UPB Switch Quality - Simply Auto vs HAI


As I am ready to purchase a whole bunch of UPB stuff, I am trying hard to decided between the Simply Automated wall controller/switches and HAI wall keypads. The SA sounds good on paper, since it has a built in local dimmer, making installation easy as drop in replacement of existing wall switches. However having ordered one (8 oval keypad) I was quite disappointed with the mechanical quality of the switches --
The keys does not have much feel. Half the time a keypress is not successful and I have to press it carefully to get it to "click".

Meanwhile the HAI switch looks better in the picture -- although now I am tempted to order one to try for real first before ordering too many of them. Another down side of the HAI switch is of course they are only a controller, so I almost always have to change a single gang box to a double gang box to put in a local dimmer + the keypad?

Question to current UPB users -- which ones are better?

I love my SAI wall switches. Build quality is excellent. I'v never tried HAI switches though.
I recently replaced all of the switches in my home with HAI HLC hardware. I'm extremely happy with the build quality and the functionality. I've never seen them miss a command and installation was a breeze due to the relatively shallow depth of the switch.

If you're using an Omni of any kind, I would definitely recommend their HLC switches.
pkshiu said:
tech-home said:
Thanks ! Seems like there is no verdict though. "Steve" mentioned that he was doing a detail review of UPB gear -- I hope he is done soon. Meanwhile I'll have to order one to compare myself.
I apologize I never completed that review. I 'lost' most of the pictures I took and 'life' got in the way. If there is still interest I may be able to throw something together.

In any case, and another reason it was not completed is because this is a highly subjective thing. It is easy to compare tech specs on paper but it is impossible to really convey a look and especially feel. The best thing to do is to order 1 of each switch you are looking at so you can 'touch and feel' it. I'm sure if you order them from Martin at AO he will even credit you back for the ones you decided against toward the ones you do want. You really don't even need to install them to get a feel.

My personal choice was SAI. For a standard switch they felt very nice - but you do have to make sure you snap the faceplate on the US240 all the way in. If it is not seated properly it will not click right. The HAI's seemed a bit 'harsh' and louder more pronounced click. The SAI's are more like the Smarthome Switchlinc V2's. The other thing to consider are the LEDs and what color(s) you may want. If it is a keypadlinc you are interested in, either HAI has the lighted one or SAI has the changeable faceplate. I believe a lighted one is on the radar at SAI. Also, SAI's support is top notch and in fact Brad (UPBSeer) from SAI helps out here as well too. Fell free to PM me if you want any more specific detail. Whichever brand you decide on, I think you will love UPB.
Thanks Steve for the additional info. I agree with you that at the end it is very subjective. Right now my test SAI switch is installed in the desktop adaptor sitting on my desk as a controller. After reading your post I opened it back up and check that it was seating properly, and also took at look at the construction.

I reseated it a few times and basically out of the eight buttons three of them click not as well as the others. Upon close inspection, the keypad part of the assembly contains the springs for the return of the buttons, and the switch body contains a "clickable" push button. The actually clickable part travels very little. So together with whether the spring in each button is working, the final "touch/feel" gets affected. For me, the travel of the buttons is way too small. I also found some white dust on the switch, meaning that something is rubbing off from the keypad part down into the switch body.

Meanwhile as suggested I am going to order a HAI switch just to see.
There was an issue early on where the plastic faceplates were defective. I don't know if that affected the multibutton or not. I know Electron uses the rocker/4 button faceplate and he's never mentioned an issue, but I have not personally used that plate. Depending where you got the switch from it could be old stock and perhaps is defective. Automated Outlet always has fresh stock and will work with you to make sure things work right.

You also may wish to look through some of these old threads. They are not all UPB specific but many are and some give more details on the switches.
Yes, I think too that it's very subjective. I use a combination of them in my house and it works great (for me) like that.

If I have a place that I know will only need a 1 rocker dimmer, I normally use the HAI dimmer switch. I do this because I like the LEDs on it and it also matches the LED colors of the US240 SA switch bases and the HAI non-load bearing keypads. Once the US1140 switches come out, this won't be an issue anymore and I'll probably stick with the SA switches.

In locations where I want a keypad or multiple button switch and need to control a load directly, I use the US240 switch base and whichever plate I need.

In areas where I want a keypad and don't need to control a load, I use the HAI keypads. I like them because they have a nice blue backlight.

I have found that you can mix and match them fine as long as you stick with using SA 240 switches, HAI switches, HAI keypads. If you stick with these, all of the colors will match nicely and can be placed next to each other without issue.

Did HAI change their LED's? The SA US240s are Blue, Green and Light Blue. If I remember correctly the HAI switch was Blue, Red and Magenta. So the only overlap between the SAI and HAI is Blue? And in real world dealing with WAF I think it is hard to put in switches with different feel and look, even if its the shape or brightness of the LED. IMHO, if I were to mix and match, I would do it with different protocols like UPB and Insteon, but if I were in the same protocol I would stick with 1 brand - just MHO.

You are absolutely correct in the colors. Not sure what I was thinking.... I normally just use the blue so that's what faked me out. Thanks for the correction.