Zigbee On/Off Switch | Project Vernacular

Project Team
Feel free to tag any of us with questions. I’ll (Eric H) be the go-to’s for overall project management, timeline and anything other than firmware related questions, whereas Eric M is the go-to for any firmware related questions. 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 solve for the thorn that’s been in my side since we launched the 2-1 Switch back in 2022… create a switch that can turn on/off special loads outside of lighting (ie: small motors, DC fans, outlets, tube lights, etc).

As many are aware, the 2-1 Switches are only rated for lighting and there has been a lot of back and forth on the name of that switch since it’s labeled as an On/Off switch, but it’s not truly an on off switch in the sense that it can’t turn on/off everything. This project aims to solve the gap that was created and hopefully give me some peace of mind!

Project Name - Vernacular

The name vernacular came from the fact that there has been a lot of pushback on my name choice for the 2-1 Switch and is meant to be more of a white flag waiving on my part to say, “I’m sorry about the 2-1 not being a true On/Off, please accept my apology and use this switch for anything that won’t turn off”. There are a few threads out there where we’ve battled back and forth over the vernacular used and this project name is a play on those threads!

I hope everyone knows that I’m joking with this title and from the bottom of my heart, I agreed with you all who pushed back, but my marketing background and hardheadedness has kept me from changing the name. After this switch is launched, maybe I can revisit it :wink:

Vernacular - Hardware Requirements
The hardware for the on/off switch can be found below.


Hardware - Switch (Look / Feel)

  • Responsive Paddle - rests in a neutral state (tap up = on // tap down = off
  • Configuration / Favorites Button - button should be used for configuration of the switch as well as scene control.
    • Should be able to be held (for configuration)
    • Should be able to be tapped (for scene control)
  • RGB LED Bar - should measure the % of how much the switch is dimmed
    • LEDs should be RGB (artificial white included)
    • LEDs should also be able to be dimmed
  • Humidity/Temp Sensor - there should be a humidity/temp sensor built in
  • Paddle & Faceplate Color - color should match Lutron Claro wall-plate white
  • Slim Design - depth of switch should be as slim as possible so that it can fit into metal boxes.
  • Air Gap
  • No heat-sink tabs

Hardware - Features & Capabilities

The look and feel will be identical to our current switches.

  • On/Off – switch should be able to completely shut off the load it’s attached to
  • Zigbee 3.0 - use the latest Zigbee chipset (MG24)
  • 3-Way / 4-Way Ready – switch should auto-detect
    • Should work with an auxiliary switch
    • Should work with an existing dumb switch
    • Should work with another smart switch
  • 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 (see Appendix C)
  • Instant On - when tapped 1x (and scenes aren’t used), switch should turn the load on instantly (no delay)
  • Configurable delay in 100ms increments
  • CFL & LED Compatibility - minimum buzz and flickering
  • 1500W General Purpose Load
  • LED/CFL - 300W max load
  • 120V/277V Compatibility – have the switch be compatible with both 120V and 277V (Optional, but preferred for commercial use)
  • 16A Relay – the relay should be able to handle 15A with an extra for overload protection
  • Inductive Load compatible – the switch should be able to control an inductive load (On/Off only, no speed control)
  • Overload protection – switch should have overload protection in case of a power surge

Vernacular - Software Requirements

  • Zigbee Scene Control – Multi-taps to activate various scenes
  • RGBW Bar Config - bars should be able to change colors and dimmed to the customer’s favorite level
  • Auto Timer - switch should have a timer that shuts the switch off after a certain amount of time
  • Easy Config - switch endpoints should be able to be configured via the associated rockers.
    • 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
  • Zigbee Associations
  • Smart Bulb Mode
  • Smart Dimmer Capabilities - if used in Smart Bulb Mode or Zigbee Bindings, it should have dimming capabilities

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.

Pre-Initial Timeline Milestones:

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

Timeline (Estimated)

The initial timeline will be shown below once released and will be updated monthly.

  1. Structure & Hardware Design
    Details: ID/Structure Design, PCB Layout & PCBA Making, Hardware Sample, Structure Tooling
    Est Completion Date: April 25, 2024
    Status: IN PROGRESS

  2. Software Development
    Est Completion Date: July 25, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

  3. Beta Testing
    Est Completion Date: August 30, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

  4. Marketing Material
    Details: Manual Creation, Box Design, Insert
    Est Completion Date: August 30, 2024
    Status: IN PROGRESS

  5. Certifications
    Details: Thread, Matter, FCC/IC, ETL
    Est Completion Date: September 16, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

  6. Mass Production
    Details: Materials Purchasing & Trial Run on Production Line
    Est Completion Date: September 20, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

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).



@grooves12 – add smart fan mode for DC Fans (control 3/4/5/6 fan speed for smart fans)

Monthly Recap
Every month 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 the manufacturer as well.

February 2nd, 2024: I’ve presented the PRD (Project Request Document) to the manufacturer and they have finished analyzing it – they are working on pricing and will send it to me before Chinese New Year starts (02/18/24)

February 21, 2024: We’ve sent a PO off to the manufacturer and have officially kicked off this project! Timeline to come shortly.

April 18, 2024: Project update here: Zigbee On/Off Switch | Project Vernacular - #23 by Eric_Inovelli


Copy paste got you again :rofl:

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I can always count on you to find them lol – surprised you didn’t find it in the outlet one bc this one was a copy of that one!

If it’s an on/off switch, how can it be dimmed? :laughing:
Sorry, just being pedantic here… :stuck_out_tongue:

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Don’t want to mess up the venacular on this one…


Haha, I’m looking forward to all the puns and sticklers here :rofl:

For dimming, it won’t be able to physically dim anything, but it will be able to send digital signals to a dimmer switch or bulb if it’s Zigbee Bound to it.


Please, please, please keep the full light bar and not the single led that the gen 2 switches had!

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You know that there’s going to be a load (inductive) of them coming… :wink:

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Glad to see you finally admitting defeat on this one. LOL

That said, what about a smart FAN mode for DC fans? Even though the Fan 2-1 is rated to handle them, I think this product is a better choice since, theoretically, it is passing the full voltage to the device without passing through the dimmer module like in the Fan switch. I know we’ve seen people run into some issues with certain DC fan devices with the fan 2-1.

Having the firmware able to control 3/4/5/6 fan speed for smart fans would be a nice touch.


Would this have dry contacts or a mode for dry contacts? For example, could I use it for a millivolt gas fireplace control (assuming I also had line voltage in the same box)?


I’m gonna guess probably not. Mate it with a relay.

Please make this with a standard Form-C relay (NO/COM/NC)!

If you need “wet contacts” simply wire-nut the LINE and COM leads together.
This way, the switch could be used for other Non-Mains-Power applications (millivolt heating system was already mentioned, low voltage lighting, garage door openers, etc.)

Please make sure both the AC and DC ratings of the relay are called out in the datasheet/manual.

Totally! Never going back – in this case, bigger is ALWAYS better lol

LOL, you guys got me.

Yeah, that’s a good idea, we can throw that in there! I’ll capture it up in the notes and let @EricM_Inovelli know to include it in the tech doc!

Unfortunately not, but you reminded me of the one switch that I forgot to put in our arsenal. I’ll add it to the list for the future!

I’ll note this with the manufacturer – is this pretty common?

You got it!


The previous relay switches leaked current worse than the dimmers, so it would have to be different to work with the fans you mention. The leakage was due to a capacitor across the relay contacts, which serves as contact protection but also lets the switch get higher ratings for the size of relay.

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I really like this idea. It requires another terminal on the device.

That is something we have in firmware already for our other products (VZM35-SN) so it should be pretty easy to add. P263 lets you choose the levels for “Smart Fan Mode” so you can choose if your smart fan has 3, 4, 5, or 6 speeds.

I believe he is referring to a dry contact option, which you mentioned wasn’t going to be the case. I might be missing something though.

So this momentary idea - help me out here bc I am over my head with how this would work.

How would you add a momentary relay to a normal light switch?

It’s not a momentary relay. Both relay contacts connect to terminals so you can use the relay independent of the 120V connected to the L/N terminals. This lets the device control stuff that isn’t 120V compatible, like low voltage lights or heating.

Form C means 3 terminals. One is common and the common gets switched between the other 2 terminals.

Does this mean it’ll identify as a dimmer?