the functional difference. Some prefer the dimmer bar on the Coopers.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: TC1 on March 28, 2014, 06:33:53 pm
Agree about the Coopers, plus, they have two models now. They are both identical in terms of electronics, just different aesthetics. The Designer series has always been around, but now they have the Decorator series through Staples. They are "plain" looking, but also about $20 cheaper per dimmer. I am considering those models for my standard dimmers.

Also to add, I've come to the conclusion that most folks on these forums that complain about the GE/Jasco devices were folks that bought them off of Ebay or an Amazon 3rd party seller. I have several GE switches in my house bought from Lowes, both individual and 3-way setups, and have had no issues. Also to note, there are new GE dimmers coming out that utilize a neutral wire (they will dim LEDs reliably).

Just a reminder, the one thing the Coopers and Levitons do that no other Z-wave dimmers do (that I am aware) is provide instant status. You have to decide if that feature is worth the premium over something like the GEs.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 28, 2014, 09:05:43 pm
All good info.  Wanting to maintain a consistent look the cooper decorator series sounds worth consideration.  I like the fact that the GE is available at lowes.  Can you explain what 'instant status' is and what the advantages of that are?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: SirMeili on March 28, 2014, 11:21:19 pm
Instant status means when you turn on a switch at the actual switch it notifies the controller (in this case the vera) instantly. Other switches you have to wait for the next polling for it to update in Vera.

One of my use cases is this: I have a Leviton switch controlling my front porch lights. I also have a security light that had no switch and functioned solely on the motion/light sensor. I replaced the security light with a plain 3 bulb version and put an aeon micro dimmer in the box. Now when I turn on my from porch lights I can have the vera instantly turn on the security lights as well.

Edit: the above is a simplified version of what happens. I can also control the lights independently via motion sensors and the smart switch plugin. It also changes depending on the time of day.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on March 31, 2014, 03:11:28 pm
Thanks, that is helpful.  I realize i am probably boiling it down too far, or not completely accurate in how i am describing this, but it seems to me that if you are willing to accept the different looks of the cooper decorator series (or leviton) and the GE/Jasco you could develop an affordable system that uses the two switches within the house to allow for the ones that you want or need to have instant status so that they can control other z wave devices to create scenes and so forth.  While using the non instant switches where they are basic switches or even slaves.

Another question, does anyone know if systems like Crestron or Lutron use these types of switches for their mesh network systems? 
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: TC1 on March 31, 2014, 04:36:08 pm
Yes, they do. Crestron uses a RF protocol they call infiNET, it operates @2.4Ghz and provides two-way communication (instant status). But the wall switches are all >$100 and can only be had through a Crestron dealer. Complete systems start in the 5-figure $$ range.

Lutron has their RadioRA2 system, which I believe is also a proprietary protocol.

Both systems are mesh type networks, but in a much higher price range than a typical Z-wave system.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on April 20, 2014, 11:23:06 am
Well it's finally here, I have purchased the controller Vera 3 opting for the more robust capacity.  I have also bought a few switches. The switches showed up first.  Can I install them without the controller to see how they feel?  Will they operate?

Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: Z-Waver on April 20, 2014, 01:32:47 pm
Well it's finally here, I have purchased the controller Vera 3 opting for the more robust capacity.  I have also bought a few switches. The switches showed up first.  Can I install them without the controller to see how they feel?  Will they operate?
I'm pretty sure that I answered this question earlier in this thread (http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,24102.msg166711.html#msg166711).
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: dpendleton on April 20, 2014, 08:34:07 pm
If I have a three way swith in my house and I want to up grade it with a z- wave switch do I have to replace all switches in this application or just one?
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on April 21, 2014, 03:17:45 pm
Z-waver, You are right, thanks for the reminder. 

As I continue to design the system and select switches and get more specific about my choices.  I have decided where i want in wall scene controllers. As I look at the physical locations and how the boxes work i want to consolidate switches if possible. ( why have an automated lighting system is you still have a light switch bank of 4-5 switches)  I now have the following questions:

1. Can  you replace a slave switch for a 3 way with a scene controller by programming one button for that function?

2. Are there non-scene switches that can handle 2 or more loads directly. (dealing with downsizing boxes where possible)

Cheers!


Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: Z-Waver on April 21, 2014, 09:29:44 pm
1. Can  you replace a slave switch for a 3 way with a scene controller by programming one button for that function?
I'm not sure I understand the question. You can use a scene controller as a slave/auxillliary switch in n-way-like configurations. e.g. 1 Z-wave switch with load attached and one or more scene controllers that activate that switch.

Quote
2. Are there non-scene switches that can handle 2 or more loads directly. (dealing with downsizing boxes where possible)
The number of loads doesn't really matter to the switch. Max load wattage and safe wiring practices are what matter. But, you could connect a single Z-Wave switch to two or three strings of lights(loads) with no problem, so long as your total wattage is within specification of the switch and the wiring.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on April 22, 2014, 12:24:35 am
Z waver-  Thanks for the response.  You answered my first question perfectly.

As for my second question about loads, I wasn't clear.  I think I meant circuits.  In the interest of reducing wall clutter, I want to replace two (or more) switches that control separate circuits and still control them separately with a single unit.  Kind of like a one of the following:

http://i.pgcdn.com/pi/75/94/55/759455480_260.jpg


Any thoughts?

Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: SirMeili on April 22, 2014, 11:43:11 am
Z waver-  Thanks for the response.  You answered my first question perfectly.

As for my second question about loads, I wasn't clear.  I think I meant circuits.  In the interest of reducing wall clutter, I want to replace two (or more) switches that control separate circuits and still control them separately with a single unit.  Kind of like a one of the following:

http://i.pgcdn.com/pi/75/94/55/759455480_260.jpg


Any thoughts?

Leviton sells a 2 load scene controller. It is actually a "scene controller", but it also can control 2 loads (non-dimming). The way I actually have mine set up is as 2 switches (the scenes only turn on and off the local load for that button), but you can actually do more complex scenes with it as well.

Here is the link at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-VRCS2-MRZ-2-Button-Controller-Multi-Location/dp/B0032ZB9HI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398181354&sr=8-1&keywords=leviton+2+button+scene+controller

They have 20% off until the 26th (discount shown at checkout).
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on April 22, 2014, 05:23:26 pm
Thanks, that is helpful. 

With this train of thought I'm focused on reducing number of ganged switches.  I have two locations in particular  (4 gang -2 three way switches and 2 single pole)  that would be nice to change to a single switch box with controller that handles all of these functions. Though possible i suppose with a zone / scene controller paired with other devices (like hidden micro controllers or something) it doesn't seem practical.  So for now it seems that i will replace 1-3 way with a zone/scene controller and the others with standard z wave switches.  Leaving the physical box alone.

Once i get more comfortable with my system i will explore streamlining  the 4 gang boxes.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: BulldogLowell on April 22, 2014, 05:27:29 pm
Though possible i suppose with a zone / scene controller paired with other devices (like hidden micro controllers or something) it doesn't seem practical.

Yeah, those z wave scene controllers take up a lot of space too.  Crowding in a micro could prove a challenge.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: SirMeili on April 22, 2014, 05:39:47 pm
Thanks, that is helpful. 

With this train of thought I'm focused on reducing number of ganged switches.  I have two locations in particular  (4 gang -2 three way switches and 2 single pole)  that would be nice to change to a single switch box with controller that handles all of these functions. Though possible i suppose with a zone / scene controller paired with other devices (like hidden micro controllers or something) it doesn't seem practical.  So for now it seems that i will replace 1-3 way with a zone/scene controller and the others with standard z wave switches.  Leaving the physical box alone.

Once i get more comfortable with my system i will explore streamlining  the 4 gang boxes.

Cheers!

This may not be a realistic option for you (depending on your skill level and/or access to your wires and/or willingness to do it), but for my living room I will be adding 2-6 circuits of recessed lights. When I do this I will be putting a "join" box up in the attic where all the wires will converge. In that box I will be placing micro dimmers and only using a scene controller on the wall to control the lights. This way, later on, when/if I move, I will be able to replace the 1-gang box with an estimated 6 gang box and just run the wires from the join box down to the switches and connect them in the join box.

In most places the above is completely acceptable in regards to code as long as the join box is accessible from the attic or anywhere as long as you don't have to tear out drywall. You should of course double check your local codes first just in case.
Title: Re: Micasa and z-wave for lighting controls
Post by: catchingthezwaves on April 23, 2014, 10:06:04 am
I think I could manage something like you are suggesting, and probably will at some point.  My priority for now is to get the system running.

Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk