Smart Home Automation News

PulseWorx UPStart 8.3 build 27 now available

The UPB Configuration tool UPStart has been updated with important bug fixes and improvements.

As UPStart is a Windows program, we try and stay on top of any changes that Microsoft makes to Windows to ensure that UPStart continues to work reliability on Windows 10 and Windows 11. Recently we became aware of a potential issue that we needed to correct. Because of this, PCS suggests you to update UPStart to this latest build soon

In addition to the changes for correct operation with the latest Windows, several improvements are also in this build:

A new Online Resources tab to let you quickly access the most common online documentation
Improved error messages – less engineering and more what you need to know
A better way to view and modify the PulseWorx Gateway Apps labeling for devices

More release notes:
Version 8.3 Build 27

1. Improved the error message when connecting to the Gateway and it fails due to
and incorrect username or password.

2. UPStart allows a label different from the device name when displayed by a
mobile application. This provides a way for the name used by an installer
to be replaced by a more user-friendly name when seen on a mobile device.

Some users didn't realize this and changed the device name and then didn't
see that change reflected in the mobile application.

To make it more obvious that these two names can be separate, on the ID
tab of the device properties, the remote access name is now also shown.

3. Changed the button names in the PulseWorx Gateway ribbon category
to hopefully be clearer in their function.

4. Improved error messages throughtout the product.

5. Improved the PulseWorx Gateway schedule verify tool.

5. Added an Online Resources ribbon category.

Z-Wave Alliance Announces Z-Wave Source Code Project is Complete, Now Open and Widely Available to Members

With all the announcements about Matter, I was pleasantly surprised learning the Z-Wave Alliance is doubling down on its efforts to stay competitive. The announcement discusses a serious effort about running the Z-Wave stack on 3rd party hardware, while still maintaining certification efforts to guarantee compatibility.

Beaverton, OR – December 14, 2022 – The Z-Wave Alliance, the Standards Development Organization (SDO) dedicated to advancing the smart home and Z-Wave® technology, today announced the completion of the Z-Wave Source Code project, which has been published and made available on GitHub to Alliance members.

The Z-Wave Source Code Project opens development of Z-Wave and enables members to contribute code to shape the future of the protocol under the supervision of the new OS Work Group (OSWG).

The goal of the project is to provide a rich development environment that contains the relevant source code and sample applications to those seeking to play a direct role in the advancement of the Z-Wave standard. The quality and interoperability of products utilizing Z-Wave Source Code will also be enforced by a new mandatory Silicon & Stack Certification program. Full Z-Wave certification will continue to test and certify for Z-Wave S2 security, network connectivity, range, battery life, and interoperability including backwards and forwards compatibility.

“The Z-Wave Alliance is deeply committed to the global smart home market,” said Mitch Klein, Executive Director of the Z-Wave Alliance. “This year the smart home conversations have focused largely on Matter. Shiny and new, and with big brands supporting the initiative, Matter is bringing a lot of attention to the smart home. This makes it easy to overlook Z-Wave as the most established, trusted, and secure smart home protocol, that also happens to have the largest certified interoperable ecosystem in the market. We firmly expect that Z-Wave will play a key role in connecting devices and delivering the experience users really want.”

As the Alliance worked to complete the Source Code project, Z-Wave experienced impressive growth achieving milestones such as the availability of Z-Wave Long Range (LR) certification, surpassing 4100 certified Z-Wave devices in the market, and seeing 90 million new Z-Wave devices enter the market since 2020.

In 2020, when Z-Wave Alliance announced that Silicon Labs was contributing the Z-Wave code to the organization, the Alliance was re-incorporated as an independently run, member-driven non-profit SDO. Over the past 20 months, technical working groups specific to features such as the physical layer working group (mac/PHY), networking layer working group, application layer working group (command class specification), and security working group have collaborated to complete the Z-Wave Source Code project.

Executed in beta testing and shared with members at the Z-Wave Member Summit, Exegin Technologies completed the porting of Z-Wave Source Code to third-party silicon. The operation is outlined in a blog on the Z-Wave Alliance website. The proof-of-concept network demonstrates how the Z-Wave Source Code package will provide developers and manufacturers with flexible implementations from controller (hub/bridge) to end devices. Further extrapolated, the implementation could be for both new controllers, such as Z-Wave/Matter compatible bridges, and for Z-Wave or Z-Wave/Matter end devices.

Silicon Labs, one of the primary code contributors to both Matter and Z-Wave, has developed a multi-protocol software development kit, the Unify SDK, for Matter-based hubs and bridges. The software tool provides for interoperability between the different wireless IoT protocols, including Z-Wave and Matter. The Unify SDK offers a how-to kit for manufacturers and developers to connect both new and legacy Z-Wave devices with new Matter devices.

“This is going to be an incredible year for the smart home industry and an exciting time for verticals we see growing including MDU, hospitality, energy, and insurance,” concluded Klein. “As an SDO, membership is the key to the future of Z-Wave technology. With a new BoD led by Amazon’s Jonathan Adams and John Osborne II who chaired Project CHIP, the industry will start to recognize and embrace all the shiny parts of Z-Wave.”

For more information on joining the Z-Wave Alliance, please visit

Follow the Z-Wave Alliance on Facebook, Twitter and on LinkedIn for the latest updates.

About the Z-Wave Alliance

The Z-Wave Alliance is a standards development organization dedicated to developing and advancing Z-Wave® technology as an open and internationally recognized ITU standard (G.9959) for smart home and IoT solutions. Alliance members lead the home controls market, providing leading edge products and systems that deliver increased comfort, convenience, energy conservation, safety, and security.

Z-Wave® is a registered trademark of the Z-Wave Alliance.

Hat tip to @NormandyHA who first mentioned this announcement.


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Lutron Introduces the Diva Smart Dimmer and Claro Smart Switch

Lutron has announced a new dimmer switch with a more traditional look. It also announced a new smart switch, both part of the Caséta family. See the press release below for more info.

Coopersburg, PA (Monday, September 12, 2022) – Today, Lutron Electronics, the trusted leader in lighting control and automated shading solutions, is introducing the Diva smart dimmer and the Claro smart switch to its Caséta portfolio. The Diva smart dimmer combines the distinctive look and simple user experience of the DIVA design with the Caséta portfolio, the industry’s most connected smart lighting control system.

“Lutron’s Diva dimmer has been a favorite of homeowners and electrical professionals for over 30 years,” said Matt Swatsky, Vice-President, Residential Connected Home Business at Lutron. “We are excited to give our customers a new product that uses the DIVA design, wires virtually the same, and has the same quality that they have come to expect with the original Diva dimmer, but now, has a wireless option and connects to their smart home”.

(Pictured Diva smart dimmer (left) and Claro smart switch (right))

(Pictured Diva smart dimmer (left) and Claro smart switch (right))

The Diva smart dimmer offers simplicity, style, and customization.
This new product gives electrical professionals and homeowners another option to deliver the best lighting experience while complementing the existing paddle switches already in the home. The intuitive paddle design adds precise dimming control with a soft-glow light bar and preset functionality to set the perfect mood.

The Diva smart dimmer adds flexibility to complete any job.
Like the original Diva dimmer, the new Diva smart dimmer works with the home’s existing wiring and doesn’t require a neutral wire. Added wireless connectivity offers electrical professionals and homeowners the ability to add a second “switch” almost anywhere by simply pairing the Diva smart dimmer with a Pico smart remote- saving time and money without running wires or cutting holes in walls. The Diva smart dimmer also offers additional flexibility. It can be installed in a wired 3-way application using either an existing mechanical switch or wired accessory switch.

Diva smart dimmer

Add the Lutron Smart Hub to unlock control, comfort, and peace of mind
As with all Caséta products, homeowners can use the Lutron smart hub to unlock powerful smart features. Easily create customized scenes and schedules, like “Welcome Home” to ensure family members always return at sunset to a well-lit house; and “Movie time” that dims multiple lights and even closes the shades with a single button press to set the scene.

Caséta smart lighting controls provide flexibility and control beyond the wall switch, so you can set and manage your lights from virtually anywhere using the wireless remote, app, or even your voice. The Smart Hub uses its own ultra-fast, reliable network that doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi – so your lights and custom schedules will still work, even if your Wi-Fi goes down.

The Diva smart dimmer and the Claro smart switch will be available starting September 12, 2022 on as well as at select Home Depot stores and Electrical Distributors.

Electrical Professionals can learn more here

Homeowners can learn more here

About Lutron Electronics (
Founded in 1961, Lutron Electronics is headquartered in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. From dimmers for the home, to lighting management systems for entire buildings, the company offers more than 15,000 energy-saving products, sold in more than 100 countries. In the US alone, Lutron products save an estimated 10 billion kWh of electricity, or approximately $1 billion in utility costs per year. The company’s early inventions – including the first solid-state electronic dimmer invented by Lutron’s founder, Joel Spira – are now at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

PCS confirms commitment to UPB in HAI environment

I know there has been some talk about UPB/HAI recently, so I thought I'd share this newsletter PCS just sent out.

PCS is continues to provide UPB products and support HAI UPB lighting control devices. PCS makes all the UPB products necessary for any OMNI installation and used to manufacture the HAI/Leviton versions of the PCS SPR and TPR repeaters, wall switch dimmers, and the new modern looking keypads.
To help the OMNI installers maintain their existing installations we have the following suggestions...
1. It has always been possible to use PulseWorx products with the OMNI. It has always been a simple matter to use PulseWorx devices with the OMNI and we have several technical notes on this: #200, #201, #202, and #203.

2. If you have an installation that uses UPB devices in HLC mode, a tool that modifies a PulseWorx device in a way that allows the OMNI software to recognize it and program it in HLC mode. HAIme - it is free for download from here.

3. UPB devices have many more capabilities than the OMNI exposed. We are continuing to provide technical notes, and improvements to UPStart - the UPB configuration program (Software download page).

4. We have an online web-store for purchasing PulseWorx devices and HAI compatible devices. This gives you a quick way to get the products you need. It's available 24/7, and for orders placed during working hours, shipment is typically made the same day or next business day.
PCS continues to support for HAI compatible UPB devices

VoiceUPB Bridge

According to the latest PCS newsletter, the company behind VoiceUPB Bridge is looking for beta testers for the latest version of their product.

For several years one of the companies that PCS works with has fielded a product called the “Voice UPB Bridge”. A new version of their product has been developed and passed alpha testing. They are currently looking for beta sites to try the new solution.

If you are interested in using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control your UPB devices and scenes, please drop them an email to see what it takes to participate in this beta test. They can be reached by email at [email protected].

Happy to see development is still ongoing! Labor Day Sale (this is NOT a sponsored post) (DEAL EXPIRED)

42-89b4c367-ddef-9479-fd6b-8c59753c4a48.jpg is running their Labor Day sale. which is a great time to get your hands on some Z-Wave hardware at an affordable cost.

Their customer service is top notch (reminding me of the Automated Outlet days).

Note: the 700 series USB stick IS compatible with Home Assistant in case you're wondering.

They're not sponsoring this post, I'm just a big fan. The same team is also responsible for the Zooz Z-Wave hardware lineup.

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