Looking for community advice: I’ve owned my home for 21 years and have automated and tweaked it throughout the years to combine multiple automation technologies, but using a Hubitat C5 as a central element. That home is currently undergoing a major renovation and in the process many of the Z-wave dimmers will need to be replaced due to relocation of lights, wear, and anticipated new use patterns. In addition it seems a very intriguing time for Matter while some interesting new dimmers are available.
My existing system under Hubitat includes 47 nodes, primarily Z-wave. I have also separately integrated an Abode security system, a Nest system with 4 thermostats, 4 cameras, 2 hubs, and 4 Protects, Chamberlain MyQ, and 2 Haiku automated fans. [Its a hobby]
I strongly prefer that the primary system remain local and independent of the Cloud (one reason also that I use Abode, which is able to function via cellular in the event of an internet outage).
But Matter seems intriguing and ALMSOT there. Clearly the choices for accessories are limited.
But, I need to supply a bunch of new dimmer and switches to my contractor in the next week or so and I’m torn whether to attempt some of the WiFI matter-compatible switches, pivot to Zigbee, or simply supply new Z-wave plus (700 or 800 series) dimmers. Obviously I am due for a C5 to C8 upgrade but have been holding off to see what will develop.
Looking for thoughts on the best way forward and keep my options open and best dimmer options? Currently I have a mixture of generations and brands, but Zooz and GE/Jaso/Enbrighten feature heavily. I won’t say cost is not a factor, but in light of the sunk cost on a major reno, the cost of 30 dimmers or so is unlikely to be the primary decision factor.
Don't look past Lutron dimmers. They require a Lutron Pro hub, but it is all local and talks to Hubitat via telnet. They use a proprietary wireless technology that is nearly bulletproof (discounting the weirdness I had earlier this week that I'm blaming on the "magnetic storm"). You can then use Pico remotes to use as 3-way switch or for any other automations. Batteries last years (~10 I would say, I've never replaced one yet, and I've had them ever since the Wink days.)
Thanks. I looked at Caseta dimmers and haven’t completely ruled out, but my long history of home automation begin with a dealer installed RadioRA (first version) system that cost me thousands of dollars for a 8 dimmers. LOng story short it was a painful and expensive experience. I realize I should probably forgive and forget, but memories in this case haven’t completely faded …
I'd suggest RadioRA 2. You'll need to get a main repeater probably from eBay. The dimmers themselves are available new as they remain part of the RadioRA 3 product line. Get bids, you won't pay MSRP. Also suggest using seeTouch keypads especially at entrances and other key points.
I've not used them, but Inovelli has Thread/Matter dimmers now. Hubitat has Matter in beta, you can join the group to test it out. Though I don't know if there are drivers for these dimmers yet.
That is how I would describe it. Things like if you want to update firmware, you must pair the device to the manufacturer app are annoying. You also lack features like scenes when you use Matter devices not on their native app/hub, at least at the time being.
Also like I predicted, Matter based apps can detect a Matter device even if you didn't pair it with a particular app or ask to discover apps. My Tapo device did this, not paired to the Tapo app, only with Alexa and Hubitat yet when I opened the Tapo app it asked me if I wanted to join that device. This makes me question the privacy aspect of things... Is it really local if every app is aware of another, and you have to use something like Alexa or Google to commission the device in the first place???
Choices for Matter devices are VERY limited right now, accessories are pretty much non-existent. No button devices, one motion sensor, etc. It is mostly RGB bulbs at the moment. I think it will be another year or two before you could build a decent household of devices.
This is what I would do. Zooz has some good switches and dimmers for a fantastic price. They often run sales, and I think they still do contractor packs if you are doing a lot of switches/dimmers.
I don't like Jasco/GE/Enbrighten as much as other brands, you seem to pay more for less features and worse support.
I would also consider Inovelli, they make some very nice devices, but the availability is spotty. (but getting better?) I would be sure to buy what you need and a few spares just in case they aren't available next week, month, or whenever. That said, people seem pleased with their products and support.
If you want Matter, you will need a C8. That is the only hub (at this time) that is getting Matter support. The 800 series Z-wave and newer Zigbee chipset are also something to consider. You might even keep the C5 for picky/older Zigbee devices or even cloud based devices. Things seem to run better if you segregate certain things to a separate hub.
Thanks again, Neonturbo. Curious if you have experience with the Inovelli Red (VZW31-SN) and companion AUX01 for conventional 3-way installations. This seems like a very strong option, considering functionality and 800 series chip, presuming availability.