Best in wall Zigbee switches?

I'm looking to add about 10 inwall switches, mostly on/off but a couple dimming. Which ones have you had the best luck with, or what features should I be looking for?

I found these GE switches on Amazon, but they are quite expencive.
https://www.amazon.com/GE-Lighting-Compatible-Monitoring-45856GE/dp/B019HTH2A0/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=zigbee+switch&qid=1579213313&s=hi&sr=1-3

I also saw these, but I don't understand what they mean by "not standalone".
https://www.amazon.com/GE-Bluetooth-Wireless-STANDALONE-12723/dp/B00RKJS8MQ/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=zigbee+switch&qid=1579213337&refinements=p_n_feature_fourteen_browse-bin%3A6652766011&rnid=6652763011&s=hi&sr=1-6

--Christian

The second one is an add-on - such as for a three-way switching situation.

I see, thank you Eric, that now makes sense!

Is there a Zigbee switch that's recommended?

Is there a cheaper alternative to the $40 GE switch?

--Christian

There are not many Zigbee in-wall devices. Zigbee is more popular for bulbs, sensors and button devices. z-wave is more popular for in-wall dimmers/switches.

Ryan, do recommend I use Z-Wave wall switches then?

Is there a Z-Wave switch you recommend?

--Christian

Somebody's going to say "Caseta!" so we might as well get that out of the way. Me, I like the Jasco (GE/Honeywell). But first some questions ..

  1. Do you have access to neutral in your switch box?
  2. Do you care about the color of the switch, or does basic white work?
  3. In a 3-way or 4-way scenario, do you want to be able to dim at all locations?
  4. Are you very cost sensitive, or just moderately so?

Answering those filtering questions will narrow the field of Z-Wave switches down considerably.

1 Like

1- Yes most of the boxes have a neutral, but not all
2- Not really, White will work if that is the only option
3- I do not need to be able to dim at all locations
4- I obviously would prefer to spend as little as possible, but this is an investment in to my home, so I am willing to spend what is necessary

--Christian

I'd be 100% zigbee if I could. I have a couple Z-wave devices that have no Zigbee equivalent (doorbell, siren). So, in general I don't recommend Z-wave devices. But that's just personal preference. Some people swear by z-wave and hate zigbee. :man_shrugging: No one is going to give you "the answer". I would say take a look at what you're thinking about and search for the device here on the forum and on the ST forum. That will give you an idea if folks think that device is trouble or not. Beyond that, try one out. You probably won't pick the perfect device the first time. But also, your idea of what is perfect might change too. Just gotta roll with it (and set aside some extra cash). LOL

2 Likes

I would be a little cautious of considering this an investment. Unless you are installing a professionally managed system like Control4, you most likely will be told by any real estate agent to rip out all DIY SmartHome stuff before selling. New buyers are either going to want to use their smart home stuff (if they have any) or won't have any idea what to do with it and will be scared away by it. Not many people would be willing to pay more for a partial DIY system in a house, especially if they don't know how to use it.

Certainly agree with @Ryan780, this is not going to increase the value of your home, most consumers aren't shopping for it when buying a home and it's a very custom experience. Instead will become a place where your money disappears.

I sold a house recently, in which I had installed automation. It had no affect on the sales price, nor were any buyers at all interested in it.

3 Likes

Ditto what Ryan said.

This is what I use
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019HTH2A0/

2 Likes

Some switches are available only in white, so if your flexible there you have lots of options. Look at Zooz and Innovelli. Zooz has their switch on sale for $23.95 now, which is a good deal. One of those two has a new switch with quite a few optional color choices.

If you want a deal you can get an Amazon warehouse Jasco/GE dimmer switch right now on Amazon for $21.27. That's first gen (first gen of the Z-Wave Plus; there was an earlier Z-Wave) but that's what I have about 30 of, and they work well for me. They come with light almond and white paddles.

The Amazon warehouse deal saves you money, but there's like a 1 in 3 chance that what you get will be missing screws or not even a smart switch at all .. I once got a Leviton dimmer with a dial. But Amazon will make it good.

Re Z-Wave vs. Zigbee, there's probably a ton of debate already written about that, so not much more is needed. My personal preference is Z-Wave+ for wired devices, and Zigbee for battery devices, especially where speed is needed (i.e. motion). They each have their advantages. I don't think either one is bad.

1 Like

Available color overlays for paddle switches was one reason I went Ge/Jasco. My house uses ivory devices.

I see the merits in both .. And since there are devices unique to both protocols, I try to maintain a strong mesh in both protocols ... Repeaters for both protocols in every room

I'm in this same boat, and have a mixture of zigbee and z-wave. While I have had to splurge a bit on repeaters, I prefer that and having the flexibility of picking the 'best products' people are recommending v.s. having to make trade-offs between the two standards.

But to each their own.

For in-wall switches I went the Lutron route (even though I had to buy their pro hub) because of a few things;

  1. They seem to do the best for old houses that don't have neutrals like mine.
  2. They "just work" really really well
  3. I like how the dimmer/switchers look
  4. The pico's are magical controllers for various reasons (put them up as a wall switch, or next to your bed or couch as a normal control).
2 Likes

Expensive on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-DL15S-1BZ-Decora-Lumina-Switch/dp/B07BK9RLBW/

I got one cheap on eBay. Only issue is when the bathroom fan get turned on and off fast, it goes into lockout mode. Doesn't usally happen from automatons since the fan is on for a long peroid.

That is a high capacity device though, that is rated for 15 amps. So, the device is ZHA 1.2 complaint? I don't see that mentioned in the listing. Are you able to get energy usage data from it as well?

That doesn't answer any of the questions I asked. But thanks.

This is my preference as well. Although it makes it harder to create a strong mesh for zigbee, a few repeaters will do that for you.