LZ31-SN first impressions

So I received the 6 dimmers that I pre-ordered end of last week and started installing them over the weekend. I’ve got 5 of the 6 in so far and so far have been pretty happy. There’s ALOT you can do with these and I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface yet in terms of scenes, notifications, integration, etc…

Installation wasn’t very hard at all. I’m a novice when it comes to AC wiring and really only ran into two minor hiccups when putting these in. I’m running these on a Smartthings hub and 4 of the 6 dimmers are on 3 way circuits. I’ve got a neutral wire in every location that a smart dimmer has gone into as well. Here’s my experience so far:

  1. First dimmer installed in our bedroom was a normal dimmer controlling 4 led high hats. These are 13w sunco fully dimmable LED retrofits and I immediately noticed that all 4 did not fully shut off even after adjusting min/max settings, etc… I ended up having to put a bypass resistor behind the switch to take care of this. Not sure why as my living room has the exact same retrofits on 2 different circuits (split the living room lights into 2 groups of 2) and I do not have any problems with flickering/not shutting off completely on either dimmer).

  2. When I first installed the dimmers in 3 way locations, everything seemed to be working until I realized I could only control the dumb switch if the smart dimmer had already been “on.” I assumed that I had simply wired something wrong but after pulling out the dimmers while I was troubleshooting with an electrician friend, I realized that I had simply not configured these in smartthings to be 3 ways.

  3. Now that I’ve got all dimmers installed and working, I spent a lot of time last night messing around with scenes and notifications. It certainly isn’t what I would consider straightforward to get everything configured the way you want but you are definitely able to do a lot. I’ve setup a few scenes already and will be getting our logitech harmony hub hooked back up today or tomorrow. From what I’m reading, we should be able to use that to control scenes (ie movie) automatically when we press a button on the remote. Notifications are pretty cool too. I didn’t originally appreciate that you can set notifications to each dimmer individually which is nice. Currently I’ve got a notification for when our garage door opens and also another one that indicates when our opener has been turned off for the night (we’ve got a smartplug to the opener that’s set to shut off every night before bed).

  4. Configuring the multiple button presses to activate scenes is also pretty great and it’s nice to be able to do this without having to rely on an app.

I have a feeling I’ll be going down a rabbit hole with integrating everything and getting it to work just the way we want but so far I’m pretty happy with these switches!

One thing i think would be useful (not sure if this is possible) would be to allow for multiple notifications on a switch. In other words, let’s say I’ve got notifications setup to indicate if the garage door is open and also whether the back door is locked-it would be nice to be able to have a single switch cycle through multiple notifications if they are present.

I’m sure I’ll run into other things as I spend more time but just wanted to share my thoughts for now! As frustrating as it was to wait what has essentially been a year and a half to get smart switches (I first started looking at Inovelli in July of 2018), I’m not happy that I decided to stick with them and not move to a different platform.

I guess I don’t have exactly what you want, but I kind of wanted something similar. I originally set up my “notification” LED to correspond to my hub’s location mode, e.g., make it red if I’m in night mode, etc. I also had other notifications for motion at the front door and similar. The problem was that changing to night mode then having motion at the front door made it go back to the “default” (blue unless you change it) LED, not the previous notification. I didn’t have a desire to cylce through, but I still wanted to basically know two different, possibly overlapping things from the same switch.

What I did instead was modified the driver to provide an easy way to set the default LED. That way, it will go back to this every time the notification LED is cleared, and it will dispaly the LED with these settings at all other times regardless. This does require you to pick a “favorite” and prioritize what you really want to be notified about. For example, in my case it’s quite clear that if it’s both night mode and there is motion, I care about motion more. I’m not sure what I’d do in your case; perhaps you’d care more about the garage door being open and would be OK with seeing the lock status only if that notification is (cleared or) not active.

I modified this (LZW31-SN) driver for use with Hubitat here: https://github.com/RMoRobert/Hubitat/blob/master/drivers/inovelli-switch-red-series-lzw30-sn-advanced.groovy. Similar changes could be made to work on SmartThings. In either case, you do need the ability to call custom commands (Rule Machine works on HE; webCoRE could probably work on ST). I suppose I could make it create a “default LED child device” that implements the Color Control and Switch Level capabilities like a bulb so it’s easily modifiable from “regular” apps… :slight_smile:

Anyway, just an idea that might help!

I’m a first time user of Z-Wave Plus products, and the LZW31-SN is one of the first 3 dimmer switches I bought to evaluate. I’m adding to this topic rather than creating a new one, but I think someone should modify the topic to read “LZW31-SN …” as I don’t think there is a a LZ31-SN product.

I haven’t owned any Zigbee or Z-Wave devices until now, so I purchased a Hubitat hub, but may end up with something running Home Assistant. A non-Internet-dependent setup for management is important to me.

Anyway, what appealed to me when I purchased, in order of importance:

  1. The S2 security and device-specific key (strong authentication + encryption and other aspects of security are VERY important to me). Seems like a few vendors provide similar basics, so I take it for granted this is easy to find now, though varying Hub support for these capabilities seems to be the weak link.
  2. Optional use WITHOUT a neutral wire, as I wasn’t sure how many of my switch boxes had this
  3. Compatibility with a 4-way switches

Bonuses I wasn’t looking for initially, but now add some reasons why I will purchase a few more:

  • the extra physical button
  • extra features like energy monitoring and the LED strip for status

I really want the latest Z-wave 700 series chipset everywhere, but it seems it’s too new, so the 500 series / “Plus” are fine for now.

So about the Red Series:

My initial “out-of-the-box” experience was disappointing because of the multi-second slow fade up when I hit the paddle up once to turn on. This is NOT a good default, IMHO. Another vendor I tried had near instant on as a default, but was fully configurable afterwards, and I think that’s a better default.

So I had to fiddle with the hub (find the driver, install it, etc.) before I finally got the ramp rate setup correctly. Later I realized I could have done this without the hub, but that was buried in the printed instructions and not immediately apparent. Anyway, I do like the content on your community forums, and engagement from employees/founder. Searching your site got me far enough in terms of finding the right drivers to install for Hubitat without a lot of fuss.

The printed documentation is impressive – I wish more vendors provided this level of detail in the box. However, some formatting improvements – such as making the page numbers stand out more – might help new users quickly figure out what is relevant.

I still don’t see any docs though on the device-specific key or SmartStart. I know Hubitat doesn’t support that yet, but eventually with or without Hubitat, I plan to only use S2 security to start with and the DSK seems like a good idea for an out-of-band shared secret, and to ease bulk additions of devices.

Another thing that wasn’t obvious from the docs: I wanted to setup the config button to turn on another light via rules in Hubitat, but it was not clear what button number to use. Eventually logs and SmartThings articles, I figured out it is 7.

Also not clear how to do firmware updates ( I don’t have a Windows or MAC PC; would prefer Linux if it matters), but I’m not at the point yet where I need to do this … at least I don’t think so.

BTW, the extra plastic wall plate in the box is a nice touch, but I think it will result in a lot of wasted plastic + screws for folks like me who don’t need it for most locations. I’m not sure what the tradeoff is in production efficiency vs a different SKU that’s a buck cheaper (or whatever) without those parts. The plastic on this paddle is slightly warmer than my existing cool white panels and paddles, but only noticeable in a multi-gang where it’s adjacent to an existing dumb switch paddle. So in that scenario, what’s provided in the box (single panel) is not of use to me anyway in terms of matching colours.

Anyway, overall a very good product, and with some emphasis on security and some documentation improvements, I think you’ll help set a higher bar for others to follow, as you seem to be with current feature set. I took the time to write this because I get the impression you might listen :slight_smile:

Hubitat is a local controller.

Yes, understood. I meant to say, that’s why I picked Hubitat, but as my use evolves, I may end up with Home Assistant as an alternate local option (for separate reasons).