ZigBee On/Off Switch | Project New Horizon (Blue Series)

NOTE: We decided to combine the On/Off and Dimmer switch into a single SKU to make things easier from a logistics and cost management side of things. Plus, it will end the debate of having two different size LED bars :slight_smile:

New project can be found here: ZigBee Dimmer/On-Off Switch (Maycock Signature Series) | Project New Horizon (Blue Series)

TLDR: Here’s the PRD (Project Request Document) that we used to kick this off – this will give you the highlights and has pretty pictures.

Project New Horizon (On-Off) - PRD.pdf (1.0 MB)

NOTE: This is a PDF version, the PPT version is live and edited so the PRD may change and thus so will the project. However, I may not update the PDF as it shouldn’t change too much. In other words, this is a disclaimer stating that what you see in the initial PDF may not be what’s final.

Project Team
Feel free to tag any of us with questions. Courtney & 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!

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


  • 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
The purpose of this project is to reach a new market. Traditionally, we’ve stayed in the Z-Wave space (and we will continue to do so) as that’s where we’re comfortable and where we’ve excelled. However, with the announcement of CHIP we made the decision to start developing in that space as well.

The ZigBee Alliance is spearheading the CHIP initiative and when the time comes to launch the CHIP project, certain products will have the ability to OTA the new protocol. In other words, some of the ZigBee switches you purchase now (ours included) will be using the same chip that the CHIP (too many chip references) protocol will use and you’ll be able to instantly OTA your firmware.

In addition, there has been a huge market for switches that work with smart bulbs and while our current Z-Wave switches have this ability already, they’re better suited for Z-Wave bulbs, which are a niche market (at this point in time, I think we’re the only ones who have plans to sell them). Whereas Philips Hue, the most popular and leader in lighting, runs off ZigBee.

We’re excited to start this journey and offer another option for people who aren’t quite ready for a full on hub and maybe are just starting to get their feet wet in home automation.

Project Name - New Horizon

“New Horizon” refers to us creating something that is new to us. As mentioned above, we’ve staked our existence in Z-Wave, but we’re ready to take on the adventure of a new (to us) protocol in ZigBee and a new (to the industry) protocol in CHIP.

New Horizon - Hardware Requirements
We will be using our current on/off switch hardware with a few modifications. If you’re really interested in seeing what’s under the tent and how we kick off these projects, scroll to the top to see the internal PRD (Project Request Document) that we presented.


On Off Product Shot with Box_Alpha No Shadow

Hardware - On/Off 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 show whether the switch is on or off
    • LED’s should be RGB (artificial white included)
    • LED’s should also be able to be dimmed
  • Colors: on/off 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

  • ZigBee 3.0: use the latest ZigBee chipset (should be the same one that will be used for CHIP and compatible with Philips Hue + Amazon Echo Plus)
  • 3-Way / 4-Way Ready: should work in multiple different settings in a 3 & 4 Way setting
    • Should work with an auxiliary switch (like GE’s does)
    • Should work with an existing dumb switch
    • Should work with another smart switch (if wired to another smart switch, it should be able to detect this)
  • Power Monitoring: switch should measure the power consumption
  • ZigBee Distance Estimator: should be able to estimate the signal strength of the ZigBee 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
  • Max Wattage: 600W Incandescent / 300W LED
  • Inductive Load Capable: compatible with fans (exhaust and ceiling)
  • Neutral & Non-Neutral Compatibility: switch should be able to work with a neutral wire or without a neutral wire
    • Should auto-detect which setting it’s in (neutral/non-neutral, aux/dumb) and if it can’t, then there should be a manual override.
  • Auto-Detect Line/Load (and if possible other terminals)
    • No matter how customer wires it, the switch should be able to detect what’s wired/where.

New Horizon - Software Requirements
Below is what we came up with for the software requirements. A lot has been inspired from our Red Series On/Off switch!

  • ZigBee Scene Control: 15 scenes (if possible – not sure if ZigBee supports this yet)
    • 14 Scenes via Tapping the Paddle up or down and holding/releasing
    • 1 Scenes via Tapping the Config Button
  • Notifications via RGB 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)
  • 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 ZigBee
  • OTA Ready: ability to update firmware via OTA
  • Associations switch should be able to be associated to other ZigBee devices
  • Smart Bulb Mode: mimic our Red Series smart bulb implementation but for ZigBee

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:

  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

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.

In addition, we are using a separate manufacturer for this project so there may be a learning curve. Nothing wrong with our current manufacturer, just this new one is more specialized in ZigBee.

Pre-Initial Timeline Milestones:

  • Present PRD: Completed (Feb. 02, 2021)
  • R&D Analyzation: Completed (Mar. 01, 2021)
  • Initial Timeline Released: Completed (Mar. 15, 2021)

Timeline (Estimated)

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

The overall project plan is divided into three stages:

Phase 1

Expected to be completed in mid-April, 2021.

  • Competing product analysis, including structure, appearance, design plan, functional operation, and interaction.
    • Est. Completion: April 15, 2021
    • Status: In Progress
    • Notes:
  • Analysis of the neutral and non-neutral part of knowledge.
    • Est. Completion: March 29, 2021
    • Status: In Progress
    • Notes:
  • Analysis and verification of the on/off circuit.
    • Est. Completion: March 29, 2021
    • Status: In Progress
    • Notes:
  • Analysis and verification of electric energy metering method
    • Est. Completion: March 29, 2021
    • Status: In Progress
    • Notes:

Phase 2

Expected to be completed early July, with the majority to be completed by late May, 2021.

  • Structural design and tooling
    • Est. Completion: July 5, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:
  • Hardware design and PCBA production of the neutral and neutral on/off switch
    • Est. Completion: April 30, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:
  • Hardware design and PCBA production of non-neutral switch and non-neutral on/off switch
    • Est. Completion: May 20, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:
  • Software/firmware development
    • Est. Completion: May 20, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:
  • Prototype testing and production
    • Est. Completion: May 25, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:

Phase 3

Expected to be completed by mid-late August, 2021.

  • Neutral adaptive switch and on/off switch solution analysis and verification
    • Est. Completion: June 5, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:
  • Neutral adaptive hardware design and PCBA production
    • Est. Completion: July 5, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:
  • Prototype testing and production (beta testing)
    • Est. Completion: July 31, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:
  • Product certification FCC/UL/Zigbee
    • Est. Completion: August 14, 2021
    • Status: Not Started
    • Notes:

Final Estimated Release Date: September 30, 2021

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).



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).

March 03, 2021: First actual meeting with the new manufacturer to introduce ourselves and ask questions around the PRD that was given to them on the 1st of February (Chinese New Year halted a lot of the talks, that’s why a month has gone by without any movement). They are very excited to work with us and are optimistic about these switches as ZigBee is their specialty.

April 08, 2021: Still on track for a September release date. Today we talked about energy monitoring in a non-neutral setting. We ultimately decided against it as there is a 20-30% error rate if no neutral wire is used. Outside of this, we talked about the compatibility of our new aux switch. Overall, a great meeting!



LOL – dangit… happens every time. Copy/paste error!

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Hardware Feedback:

  • Would much prefer this based on the dimmer hardware with a full height, multi-segment LED bar so there is the ability for more variations of status than what the single LED allows for. Even if it IS only on/off, those notifications can be used and it could help reduce the variations of hardware going forward. Or is this just a case of the wrong image being shown?
  • Appreciate the no heatsink tabs. Those are always a pain to deal with in my experience and I would have to think there are not that many cases of people needing HUNDREDS of watts of LEDs on the same switch. Incandescent is a bit more problematic but most people going with smart switches are not using many of those nowadays. As an example at my house, our “heaviest” light load is ~144w. 12 x 12w LED bulbs (my wife has 2 “starburst” fixtures, each with 6 bulbs in one room). If these were using their original incandescent bulbs (60w each) it would have been an insane 720w, but I never even put them in the fixtures to begin with.
  • Appreciate the fan/motor compatibility. Any ideas or goals for the supported amperage of said fan/motor and whether there will be a minimum level as well? I got hit by that lately with a switch that could not properly drive a fan that has too low of power requirements.
  • Work with existing dumb switch or smart switch, so as the main switch or as an auxiliary as needed? Nice. Basically the goal is to be able to put it anywhere and have it work as intended?

Firmware Feedback:

  • Timer function should be able to trigger the notification LED(s) without having to go through the controller (if configured). I WANT THIS timer function with a full LED bar so our fans can finally be on smart switches not the old timer switches they have… I did not think this was possible with the existing Z-Wave models you have, but buying ZigBee for it… hmm…
  • Smart Bulb Mode: should put a link to the Red Series implementation, not everyone might be familiar with that.
  • No mention of whether it will handle multiple presses, hold, or release functions. I assume they would but just want to make sure that functionality is there.

This is the on/off switch. Recommend moving to the Dimmer.

This. It’s time to abandon the single-LED on/off and go full Inovelli look. The notifications are just too useful not to implement across the board. In your last video you gave great reasoning for cancelling the black series, but I know very few of us are going to complain about having the full LED bar and having to pay $5-10 more per switch.


Thanks! My bad, done.

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This is the age-old debate lol. Let me toss it around again internally to see what people think.

The points for basically boil down to:

  • Consistent look (this has been argued to be a pro and a con)
  • Large LED bar for notifications

The points against boil down to:

  • Added cost (yes, some people don’t care, but others certainly do)
  • Consistent look – people want to know what switches are on/off and what are dimming
  • Believe it or not, some people do not like the LED bar (I know… ya weirdos) and the small bar is preferred

Yes, we’re excited about this as well. While it takes maybe 2 min to remove them, the B2B crowd installs 50+ at a time, that time can add up and cost money. Plus, yes, it’s annoying to find some pliers sometimes lol.

It will likely be the same as our current On/Off switches in that they support a 300W inductive load. I’m not sure on a minimum load, but I can find that out.

Yes, that is the goal :slight_smile:

This was the inspiration for our Gen 2’s and for the most part, we did it. We did drop the ball on the smart switch to smart switch hardwired capability, but it works from an association standpoint, so it’s close enough. We hope the ZigBee ones can do this by traveler detection like normal switches.

Can you elaborate here? So, you’re asking if you set the auto-off timer for 5min, it should give some sort of visual count-down via notifications?

Great idea – I didn’t want to open a can of worms lol – I’m still recovering from those conversations, but I can add in more context haha.

It will if ZigBee supports it. I believe it does and we called it out on the first bullet-point in the, “Software Requirements” section, but there’s so many requirements, it’s easy to miss!

“very few of us” (us being the key word here) – I can see the logic here and oftentimes I have to reflect on our target market. Right now, I will definitely agree with you in that our current target market has shown that an extra $4-5 increase in costs has not made a difference in sales. However, our current target market are also enthusiasts and appreciate the value of what we’re building together.

The target market for these switches (which I know there will be some cross-over) is mass market and looking at the competition out there, their pricing is low. Much lower than we can ever be. So, while we can probably command a slight premium pricing difference, there’s not a lot of wiggle room. Especially as companies catch up to us from a firmware POV (we’re seeing this now in the Z-Wave market – one of our competitors has successfully copied most of our firmware and is way less expensive than us in some cases). So, what I’m trying to say is every penny counts in ZigBee. We can exploit some of the gaps in the market for a short period of time (ie: no Hue hardwired switch) but that time will run out and we need to be able to have a product that is attractive to more price conscious consumers.

Sorry for rambling lol. Marketing is my passion and the 4 P’s are always on my mind (I’m a nerd, I get it).


If people can understand what it can do, they will pay extra for it. I just know that is the case in the people that come to my house and see it in action. The problem is making that visible in packaging. Perhaps a QR to a video like “SEE IT IN ACTION” showing what it can do would be valuable…

@Eric_Inovelli Or an addon part like the new aux switch!


Fantastic idea.

For the button press/hold, multi-press, I took that part to mean they were all tied to the scene capability and could not be used separately by hubs capable of it. I have almost never used scenes, so when I see that feature it is usually a “skip” in my mind.

Sorry, I realize I forgot to answer this question. So the concept is pretty much that, although it really only applies (well) if you have multiple LEDs. For example, our current ones have 7 settings with an LED next to each. 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, 60 min, ON. They also have an up-down rocker and then the main on/off button. Pressing the rocker up moves the LED (and time) up, down down… but does not turn it on/off. That is all handled by the main button.
Ex: Set to 30min, when turned on, it slowly pulses down from the 30 min, through the 15, 10, and 5 times. When it gets to 15 minutes remaining it pulses down through the 15, 10, 5. 10 just pulses 10 and 5… When it is 5 minutes remaining it blinks the 5 minute LED then turns off.

I see the up/down rocker as being excess if the on/off button could handle the time setting with a press/hold combination. With RGB LED(s) this effect could be expanded on (if desired) to change color as it gets lower as well (shading from one color to a final color for example).

With a single notification LED it would be impossible to do a “down” effect BUT it does have (at least) three possibilities:

  1. It could “pulse” for the time. Slow pulse that speeds up the closer it gets to turning off.
  2. It could “color” for the time. Similar to what I mention above with the RGB LEDs. Have it start at X (configurable) color that fades to Y (configurable) color.
  3. It could “dim” for the, similar to the color but in this case it just gets dimmer (or brighter, configurable) until it ends.


  • The only times we ever really start with are 45 or 15 (once in a while the ON with no timer). So if there were only 5 LEDs and less times were possible, that is fine in our book. Of course it would be a bonus if those times were configurable from the controller.

I have one that is 10, 20, 30, 60 min and basically it is solid LED next to the light that applies, then works its way down the pad, so at 30 it goes to 30, 20 min it goes to 20, etc. I think in the last minute the 10 min blinks, but not 100% on that.

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There are a couple varieties out there… so that lends a little more reason to make the actual time blocks be configurable (if at all possible). If I really wanted I could always put some stickers next to the LEDs showing the times, but I think even just having it able to move up (or down) gets across to people that there is some function of time there.

$5 for sure. :+1: $10 is pushing it :blush:

How much “more” and how much “extra” is the key. I think Eric is right in trying to keep it in the $4-$5 range (roughly in the 15% premium ballpark). Higher than that is a tougher value-proposition to sell mass-market. $10 is roughly a 30% premium over similar competitors. That kind of premium is a very tough market … especially if you want to get into mass market which is really necessary for growth. Individual enthusiasts may not mind paying $10 more for a premium switch in their personal home. But larger projects like builders, remodelers, and integrators are not going to go for that kind of delta as a general practice.

TBH, I’m a little concerned that Inovelli’s prices have gone up slightly while at the same time Zooz prices have gone down slightly. As of right now there is a $13 per dimmer price difference which is a whopping 44% premium. :cry:

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the Inovelli stuff and willing to pay a bit more for it. But its getting hard to justify a 44% delta even though I absolutely prefer the Inovelli features. The value-proposition needs to balance with the percentage increase in order to gain mass-market appeal and market-share :nerd_face:

Quick update here – we’re still on track for a September release date. @Darwyn_Inovelli says July 30, but we’re going to add a couple months in for comfort :slight_smile:

As for questions/comments, please see answers below!

Agree for the most part – ahhhh, the challenge of marketing on a tight budget :slight_smile:

@EricM_Inovelli – can you translate this into the technical doc?

Agree 100%. It’s very hard to compete at a premium when the competition is able to copy most of our features and as you mentioned, entering a new market, people may not know who we are, so there’s a lot of flashy marketing that needs to be done. We have a few tricks up our sleeve :slight_smile:

Yeah, this one is super perplexing to me. The only thing I can think of is they managed to buy a ton of inventory prior to the tariff increase, they are being subsidized by the manufacturer and/or profit sharing (this is the deal we used to have with their manufacturer, so I’m leaning this way). I know our volumes are much higher (old manufacturer told us), and I know our current manufacturer is at least 100x larger in sales revenue as theirs, so it’s unlikely they’re getting some sort of quantity discount on their BOM. Outside of that, if all things are equal, they may be trying to drive down the industry while operating on low margins in hopes that we can’t keep up with them and people start switching to their brand, thus driving us out of business. I truly am impressed they can operate this way and kudos to them if they can maintain it.

Preach it! We’re trying our best, I can promise you that!


@Eric_Inovelli: Not sure what you might mean, so here are two possibilities:

  1. Technical (Engineer version):
    Visual depiction of time remaining. When switch is using the timer function it will display the time remaining in two ways:
    If the switch is off, a single LED will be on in the position that represents the time the switch is set for.
    If the switch is on, multiple LEDs will be used. When first started, the time related LED will come on. This LED will dim over 2 seconds then the next lower LED will come on and dims… The sequence repeats until the bottom LED dims out. At that point the sequence restarts. Once the remaining time is only represented by the last LED that LED will blink at an 1 second on, 1 second off interval until the time is completely up. At this point the switch will turn off.
    Example: Switch set for 30 minutes (with LEDs representing ON, and 60, 30, 15, 10, & 5 minutes). LEDs will perform the dim and next sequence starting from the 30 minute LED for 15 minutes, then starting from the 15 minute LED for 5 minutes, then starting from the 10 minute LED for 5 minutes. In the last 5 minutes the 5 minute LED will blink on and off until the timer is up. Then the switch will turn off and the 30 minute LED will come on at an unchanging level.
  2. Technical (User version):
    When in timer mode the switches notification LEDs will be used to show the time the switch is set for (if off) or a dimming pattern showing how much time is remaining (if on). When on, the final 5 minutes will have the bottom LED blink so it is easy to know the switch is about to turn off.

Yeah, sure, this seems like a cool idea to add.


Any idea yet what zigbee means for the price point? In general, it seems (I think) that zigbee stuff is usually cheaper (because it’s, ya know, cheaper)… Seems like you’re targeting a higher end product here with features similar to your zwave stuff. Just wondering 1) Are the zigbee electronics actually fundamentally cheaper, whether due to real reasons or simply licensing costs on the chipset? In which case we might expect your zigbee products to be less than zwave? 2) Or are they just made crappier for a mass audience with unrefined taste… In which case you’d expect similar pricing to your zwave stuff because, it seems, you’re trying to build a similarly awesome product?

If it’s the second, curious if you have thoughts on how that might play out in a market of…eh… Cheaper (and crappier… But still cheaper) stuff? Haha

Fyi… For what it’s worth for market research.I don’t intend to change and I’m really just a casual user… Not a total automation nerd (yet). But I am an engineer (read:a completely irrelevant sample point as far as normal humans go). I have a couple cheap zigbee bulbs I bought, which I consider toys. But wouldn’t consider it for anything going inside the wall. Too much else lives at 2.4…

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