As mentioned in the 2019 Product Roadmap topic, this thread serves multiple purposes.
- Allows us to keep you updated on the project status (either good or bad)
- Allows you to participate and help us develop amazing products with you
- Enjoy each other’s company and have fun talking home automation
How this initial post will be laid out is in five sections:
- Project Overview
- Initial Hardware & Software Requirements (edited to remain up-to-date)
- Timeline (edited to remain up-to-date)
- Pinned Ideas & Shout-outs (edited to remain up-to-date)
- Weekly Recap
- DATES & FUNCTIONS ARE NOT SET IN STONE: Just a reminder that all dates and functions are sometimes fluid. We have to make choices based on feasibility, opportunity costs, and overall timeline. I will be as transparent as possible on these decisions, but just a heads up, they may not always be exciting.
- NO IDEA IS A BAD IDEA: Ok, some are, but honestly throw out anything that you can think of. If we use your idea, we’ll credit you and send you a free device, so take that shot!
- VERSION 1 VS VERSION 2: Some ideas may be fantastic, but may not make the cut for the first version of the product. Once the product is locked in from a function standpoint, we’ll keep a tally of V2 ideas and then once the product is produced, we’ll move the ideas over to the Suggestions & Wishlist section.
Ok, let’s get this party started!
The purpose of this project is to give people what they’ve been waiting for. Not only has this been the #1 most requested product for Inovelli, it’s been asked about for the 5+ years I’ve had a smart house and the missing piece of my home automation puzzle. It’s time to provide a solid Z-Wave offer that allows you to control both a fan and your fan’s light from one switch.
Project Name - HurricaneThe name came about due to the fact that this has been a product that I've seen asked for since I was in grad school at the U (Miami -- Hurricanes) where Inovelli came to life. It also doubles as fans produce wind and so do hurricanes. Cheesy, I know, but it gives us a chuckle internally.
Hurricane - Hardware Requirements
Here are the initial hardware asks we came up with. Pretty decent start!
Hardware - Initial Mockup
Hardware - Fan/Light Switch (Look / Feel)
- Push Buttons (Top & Bottom): top button turns on/off lights, bottom button turns on/off fan – both buttons can activate scenes
- Config & Toggle Buttons: buttons can be used to dim up/down lights, increase/decrease fan speed and also be used to configure the switch
- RGB LED Bars: will measure the % of how much the lights are dimmed or the level the fan is on (LED’s should be RGB and should be able to be dimmed in intensity or disabled altogether)
- Decals: should have etched decals indicating which is the fan and which is the light switch
- Colors: fan switch will be offered in white, but the paddle should be able to be replaced to change colors (almond, brown, red, black, grey, etc)
Hardware - Fan Module (Look / Feel)
- Size: should be able to be fit easily in a fan canopy
- Wires: should have four wires (2x Lines, 1x Switched Line, Neutral – OPTIONAL, Not Required)
Hardware - Connectivity
How it will work is that your HUB will send a Z-Wave command to the switch and then the switch will send an RF signal to the ceiling module
- 700 Series Z-Wave Plus: switch should be powered by Z-Wave
- RF: switch will communicate directly with the module
Hardware - Features & Capabilities
- Power Monitoring: Should measure power consumption for both light and fan separately
- Z-Wave Distance Estimator: LED lights will light up red if not in range, or green if in range
- CFL & LED Compatibility
- Max Wattage & Amperage: 500W (Incandescent) & 300W (LED/CFL) for bulbs / 1 Amp for Fan
Reverse: Ceiling fan should be able to have the ability to reverse via the switch
- 07/09: unfortunately, due to timing and complexities, we had to push this feature to v2
Neutral and Non-Neutral Compatibility: Switch should be able to work with or without a neutral wire
- 07/09: unfortunately, due to timing and complexities, we had to push this feature to v2
Hurricane - Software Requirements
Below is what we came up with for the software requirements. It’s going to be one insane switch!
Z-Wave Scene Control: 12 scenes (Z-Wave Central Scene Command)
- 6 Scenes via Tapping the Light Button or Holding for 3 seconds
- 6 Scenes via Tapping the Fan Button or Holding for 3 seconds
Notifications via RGB Bars: RGBW Bars should be able to change colors based on events set up by customer (ie: if window sensor is opened, RGBW bar changes to red)
- User can choose to sync the bars or have them show separate notifications
- RGB Bars Config: bar should be able to change colors and also dimmed to the customers favorite level
- Auto Timer: switch should have a timer that shuts the switch off after a certain amount of time
Easy Config: switch should be able to be configured via the light and fan dimmer buttons (by holding down both top / bottom for 5 seconds).
- There should be infinite customization via parameters in the firmware, but also set customizations for HUB’s that do not allow parameter changes (ie: Wink)
- You should be able to configure the light / fan separately
- Internal Relay Disable: internal relay should be able to be disabled locally and via Z-Wave
- Set Min/Max Level: minimum dim level / maximum dim level (for lights & fan)
- Ramp Rate Configuration: ability to change how fast/slow light turns on
- Ramp rate & instant on/off separated
- Default Dim Level (for lights and fan): ability to set the default dim level
- OTA Ready: ability to update firmware via OTA
- Associations switch should be able to be associated to other Z-Wave devices
Ah, everyone’s favorite part. When is this flippin thing going to be released? Great question – here’s the high-level of what happens leading up to the first release of the timeline:
- We present a PRD (Project Request Document) that has all of the above info in it
- R&D (manufacturer) analyzes the PRD and we go back and forth until we can align on 90% of the product
- Initial Timeline is released and remaining 10% of product features are added/cut along the way
Again, just want to throw this out there – I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t predict things that come up along the way. Trust me when I say we’re trying our best to get things launched on time.
Pre-Initial Timeline Milestones:
- Present PRD: Completed 05/22
- R&D Analyzation: Completed 07/09
- Initial Timeline Released: Completed 07/09
The initial timeline will be shown below and will be updated weekly (if needed).
Design Phase: Completed (estimated completion date is
- Structure Design (Rendering, 3D Mockups, and Printed Mockups): In Progress (est. completion date is 08/09)
- Hardware Design (PCB Design & Testing): Completed (est. completion date is
- 08/16: Approx. 2 week delay here due to firmware engineers wrapping up our dimmer switch – basic firmware is needed to create the hardware (they work hand in hand)
- 09/05: PCB Board completed for the switch and PCB Board for the module is underway to be completed by next week
- 09/24: PCB Boards are completed and samples were sent for review with the PCB Boards in them (NOTE: They do not have live firmware, but the hardware parts are accurate)
- RF & Antenna Design: Completed (est. completion date = 08/09)
- Firmware (For Basic Functions Only): Started (est. completion date is
- 08/16/19: As mentioned above, there is a 2wk delay here due to the firmware engineers working on our dimmer switches
- 01/07/20: Firmware got pushed back significantly due to a shortage of engineers at the manufacturer. The one assigned to our project had to work on Dimmer firmware much longer than anticipated. Couple that with other projects he was being pulled into, it caused a delay. Good news is that the manufacturer has said they’ve hired 2 additional engineers who will be assigned to us.
Tooling: Finished (est. completion date is
EVT Phase: Finished (est. completion date is
DVT Phase: In Progress (est. completion date is
Certifications: Not Started (est. completion date is
- Z-Wave Certification (Technical): Not Started
- Z-Wave Certification (Marketing): Not Started
- FCC Certification: Not Started
- IC Certification: Not Started
- UL Certification: Not Started
Mass Production: Not Started (est. completion date is
Arrival on Amazon, Inovelli.com, etc: Not started (est. completion
NOTE: We will be rolling out Beta Testing while the manufacturer is celebrating Chinese New Year. We will be reaching out to a few people here in the forums. Testing will take place from 01/20/20 to 02/02/20 (or TBD).
Pinned Ideas & Shout-Outs
Here are the ideas from the community. We sincerely appreciate them, we love them, and we couldn’t create the products we do without them. So, thank you for your input and let’s continue to innovate together and change the home automation category for the better (NOTE: if an idea is crossed out, it’s not because it wasn’t valid, nor was it something we didn’t consider – we’ve discussed it internally or with the manufacturer and unfortunately it was not feasible).
(Shoutout to Kyle1977) –
Universal Connectivity via RF: The switch should be able to communicate with existing ceiling fan modules using 915 MHz (as this is the most common followed by 433 MHz)
- 07/09: This was a real bummer as I loved this feature, but unfortunately, having the 915 MHz frequency inside the switch to communicate with the ceiling module would cause major interference as Z-Wave runs on 908.42 MHz. The other frequency is 433 MHz and unfortunately, the antenna would be too big to put inside the switch and module. So, the manufacturer is suggesting 2.4 GHz.
Add another line terminal so that people who have both the line and load coming down from the fan can wire up the switch without a fan canopy, but still use the single switch design (with two buttons)
- 08/22/19: I fought hard I promise! This will have to be moved to V2 due to a complete redesign of the PCB board and also there are some depth issues that may arise. Currently, the fan module houses the dimmer and fan control electronics and if we were to add two terminals to the switch in order to bypass the module, we’d have to move all the electronics from the module to the switch causing the switch depth to be much larger. We are planning on coming out with dual switches next year so we do need to figure this out – however, to meet the Jan 2020 timeline, unfortunately the team just couldn’t revamp the design at this time.
Shoutout to someone awesome – if you see this and recommended it, let me knowThanks @joshbgosh10592 glad you found the community and thanks for the suggestion!) Breeze Mode: Fan should have, “Breeze Mode” where the fan will toggle through the speeds randomly to simulate a breeze
- @NicksGarage – Building on Breeze Mode - let’s add two options in the config button settings (low or high) so the user can select which type of breeze they’d prefer.
Every Wednesday, we have a meeting with our manufacturer to go over the various projects (status, issues, timeline, etc) and below I’ll provide a recap as well as edit the sections above so we can all keep track. If you have any specific questions you’d like me to ask, feel free to tag me and let me know so I can ask them as well. The weekly cadence for updates will be Thursday mornings.
August 7, 2019: everything above is the latest news. I’ll have a call later today with them and update everyone tomorrow.
August 9, 2019: project is still on track from a timeline standpoint. There may be a slight delay due to firmware resources, but for now it’s still on track. They’ve also created a mockup sample and will colorize it for us when @Nathan_Inovelli and @Brianna_Inovelli are out there next week.
August 16, 2019: There will be an overall 4 week delay on these (dangit) due to the firmware engineers needing to understand the 700 Series SDK that is launching shortly as well as them being understaffed. I had a feeling this was coming, but it’s still disheartening when the project is pushed back. What we’re doing to combat this in the future is to start learning the 700 Series SDK ourselves so we can write the firmware in-house (to date, Eric M. has been overseeing the process, but his time has been dedicated to writing device handlers, drivers, answering technical tickets, and testing). However, we think it’s best to bring this in-house moving forward to save time. Dev kits are ordered and Eric M. and @Frank_jr_Inovelli will be learning some Z-Wave shortly!
- Side note: below is a pic of the Fan/Light Switch vs the new Dimmer Switch from a depth perspective. Pretty impressive considering the Fan/Light switch is two switches in one!
August 22, 2019: The project is still on track for an early Jan 2020 deliverable. The team worked hard this week to try to get @Arib0nd’s design implemented, but unfortunately it had to be pushed to V2 due to the reason above, so there will be a module required for this switch (get those ladders out!)
September 05, 2019: Two days ahead of schedule! PCB Board is completed for the switch portion and has been tested to work (with basic firmware) and now they are finalizing the PCB Board for the module portion, which should be completed next week according to the timeline.
September 12, 2019: PCB boards are wrapped up and initial prototypes will be sent at the end of next week. We are on track to deliver per the timeline! They are a little worried about firmware and the fact that their engineers are newer and need time to understand 700 Series, but we will continue to push.
September 23, 2019: We received prototypes (to test and confirm the tactile feel of the buttons and to ensure everything was good) and aside from them looking like they were glow-in-the-dark (we knew ahead of time they wouldn’t be painted), they look and feel amazing! I’ll get a less autumny pic tomorrow, but for now it’ll have to do (I think it looks pretty sweet and fits in perfectly with the season). But long story short, we’re approved to move forward!
October 3, 2019: No real update here as the project managers are out on vacation until October 7th. The important thing is that the firmware engineer is now free to work on this given that Dimmer Switches are in Production! I’ll know more next week (October 9th) if there’s any delay due to the firmware engineer being tied up with dimmer firmware.
November 24, 2019: Dang, it’s been a while since an update – my bad guys. So, there’s been a small delay due to the resource allocation at the manufacturer for firmware engineers. Currently, they’ve allocated one guy to us and since he was working hard on the Dimmer Switches, he couldn’t start on the Fan/Light switch until recently. As you may have gathered, this project is much harder than the Dimmer switch AND it’s 700 Series vs 500 Series, so there’s a slight learning curve. As of right now, they are saying it will be mid-March, but we are pushing them for February as they did just hire two new Z-Wave engineers and have allocated them to us.
We will have a mostly working model at our booth at CES, which is great.
At the same point, we needed to add in a couple weeks so that we can send out test units to Beta Testers. We will be reaching out shortly to those on the list and what we’d like to do is have you guys put these things through the ringer so that we can really make sure they are good to go at launch (@EricM_Inovelli and I can only do so much and while they are Z-Wave Certified, since the switches are so advanced and some Hubs interpret firmware differently, there are bugs that inevitably shine through).
I can promise you all that this is still our top priority and right now, it’s all about the firmware creation!
January 07, 2020: Major update – I’ll start with the bad news and then finish with the good news! Bad news is this project will be delayed a bit due to manufacturer resources around their firmware engineers. Since this is a 700 Series product, they needed some extra time to learn the process and also since they took a while to work on the Dimmer switches, they didn’t have time to work on the Fan/Light. We’re looking at early Q2 now (the project timeline says late March, so there is hope, but based on track record, I’d say give us an extra month).
Ok, so what’s the good news? Good news is we have a final prototype at CES with partial firmware on it and dang, does it look sharp!
We should be rolling out beta testing around the 20th of January – stay tuned!
January 08, 2020: Pre-Orders are OPEN! Feel free to pick one (or 10) out here: https://inovelli.com/shop/smart-light-switches/zwave-smart-switches-gen2/z-wave-fan-light-switch-pre-order/
Pre-Orders will end on February 29, 2019. Thanks so much for your support!
Edit: Posting Random Schematics (will post more later):
#1 - One Wire between Fan / Switch
January 21, 2020: Beta units have arrived and we will begin testing shortly! Thanks for everyone who’s volunteered to test for us. I know there was a lot of interest and it was difficult to choose given the small amount of units we received. However, I’m confident in the group we have and we’re looking forward to sharing the progress.