Suggestions & Wishlist
Have a great idea for a new product or want to see one of our existing products get a facelift with either new firmware or hardware? Here’s the spot to talk about it. Keep it smart home related and preferrably not super niche (while we know a Z-Wave record player with battery backup and temperature monitoring is cool, we need to sell more than three units). As always, make sure to use tags for easy reference.
Suggestions & Wishlist
General Suggestions for all the lines:
After having installed about 25 of the 50 switches (both dimmers and regular) in my new house, there are a couple of comments that I’d love for you to take into consideration about the hardware.
Black screws hold the black switch body into the electrical switch box. While It looks sexy, I was surprised at just how hard it was to “find” the black screw to actually screw it in against that black background. The light was perfectly fine for me to install the switch in every way, except that in the end I had to fiddle for quite a while trying to get the screwdriver on the black screw that sits against the black background (while of course holding everything in place with my other hand so I couldn’t use it to help much). A non-black screw there would be fantastic?
The grey on black letters are too small on the back labeling the connections.
2a)If these were 3x this size, it’d be really much easier to use (I have them memorized now, but I doubt most folks do).
2b) Also why not stamp the wire guide label on the side where the terminals are, too? (I’m sure that answer is $$ )
Inconsistent out-of-the-box terminal tightness. Some terminals are screwed all the way out, ready for wires to be poked into them, perfect. Some are screwed out HARD and it takes real effort to break them free so you can tighten them. Some screws are halfway tightened, so in order to use them you have to unscrew them a ways. Others are all the way tight already, sometimes really tight, and you have to break them free and unscrew them all the way before starting to wire things up. I have to spend 10-60 seconds each switch just sorting out their terminals before I can even start installing.
Terminals wrong size, and the way the “clamping plate” and the little wire-holes are arranged makes them easy to miswire. The problem here consists of several small problems that make for a perfect storm.
4a) The holes in the back of the switch for the wires appear to be sized for 12 gauge wire so there’s a lot of slop in the standard 14 gauge wire usually used for lighting (but note point 5 below).
4b) The little clamping plate inside the switch that screws down to hold the wire is not flush or nearly flush to the back side of the panel with the wire hold in it so there’s a gap between the body and the clamping plate.
4c) The thickness of the clamping plate isn’t high enough to block the hole when it’s screwed in.
Add all these together, and it’s easy to get the wires on the wrong side of the clamping plate, which means you have to back the screw all the way out again, reinsert the wires and do it over. Most surprising is even after having installed a hundred screwed-stab-in switches in my life (or more?), and probably 40+ of the Inovelli, and even after I back out all screws appropriately before starting - I still get them in wrong and have to redo them about once per every couple of switches.
Why is the ground hole smaller with less “tighten depth” of the screw? It also appears that screw head is just plain different too (luckily it has a robertson/square screw head in it too, so that helped). It’s not a complaint that it’s smaller, it’s a complaint that it is inconsistent. (Smaller is actually preferred, for this and to help with point 4)
Old-style switches have ground at the bottom. These (and all smart switches) have ground at the top. Apart from teasing out neutral and re-wire-nutting it to get a neutral out there, this is the biggest annoyance of wiring those - having to move wires around in the rather tight confines of the receptacle to move those because these switches ground at the top. I’d spend more money if I could get a ground terminal at both top and bottom!
Wire stripping guide not only isn’t to scale, but doesn’t have divots/grooves. On many switches, there’s a slight groove in addition to the words about how far to strip the wire for wrap-around or stab in connections. When these are included they are to scale, so there’s a 5/8" long and 1" long slight groove you can use to check your strip length. I’ve seen others with no groove, but a line 5/8" and 1" in from the side, which is another method that’s easily seen and used. On the Inovelli switches it just tells you 5/8" or 1", and there’s no guide to help.
White isn’t white. I have white faceplates (bog standard, regular old white from the big box store). I have white other switches (GE Fan switches). I have white old switches I’m swapping out. I also have old white switches from other places/installs/times, and all those whites match to within a high degree. But the Inovelli white is actually off white and is noticeably different. My wife really doesn’t like it. I can’t tell the three white paints she picked for the new house’s kitchen/living area apart from one another, but I can easily tell the white of the Inovelli switches isn’t white.
"Program button" sticks out too far. It just protrudes too far. IMO it needs to not stick as far out as the switch itself. Yes, that’ll make it a tiny bit harder to press if you need to press it, but it’ll make the entire switch be SO much more usable. And the purpose of the switch is to turn things on and off, so it feels like that use case should be the driving use case. It’s sad that I’m contemplating assigning the program button’s single push to “turn on lights” because it’s so easy to hit that by mistake when walking into a room.
The relay is LOUD. They do seem to mostly settle down a tiny bit after using for a while, but gosh, I can hear some of them clicking 4 or 5 rooms away. There is some variability, but the quietest of them is louder than what I’d like them all to be. The loudest are just … loud.
So, besides those details - most of which (but not all) may be pretty easily fixed! - I really like the switches. The above may be a lot, but really, you should see my list for other products.
Let me DISABLE SCENES on the scene enabled switches and dimmers. I want the option to have scenes, but if for a particular switch I don’t need them right now, let me disable them. I didn’t want buy the non-scene switches because I use scenes in a few places and may add more later. Also that’s the only way to get the power reporting, too. But that pause while it waits for a possible double-tap is … quite annoying.
I believe this is the only firmware related thing I care about. Everything else is Hubitat Elevation specific, not really firmware requests.