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Fan/Light Switch (LZW36) Suggestions and/or Improvements 2.0

This will be an area where we’ll discuss improvement opportunities for our Fan & Light Switch in terms of hardware and firmware.

Feel free to list anything from examples you’d like to see implemented (ie: I want to be able to change the dim level based on certain times of day), hardware features you’d like to see upgraded or firmware features you’d like to see added (ie: instant on for the switch).

Looking forward to improving the switch!

NOTE: Please do not use this thread for troubleshooting.

I know you love challenges so here goes…

  1. Four speeds
  2. Optional “Dumb” fan remote control (ie: Spouse approved it just works without you tinkering)
  3. Three way support
  4. Eliminate Canopy
  5. Reverse (assuming fan support)
  6. Smaller housing for easier cramming it all in the box

I’ve got one of the Gardinier “Wink” fans (https://www.amazon.com/Gardinier-Brushed-Enabled-Ceiling-Integrated/dp/B07J22XG4R), and while I would love to “upgrade” it to the LZW36 the lack of reverse support would cost me functionality.

I’m looking forward to the fan switch release to upgrade my two GE switches. Perhaps some of these features might make it into that switch as well :wink:

First, gotta say I love the new switch, I have not had any issues at all so far.

My only feedback is admittedly super subjective and I am not sure if others would even care but I am not a huge fan of the hardwares visual design with all those buttons. I’d be curious to hear what others say but I’d be fine if the dim up and dim down rockers were eliminated in place of a simple press hold on the main button (like most fan remotes work). Would be less convenient from a UX standpoint but think it would help make the external design much cleaner/simpler. My family might be outliers but we rarely (if ever) use the dimming features from the wall switch.

In a perfect world, I’d love to just have the red series dimmer form factor (to match the rest of the house) and just have one press up/down for lights on/off and double press up/down for fan on/off and then just let the config button function to cycle fan speeds.

I realize this creates all sorts of questions (like the best way to handle the LED status of light and fan) but just thought I would throw it out there anyway.

1 Like
  • Faster on/off for light switch.
  • Custom notification actions in other words the user selects what pattern/time the notification is displayed.
  • Multiple colors at the same time in notifications. For example a red and blue stripped line which scrolls.

Hardware:

  • “Load” wire that is controlled by the air-gap (to allow someone to cut power to the fan module without flipping circuit breaker)
  • Control wire to communicate with the fan module using a wire instead of wireless (for those of us that originally had an extra wire for separate fan/light control)
  • Edit: Put a zwave chip in the canopy module, then have the switch communicate with the module via association. This could allow multiple canopies to be controlled by 1 switch

Firmware:

  • When the LED Strip effect is cleared (either manually or when the time runs out), set the value to 0 and send a status update to the hub. This could allow us to more easily manage multiple notifications.
  • “Smart Bulb” mode. This is slightly different from disabling the relay. In this case, I would want to lock the bulb at 100%, but still allow the switch to think it is turning on/off/dimming. This would allow us to utilize the LED strip for dimming
3 Likes

You mean like scroll from one LED bar to the other?

Okay so here is my wish list:

  • Independent light and fan power monitoring.
  • True 1% to 99% fan speed control. - Breeze mode to support varying between 3 selectable speeds.
  • True support for a single switch to control multiple fan modules.
  • @amdbuilder kind of suggested this with 3-way support, But I’d suggest multi-way support by allowing more than one fan switch per RF module. Maybe this could be combined with the wireless remote request to allow up to 5 switches/remotes?

Edit: 1 more

  • Selectable Auto-off timers accessible via remotes, switches, and hub - I realize this is kind of present in the current FW/driver. But you can’t currently set/select it via the switch or, in my case, HE’s RM.

Few of my suggestions for it:

  1. Similar to @jtronicus I would request a Z-Wave chip in the canopy module itself. That way it can be independently controlled and more normal switch(es) can be used.
  2. Screw terminals to connect wires to the module. If possible (I do not know the electrical requirements for AC) I would prefer if a simple screw terminal line was provided to terminate all the wires into. It would keep things smaller and easier to work with plus many of these canopies are tight to access and keeping it just to the wires absolutely needed (the ones coming into the box and the ones from the fan itself) helps keep it simpler and less color “mixing” to match things up (especially if the next idea for input lines is used).
  3. Having input lines (or plugs at least) that are NOT required but can be used for the light and fan independently so it can be manually controlled via dumb (or smart) switches.
  4. Since the module is a full transceiver (it sends power reports), have the switch and module (if it is not changed to Z-Wave) set up a regular communication schedule. The switch should “know” whether the module is “live” or not and be checking on that status regularly. The switch should NEVER report any status back to the hub unless it has confirmed it with the module. Ex: Current switch (disconnected from module) will change the status of a feature (I just told it to turn on the light, but the module did not because it lost connection again) even though it did not get confirmation from the module that the feature was set. This is not good.
  5. Smaller module. The canopy module seems very large all things considered. You can get a Zooz Zen31 RGBW module that has nice screw terminals for 10 wires (power, ground, 4 inputs, and 4 outputs) that is much smaller. Yes, I know it is not handling AC like the fan and much higher loads, but the module does seem large and smaller would make it easier to hide away inside canopies.
  6. Neutral connection at module for fan. Right now the current module takes a neutral input, which was probably used by the previous fan/light neutral (or it’s respective controller). It would be useful if the module itself had a second neutral terminal. You put the neutral line in one and the line to the fan into the other. Less wirenuts and a cleaner install. Plus, electrically they could be directly next to each other and directly connected. No need for anything fancy and it would not matter which wire the customer put in which one. The less separate connections someone needs to make, the better.
2 Likes

Mine are mostly software:

  • Retire the combination parent fan/light devices, or at least make them optional. Rarely do I want to do both at once, other than when I am turning on/off the entire room anyway (including other lights/devices in the room). I really just want the respective devices for the lights and the fan.
  • Better native support for smart bulbs. Because the lights are on a toggle now for on/off (compared to the other switches having dedicated on/off button targets), in SmartThings you are somewhat more limited in how you can turn on the smart lights when the light switch relay is protected. For example you cannot assign different scenes to a button push. Getting smart bulbs working overall is a bit of a hassle.

It would be nice to Be able to specify one LED color when On and a separate color for Off. Currently intensity appears to be the only thing you can change based on power state.

How would one change settings on the switch without the parent? Could the children actually make parameter changes? Just asking, I have no idea.

Second, using ABC controller smartapp, instead of on or off scene there is a toggle on/off. Try it out, it works great for my setup. If they are on, it turns them off, if off, it turns them on!

Just some thoughts.

  • Smart Bulb Compatible - Relay disabled, Local Protection on but Remote control has no setting. Voice assistants and adjustments from the app control the physical device as opposed to digitally, wreaking havoc on my LZW42s and ability to lock level at 100% for smart bulbs. Tthe ability to adjust reporting behavior for disabled physical control via LED strip.
    -Night Light Mode- Doulbe tap like Breeze to turn lights on low setting
  • Smaller canopy module- get rid of the RF and go Z Wave
    -Cut power to canopy via Air gap instead of breaker - big hassle when multiple rooms are on the same circuit and also if you are unaware that power is still present when changing a bulb could be surprising lol.
  • Push button quality. The main fan/light switches need to be pressed deliberately and dead centered get them to operate reliably. It requires more thought than I want to allocate to using a switch. The buttons also wobble a bit around their centered attachment point.

Already posted by others (consider this an upvote):

  • Z-Wave canopy module. (Or use existing fan/light load wires for switch-canopy communication.)
  • 3 or 4 speeds + breeze.
  • Better OpenZWave support. Have fan register as fan and not light. Eliminate parent fan/light entity.
1 Like

Also, a shortcut to turn on the light to full brightness. Maybe via the brightness up button: double tap or tap-tap-hold.

Firmware Change: I would like to see one change to the led notification bar where the bar would display a single LED on where the status is. Such as 100% would be near the top and 10% near the bottom.

Hardware Change: would be to have the canopy module be slightly smaller. The module is a very snug fit.

I’d like to be able to pair a single switch with two Fan Canopy Modules as I have a single switch that currently controls two fan/light units outside that we have to control via the pull strings. We’re happy to have the fans always operating at the same speed. Maybe this is even be possible in current state? But can’t buy the canopy modules separately so, that’s the ask.

If the fans are small enough to fit within the electrical capacity of the controller, you could run the blue/red/white/green leads over to the other fan from the controller via 14/3 romex and tie them together.

Would need to check capacities, but I’ve added LED can lights to my fan lights via this method.