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If I use the ISY Zwave module do I need to worry about instant status?


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Some Leviton Z-Wave devices report status (e.g., Vizia), others do not. GE may also have devices that do and those that don't, so the feature is not related to the brand, but the particular device. You may need to research the specific device you're concerned about.

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say you want one that *does* report status. Imagine how frustrating it would be to do home automation w/o being reported the status. That is actually why I abandoned my Vera Lite for an ISY, their Insteon implementation didn't include status reporting. The alternative Insteon daemon called altsteon did, but the maintainers abandoned it too. For ISYs, I think.

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So I need to pick and choose to get the correct modules.

I wasn't sure if there was an ISY method to poll the system and report status.

 

Not really looking for plug in modules.

Most will actually be switches.

Not sure I want dimmers, but not seeing much for a typical toggle type switch that would match the rest of the house

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Not sure I want dimmers, but not seeing much for a typical toggle type switch that would match the rest of the house

 

Backward compatibility is nice. Dropping the old and moving ahead sometimes has more benefits. Over time, I updated the rest of the house to match the new.

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With Insteon devices, the dimmer and on/off are the same price so it feels bad to *not* use the dimmers. There are some specific uses cases where on/off are required, like high load or fluorescent that can't tolerate a gradual turn on. But for the most part, if you set the dimmer to have a fast ramp rate like 0.1s and a high on level like 100%, you won't notice the difference between the two *and* you'll be able to dim if you want to.

Maybe someone knows enough about zwave to comment on them?

The ISY *can* poll for status, but it takes a few moments and you'd have to work that into all your programming. For example, the ISY by default polls all devices once a day. You'd need to poll *all* your non reporting devices every 30-60 seconds for them to be tolerably used. It would mean a pretty annoying delay between flipping a switch and getting results that the ISY is controlling. Nobody likes when you flip a switch and then have to wait 30-60 seconds for something to happen. So just get devices that report their status. And to be clear, I'm pretty sure that these switches would be *fine* controlling a zwave device assigned to them (and locally of course), it would just be fancy use in programs that wouldn't work well.

 

Don't get non-status reporting devices! :)

Any idea if that is what instant status even means? Maybe instant status means it sends the status as soon as you press the switch and... the alternative is moments after? I dunno.

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I don't know all the technical details but all my GE switches report status instantly back to the ISY when the paddle is pressed. If a switch is on and you push on it will still send an on message to the ISY. I think this is different than the "Instant Status" covered by Lutron's patent.

 

Note. These are on/off switches. You can program the dimmer switches' ramp rate to .1 secs but status still takes about 3 secs to report status as if it was dimming or brightening with a slow ramp rate.

 

I think it's something to do with the switch reporting it's status on Group 1 via association. The way I think of it is that ISY creates an association with the switch much like Insteon where the ISY internally creates a scene with the device so it's notified when an Insteon device changes state.

 

I had one GE switch that would not do that, I think the difference was that it was far away in the garage and could not reach the ISY directly. I replaced it with a Leviton switch that does "Instant Status" but the "Instant" factor is about 5 secs. It sends it's status 5 secs after the paddle has been pressed.

 

GE Outlet Modules do not provide status when their local buttons are pressed. I don't care about that since the Outlet Module is usually hidden behind a couch or cabinet and are all controlled by an an ISY program in response the a switch being pressed.

 

YMMV.

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I am one of the first to kick Insteon to the curb when warranted. But its safe to say the Insteon designers got this whole status issue hammered down from the onset.

 

In 2015 there is absolutely no reason to have to wait, guess, or poll for a status of a switch, ever. I've been in many Z-Wave homes in the last three years and every time I see how people compromise their lifestyle sitting and waiting for programs to fire off.

 

I just have to shake my head . . .

 

To be fair to some of them most of these devices were the only ones available to them in the local market. Not sure why they didn't shop on line for the better products. Another thing was *Wow* are some of these Z-Wave devices truly ugly in shape, form, and tactile feel!

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I tend to agree with you Teken. How status of a device was not specified in the spec is beyond me. The devices are truly ugly sometimes, as I think about the GE plug-in modules. I switched mostly to Z-Wave for accurate thermostat control and status, the Insteon adapters for the Venstars had too many failures. Now I am considering going back to Insteon due to the capabilities Insteon provides. But I'm still hanging in there waiting for more Z-Wave support in the ISY. The Aeon/Aeotec devices are great looking, but they are switching all their devices to Gen 5 Z-Wave chips and adding in classes the ISY has yet to support.

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I tend to agree with you Teken. How status of a device was not specified in the spec is beyond me. The devices are truly ugly sometimes, as I think about the GE plug-in modules. I switched mostly to Z-Wave for accurate thermostat control and status, the Insteon adapters for the Venstars had too many failures. Now I am considering going back to Insteon due to the capabilities Insteon provides. But I'm still hanging in there waiting for more Z-Wave support in the ISY. The Aeon/Aeotec devices are great looking, but they are switching all their devices to Gen 5 Z-Wave chips and adding in classes the ISY has yet to support.

 

Yes, I agree on all points made here too!

 

To be fair every generation / maker have a few duds in the product line. Given the vast amounts of makers it is hard to know with out dedicated research to find if a device supports a particular feature or ability. Most of the Gen 5 Z-Wave upgrades were to increase the reliability, RF distance, energy consumption, and features of the next generation devices.

 

I have been in about 25 Z-Wave houses over the years and sometimes I am shocked at the lack of robustness or delay in connectivity of what I consider basic device control.

 

I know it was all the rage for the Z-Wave camp to tout how they have no power line issues because all of their COM's are via RF. But, the reality is in a real world environment many of these folks were hard pressed to get five feet of distance out of these products.

 

Like many the only (throw more money at it) was the solution and approach. A person should not have to *throw* in hundreds of dollars when there are at least five devices in the home. We all know how bridging / coupling and in the Z-Wave terminology of creating their mesh was supposed to be like (similar) to Insteons mesh network.

 

The reality is these Gen 1-4 devices were simply crap and required many other (bridging) devices to relay the signal. I too am eagerly waiting for Gen 5 chip support from UDI because based on what I have seen and read in the Interwebs.

 

Z-Wave is simply not ready for me and those who have switched over to Insteon. Which in the big picture is a good thing because it helps Smartlabs keep developing and growing the product line. One thing to note is that Smartlabs has also started to increase the RF range of their dual band offerings which is great to see.

 

Because it was pretty awful for some devices . . . 

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I went with 100% Enerwave switches and receptacles for my home. 100% zwave, so I can't speak to Insteon. My experience has been that in my 3100sq/ft home over two floors, the zwave has worked flawlessly and programmed directly from the location. I have the isy in my office downstairs(one corner of the house) so I started close to there. Did my office switch first and worked my way farther and farther from the isy. The Enerwave switches do have instant status and look quite nice with the no screw cover. I have not utilized Tekens Sharpie tip yet as no one seems to find the blue LEDs objectionable. I will say this though......I got several that were DOA, like 4-5 out of 15, which I sent back for replacement. Top Greener gave me no quibbles and we did, I think, three or four separate exchanges, they paying the shipping. They are all working fine in my house now with remote access via Orchestrated Mobilinc. I turn one of the dimmers off and the little icon in the app even shows the little LEDs to the side of the switch ramping down to off or vice versa.

I'm sticking with Enerwave till I see something better at a better price.

 

 

GT

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