Best Dimmer switches

Hi All,
I am new to the community and OpenHab in general.
I am going to move into my new house soon and I am looking to put openhab in it. One of the components I want to add is smart switches/lights.

I want to be able to control my lights with a dimmer option from OpenHab. But, at all time, I want to be able to use the mechanical dimmer/switch and it must work (in other words, no matter what OpenHab have set, if I turn the switch off it must go off). So here is my assumption.

-I should go with smart dimmer/switches instead of smart lights because if the physical switch his turn off, I won’t be able to control the light.

Then I start looking at some z-wave, Insteon and Decora dimmers and I am not sure what to pick. Insteon seems to offers a lot of devices, can I use them with openhab WITHOUT the Insteon Hub or I absolutely need this hub?

Is some of you know so dimmer that works well with openhab and that will keep the physical option to turn on/off and possibly dimming features.

You are right, you need to use switches and not bulbs. But any smart switch will let you control it both from the switch and from OH.

I don’t know Insteon but suspect you would need the hub unless there is a USB dongle like there is with zwave.

Are you aware of a good brand I should look for. In terms of quality/price.

I have GE Zwave outlets for a couple of lamps and a Linear WS15Z-1 for a light switch. I also have a couple of GE Zwave appliance controllers which are really just external Zwave outlets (kind of like the Wemo devices). I went with the Linear because it was the only one on Amazon that had a color changing kit to replace the button with brown instead of white. My controller is a second generation Aeon Labs USB dongle.

I’ve heard good things about Monoprice but have no direct experience with their devices.

All of my experience is with zwave and all of it has been positive. If you do end up going with zwave, get the fifth generation Aeon Zwave stick instead of the second gen one.

I ended up going with UPB (Universal Power Bus) products. There are several vendors, the one I chose is “Simply Automated.” About $70 per single-circuit 120V dimmer switch. So far very reliable, and there is a working OpenHAB binding for UPB. You will also need a $70 UPB --> RS232 controller. (They also make a USB UPB controller, but don’t buy that one. The OpenHAB binding only works with the RS232 version.)

FYI, I am using CREE A19-style LED bulbs on the UPB dimmers. Dimming is very smooth and quite stable, though the bottom end (lowest dim setting) is not quite as low as I’d like it to be. I have also tested power consumption of the bulbs through the UPB dimmer & found no surprises there. A ~20 watt (actual) LED bulb will dim down to about 1.6 watts on the UPB dimmer.

Your mileage may very, I strongly suggest starting out with just one or two UPB dimmers and testing your bulbs carefully before investing a lot.

Do you have any lamp modules? If so were you able to get them working in OpenHAB?

Yes, I do have 1 lamp module which works fine. In fact all of my devices reliably receive & execute UPB commands, whether sent from a dimmer/wall scene button or from within OpenHAB. I am having my own issues with OpenHAB not receiving ACK’s (acknowledgments) and status updates from the UPB PIM but I don’t think that is related to wiring.

My hardware setup is:

Standard single-family residential “split phase” electrical panel.
Ubuntu 16.0.4 LTS (Linux) / OpenHab 1.8.3
SIIG 4-port USB --> RS232 serial adapter
Simply Automated RS232 PIM
1 x SAI Lamp Module
1 x SAI 20Amp relay module
5 x SAI US11-40 dimmers
6 x SAI US2-40 dimmers

If you describe your whole setup I will be better-able to make useful suggestions.

Extremely simple (just HTTP, no need for any central device) and powerfull. Price is also attractive.

Is this the correct config for a dimmer? I haven’t been able to get dimmers working yet either. I’m going to try a different lamp module again as well.

item: Dimmer Light_Dining_Room “Dining Room” (Lights) {upb=“id=4”}
sitemap: Slider item=Light_Dining_Room

I tried the lamp module more. Using the lamp module as a dimmer like above, I was able to get it to turn off when set as a dimmer but it seemed to just dim very slowly with a mind of its own. I couldn’t stop it from dimming and it took a long time. Also, it wouldn’t go on after it dimmed from on to off.

I then reconfigured the lamp module as non-dimmable and I couldn’t get it to go on or off.

It seems OpenHAB is communicating with the UPB modules, but they don’t seem to be speaking the same language.

Its not the UPB network because with upstart, everything works as expected. As for hardware, I’m using a Digi 4 Port Server with Digi RealPort drivers. OpenHab is 1.8.3 on Debian. UPB is the SAI PIM with mostly all SAI devices and 1 HAI device.

Any ideas?

is it wifi or zwave?