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.
Is there a way to propose a potential product directly to Inovelli technical staff other than this forum?
Sure, you can PM me directly
Interesting – this is not the first time I’ve heard this recently. We can look to see if there is another color we could use without losing the, “sexiness” – maybe white or red.
We can see about increasing these for sure.
As for the sides, that’s actually where we originally had them and much bigger, but it actually came down to how the machines were configured to put the silkscreen on product. It would require us to flip the plastic three different ways (side 1, side 2, back) to silkscreen, so rather than doing that, we just have it going down the line on one side (back). So, indirectly, yes, it costs more money as it would require more time to do this. I’m with you though, I wanted it on the sides!
Hmmm… this is not good. I’ll definitely talk to the manufacturer about this as they’re supposed to be unscrewed to make it faster to screw into the wall. Thanks for pointing this out!
I agree – we modeled this after other switches in the market (GE/Jasco, Zooz, etc). But, this is one of the leading causes of shorts and I hope there is a way we can improve this.
You have some good eyes! It does appear to be slightly smaller and different. Dang, I’m usually the detail oriented guy and I didn’t notice this. Nice work!
Interesting, I haven’t heard this one before – but that’s certainly good feedback. I’ll see what we can do with this.
Fair. We scaled it down so it wasn’t so busy on the back (still is) but in the process it looks like we lost the functionality that is likely more important. I think this one should be easy to fix. I’d like to add divots to the back and we likely can do that for new switches, but for existing switches where we can’t change the mould, we can certainly change the silkscreen to make it more accurate.
Yeah, this one is a sore subject for sure. Long story short, there was a communication breakdown between us and the manufacturer and we’re fixing this with new production units. Our Fan/Light switch has the new white (that matches Lutron Claro).
Another sore subject lol – but it’s one that we’re definitely thinking about changing for v3. There is a lot of feedback around the config button with people on both sides of the aisle. We are also thinking about selling packs of config buttons so if you want a smaller version (or none at all) you can swap out the piece.
Lol… yeah. This is annoying, I agree. Luckily this is just for On/Off’s, but still… very annoying.
Good news (and I know I took a long time to respond here – honestly I didn’t see it until today when Reid commented) is that we did add this feature to the set and since you have Hubitat, you should be able to OTA the new firmware easily
We’re also about to release another firmware that has the 700ms delay configurable.
Thanks again for taking the time out to write about these enhancements!
YW. I like to think about things, look at them from different directions and sometimes in great detail. Also when you are putting in 60 of these things in the space of a week or two, you notice little things more. In any case, happy to test any design changes you want to make.
There are people who think the program button needs to stick out farther? I’d love to hear this argument! (Or, morely likely, that there are people who feel it shouldn’t be any smaller. Though now that I think about that, I would love to hear that argument as well.)
MOST IMPORTANTLY, I can buy new program buttons that are smaller? Can you send me a 64 of them please? I’ll send you cash right now for this. I’ll take smaller, or actually even flush - or maybe an option that’s flush, but which has a fingernail indent that you can put a thumbnail into and press with that. Oooh, I like that thought. But really anything is better. I mean, it’ll be a pain in the rear to swap them, but less of a pain in the rear than leaving them so big!
Lastly, I read something a bit ago about how the black series switches in bulk packs didn’t sell. If they had been available when I was buying for my house, I’d have bought 4 or maybe 5 10-packs. So it was purely timing as to why I didn’t.
I lied - actual lastly - I haven’t been able to log in here since last weekend. My password wasn’t taken, the password reset email wouldn’t send (and no, it’s not in my spam). Finally got in today I just created a new account with the same username and password and … it’s fine?
Lol, no sorry – I should’ve been more clear. People who are happy with the config button as is and others who would prefer it smaller or flush (as they don’t use it).
Ha, you must have missed the great config button debate and solution of Summer 2020. It was a grand ol’ time.
Here is the solution (until we create them if we decide to).
Yeah… we had them up for a couple months and no one bought the dimmers. I think we have them on the docket to bring back, albeit a very low qty.
Yeah, likely what happened was you haven’t signed in since we implemented SSO (I think it maybe launched in August or Sept?) and if you didn’t get the SSO email, then likely you had to re-sign up using the same email/password. So, you should be good since you did that
Now you have one sign on across our website, support desk, and community – congrats!
I can’t have been that long.
It has been that long.
Apparently I lurk more than post.
Keep in mind that this process is generally done while the breaker to the set of lights you are working on is off. Sometimes you have a flashlight or a worklight nearby, sometimes … you don’t. So, anything is better than black on black.
Standard colors (silver, brass, greenish whatever that is for ground) would also work, and would make electricians happier too since they’re so used to them.
Oh, red for the traveler would actually be perfect though! And since I thought of that, it makes me think that red should not be used for anything except the traveler since it’s the red wire (when done with 14-3).
So, ground of greenish. But it’s obvious, so it’s not that important really.
Red for the traveler.
You could use white/white for the line and load. It’s neat that black’s actually appropriate for line, but it doesn’t work due to the above mentioned problems. Can you use a light grey? Light enough that it’s visible, but dark enough it’s not easy to confuse with the white?
I mean, you talk about sexy. It’ll lose a tiny bit of sitting-still sex appeal, but boy, when you get down and dirty with them and are trying to actually install them, wow, you’[ll have us swooning with pleasure at the easy way to tell which wire goes where.
Red wire -> red screw terminal.
White wire -> white screw terminal.
Black wire -> grey screw terminal.
Bare wire -> green for ground terminal.
I’ve convinced myself this would be awesome. I’m already swooning.
(RE the not-great design of the actual holes you stick the wires into)
I killed my very first inovelli switch when I was testing by this very problem. I’m glad I sprang for another one to test with.
I’m sure you have thought of all of these, but -
The internal metal plate that clamps the wire can be made thicker, this would prevent the wire from going on the wrong side of it.
Similarly, a flange can be added to the outer-side of the internal clamping plate to cover the wire-hole in a way so you can’t insert the wire behind the plate. (Just a 1-2mm 90 degree bend at the part of the plate that is at the back of the switch).
The screw-out-length of the metal internal clamping plate can be … longer? So that the clamping plate can sit farther from the clamping area and so you can’t wedge the wire behind it instead of between it.
Tolerances could be tightened between the plastic of the back of the switch and the clamping plate so there’s less wiggle room to get the wire in the wrong place. (This part of the problem also just feels janky, like it’s too wigglywobbly anyway and needs to be better).
You could size the hole to 14 gauge wire (but then, obviously, folks can’t use 12 gauge wire so this is probably a non-starter).
Even minor tweaks to a few of these parameters may combine to reduce this problem.
I would love to see you guys branch out at other smart home products especially a good doorbell. I am tired of “cloud” doorbells with subscriptions and would like to see a good local only, RTSP and ONVIF supported doorbell with the same full feature set found in Nest and Ring. The only options you have today is crappy quality, app, or poor motion detection. I would like to see one made with full person and package motion detection.
What are your thoughts/plans on Smart blinds? i am needing quite a few but haven’t found any that tick all the boxes.
Also i was in a conversation with an Eric on Reddit about Hoobs/HomeBridge. Will you guys be adding any documentation to help others get your products into Homekit?