Some Qs about Z-Wave Light Switches

kwoodrow

Member
I'm in the process of converting a couple of rooms to Z-Wave control, but had a few a questions for those of you who've gone before.

1. I'm controlling 3 sets of recessed ceiling lights, all of which are on 3-way circuits. Each circuit has a single dimmer switch and a single on/off switch. I assume I can simply replace the dimmer with a ZWave dimmer, such as the Intermatic HA06 or the ACT ZDW100, and leave the existing on/off switch in place.

2. Or, I could replace the existing dimmer with a 3-way zwave dimmer and replace the regular switch with a zwave companion switch. But, I don't see any utility in doing that, at least from a HA point of view.

3. Is there any real difference in quality between the Intermatic and ACT brands? Are there other brands currently available that I'm overlooking?

4. What is the point of a multitap transmitter? Is it that it can be used as a controller in addition to a switch?

5. The point of Zwave 3-way switch and a companion switch is to create 3-way type control where there wasn't such a circuit before, right? In other words, if the lights were're wired for 3-way control, ZWave can be used to create 3-way control anyway.

6. Is there such thing as a ZWave companion switch that is not wired to a load, but simply is mounted in a wall?

7. Are regular ZWave dimmer switches (HA06, ACT ZDW100) capable of the All On/All Off commands? Or does that require a multitap controller switch?

Sorry for all of the questions --

Thanks,
Ken
 

Squintz

Senior Member
I'm in the process of converting a couple of rooms to Z-Wave control, but had a few a questions for those of you who've gone before.

1. I'm controlling 3 sets of recessed ceiling lights, all of which are on 3-way circuits. Each circuit has a single dimmer switch and a single on/off switch. I assume I can simply replace the dimmer with a ZWave dimmer, such as the Intermatic HA06 or the ACT ZDW100, and leave the existing on/off switch in place.

2. Or, I could replace the existing dimmer with a 3-way zwave dimmer and replace the regular switch with a zwave companion switch. But, I don't see any utility in doing that, at least from a HA point of view.

4. What is the point of a multitap transmitter? Is it that it can be used as a controller in addition to a switch?

Multi Tap transmitter is what I call a remote control switch.

What I have done is replaced the existing dimmer and at the other switch I installed a remote control switch. The remote control switches are just like scene switches. You can program to control up to 3 groups of lights and I think 5 to 10 lights on each group. The way they work is tap once to control group one, twice to control group 2 and 3 times for group 4. The way these are installed is by either using the extra wire as a feed through of power or by leaving that wire unused and caped off at both ends. It all depends on how the existing circuit was ran.

3. Is there any real difference in quality between the Intermatic and ACT brands? Are there other brands currently available that I'm overlooking?

This is a quality difference. I would recommend that you try a company other than ACT until they get their issues straightend out with reliabilty and compliance. They seem to be working out those issues by getting rid of their crappy products and putting out new ones but there is still plenty of ACT stock in retail stores that is out dated. I would go with Intermatic where possible and ACT only if you have no other option. My ACT switches work but I have ran into quality and compliance issues that had to be worked around many times.

5. The point of Zwave 3-way switch and a companion switch is to create 3-way type control where there wasn't such a circuit before, right? In other words, if the lights were're wired for 3-way control, ZWave can be used to create 3-way control anyway.

I personally think true three way switches are a waste of money when you can the transmitter (remote control) switches. However they are probably easier to install because you don't have to trace out as many wires.

6. Is there such thing as a ZWave companion switch that is not wired to a load, but simply is mounted in a wall?

I dont think so but I would check with a dealer like AutomatedOutlet or Tech-Home just to be sure.

7. Are regular ZWave dimmer switches (HA06, ACT ZDW100) capable of the All On/All Off commands? Or does that require a multitap controller switch?

If I under stand the question right you are wondering if a z-wave dimmer can control other lights in the room. The answer to that is yes and no. Yes, because intermatic has developed a switch that can act as a scene switch also but, No because as far as I know its not available at this moment. It should be available between now and march though. The following link is a description and picture of the device i am refering to. Look for "Wall Dimmer Switch (Model CA600)" and be sure to read the description carefully because that is one hell of a switch. http://www.homesettingspro.com/productline.htm

Don't be sorry about the questions. This community is all about answering questions and sharing answers to problems. Just join in.

BTW... Welcome to the forums.
 

gunther52

New Member
kwoodrow said:
I'm in the process of converting a couple of rooms to Z-Wave control, but had a few a questions for those of you who've gone before.
Hi Ken,

I am curious as to why you chose Z-wave over some of the competing technologies such as UPB or Insteon. Can you fill me in if this was due to price, features, personal preference etc?

thanks,
Gunther
 

tech-home

Active Member
If I was a new person about to outfit my house I would wait for Intermatic Pro and Leviton.

Otherwise if your wanting it now go with Intermatic as much as possible.
 

kwoodrow

Member
Gunther:

One of the main reasons is the fact that Z-Wave is directly supported by CQC, which I've chosen for control of my home theater and whole-house audio system. I'm just now taking my first baby steps into home automation and decided to start with Z-wave control over a few lamps and lights. My wife thought it was cool, so I'm now spec'ing out what it would take to do other rooms.

I realize that I may be betting on the wrong horse, but frankly the stakes aren't all that high right now b/c I'm starting small.

It is also true that CQC can control other systems -- in fact, I should probably consider something like an Elk panel for solid state control of my lighting and HVAC and then use CQC as a high-end controller for the Elk. Using the Elk would open the door to other lighting systems, including UPB.

Frankly, I was looking for something with minimal up-front cost, easy integration into my current system, and easy installation.

HTH,
Ken
 

kwoodrow

Member
Brian:
Good advice. In checking out the Intermatic product line, I didn't see a supported thermostat of any kind. Are there any plans afoot for Intermatic to produce a Z-Wave thermostat?

At this point, the alternative seem to be ACT and RCS. Is this correct?

Thanks,
Ken
 

jsproductions

New Member
I am having a problem with my HONEYWELL Tuxedos recognizing the intermatic ca600 dimmers...does anyone know if there is a way to do a factory reset on the dimmers themselves....I think someone may have returned these to the store with resetting or removing them from there zwave network...HELP PLEASE its been driving me crazy...Thanks in advance for the replies...
 
Top