Disapointed in Vizia RF


Active Member
Maybe my expectations were too high, but is seems to me that there some limitations to Leviton's Vizia RF line that I may not be able to make in work for me. And that is disapointing as I was hoping it would allow me to move away from Insteon. ;)

I am specifically referring to many of the limitations of the devices. I am used to Insteon being able to be both a controller and responder integrated within a dimmer. It doesn't seem to be the way Vizia RF is set up. Maybe I am missing something in the documentation, but I don't think so.

For example, the One-button controller can only control 1 dimmer. So if you want a scene, then you have to move up to the 4 button scene controller. Also, the 1 dimming device limitation is buried in small print under Installation Considerations:

A Z-Wave enabled device must be within 75 feet of another Z-Wave enabled device to participate in a Z-Wave wireless mesh network. The Controller can only be associated with one dimming devicehen you have to move up to the 4 button scene controller.

I have at least two zones in my house where I need a controller to control 2 or 4 dimmers. So in this case the alternative is to move to a 4 button scene/zone controller. Not a deal breaker, but annoying.

The deal breaker is that the dimmers don't act as controllers. I have several situations where I need a dimmer to act as both a dimmer AND controller. For example, I like to have my front porch lights and garage side lights come on together. So I currently have 2 Insteon dimmers linked to each other. I don't think I can do this with Vizia-RF without using some sort of PC based-controller which I would like to avoid.

Also, it seems that each dimmer can only be linked to 5 controllers. While I could work around this limitation, it would force me to make some compromises which I would rather not make.

Am I reading the Vizia documentation wrong? Or completely missing something here.

Any input would be appreciated.
bummer cause i just forked out a bunch of money to start with vizia...

I wasn't even thinking about using one dimmer on the front porch lights to kick on others like in your example. I was just giving in to the concept that i would need a few 4 button zone/scene controllers.... your idea sure seems better (gues sthis is what i get for not experimenting first)

I was also thinking i might be able to use the Elk for some of this, but per what i've read currently, the m1 doesn't support 2-way communication for this, where the elk could have a rule that says "when front porch on, then exterior garage on"

i'll probably be second guessing the vizia over upb decision for a while.
Herdfan, brad:

The documentation indicates that you can use the one-button scene controller to control one scene of up to 32 devices, or one switch in a 3-way configuration. It also indicates that the one-button zone controllers can control one zone of devices, or one switch in a 3-way configuration.

I have a bunch of the devices at home and/or the lab, and would be happy to play around with them when I get a few minutes if it helped... I know that the "companion remote" devices are effectively designed to be used as virtual 3-way slaves, but it sounds like they can do more than that from the documentation...


I know its been said before, but look at UPB. I can do all that and more. Every switch transmits, and each can control a scene with the top paddle and a different one (if desired) with the bottom. For example a single tap can turn on a local-light, and a double-tap can turn on or off any combination of other switches, all without a computer. You'll never find that ability in Z-Wave.
ano said:
I know its been said before, but look at UPB.
I have. My issue is I think the majority of keypads are unattractive. If someone made a UPB keypad that looked like the Insteon ones or even the Vizia RF ones I would probably move to it.
Both HAI and PCS make decent looking 6 and 8 button lighted keypads. IMHO they even look nicer than the Insteon ones.
1 button scene controllers will control up to 32 devices associated to it. 1 button zone controllers with control 1 device associated to it.
BenH said:
1 button scene controllers will control up to 32 devices associated to it. 1 button zone controllers with control 1 device associated to it.
But from my understanding, scene controllers whether they are 1 button or more, do not control a local load.

Unlike an insteon dimmer switch which controls the local load and can also control other devices when pressed.

Is this correct?
johnnynine, you are correct Leviton scene and zone controllers do not control a LOCAL load, you can not connect a local load to a scene or zone controller. They will control dimmers/switches and plug-in devices as well as other z-wave deivces.

As Ben said, you are correct. But the cool thing is that with Leviton's enhanced 2-way communication in the Vizia RF switches, there are ways to do what you're trying to do. Nothing on the market today, but the switches are ready for the future. You can certainly use the upcoming Z-Wave PC SDK v1.2 to do this via a PC in the middle at very minimum.

You may want to send Leviton an e-mail requesting that they add a scene controller with local control to their product lineup. Hearing demand for products is the best way to get them in a pipeline (or priority if they are already there).

So in my living room for instance I have 5 light switches.

First adjacent gang box
1. Ceiling can lights
2. Fireplace art light
3. Switched outlet

Second adjacent gang box
4. Ceiling Fan light
5. Ceiling Fan

If I wanted to have a vizia rf scene controller I would have to add another gang box to do so and then tap onto the power from one of the other gang boxes?

Or alternatively I could make the switched outlet always have power and just use the old switched outlet's switch location for a scene controller?

The scene controller would the be able to control any leviton Vizia RF.

A. Is all that correct?

B. Also how are 3 way switches controlled? Is there a special 3 way vizia rf companion switch, or would I use a vizia rf single zone controller switch?

a. That sounds right to me (and i have almost same condition in my living room). In my living room, i do not have a light on the ceiling fan, so i'll give that up for a scene controller and plan to do so. Where i am really struggling is the 3-gangs in my foyer and out to my porch/pool. All are occupied and in use, but there is one three way in each which i might be able to replace with scene controller, but it depends how the hot line from the breaker box is routed (haven't looked yet). My only hope here unless i want to expand to 4gangs, is to keep the other sides of those three ways sending only a hot feed to it (making it one-way), converting the switches in the 3gang boxes to a scene or zone controller and relying purely on the rf/z-wave to treat as a three way.

b. yep they sell a companion switch and it can be wired in some inovative fasions (i..e it doesn't have to have the runner in same fashion as standard 3 way - but that is how i'm wiring it in the standard cases).

see this link - you can get the install pdf's that show the options...

In my case, here is what I won't be able to do:

For some reason, I have 2 sets of outdoor spots in my house. I have a set in the front and a set in the back and each are on a 3-way circuit.

With Insteon, each switch is linked to the other three so that any one switch can turn on both sets of spots. There does not seem to be any way to do this with Vizia RF. Even assuming I use Scene controllers, the actual load dimmers will not control the opposite side spots. So 2 switches would turn them all on, and 2 would only turn on their half. The WAF would take a hit.

Also, if I am using 2 scene controllers, that is 2 of the 5 limit, so I could only use 3 other controllers for those dimmers. I would not take me long to eat through the 5 contoller limit on some switches.

Now if Leviton were to come out with a dedicated HARDWARE controller that can be programmed like a hardwired setup, I might be interested.