I'm building a new house and trying to decide between using Z-Wave or WIFI dimmers. I've used Z-Wave dimmers before but never WIFI dimmers so I can't compare. Which should I use?
Recommendation: If using Hubitat, I recommend Z-Wave on the compatible devices list for Hubitat (List of Compatible Devices - Hubitat Documentation).
When selecting WiFi components, study.
- Hubitat integration. Does the device have a official or user-developed Hubitat integration? If not, avoid.
- Cloud-required devices. Does the device require Cloud connection to work (after setup)? I try to avoid these devices for many reasons (look at the end of the Best Buy SmartDevice line and cloud).
- Compatibility. The device being compatible with Alexa is generally irrelevant. The Hubitat - Amazon integration will make it compatible.
- Reliability. Go with names you know and investigate names you do not know. Switches and plugs built-into your house are NOT as easy to replace as a smart-plug (peanut) and reliability becomes a concern.
Surge Protection. With a lot of smart devices, consider a whole-house surge protector in your house to protect the permanently installed smart devices from early failure.
Thanks for the info djgutheinz.
If you're in the USA, I would recommend that you also take a look at Lutron Caseta or Lutron RadioRA2 as possible whole home lighting solutions. Hubitat has an amazing local integration with Lutron. Lutron is an Engineering company that has been innovating in the lighting business for many years. Their ClearConnect RF protocol works amazingly well. Their SmartBridge PRO2 (Caseta) and RadioRA2 hubs offer an amazing amount of third-party integration out of the box. For example, the Lutron SmartBridge PRO2 (Caseta) supports integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Logitech Harmony, SmartThings, and more. This essentially future-proofs your home's lighting system.
Also, Lutron Pico remotes are amazing little button controllers. When integrated with Hubitat, these make great button controllers.
For new construction, I would definitely consider an entire Lutron setup. I retrofitted my entire house with Lutron Caseta and I really couldn't be more pleased.
Definitely look into Lutron Caseta over the other options. They may cost more but I have never experienced any issues whatsoever with that line of products.
I'm checking out the Lutron Caseta. If your network goes down, do the pico remotes still work?
If your Internet Service goes down, the Pico remotes will still work just fine.
However, if your home local area network goes down completely, then the Pico remotes will no longer work if the automations you define for them depend on the Hubitat Elevation hub. If the Pico remotes are being used as a 3-way switch for a Caseta Switch or Dimmer, then that will still work (i.e. Pico and Caseta switches communicate either directly or via the SmartBridge Pro2 hub.)
Agreed, Lutron Caseta is one of the few hardware investments I have made that I would do all over again 3 years later. Most devices I have installed have not aged as gracefully with long-term use.
Should I pay double for the dimmer that uses a neutral wire? I will have 100% LEDs.
Maybe? It depends on the type of LED bulbs you have. Some "buzz" much more than others, in my experience, using the Caseta dimmers without neutral wires.
Having upgraded almost every switch in my home, if I had to do it all over again, I would probably use a few more Caseta Switches, instead of Dimmers, for lights that really never need to be dimmed. This would allow for a wider range of bulb selections. The Caseta switches do require neutrals as well. In my home, there are only a few dimmers that wish I had the more expensive dimmer with the neutral. These are areas where the one dimmer controls a group of bulbs. Together, 6 LED bulbs can generate a quite audible buzzing/humming sound. I have worked around this by finding LED bulbs that buzz the least, but I can still hear it sometimes.