Z-Wave 800 Series 2-1 Switch (On/Off & Dimmer) | Project Phoenix

Project Team
Feel free to tag any of us with questions. Myself (Eric H) & Darwyn are the go-to’s for overall project management and timeline questions, Eric M is the go-to for any firmware related questions and I’m (Eric H) the go-to for anything else. Either way, we’re all here to help!


Introduction
As per our tradition of working with you amazing people, here’s what this thread allows us to do as a community.

  1. Allows us to keep everyone updated on the project status (either good or bad)
  2. Allows you to participate and help us develop amazing products together
  3. Enjoy each other’s company and have fun talking home automation

How this initial post will be laid out is in five sections:

  1. Project Overview
  2. Initial Hardware & Software Requirements (edited to remain up-to-date)
  3. Timeline (edited to remain up-to-date)
  4. Pinned Ideas & Shout-outs (edited to remain up-to-date)
  5. Weekly Recap

Housekeeping

  • 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 a suggestions/wishlist section.

Ok, let’s get this party started!


Project Overview
Our existing Red Series switches are coming back and they’re being revamped onto the new Z-Wave 800 Series platform. One of our largest B2B clients requested us to fast track a Z-Wave version of our Zigbee 2-1 Switch and put a large order in so we’re going to simultaneously open this up to the public.

Project Name - Phoenix

As many of you know, we had a heck of a time keeping Z-Wave in stock in 2021-2022 due to supply chain issues. Without going into too much detail (as it’s probably boring), we’ve managed to work on some partnerships behind the scenes which allowed us to now have more pull with Z-Wave manufacturers and the allocation issues are no longer a problem.

The Red Series is going to rise from the ashes of COVID and have better technology (800 Series) as well as a much better feature-set (equal to our Zigbee 2-1 Switch). Therefore, we’re calling this project, “Phoenix”.


Phoenix - Hardware Requirements
We will be using our current Zigbee 2-1 switch hardware but swapping out the Zigbee module for a Z-Wave one.

Hardware

Hardware - Dimmer Switch (Look / Feel)

  • Responsive Paddle: rests in a neutral state (tap up = on // tap down = off & hold up = dim up // hold down = dim down)
  • Config / Favorite Button: button should be used for configuration of the switch as well as scene control.
    • Should be able to be held (for config)
    • Should be able to be tapped (for scene control)
  • RGB LED Bar: should measure the % of how much the switch is dimmed
    • LED’s should be RGB (artificial white included)
    • LED’s should also be able to be dimmed
  • Colors: dimmer switch will be offered in white (matching Lutron Claro wallplates), but the paddle should be able to be replaced to change colors (almond, brown, red, black, grey, etc)
  • Slim Design: depth of switch should be as slim as possible so that it can fit into metal boxes.
  • Air Gap: UL requirement
  • No heat-sink tabs: remove heat sink tabs for easier installation (note: may have to sacrifice max wattage)

Hardware - Features & Capabilities

  • Z-Wave 800: use the latest Z-Wave chipset (800 Series)
  • Z-Wave Long Range: support both normal and long range implementations
  • 3-Way / 4-Way Ready: should work in multiple different settings in a 3 & 4 Way setting
    • Should work with an auxiliary switch
    • Should work with an existing dumb switch
    • Should work with another smart switch via Associations
  • Power Monitoring: switch should measure the power consumption
  • Z-Wave Distance Estimator: should be able to estimate the signal strength of the Z-Wave signal and notify via the LED bar
  • Instant On: when tapped 1x (and scenes aren’t used), switch should turn the bulb on instantly (no delay)
    • Configurable delay in 100ms increments (see tech doc)
  • CFL & LED Compatibility: minimum buzz and flickering
  • Neutral & Non-Neutral Compatibility: switch should be able to work with a neutral wire or without a neutral wire
  • Auto-Detect Neutral/Non-Neutral: Switch should detect whether or not it’s connected to a neutral wire or not

Phoenix - Software Requirements
Below is what we came up with for the software requirements. A lot has been inspired from our Red Series Dimmer switch!

  • Z-Wave Scene Control: 21 scenes
    • 14 Scenes via Tapping the Paddle up or down and holding/releasing
    • 7 Scenes via Tapping/Holding the Config Button
  • Multiple Inclusion Methods: No encryption or S2, No Long Range or Long Range Enabled
  • Aux switch compatibility: Should work with the Inovelli Aux Switch when scene control is triggered
    • The Red Series switch should also be able to detect multi-taps from the aux switch
  • 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 config/favorites button.
    • 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)
  • 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
  • Ramp Rate Configuration: ability to change how fast/slow light turns on
  • Ramp rate & instant on/off separated
  • Default Dim Level: 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
  • Smart Bulb Mode: mimic our existing smart bulb implementation

Timeline
Since this project is was kicked off for a B2B client, we are under their timeline to get it done. Our GOAL is by the end of the year. Traditionally, this is how the project gets kicked off if you’re curious:

  1. We present a PRD (Project Request Document) that has all of the above info in it (see above section for the pdf)
  2. R&D (manufacturer) analyzes the PRD and we go back and forth until we can align on 90% of the product
  3. Initial Timeline is released and remaining 10% of product features are added/cut along the way

Pre-Initial Timeline Milestones:

  • Present PRD: Completed
  • R&D Analyzation: Completed
  • Initial Timeline Released: Completed

Timeline (Estimated)

The initial timeline will be shown below and will be updated bi-weekly (if needed).

  • Final confirmation of the structure
    • Estimated Completion Date: N/A (using Zigbee 2-1 structure)
    • Status: COMPLETED
  • Plastic structure tooling cycle
    • Estimated Completion Date: N/A (using Zigbee 2-1 tooling)
    • Status: COMPLETED
  • Metal structure tooling cycle
    • Estimated Completion Date: N/A (using Zigbee 2-1 tooling)
    • Status: COMPLETED
  • PCBA prototype production
    • Estimated Completion Date: October 21, 2022
    • Status: NOT STARTED
  • Prototype production and testing (3D printing structure)
    • Estimated Completion Date: November 4, 2022
    • Status: NOT STARTED
  • Switch and gateway compatibility test
    • Estimated Completion Date: December 9, 2022
    • Status: NOT STARTED
  • Program development and testing
    • Estimated Completion Date: December 16, 2022
    • Status: NOT STARTED
  • Product certification Z-Wave/FCC
    • Estimated Completion Date: December 23, 2022
    • Status: NOT STARTED
  • Product certification UL
    • Estimated Completion Date: December 23, 2022

Beta Testing will begin likely in mid-November.


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).

Hardware

Software

  1. Capturing @CodeMaster’s idea around built in multi-taps that do not require hub communication as referenced here: Zigbee 2-1 Switch (On/Off & Dimmer) | Project New Horizon (Blue Series) - #1086 by CodeMaster

  2. This thread: Spike up the dimmer level when turning on at lower dim level - #12 by PhAzE


Weekly Recap
Every Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, 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 (or afternoons depending on when we have the meeting).

September 12, 2022: This project is officially kicked off with the manufacturer.

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I hesitated to post this simply due to the excitement around the Blue Series (and also because it’s not been delivered to people yet), but figured what the heck, I’m too excited not to share and we’re on an accelerated timeline and our approach is to always be collaborative with the community.

We did not plan on releasing this until Q2 2023, but we were approached by a large B2B company who saw the success of our Zigbee 2-1, that they wanted us to fast track this project to be delivered by the end of the year (it’s a stretch, but we’ll see what happens).

We finally received the PO (and payment) for this project last week and we’ve officially kicked this off.

We’re going to use the same manufacturer that did our Zigbee 2-1 switch to save time, money and quite frankly, they are awesome to work with.

I’m not ready to open pre-orders any time soon as I just personally want to get the Blue Series in people’s hands as to not have it seem like we’re just selling hopes and dreams over here.

Let’s gooooooooooo!

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Just a thought, but is there any possibility of making the 3-way switches work with standard wiring configurations? Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t understand why your aux switches have the need to be rewired from traditional 3-way wiring. It could cause some confusion down the road, if there ever is the need to switch things out.

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3 way wiring with two smart switches pleaseeeee

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Once again @Eric_Inovelli take my :dollar: Been waiting on the red series and the five button, fan switch, and the aux switch!

Good suggestions - unfortunately with this one, there’s not much we can do from a hardware side since we’re just taking the Zigbee version and converting it to Z-Wave.

But something to consider with new switches.

@grooves12 - I think it would be the aux switch that needs to be redesigned (not the Red Series switch) as it only has two terminals.

@stu1811 - I’ll have to ask them the technical reasoning for the reason why they couldn’t pull this off. We definitely asked them to do this with the Zigbee version, but I remember there being a reason why they couldn’t. Let me follow up. I’d love this too.

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We’re slowly getting there lol. Appreciate the continued support!!

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Sounds amazing. Can’t wait! (And I guess this is a reminder that I shouldn’t re-do all my house with the Blue Series … not that I was planning to since I still wanted to leave some Red for the sake of my Z-Wave mesh health, but now I won’t feel like I’m missing out with those.)

I honestly can’t think of a single feature request given that the Red and (especially) Blue pretty much already handle anything I can think of … but maybe one small thing compared to the current Red Series: is there any way to use a transition time for on/off or level commands that is somewhere between 0 and 1 seconds? Right now, it’s stuck at 1s intervals, but 1s is too slow for me and 0 is a bit abrupt. Something around 400-500ms is my preference. I don’t notice this in most places since most of mine just control smart bulbs where I deal with this separately, but I have one controlling an actual load and it’s almost as unfathomably slow as some people thought the paddle delays were in earlier firmware. :rofl: (I actually never tested this with Blue, either, since I’ve mostly dealt with smart bulbs there, too, but Zigbee seems to handle this better in general than Z-Wave, which natively seems to really make 1s intervals the easiest to use…)

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I did a 3 way with two of the Red smart switches. I just capped off one of the travelers, and the other is bringing line to the other switch. So one Red on/off doesn’t have a load, just line and common, and the other is wired like a single switch. Both have the relay disabled, and the same virtual button controller in Hubitat. Seems to be working like a champ, is there some reason I shouldn’t have wired it this way?

Is there an advantage to wired 3-way vs virtual 3-way via zwave associations? I do suppose you “use up” an association on each switch when doing it virtually.

Heads up that the timeline seems to have typos in the year with “2021” instead of “2022” (unless I’m totally confused).

Haha, that’s what I get for copy/pasting from the Zigbee 2-1. Thanks for the heads up! I think I’m 0 for at least 10 on getting these right the first time!

Hmmm, more than likely an @EricM_Inovelli question, but I don’t see why not! Anything for you @BertABCD1234!

Out of curiosity so I can understand it better, are you talking about from the time you press the button to when the hub receives it? If so, what would you use that for? Not hating, genuinely curious!

I think the benefit to having it hardwired is if somehow Associations fail, it can revert back to a hardwired switch. But that’s all I can think of!

I use 2 Red Dimmers for all my 3 ways. I installed them in Feb, 2021. At that time the Aux switches didn’t have 100% of the look or features of a Red Dimmer. (Do they now?) I too capped off the traveler and only have a line, neutral and ground going to the non-load switch. BTW, the reason I wired them like that was because that was how the Inovelli diagram showed to do it. I don’t know if I had kept it as a traditional 3 way with a traveller if I could always push up for on and down for off. (Which is one of my favorite things about smart 3 ways).

In fact, I still have one GE Add-On switch that is brand new in the box.

No

Blue series has these settings in 100ms increments and the 800 series will as well.

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How about now? Are we there yet?

Put me down for 3. Maybe 4.

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No, though 1 second would be unbearably long for that too considering how much people hated the 700 milliseconds in the original Red firmware. :rofl: In SmartThings (classic…no idea how this works now, or will soon) or Hubitat terms, I’m talking about the fade time you’d get when you run a command like “Set Level” with both your target percentage and a transition time, though for things like on/off or the default for second-parameter-less "Set Level"s as well.

Glad to hear that! :smiley: (Never tested this much with Blue since I’m almost all smart bulbs and “scenes” and this issue is thus handled elsewhere for me, but I do still have that one Red Dimmer with a directly-controlled load…)

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I have a request to improve ramp up when used with a minimum dim level.

With the current red series if I have a dimmer with a min dim level of 40% and I turn the switch on, it appears to do nothing for a moment before actually beginning to brighten. What I think is happening is that the switch is ramping up from 0 instead of starting at the min dim level. Can we have ramp up start at the min dim level? (Same thing from the top down as well please)

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10 packs? Got you.

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