2020 Zwave recommendations

Oop I missed the s. Two Leviton switches to control 2 bathroom fans :slight_smile:

Definitely typo :slight_smile: I am on this tiny device waiting for the lady and the kids doing the weekend shopping.

1 Like

I figured you were not interested in the double switch but I figured you likely did not know it existed & is supported in OpenHAB. I thought it was a good idea.

1 Like

I have one of those as well. (identifies itself as a zooz on my network as well) Uses two AA (maybe AAA) batteries and goes through them pretty quickly (3 or 4 months) it also is a little slowwwwww responding and has a time out and won’t retrigger for several minutes

Are these older devices? Monoprice & Zooz both have their own Z-Wave IDs now. Many / most of the v1 Zooz products used a different ID.

They can come from the same Chinese factory but have different firmware.

purchased Feb 2019
read my review here

1 Like

Sorry, I was skimming through your message quickly at the shopping mall. I definitely didn’t know something like this exist! That is very innovative. I am indeed currently using one Inovelli switch for the light and the Leviton for the fan. Could have save money and time with that Zooz’s if I had known.

Thank you!

1 Like

It is one of those items that are rather unique but make perfect sense when you look at how they did it.

I got mine in May 2019. I wanted the temp/hum/light sensors more than the motion, so the response time isn’t an issue. Mostly, I wanted to be able to use rechargeable AAs instead of CR123as. Mine doesn’t seem to deplete its battery as quickly as Andrew’s do. Maybe settings or higher-capacity batteries or a combination of both.

I suspect that they’re old stock that was sold to Monoprice when Zooz switched to CR123a batteries. Amazon Canada still has one in stock.

1 Like

Interestingly the Zooz ZSE29 Outdoor sensors I just received use 3 AA batteries or USB.

I’m surprised that more manufacturers aren’t going for 18650 or 14500 rechargeable batteries. As small as it is in the grand scheme of things, it would be nice if we could reduce the use of disposable batteries.

1 Like

So, my setup:

  • Aeon Stick Gen 5. I am not sure if I can recommend it: it might be a problem of my raspberry pi 4, or maybe something else; but I have to periodically power cycle the machine because the serial communication is not working fine.
  • Qubino switches and dimmers. They mostly work, but in three years I had one failing, and breaking the entire home automation (it was kinda breaking all the message routing). Since then, I always buy Fibaro.
  • Fibaro switches. They seem to work reliably. I have them since about a year. The only problem is that you cannot block all energy reporting, even if not interesting – and I have learnt that managing the traffic on the z-wave network is quite important for its responsiveness.
  • Philio switches. I am slowly replacing them. They work, but have some issues, like a slow relais when using the switch manaully (like, more than half a second delay) but especially they have a very weird way to send updates, making them very difficult to use.
  • Fibaro door sensors. They are OK. The thermometer seems a bit off, but I am not using it. Pairing was always a bit a pain. They use a different battery than the “standard” CR123. Also, on the bad side, one started to misbehave once the battery was lower than 50% – making the battery management a bit annoying.
  • Danalock v3 door lock. I love it, as one of the most effective pieces of automation I have in my apartment. I do not trust the battery reporting, so I always change batteries after 6-7 months, even if they are reported as still functional by the lock. Pairing was a bit tricky, but that was only once.
  • Philio movement sensors. I am not really satisifed with them; but they work and the battery there seems to last forever.
  • Aeon multisensor Gen5 movement sensors. I use there rechargeable batteries, so I like them. They are OK – definitely bulky, but again, the possibility to use rechargeable batteries trumps any other possible issue.
  • Coolcam movement sensors. I have seens people talking very badly of them. I am actually very satisfied. I have few of them, and they are very responsive. Battery usage seems OK – I have them in places with a lot of use like the kitchen, so it’s expected that they will last a bit less. Still, they are in the order of few years. Inclusion is a nightmare, though – one of them took me a couple of days of trials. IIRC, it was because of very bad default parameters, but I think I erased that memory from my brain :slight_smile:
  • Danfoss LC13. They are very useful (and they work in maintaining the desired room temperature), but I cannot really like them, because they must use normal alkaline batteries: I solved half of my problems with z-wave once I stopped using rechargeable batteries. Fortunately, batteries last about 1-2 years. I would not recommend them as z-wave devices, but as thermostats, they do their work.
  • Smart plug Coolcam. I like them. They just do their work, with no problems at all. Energy measurement seems to be more or less reliable.
  • Heiman door sensor. Cannot recommend them. Yes, they work, and in my case they were just fitting in the door design; but of two, one is not reporting the battery level, so I have to just periodically check if it still works or not. Not cool.

Overall, with a couple of exceptions, I did not find anything to absolutely avoid.
My biggest gripe is that most of those devices cannot use rechargeable batteries, for I do not know what reason.
That, and the problems I am facing with the Aeon stick and the raspberry pi 4.

1 Like

Do you run the stick on a pi port directly? If so, try using an USB-hub. pi4 and AGen5 are often reported not to be the dream team, if connected directly.
Though i don’t like just an other piece of hardware, it solved the problems for me - i even didn’t get the AGen5 connected to pi4 most of the time.

The Popp devices i use are same and i’m also happy whith the function and unhappy with the batteries. I tried rechargeable. Worked,but only a very short period.

Yes, that was mandatory: without that hack, it was not working at all.
However, I suspect that something is still missing.
I cannot say with certainty, because in the past my z-wave network was unreliable and I might have never gone for more than a month without restarting; but today every now and then I get very strange errors (like commands accepted by the controller, but never sent to the device) and when that happens, the only solution is to power cycle the box – just soft resetting the controller will simply put it offline until a power cycle.
Now, since the USB issue was related to power, and a power cycle will solve the communication issue, I suspect there might be something related.

The tricky thing with rechargeable in LC13, is that even if they appear to be working, they will start to misbehave. And this will “poison” the mesh – I do not know if because the routing gets broken, or because of a lot of repeated requests, and I have quite a few of them.
The only thing that I know is that once I switched to alkaline batteries, the entire z-wave mesh started to work much better.
Lesson learned: never use rechargeable batteries in those devices.

1 Like

I’ve replaced all my switches with the Inovelli LZW31-SN dimmers. They are the best switches I’ve found so far for controlling a mix a dumb and smart lights. They have been pretty quick to push out firmware updates to add features and fix some issues with smart bulbs, too. And getting a direct response from someone on their engineering team when you do have an issue is pretty amazing.

The only thing they are missing is a way to allow the dimmer value be decoupled from the voltage output while also disabling the “off” button. You can currently set them to smart bulb mode which will always send 100% power while on, but cut the power when off. Or you can disable the local control of the relay and have them send out Scene commands instead, but lose any control of the dimmer value. I’ve added rules for the dim up and down scenes, but it is way clunkier to try and do it with timers than being able to just tie the smart lights to a dimmer percentage. But they are the closest I’ve found so far to make controlling smart lighting as similar to dumb lighting for when you just want to flip a switch.

Nice review!

Just to add on, the V2 zooz 4 in 1 motion sensor (the one which uses 1x CR123 instead of 2x AA) is much better performing in both hardware and firmware.

I bought some of the new ones to test out, and I can verify the results. The motion detection is much faster and the battery life has been great (100% since Oct 2019). Motion, temperature, humidity, and brightness are all reported accurately.

I was very reluctant to move off AA batteries myself, but if it turns out the CR123 model is more efficient with battery consumption, I don’t mind.

The monoprice version does seem to be based on the old V1 design of the zooz 4-in-1. I don’t believe they have updated theirs to match the new design.

3 Likes

Just for clarity. mine uses (2) x AAA batteries

1 Like

Oops, mine too.

1 Like

Ah, yes, you’re right. I remembered incorrectly. The V1 used AAA batteries

The Zooz outdoor sensor uses 3 AA batteries