Black Series Discontinuation Announcement (and Sale!)

TLDR: We’ve discontinued our Black Series Lineup, and we’re rebranding everything under the Red Series line and will continue to fully support anyone who has a Black Series Switch or Dimmer. If you’d like to see the reasoning, I’ll outline it further below!

Sale: On/Off’s = $25, Dimmers = $27.50
Get them while they’re in stock!


Quick announcement surrounding our Black Series switches. As you may have seen in our latest CEO Update, we have made the decision to discontinue the Black Series lineup. I’d like to first assure everyone that we will continue to support the product and we’ll likely be providing one last firmware update on them prior to focusing on the Red Series line.

Background

We created the Black Series to compete with lesser expensive options (Zooz being the primary), while the Red Series was meant to compete with the higher end market (Lutron, HomeSeer, etc). This strategy has been in place for almost 4 years now. As some of you who have been around for a while may remember, we had a base model Gen 1 switch and a, “scene” version (ie: NZWXX and NZWXX-S). The base version was kept at a lower price, while the scene version was more priced around GE.

NET: The Black Series was created to compete with the lower priced options.

Market Landscape

However, a couple things have happened over the years that have caused this decision to be made. Zooz has made it hard to compete in the lower price tier market. They, along with some of the Chinese manufacturers selling directly (Minoston, EvaLogik) have made it difficult to compete on price. I would also personally argue that Zooz has caught up from a technology side of things too as most of the features are now very similar to ours.

This brings me to my next point – the difference between the Red and Black Series is scene control, notifications and energy monitoring. Zooz’s switches have scene control, which actually makes them have a better feature than our Black Series switches. If we were to add scene control to our Black Series switches, that makes it one step closer to being Red Series. It won’t be long before we’re essentially selling a Red Series switch at Black Series prices, which is unsustainable for us unfortunately.

Red Series Investment

Our Red Series switches far outsell our Black Series ones with the Red Series Dimmer accounting for around 1/3 of our sales. From a brand standpoint, we’ve set out to be the best when it comes to lighting and it’s almost counter-productive to our brand to have a switch that isn’t the best out there (Black Series). So, thinking through the branding lens as well as the fact that the Red Series carries the brand, it made sense to use the money that we would normally be paying for Black Series, and move that towards the Red Series switches so that we stop running out of stock (it also made it an easier decision given that lead times have almost quadrupled on the components).

Closing Notes

We appreciate all of you who have a Black Series switch and again, I want to assure you that we will fully support these switches moving forward. We’ll keep some on hand for warranty replacements, and we’ll keep the knowledge-base up to date. As noted above, we will likely have one last firmware file available that we’ll role out for anyone interested.

Happy to answer any questions!

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I think this is a great move for you guys. If I’m honest with myself, if the red series was the only thing available, I know I would have just forked over what amounts to a small percentage extra overall. There are definitely times when I wish I hadn’t been trying to save a buck in my mixture here at the house, because I’ve grown used to scene control and hate that I don’t have it everywhere. It’s a killer feature that is hard to understand until you live with it for a while.

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Will that include the new-and-improved smart bulb mode? (i.e. Parameter 52 supporting 0=none, 1=on/off, 2=always on)

I believe so, but I’ll leave that up to @EricM_Inovelli to confirm!

black series are gonna be replaced (sort of) by the upcoming blue series as the more affordable option, aren’t they?

Yes, this is exactly right :slight_smile:

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Are we going to see this sale price in Canada?

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Likely not. Aartech is a separate entity and I’m not sure what their plans are :frowning:

Thanks for the heads up. Placed an order for 4 Black dimmers as a last chance buy.

One thing I would mention is that most of these lower cost competitors only offer switches in white. For some of us, that’s a deal breaker. Adding a color option bumps up the price into a new bracket for us with non white switches anyway. I also get that the market (esp in the low end and big box shopper) is probably 95% white switches.

I don’t always need Red level features, so I appreciate the lower capability options. For instance, I’ve never seen the need for scene control, at least not from a switch with no real UI.

Thanks again!

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Thank you for the Black Series. I started with Gen 1, then some black series, and now I have mostly red series. I just ordered a few black series to finish off my home. I now have 20 Inovelli wall switches — most red series dimmers, but these last three black series I orders finish off my home, so every switch is now automated, and all Inovelli.
I consider these to be elite products, and am happy to support your products. I may need one more switch for my master bath, if the multi/switch solves my needs. Otherwise, I will need to look into a micro dimmer solution…

The Blue series is NOT a replacement for the current Black series, since the Blue series will all be using Zigbee and not Z-Wave like every other Inovelli product to date…

it’s a replacement in the sense that it takes place as the budget option for those who don’t need or want the more expensive red series. being zigbee, it’s not a direct replacement but it’s filling the gap left by the blacks.

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I think this is a good idea. This way you can focus on the popular SKUs (red dimmer, red dimmer x10, red switch) and hopefully keep more of them in stock.

To be honest I always felt like the black series was an odd one out. The price isn’t THAT much lower than the red series, and you lose some of the coolest features.

IMHO- Inovelli is a premium brand. You guys are pretty much at the top of the Z-Wave switch game, only one really in the same class is HomeSeer and they have higher price and lower feature set. I think you should embrace that. Let the Chinese knockoffs go at each other to shave pennies. Focus on being the best in a category where everyone else just wants to be the cheapest. That’s your niche.

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Any reason not to get these as companion dimmers (via association)? Seems like a decent alternative while keeping led bars in sync.

That’s what I want to use one of the dimmers I purchased for.

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