Issues with Inovelli Red Dimmer Controlling Leviton Plug-In Dimmer

Alright, in my recent introductory post, I warned of a series of stupid questions, and here is the first one!

For complicated reasons, I need/want a dimmer switch to control/dim a lamp on another circuit (lamp was previously on a switched receptacle prior to room re-arrangement...extension cord is a no-go). So, my wife wants a 'normal' switch to control the lamp, and a smart bulb is a no-go AFAIK as I need a pretty bright bulb. We also want dimming capability going forward if possible. So, I'm attempting to achieve this goal via an Inovelli Red Dimmer (with no direct load) controlling a Leviton DZPD3-2BW plug-in dimmer on another circuit via z-wave association. Inovelli tech support has indicated that this should work, though they obviously can't guarantee anything as they haven't validated this configuration themselves.

So, I set the 2 devices up in hubitat and used the inovelli z-wave association tool to create groups 2 and 4 associations for on/off and dimming control. On/off control from the switch works splendidly. Dimming is really weird. I need to hold hold the dimmer paddle on the switch until the LED indicator shows that dimming should be complete. Only then does the lamp START dimming, as long as I continue to hold down the switch paddle. Once dimming finally begins, the dim rate is almost imperceptibly slow - like at least 30 seconds from start to finish. If I stop holding down the switch dimmer paddle, dimming stops immediately (or at least appears to...hard to tell with the sloooow dimming rate). Same situation when increasing the brightness. If I dim the using the plug-in dimmer controls directly in hubitat, it works just fine. Issue is only when trying to dim from the switch.

So, to resolve, I've ensured that I have the latest Inovelli non-beta firmware (1.48, I believe) and the correct driver for the red dimmer. The plug-in dimmer is a little trickier as there's no specific driver. I've seen from prior threads in this community that the DZPD3-2BW should work with the DZ6HD driver. I've also tried the generic zwave dimmer driver - no difference. I've mucked around with the dimming and ramp rates in the Inovelli settings, none of which seem to have any impact. There isn't too much to change on the plug-in dimmer side, though as mentioned earlier, I can control the plug-in dimmer just fine directly from Hubitat.

So, that is my situation. Have I missed something obvious? Was this a dumb idea to begin with? I know I can control the dimming with scene control on the switch, but was hoping to avoid this...again, meeting the stipulation from my wife of a 'normal' functioning switch. Do either/both of these devices need to be the first items in my home automation pile of shame? Any suggestions or troubleshooting tips would be appreciated!

Dang, I hope not lol!

Let's see if I can help. If not, maybe @ericm can chime in.

First, can you confirm you have a Leviton dimming plug? The title says Lutron whereas in the body it says Leviton. Only reason I'm being picky is bc Leviton is Z-Wave whereas Lutron is proprietary, so if you do have a Lutron, that would explain why it wouldn't work.

However, let's back up as well so I can make sure I have your setup correct in my head.

I have a couple questions if you don't mind:

  • What does the Red Series Dimmer control at the load side? In other words, you mentioned the plug is on a separate circuit -- what load is connected to the dimmer circuit (if any)?

Here's where I'm going to need some help from the community.

This is the manual for the Leviton plug and I'm not seeing any Association Groups for Dimming, but I also am not a coder, so who knows, they could be in there:

image

If I'm understanding the above correctly, it would state that there is only one group, which may explain why your On/Off Association works great (although, I don't understand how if you set Group 2, it's working as it's Group 1 in Leviton -- but again, above my pay-grade lol)

Let's start here for now and hope that others can jump in to confirm if there is/isn't a separate Group on the Leviton for dimming.

Also, if you could answer my question around the load on your dimmer switch, that would be helpful as there may be a way outside of associations we can accomplish what you want, but it will depend on if you're controlling anything outside the Leviton or not.

What is happening on the switch side of things is when you hold the up button the dimmer is sending a "start_level_change(up)" to the other device and a "stop_level_change" when the button is released. So it is a very simple process from the Inovelli side. What the Leviton does when it receives those commands is kind of up to it. Well, it depends on how closely they tested those commands and if they tried to make them consistent with other Z-Wave devices. If they have one of these at my Home Depot I might grab one to test, but it seems as though the Leviton is not doing what it is supposed to when it receives the above commands.

:astonished: shock and amazement ...

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Hey Eric,

First off, WOW - this is fantastic customer support. I appreciate it, and things like this certainly drive my decision to support one brand vs. another. Also rest assured that the Inovelli dimmer won’t end up in the pile of shame…at worst I’ll use it for another switch dimming a direct load.

To answer your questions:

  • the brand is in fact Leviton - the DZPD3-2BW model. I don’t know why I said Lutron.
  • the Red Series Dimmer has NO load on it - only line and neutral. It’s sole purpose will be to control (and hopefully dim) the lamp on the plug-in dimmer.

That’s disappointing if the Leviton doesn’t support dimming through direct association. I feel a bit silly for assuming it would, but lesson learned I guess.

In any case, I really appreciate your response and any suggestions you might have.

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Awesome - thanks for the response. I feel like I’m learning a lesson the hard way. At least it was only a $40 lesson for the Leviton product (which I’ll probably figure out a use for regardless). If the current configuration doesn’t pan out, any alternative suggestions would certainly be welcome!

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:rofl:

I corrected the title...

Thank you!

Thanks so much everyone for the advice; I'm now slightly better informed about ZWave Association Groups. I've done some research, and it appears all the plug-in dimmers on the market (mostly Jasco-manufactured...GE/Honeywell, etc), have the same limited zwave association groups ( just group 1).

So, my new ask - does anyone have any alternative solutions to my predicament?

Not sure of an alternative, but I did test the Leviton module. I checked the packets and the Inovelli dimmer is doing what it is supposed to but the Leviton is not responding correctly to the start_level_change.

Hey Thanks Eric, I really appreciate you looking into and testing this. There's definitely some level change funkiness on the Leviton side. After giving up on direct association, I attempted to set up dimming capability via scenes in Rule Machine. I can get on/off capability working fine, and I can actually get the lamp to start dimming via holding/pushing. I can't get it to stop dimming (either up or down) though; I've cycled through all the potential built-in drivers for the plug as one as a community developed one I found.

Before I resign myself to the fact that I've bought a dimmer plug that I can only use for on/off functions (unless I control directly from the dashboard, defeating the purpose of the switch), do you have any final tips or tricks I could try?

I can't think of any thing unless there is a firmware update for the Leviton. You could also try group 3 instead of group 2 & 4. The Leviton won't change its level until you release the button on the Inovelli, but maybe that will work for you.

Thanks Eric, I appreciate your insights. Boo Leviton!

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Did you mean to reply to me? Sorry, I'm confused at the ask :frowning:

Well that was a mistake but sure.
When you get the message from Hubitat, what specific message do you send to the DZPD3?

Lol, it's ok -- let me tag the other Eric bc I'm not sure.

@ericm

The DZPD3 can receive and respond to direct association messages.

I will say that the Leviton DZ series was made prior to a patent expiring that kept devices from sending out reports on a local button press.
They got around it by sending out a HAIL instead so that controllers wouldn't have to simply poll all the time.

Can you check to see how it responds to multilevel start and stop?

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It worked and the levels actually changed.

I tried to upload the zniffer file but it wouldn't let me.

Download the Hubitat app