Favorite Switches 2023

I have some first gen zwave switches (zooz/inovelli) that have begun to fail or get a little flaky (eg automations occasionally fail). Figure it may be worth to replace since moving to the c8 hub.

Looking at new switches aiming out in 2023, what would or are your purchasing? Zwave or zigbee? Anything sub $35 a switch? Also looking for a smaller footprint inside crowded double/triple gang boxes.

I’m a fan of inovelli, but their price point has gotten pretty high.

First, I'd look at what is really causing your failure. If it's a problem related you your Z-Wave network in general (e.g., lots of traffic from S0 or power reporting devices, or some device with misbehaving firmware), it may not be these devices and could persist even if you replace them or move to an existing hub. I'd look into that first. If you aren't sure how, I'd start by sharing more information about what you mean when automation "fails," and someone can probably help you out. It's important to note the difference between an app not sending a command and a driver sending a command but the device not responding, among other places a breakdown could happen.

That being said, going back to the original question: if you want under $35 these days, you'll probably have to look at Zooz, at least among major brand names. You might be able to find GE/Jasco for under that price point, but there are multiple generations of these, and I'd be sure that whatever you're getting is not so old as to be 300-series (at least). I can also find a few less-common brands with a probably basic feature set (Ultra Pro?) in this range as well, but some people prefer support, firmware updates, etc., that normally come with a major brand name.

If you don't mind paying a bit more, Inovelli is one contender, as you note. They are what I'd use because I've gotten used to using the LED bar for "status" (e.g., hub mode--it changes color) and "notifications" (e.g., blinking when a door is left open). And because they come in both Zigbee and Z-Wave flavors, I can put a few of each around my house and get a solid backbone for both mesh networks. So, that's what I'd do--or have done, really. (You might be able to find used "gen 2"/500-series Red devices on the secondary market if you don't mind that, as there are people like me who ripped out most of theirs to replace them with the new 800-series models.) If you're getting a lot, keep in mind they have 5- and 10-packs for a (slight) discount compared to single devices, though as you've noted, they no longer offer the cheaper, less-featured "Black Series" devices.

Or there's the original multi-tapper, HomeSeer. However, until recently, I've found their products overpriced for what they do. They do occasionally go on sale (their HS-WX300+ is now $49 instead of $59 USD, somewhat surprising given that a HomeSeer "sale" normally means $58), and they've added some features (finally, disabling local control if you use smart bulbs!), so it's not as true as it was. But I still prefer the Inovelli-style LED bar, and if you want Zigbee too (or to match other devices), they are all Z-Wave.

I'll ignore Lutron since they aren't cheap (except Picos) and require an initial bridge or main repeater investment, but they have a rock-solid reputation if you're open to other options, too. :slight_smile:

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I’ve place a pre-order for their mmWave dimmers. I’ll be getting half in Blue (Zigbee) and the other half in Red (Z-Wave) as they will also act as repeaters for each.

This will allow me to remove a bunch of motion sensors. Really looking forward to getting them!

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I have a bunch (20+) of Inovelli Red Dimmers and have found 2 diiferent issues happen from time to time. Sometimes several/all automations fail. E.g. I push the “favorites/config” button, which goes to a simple rule to turn on the light to a low level doesn’t work, or a switch not attached directly to a light doesn’t work, or it can take 20-30 seconds for a rule to run, if it runs at all. The other instance is where this happens to just once switch.

If it is the first instance, I gracefully shut down Hubitat, and once done, unplug it (from the wall, not the hub) for about 5-10 minutes, then power back on.

If it is only one device (which happened to me just a few days ago) I pull out the little breaker tab in the lower left corner for a minute and then push it back in. You should see a green light flash by telling you that you have a good connection to the hub. I use the tip of a little metal nail file to pull out the tab. Sometimes that doesn’t work. If not, then my next step is to throw the breaker that switch is attached to and leave it off for a minute or 2 before turning the breaker back on.

I’ve had my red dimmers for about 2 1/2 years and while it is frustrating that this happens time to time, one of those methods has restored the system health for weeks, if not months, at a time. I’d try that first.

While it is frustrating, I tell myself both the hub and switches are computers. How many times have you had to reboot your computer or smartphone, etc.? In fact, I believe the first rule of fixing a crash or lock up is to reboot.

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I have some rules that run on the switches, for example sunset rules where certain switches turn on each day. Two zooz (I think) are in the same box, one fails to turn on let’s call it 20% of the time. I’ll set logging on to see.

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