Author Topic: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations  (Read 1869 times)

Armor Gnome

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New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« on: August 13, 2012, 04:00:41 am »
I owe a big thanks to whomever contributed to the the current z-wave detection processes.  That was one of if not the smoothest setups I have had with LMCE to date. 
@hari, tschak909 I know you two for sure, nice work. 

In fact the Sarah wizard not only detected everything but walked me through how to include devices using the exact model controller I have.  Obviously this was intended to be an example but without a manual I would not have known that holding include resulted in a copy prompt.  Very well written!  Hopefully as my system grows I can contribute any device templates I come across that do not have pnp support already.

I don't think it's a mystery to anyone here that I am cheap.  I bought the cheapest wall plug I could find after a few weeks watching eBay, Intermatic InTouch CA3500.  Although it works just fine there is a very noticeable "POP" of the contactor opening and closing.  Since I do not have experience with these devices I do not know if I would call it excessive or not, it may be normal. 

For those of you who have been using z-wave for a while and have used devices by different manufactures, are the higher $ devices quieter?  From my browsing and price comparisons there is a steep jump in price between manufacturers including used hardware. At the bottom of the barrel as far as I can tell is Intermatic, Wayne Dalton and GE being middle of the road and then a big jump to Cooper and other 'premium' makes.

I am familiar with Cooper from my days doing NFPA 70-E training but how their products compare I have no idea.  As "quality of construction" is not going to be listed on any spec sheets I am hoping for user experience for recommendations on that all important quality/price comparison. 

*tkmedia, I checked LMCECompatible and didn't see a make, though the other devices you carry for in-wall seem to all be Wayne Dalton.  Message me please.

*totallymaxxed, I can't imagine a quality of construction difference between US and European standard made devices so would really appreciate your input since you have wired hundreds of devices in homes where I am sure the customers are pretty critical about switch noise.
 
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davegravy

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 06:51:40 am »
By wall plug, do you mean duplex outlets or lamp plug?

I've been using Evolve lamp plugs here in Canada, and they make no audible noise whatsoever. Not cheap, but you can spend lots more.

http://www.aartech.ca/ldm-15-evolve-zwave-plug-in-lamp-module.html

Armor Gnome

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 07:22:47 am »
Either and both.

Duplex in-wall outlets I personally prefer as I think are a lot cleaner.  The appliance modules to me give the impression that automation was added temporarily and without pre-planning.  While in all honesty they are retrofits in my case, the finished look as we go through the house should be as sleek and modern as possible.  Enough on my opinion though, thank you very much for yours.  I suspected that the audible noise was a direct result of me being cheap.
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hari

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 10:45:22 am »
that really depends on the type of device. There are electronic switches that you don't hear at all and relay switches that make this "click" sound when the relay is triggered. The former is quiet but the latter can handle more load.
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JaseP

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 04:03:16 pm »
After pricing the outlets, it's appliance modules, all the way, for me for on/off Z-wave devices... Dimmers are a different story. The pricing on those is about even. You're looking at $100+ US for outlets and $45+ for appliance modules, easy. With dimmers, the $45+ range for all of them is pretty much where you are. I can't cost justify (one Z-wave controlled plug in a) receptacle for more than double the price.

Plus, once the Z-wave receptacle is in,... you're done,... You can't move it. For a Light switch, it's different, since light switches are always for controlling lighting. It doesn't matter whether it is overhead or controlling an outlet.  But a receptacle can go either way,... lighting or some other appliance or device. So, the thing with receptacles is that a room can always be subject to rearrangement, especially floor and tabletop lighting. Light switches are permanent fixtures. So in that sense I don't see the downside of appliance modules and plug in dimmers.

Now, obviously with Z-wave, you don't want to go moving devices around too much, as it affects the network. But, when you've got a wife like mine, that is constantly rearranging the furniture and painting/remodeling, not having flexibility in terms of the outlets is not an option. She even put a nail through her foot this weekend with all her remodeling.
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davegravy

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 04:47:44 pm »
<cringes at nail through foot>

The dimmer lamp modules I have are nice and quiet as I mentioned. My biggest complaint with them is the slew rate (ramp-up time). The rate is slow enough that for many cases I find myself thinking that quick (and possibly noisy) on/off relays would be better than slow quiet dimming capability.

merkur2k

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 05:57:15 pm »
I dont know if zwave can do this, but insteon dimmers have adjustable slew rates, from instant to 10 minutes iirc. the default is 1/2 second vs zwave 2 seconds. they also have separate instant on and fade commands. The one problem with insteon right now is that the code needs some serious rework since it really only supports dimmers and switch modules, but theres no reason you cant mix and match with zwave (i use both in my system). It also bothers some people that there is only one manufacturer of insteon products, but the prices seem reasonable to me.

tkmedia

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 10:04:34 am »
As Hari said the mechanical switches all make some noise.

If portability is an issue  use http://lmcecompatible.com/#ecwid:category=2029122&mode=product&product=8642087
and yes this does click as well but fairly quietly.
This one reports on its energy usage as well.

HTH

Tim
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Armor Gnome

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 04:13:09 am »
Quote
You're looking at $100+ US for outlets and $45+ for appliance modules, easy. With dimmers, the $45+ range for all of them is pretty much where you are. I can't cost justify (one Z-wave controlled plug in a) receptacle for more than double the price.

I have actually found the reverse to be true.  I have priced the appliance modules as nearly double the in-wall variety from the manufacturers I am looking at.  It makes sense to me that a movable device would cost more than a fixed device which would be less desirable to most and cost less...

Tim,

Thank you for the link, somehow when looking over your site I overlooked the word switch on that product and dismissed it as part of a future project (energy management) that I haven't considered much yet.  I really like getting the idea of getting multifunction out of a single device and it doesn't have the typical (ugly) box shape of other appliance modules.  I want to keep this thread out of marketplace so will just say that I will be getting with you shortly.


Thanks to everyone who supplied feedback on this thread.  I did not realize that I could add Insteon devices alongside my z-wave devices (if I am willing to do some code work) this hopefully adds some new feature options that I haven't found in z-wave available devices.  Without a SWMBO, I actually do have a lot of control over outlets and in the event I do want to move something, 4 screws and 3 wire nuts is nothing I can't manage.  In very quiet areas of the house where I can tolerate the ramp-up time I will go with the Aeon-Labs modules and everywhere else go with relay switches in-wall.


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tkmedia

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Re: New Z-Wave User looking for recommendations
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 05:09:49 am »
You can control the ramp rate on most z-wave devices as well.

HTH

Tim
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