Mixing lighting controls, dimmer switches

I am in the planning stage, and want to select lighting controls (particularly dimmers) that look and function similarly to the Lutron Maestro (RA2 Select) as far as the user is concerned (kids, guests, etc.). I have a neutral wire, and am planning to set up both a Z-wave+ and a Zigbee mesh, probably using in-wall outlets for a lot of that. The Lutron switches will be throughout the first floor/"public" spaces, and the others will be in upper rooms, basement. I am also planning to use Picos throughout the house, though I am open to other options if any good ones exist.

Eaton has a Z-wave dimmer that looks like it would be compatible, and Leviton has both Zigbee and Z-wave dimmers that look like a good match. Can anyone suggest another option, or speak against any of these options?


Use Lutron Caseta for your dimmers and switches. They just cannot be beat. Or stick with RA2. (JMO)


A reason to consider Zigbee switches and outlets is for the Group Messaging. I was too far down the Z-wave+ path before I figured out how nice that feature is.

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If you ask me the only reason not to go Lutron Ra2 is budget. If you can get in to Lutron, then expend on it, do it, you will not be sorry. Everything else is second fiddle IMO

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GE Has some decent Zwave+ dimmers (and switches) that are pretty reliable. Though many say after a few years they give up. I have had many going on 2 years without a single issue. You can typically find switches for $30 on sale, and dimmers I have seen anywhere from $35-40 on sale. Though, I'm not sure if prices have spiked due to availability.

Innovelli stuff looks great, and they have status notification lights that change color. Good if you want status notifications placed subtly around your house. I have not used any of these personally, but the community seems to like them.

Zooz has some switches and dimmers as well. Community also seems to like them. They are probably the most affordable usually around $30-$40 regularly, or with a small sale. Again, not used these personally but have considered getting them.

That being said, I feel as most others say. If you plan to have any lutron stuff, just go full lutron. The quality seems superb, and the pico remotes are pretty nice. Sometimes I wish I would have done that back when I got into home automation, but I didn't. For whatever reason I wasn't a fan of having a second hub.

Again, I really only have experience with the GE switches, but I've been in the smart home community for a few years now, and these brands are what I have seen work well for people. I had ST for about 1.5 years, and probably had Hubitat for 6 months now.

@Gnant, that is a new concept for me. What is this Group Messaging feature of Zigbee?

That's a good point, and I'll consider using the Caseta line too. In the long run, I would in fact like to expand on the RA2 system eventually. In the short run, however, I was thinking that not confusing the users in the house would be a high priority. Therefore, I am looking for switches that have matching functionality, and at least very similar aesthetics. So, I see a switch, I know what it is, and how to operate it, without having to think about it.

It allows the hub to send a single command and affect multiple devices.

Mainly useful for turning on/off multiple lights at the same time. As opposed to zwave where you have to turn them on 1 at a time in rapid succession.

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It's basically a Multicast message. One message that can be "heard" by multiple devices, eliminating the need for multiple messages when addressing a group of devices.


Exactly as Eric pointed out. One message is broadcast for all Zigbee devices. The end result is the Zigbee devices respond in synch. When I tell Alexa my good night routine, every Zigbee device shuts down together vs Zwave devices which shutdown one at a time.

Personally once I really tweaked my motion lighting we rarely use light switches. Lights just come on when needed either by motion, time, event, lux etc. Its really nice to just not have to even think about it, the automations "just work," with very little human interaction. Occasionally I may use my GH's for something or a manual switch, but its not as normal occurrence. I have about 40 Z-Wave+ switches/dimmers throughout the house.