Zigbee Wall Outlet | Project Jambry

I want to dedicate this project to a couple of guys who have been with us since just after we started out and have been not only an amazing help in the community, but have been good friends of mine over the years (and have kept me sane when I start to lose my mind). Thanks so much @Bry and @harjms – I’m truly grateful for everything and look forward to working on this with you!


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!


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
The purpose of this project is to step outside lighting a bit and offer up a product that has been requested for a long time (going on 7+ years) – a wall outlet.

Some may remember, but we started off selling smart plugs and while they were great, I always wanted to have a cleaner look by creating a wall outlet.

In addition, there are a lot of people (myself included) who have switched outlets in their house that our current light switches do not support (more on that in another new project) and we’d love to offer up a solution to that.

Project Name - Jambry

I’m going to be honest, I have been running out of ideas for new names, so I decided to combine the names of the two people this project is dedicated towards (James and Bryan) – Jam(es)Bry(an).

As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, they’ve been an incredible resource to the community, have been an incredible resource to the development and testing of many of our products and have been great friends of mine over the years.

I’m incredibly grateful for their help and friendship and at the very least wanted to create something in their name.


Jambry - Hardware Requirements
The hardware for the wall outlet can be found below.

Hardware

Outlet Mockup

NOTE: Subject to change as R&D has not kicked off.

Hardware - Outlet (Look / Feel)

  • Standard Decora Style Outlet – match standard decora style outlet and the color should match Lutron Claro wall-plate
  • Dual Smart Outlets – each outlet should be smart and should have a 16A relay.
  • RGBW LED Bar – Should match our switch RGBW LED Bar
    • LEDs should be RGBW
    • LEDs should also be able to be dimmed and should have 2 per side
    • LED Bar should allow for animations that match our switches
  • USB-C Outlet – This should be a standard (non-smart) USB-C with fast charging capabilities (however, it should be able to determine whether something is plugged in to it
  • Outlet Control Buttons – There should be buttons on each side of the USB-C that can be depressed to turn on/off the dual outlets
  • Slim Design – depth of switch should be as slim as possible so that it can fit into metal boxes
  • Color Change Options – the outlet cover should be able to be removed so various color options can be installed like our switches
  • Breakable Line/Neutral Bus Bars – this allows for split receptacle for separate switch control

Hardware - Features & Capabilities

  • Dual On/Off – both outlets should be able to completely shut off the load it’s attached to
  • Zigbee 3.0 - use the latest Zigbee chipset (MG24)
  • Switched Outlet Compatible – both outlets should work as a switched outlets if need be (See Appendix C)
    • Dumb Switch Compatible1 - Should be able to work with an existing, “Dumb” switch
    • Aux Switch Compatible – Should be able to work with an Inovelli Aux Switch
    • Inovelli Smart Switch Compatible – use Zigbee Bindings
  • Power Monitoring - Independent reporting of power / energy for each outlet as well as combined reporting2 (no need to measure USB-C)
  • Zigbee Distance Estimator - should be able to estimate the signal strength of the Zigbee signal and notify via the LED bar (see Appendix D)
  • Instant On – when the buttons are tapped 1x (and scenes aren’t used), switch should turn the load on instantly (no delay)
  • Configurable delay in 100ms increments (see tech doc)
  • General Purpose Load – Should be General Purpose Load Certified by ETL
  • Tamper and Wet Resistant – the outlets should both be tamper and wet resistant (so it can be used in garages and outside)
  • 16A Relays – both outlets should have a max amperage of 16 like our On/Off switch
  • 120V/277V Compatibility – have the outlet be compatible with both 120V and 277V (Optional, but preferred for commercial use)
  • Inductive Load compatible – the outlets should be able to control an inductive load (On/Off only, no speed control)
  • Overload protection – outlets should have overload protection in case of a power surge

Jambry - 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 - outlets should each have a timer that shuts the outlets off after a certain amount of time
  • Easy Config - outlet endpoints and parameters should be able to be configured via the buttons.
    • 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 relays should be able to be disabled locally and via Zigbee
  • OTA Ready - ability to update firmware via OTA
  • Zigbee Associations – Each outlet should be able to be associated to our Inovelli Zigbee switches
  • USB-C Plug-In Detection – the USB-C port should be able to detect when something is plugged in (this will allow for a routine where a cell-phone is plugged in activates a night-time scene)

Timeline
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: In-Progress
  • 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: July 15, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

  2. Software Development
    Est Completion Date: September 10, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

  3. Beta Testing
    Est Completion Date: October 23, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

  4. Marketing Material
    Details: Manual Creation, Box Design, Insert
    Est Completion Date: October 17, 2024
    Status: IN PROGRESS

  5. Certifications
    Details: Thread, Matter, FCC/IC, ETL
    Est Completion Date: November 10, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED

  6. Mass Production
    Details: Materials Purchasing & Trial Run on Production Line
    Est Completion Date: November 15, 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).

Hardware

Software


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)

April 18, 2024: Initial timeline has been released with a targeted production date of November 15th, 2024.

21 Likes

YES! I’ve been on the search for a zigbee outlet and they’re aren’t many. Put me down the beta group. Any plans for a 20 amp outlet or only 15 amp?

Love the name. @Bry and @harjms are huge assets to the community.

4 Likes

Great question – I asked for 20A, but they came back and said it would be too thick (we also want to use the same tooling as our switches to save costs so that may also have played a part in their decision), so we were able to get 16A.

2 Likes

WANT!

And a want… I would prefer the face of the outlet to be as clean as possible. Contrasting examples would be the popular Jasco ZigBee outlet and the Leviton Z-Wave outlet. I won’t speak for anyone else, but I much, much prefer the clean look of the Leviton outlet. (Alas, the Jasco performs better for me.)


image

1 Like

Oh totally, I’m going to fight for as clean as possible. Aesthetics and design are super important to me, so I don’t want all that crap on the front of the outlet. Idk if they put that there as a requirement, but if that was an actual design choice, I have no clue what they were thinking.

I feel like I saw somewhere a while back that the, “Controlled” decal had to be on the switch as a requirement, but I looked on Amazon at some other outlets that didn’t have it so I’m not sure. I guess we’ll see when we go through the ETL process.

Definitely not putting our brand name on the outlet – that has always driven me nuts (looking at you Legrand) and is why I opted for expensive Lutron wall outlets (non-smart).

For the USB port, can we make sure it supports USBC PD (Power Delivery) standards? Ideally something close to 60W so that you can power up a laptop, but if not, as high as you can fit in there would be great.

Any possibility of an extra relay to control the USB port as well?

Also throw me on the beta list please :slight_smile:

7 Likes

This was one of my comments so hopefully it made it in the final PRD. It at least needed a spec. PD would be ideal but even Fast Charge X.0 or something similar. I don’t want a .5A USB port.

6 Likes

Glad to hear it, thanks!

In case it’s not clear and you haven’t see one in person, the Leviton outlet’s ‘Controlled’ text is just molded in, with no silkscreen-like color added.

3 Likes

Unless you really need a 20A outlet, it is acceptable to use 15A outlets on a 20A branch circuit, so long as there is more than one receptacle on that branch.

2 Likes

Can’t wait! I was just about to pull the trigger on another brand, and now here you are. Now I’ll hold off.

2 Likes

Interesting design choice having the single USB C between the two plugs - most outlets I’ve seen with USB have dual USB plugs in the middle vertically but off to the sides. I wonder if there are advantages/disadvantages regarding what you can plug in with this layout?

1 Like

Need space for the buttons and LEDs.

Environmental compatibility is high on my list! I currently use Enbrighten (GE-made) zigbee outlets on my front porch and on my deck in the back to control outdoor holiday lighting. The outlets are in fairly robust weather-proof housings, but even so I’m using them in temperatures far below what they were designed for. Note that I did put them on a GFCI breaker just to be on the safe side. No issues so far, and in fact they’re solid repeaters on my mesh, but they only have one switched outlet (you’re aiming for two, which would DOUBLE my possibilities for outdoor lighting excesses) and there’s always the worry that they’ll konk out on me due to accelerated ageing in the cold weather. Any chance you have plans to ruggedize these for outdoor use?

1 Like

I also recently picked up a different zigbee outlet from legrand. Seems to work great on my bench. Going to install it soon. Only one switched outlet and indoor rated. An outdoor switch would be great. I’m currently using a plug in outdoor tuya (shutter) outlet.

1 Like

Ooooh…now that would be nice, if possible - replace my outdoor dongles. Course, I don’t know what I would need a USB port for outside, but still… :slight_smile:

2 Likes
  1. Does it have to have the buttons? If so, as long as scenes aren’t adding to the cost, whatever. If it doesn’t have to have buttons, I would prefer more USB C ports instead. What is the use case for scenes? Maybe for outlets that are above counters or something? Seems a bit extra.

  2. I assume by “fast charging” you mean 60 W or so? Get as much as you can. I’ve seen some chargers that have a max power delivery across all the ports, so one port can deliver a ton, or multiple can deliver that same amount but spread out across multiple ports.

  3. What about a lux sensor? :upside_down_face:

  4. What about a mmWave presence sensor? :crazy_face:

Really love the design, and great idea adding the USB-C in the middle like that!

Would be happy to be part of the beta testing team.

1 Like

This sounds fantastic. But I actually want to discourage going overboard with USB PD:

  • 20 watts or so is sufficient for most use cases. For overnight charging that’s plenty even for a laptop. I’ve tested my iPhone and iPad on a USB PD analyzer - the phone won’t negotiate more than 9 volts and the iPad (a Mini 6) won’t negotiate more than 15 volts, so neither would benefit at all from a 60-watt (20V 3A) charger.
  • More power means more cost, more space, and/or more design time. (There are some tradeoffs available like going to GaN, which is more efficient but a lot more expensive). It’s easy to say “60 watts at least!” but that definitely does not come for free.

My preference would be either 20 W (5V 3A + 9V 2.22A) or 27 W (5V 3A + 9V 3A) USB PD. Don’t bother with all the zillion nonstandard protocols like Qualcomm QC3.0, the world is moving towards PD :slight_smile:

Also, I don’t think it’s code-compliant (and it’s definitely not safe) to run 277 volts to a regular-looking NEMA 5-15 outlet…

4 Likes

Super excited to see this make the roadmap! I’ve been focusing more on power monitoring, and being able to avoid bulky smart plugs (or adding devices in my cramped panel) would be fantastic.

If for some reason your unable to keep both outlets switchable, please keep power monitoring on both outlets. I could see some use cases for power monitoring, where a controllable outlet may not be preferred. Monitoring refrigerator/freezer power usage or potentially medical equipment to ensure the device is functioning.

4 Likes

I’ve been looking for Zigbee wall outlets for a long time, so I’d be super interested as well!

My biggest usecases for this is outdoors. While I imagine I could get a GFCI breaker (my current outlets are GFCI due to code), having them be temperature/water/weather resistant would be good.

And that USB-C connector would be nice to have for some seating outlets, though TBH not necessary. But I do think 60W is a decent compromise, though I’d be ok with 45W for general purposes as long as it covers the various voltages in the spec, and 9/12V (which I don’t think are always necessary?).

4 Likes