About to purchase Vizia-RF - some Q's

shenandoah75

Active Member
Well i had originally bought the Elk serial expander thinking i would go insteon or UPB, but i think i have sold myself on Leviton's Z-wave. I live in florida and i am really worried about lightening and the effects of unclean power (all my UPS's, power tools, etc)

That said i'm gonna start with downstairs living areas with the following:
(1) RZCPG-BSG
(10) RZI06-1LX (600W dimmers)
(1) ELK-M1XZW

I currently have unused switches/open slots in three of my J boxes as well (all are double / triple and should have hot/ground/neutral inside). I'm thinking this would be good use of either the RZCS4-1LX or RZCZ4-1LX (scene or zone) controllers. But i am baffled as to the best one to use...

Point of install for those would be: kitchen/living/master bed. Would be nice to do preset scenes across the whole living area from the kitchen/living i guess, and the bility to shut off the whole house, or turn on some lights to a very low level (i.e. when the baby cries and we need ot find our way upstairs inthe middle of the night). I'm thinking this means scenes is what i want, not zone? The leviton PDF's are not very clear on the differences (at least to my feable mind)

Also for the 600W vs 100W dimmers, i assume if the rating of total bulbs on the circuit is indeed under 600, we're ok? (i.e. in the recessed can setups 4*75 < 600). Thinking my dining room with 9+ bulbs may be the only risk where i'd want 1000W...

thx in advance
-brad
 

Steve

Senior Member
shenandoah75 said:
I live in florida and i am really worried about lightening and the effects of unclean power (all my UPS's, power tools, etc)
Sorry I can't help with the Z-Wave specific Q's, but I felt I needed to comment ton this statement. First, as far as lightning goes, that has the same potential to affect any device that is hardwired or plugged in. So in that regard, a ZWave switch is at the same risk as a PLC switch.

The second point is you are concerned about the affect of noise on the powerline and how it could affect reliability. That is a perfectly valid point and is indeed a potential issue in any PLC based install. My point though is to not lull yourself into a false sense of security. Wireless has the same potential for interference, from any number of sources internal or external. In fact, there are many inexpensive tools to troubleshoot PLC problems and narrow down to the root problem whereas it is not so easy to troubleshoot a wireless problem. You can't fix what you can't see, and it is not trivial to identify wireless interference sources. Believe me, not trying to change your mind, just wanted to balance the facts.
 

Rustytek

Active Member
Steve is absolutely right. Buy, (There is alway's a but) with Z-wave you can help eliminate the problem with adding another z-wave module in between the controller and the switch. With PLC carriers you can also add amps or bridges to increase the signal - which in my case does not alway's work. Homeseer also has the z-seer application which provides diagnostic's on your z-wave network to help you find the rf problem. While this does not indicate the cause of the problem it certainly will help you find a solution.

Of course I am biased towards z-wave secondary to all of my problems with PLC technology and zero problems with z-wave (x-10 sucks, no I have not tried UPB).
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
brad,

Scenes set devices to preset levels. Zones turn groups of devices on and off.

Examples:

Scenes:
Romantic -- dims bedroom room lights to 30%, turns on some nice music, closes window shades
Movie -- turns off living room lights, puts background lights at 10%, closes living room window shades

Zones:
Bedroom -- turns on/off all lights in bedroom. Turning lights on puts them back to their last level.
Outdoor -- turns on/off all lights outside.

BTW, with many scene controllers, pushing the scene button again will turn off all the devices in the scene.

Chris
 

Herdfan

Active Member
shenandoah75 said:
The leviton PDF's are not very clear on the differences (at least to my feable mind)
Feable mind or not, they aren't clear. :lol:

But from reading the pdf's, it seems there are a few limitations that I am not really happy about. For example, any one dimmer is limited to being controlled by 5 controllers. Well, the remote will be one, so that leaves 4. Five is not enough, so 4 really is not enough.

I will probably make it work since I am fed up with Insteon (An example of a great idea with horrible implementation).

But due to the poor documentation, I am probably going to have to order 2-3 units of each item and make a large test bench and just see what it can do. I have some "the electrician that wired this house was an idiot" issues and I need to be able figure out how to implement them without a software based controller (ie. Homeseer)
 

KenM

Active Member
Herdfan,

I do not know for sure, but we must be related, :lol: at least in our past two year HA experience.

So far I am pleased, (ten months worth), with the quality of Z-Wave products, much more so than with my previous 'brand x' products.

I have just placed several orders for some various VIZIA-RF (zwave) products based only on my faith in the company's reputation.

Enough said here ....

Sometimes cheaper is not better.

BTW I will hook these VIZIA-RF products up as soon as I can and, give you all my honest opinion.


Ken

edit: remove unnecessary criticism
 
shenandoah75 said:
Well i had originally bought the Elk serial expander thinking i would go insteon or UPB, but i think i have sold myself on Leviton's Z-wave. I live in florida ...
...

thx in advance
-brad
You live in Florida. How far from Orlando?

EHX is next week and an Expo-Plus pass is $25 if you buy it online.

There are some smart guys at Automated Outlet that can probably answer your questions. Give Martin and Steve a chance to sell you on UPB in person.

Leviton is exhibiting and providing training specifically on the Vizia-RF products. Plus there is a ton of other training from other lighting control manufacturers some of which is below.

INSTEON Factory Training INSTEON 101
Elk Products, Inc.: Automation, Security, & Lighting - using the ELK-M1 Cross Platform Control
Automated Outlet: UPB Lighting and Home Automation Solutions
Leviton Manufacturing: Learn about Vizia™-RF: The Next Generation in Lighting Control

Take the INSTEON training for no other reason than the funny stories the trainer has about doing installs for rich people in Southern California. You will also get a good overview of what INSTEON can and cannot do.

My point is that as good a resource as cocoontech is, nothing beats walking the show floor and putting your hands on some of this stuff or pushing the sales guys for some answers about their products.

George West
www.wtrs.net
 
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