Thinking of ditching Insteon. Are Inovelli switches a good fit?

My understanding is that you can do this, but it requires some additional setup.

Each Switch has multiple Z-Wave association groups, each with a specific set of commands.
If you properly configure groups 2, 3, and 4 on Inovelli’s switches, my understanding is that you can have (for example) a 3-way dimmer setup where all 3 switches control a single load on/off/dimming and behave as a single circuit even while holding down the dimmer, all without a hub.

Group 2 only sends basic set commands (i.e., “On”, “Off”)
Group 3 only sends “multilevel set” commands (i.e., “set output to 70%”)
Group 4 only sends “multilevel set” dimming commands (i.e., “start dimming down”, “stop dimming”, “start dimming up”)

Using group 4 associations, you can have a single switch tell the other switches when it starts dimming (causing all switches to start dimming), when it stops dimming, and with a group 3 association, the final value after its done dimming (keeping the LED bars in sync). The Dim rate isn’t communicated, so you’d want to make sure the switches are all configured with the same dim rate— otherwise the LED bars might get out of sync while dimming, before snapping to the correct level when the switches stop dimming.

There are several threads and guides floating around on the forums here with specific details on how to create this configuration with the various common hubs, but you should be able to do what you want, i.e. walk up to a 2-way switch setup, press and hold the up button to dim the light up, and watch the paired switch across the room dim up in sync with the switch you’re touching, all without having to go through your hub, with the only limitation being the number of switches you’re keeping in sync as a single “circuit”.

I think that’s part of the trade off between a vendor-locked vertical integration and a compatibility standard. In theory, I can use any properly-designed Z-wave device from any manufacturer with a hub or other device from any other manufacturer. I can use Inovelli Switches with Inovelli Lights and a Hubitat hub and Schlage door locks and GoControl garage opener and Aeotec water leak detectors.

Each brand can specialize in what they know and do best, and/or be replaced if they aren’t continuing to fulfill their niche effectively without having to throw out the entire system. The trade off is configuration isn’t going to be as nice or new features universally integrated or perhaps push the boundaries as much.

That, and honestly, when it comes to light switches, Inovelli is king of features and service. :wink: Especially once you consider “Supports Z-Wave” to be the major feature that it is.

It’s the association limit which gets me. Suppose you have ten 3 way spotlights, each with 2 switches. Now suppose you wanted to make them all work together as if it was a 10 spotlight load. The limit prevents this. I can understand having some limit. Insteon has one, but it’s like 250 devices.

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Another option to consider is RadioRA2 from Lutron for switches/lights only. They have a similar “fabric” to Insteon, the entire network gets downloaded to all switches so they can operate without the Main/Aux repeaters if need be, and devices are in range of each other. The lighting system can then integrate via the Main repeater with Zwave/Zigbee/Wifi devices thru the smart hub of your choice, but lighting will just work standalone. Very nice custom engraved keypads for Lutron-controlled-scenes. Their ClearConnect wireless technology is very solid - it just works. They do cost quite a bit more than Zwave switches, not sure what your budget is. I don’t care for Caseta, for our installs we would only consider RadioRA2.

I struggle with this. Perhaps I am living in the poor house, but none of my 3+way switches lead to loads that aren’t tied together into a single load bank of lights or fixture. Perhaps you are wanting to control multiple rooms or areas at the same time?

I guess it just hasn’t been a limitation to me personally yet, in fact, I’ve not exceeded 3.

Precisely. Family Room / Kitchen on the same level. Stair lights. Porch/deck, etc.

I guess I’m spoiled with Insteon. And sadly I’m disappointed with Z-wave’s apparent limitation in this area. Or I’m looking at the wrong place.

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So you are wanting a single switch to always turn on all those lights at the same time, every time?


Without a hub you are limited to 5 slave devices, so I do think this isn’t the solution for you.

With a hub, you can do exactly as you desire (if any dimmer changes level, match other dimmer levels to it), but it won’t be dimming at the same time and it won’t be immediate.

Also, this in MY opinion is what scenes/scene control was built for. If I hit down on my master bedroom switch, it turns off every light in the house, arms the security system, turns the switches red (armed mode, so the kids know), turns on the security camera motion detection, and turns the entire home into night mode (1% when motion detected outside of bedrooms for nightlight).

I understand this isn’t what you are looking for necessarily, but this is the approach the “current” industry is using.

In addition dimming control is automatic on circadian for me, so VERY rarely am I actually dimming anywhere. I just needed the functionality for dumb loads.

I am an HA user and have had ISY/Insteon switches for years. I am in the process of replacing Insteon switches with Red series Inovelli. I am about to tackle some 3way circuits - ie currently 2 Insteon switches. I intend to use an Inovelli and a ‘compatible’ cheaper switch.

Question: Has anyone been able to use an existing Insteon switch as the ‘dumb’ switch in this scenario?