Lighting standard recommendations with Elk in control.


Senior Member
1) Didn't early controllers have a limit of 64 switches? Is this no longer true?

2) Doesn't a Z-Wave installation freak out if you move a plugin module to a new location someplace else in your house?
If you use an Intermatic or ControlThink Z-Wave USB controller as you primary controller then the ControlThink ThinkEssentials and .net SDK both have a rediscover feature which allows you to simply click a button to relearn the routing table. If you don't want to use that combination then you would simply remove the device from the network -> Plug the device into the new outlet -> Re-Add the device. If you don't move the device very far then you probably won't have any issues and won't have to do any of those steps.

3) Aren't there issues when mixing brands with Z-Wave? ie Vizia does not work with Intermatic etc?
Z-Wave uses the idea of device classes. All devices support the basic device class which I think includes the On/Off/Dim commands. So all of your light switch type devices will work with any controller. Even the new window treatments can work with the On/Off/Dim lighting commands. The only issues you may run into are when a controller does not support some of the extra features. For example a thermostat is a specific device and not all controllers support it. In theory all vendors devices should work with other vendors devices. Sometimes vendors add non-zwave features to their products that only their controllers understand but the basic functionality of the device should still work with other vendors.

4) Aren't Z-wave switches almost twice as deep as Insteon switches?

Not sure but the manual for the devices usually has the dimensions. I've never had an issue installing them.

5) Don't Z-Wave switches use hard wired 3-way slaves instead of just using the native RF communication for 3-way situations?

Yes and No. There are hardwired 3-Way devices and that is one of those situations where you should purchase both master and slave switch from the same vendor. However, there are also Scene and Zone controllers, both single and four buttons switches, and these controllers look like switches but act like a secondary controller. So as long as you have 120v to power them you can place them anywhere in the house and wirelessly control any other switch in the house. If you are replacing an existing 3-way circuit you would just cap off the extra wire on both ends and not use it when using a controller switch.

6) Don't some Z-Wave switches fail to report manual operation?

Not sure what you mean here. Only Vizia RF and Monster switches have two-way capabilities at this time. Otherwise you have to poll the switch to get its status. Most handheld controllers don't report status. So you would need a PC controller to view the status by polling for the status. I think HomeSeer and ControlThink are the only two companies which currently support the Vizia Two Way features but I could be wrong about that.