Can someone recommend some good Z-Wave bulbs? RGBW would be nice, adjustable color temp would be nice too.
That's a tough one... I have used Inovelli's in the past. Had some difficulty with them but it was likely other issues. The restore last state is a nice feature.
You absolutely must make sure you don't cut the power to these as it will mess with your mesh. Also you'll possibly need to update the firmware as well.
None? They all seem to have quirks, and Z-Wave itself seems to be somewhat chatty for this kind of application. But some do use these and seem to not have problems. I'm assuming you have reasons for choosing Z-Wave over Zigbee or Wi-Fi? (Most Zigbee bulbs are supported, though it's not always a good idea to pair them directly to a hub; a few Wi-Fi brands/models are supported, including the recent additions of LIFX and WiZ support.)
There also aren't a lot on the market, especially RGBW. Inovelli, above, is the only one I can think of that is still in stock anywhere. Aeon had one (looks like maybe two?), but I can't find it anywhere anymore, and the one I used (probably older) was pretty dim for my uses.
So...I guess, Inovelli by default? If you have a C-7 hub, make sure you manage to pair them without S0 (assuming you don't have a reason to do it otherwise, like needing matching security for an associated device). A firmware update for them added an inclusion method you can use to bypass this, though it's still a bit tricky, and you'll need to add them to Hubitat (or at least some controller) first to be able to do that at all.
I have two slightly used Inovellis if you are interested. LZW-42
Thanks for the reply. A lot of what you said is a bit over my head regarding the S0 stuff as I am new to Z-Wave. I do have a C-7 hub.
If its not a good idea to pair zigbee directly to my hub, what is the alternative? And why is this not a good idea? The zigbee lights seem way more prevalent online compared to Z-Wave.
This document has an explanation:
In general, many Zigbee bulb are poor repeaters and may cause problems for that reason. Alternatives include using a Hue Bridge (Hubitat has a built-in integration and at least two community options) or a second hub (they seem to repeat fine for themselves; the problem is mixing with other devices like sensors).
If you don't have your heart set on Z-Wave, I might suggest other options like these instead. But Z-Wave can certainly work too! There just aren't many options, and the most easily available is best used with some care that people here would be happy to help with if needed.
Without going into a ton of detail, zigbee bulbs try to be repeaters, and they are not good repeaters. On a zigbee network of all bulbs this isn't really an issue. On a zigbee network of mixed devices it is. The other big issue with bulbs as repeaters is bulbs are usually in fixtures that have an off switch that cuts power to the bulb. A bulb with no power makes an even worse repeater!
I try to avoid bulbs wherever possible but obviously if your goal is RGBW then you need a smart bulb. Where I do use them I either hide the switch away so it can't be accessed or I cover it with any one of several styles of switch covers.
My personal preference is the Hue hub and Hue bulbs. There are lots of varieties, they are generally flawless, they reset to the right condition after a power failure, and the HE<>Hue integrations (both out-of-the-box and community supported) are excellent.
If you don't like the cost of Hue bulbs you can always get a second HE and use it just for bulbs. But Hue works really well so...
I recently went through this same lighting discovery process. I've had a primarily z-wave smart network for a while, but hadn't been interested in tackling lighting. Previously, a few companies were making z-wave bulbs including the aforementioned Inovelli, as well as Aeotec, Sengled, and Jasco. It seems that the reason Z-Wave bulbs are largely unavailable today has to do with the cost of production and the pandemic shaking up the supply chain. Inovelli's founder discusses the issue here:
Zigbee radios are just a lot cheaper and you don't have to certify your products when you produce them. It's really too bad, as Z-Wave is an objectively superior technology for it's use. I know that's a controversial statement here where lots of people have invested a lot of money into Zigbee, but it's also objectively true. They like to say "it depends on your use case" which wireless technology will work for you, but the truth is that z-wave will work in all use cases while Zigbee is far more limited. Live in an apartment where there is lots of 2.4Ghz congestion? Zigbee probably isn't for you. Thick walls? Nope. Big house? Either replace all of your flawless z-wave light switch with Zigbee repeaters or get used to wall-wort repeaters all over the house.
Since beginning my lighting journey, I've tried many of the Wifi and Zigbee bulbs available. I've settled on a combination of Sengled Zigbee bulbs and Philips Hue, but it has been a painful experience. Firstly, even though Zigbee radios are cheaper, you really do have to build out a strong mesh just to get it to work. That is not a good solution for a smart network and the cost savings quickly erode. My Sengled bulbs are constantly dropping commands and it's infuriating. Despite other's experience, the Philip's Hue integration has also failed me. I'm only using a single Hue bulb with the Hue Bridge, and I've already had to delete the bulb and integration twice after is has stopped working. That means going back through all of my broken automations and manually re-adding bulbs.
I am trying my hardest to avoid extending my smart network into Wifi, but honestly, the Kasa and Cree bulbs worked quite well if that's what you like.
Notes on bulbs:
- Hue bulbs dim much lower than other bulbs and have a smooth transition from color to white. Unfortunately, they are slightly underpowered and seem to direct more light up than out when I measured their light output.
-Sengled Zigbee bulbs do get brighter than Hue, but they seem to have much shorter wireless range and I haven't found a way to get them to transition smoothly from color to white. Also, each of my Sengled bulbs is a slightly different temperature of white when they are set to the exact same Kelvin. Not a huge deal unless they are close enough together to tell, which was my situation.
It seems as though all non-wifi smart bulbs are being phased out with the exception of Sengled and Hue. I did a search trying to find more Ecosmart bulbs (which have worked flawlessly for me since day 1), and they have all been replaced with wifi versions. A broader search of smart bulbs doesn't find me much else than Sengled and Hue or Wifi.
So, I am intensely impressed with the knowledgeable folks that just recently posted, esp @bertabcd1234 ,who has personally helped me a few times before.
However, since I have not recently been keeping up with the z-wace LED bulb topic, I had NO idea z-wave bulbs were becoming non-existant.
That is awful!!!!
I actually just started to want 2 purchase new z-wave bulbs.
This is a bad surprise, & just an unwelcome ipset!
I was looking for a Zwave RGB bulb and discovered pretty much ABUS are the only ones making Zwave bulbs:
I know you specified Z-Wave but... Kasa WiFi bulbs are really cost effective and the native Kasa Integration works great. I have a lot of them and am really happy with them.
Do they have an RGBW model? The ones linked to is fixed white (2700 K).
Innr makes zigbee 3.0 bulbs that work well -- they can added either to Hue or directly to Hubitat.
Do they cause mesh issues like the Sengled?
Sengleds do not "cause" mesh issues - they just do not repeat so you need to include additional repeaters as necessary.. I have 8 sengled recessed bulbs + 2 sengled normal bulbs (in table lamps) in our den. Have been working perfectly with HE for years.
The advantage to not repeating is you could theoretically use a normal light switch.. I have a Zooz switch in smartbulb mode tho.
Yes RGB here:
True, but I hate them for it and they do weird things when transitioning across a large CT range that I don’t see with Hue or Sylvania bulbs. Newer Zigbee bulbs are fine as long as they don’t get powered off.
Interesting! I'm unable to find them in the US or with North American Z-Wave frequencies (where I assume the OP lives), which I guess is not surprising with a European manufacturer, but it's good to know there are options out there!
Yeah, I originally did that as an in-home demo for client purposes and Sengled was the best thing going back then.. turns out having your den lights change colors isn't all that useful beyond the initial "wow" factor. The lights are pretty much set to soft-white all the time now.