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ZWaveProducts Blog - Product News

SAVE ENERGY. FEEL SAFE. TAKE CONTROL WITH Z-WAVE.

ZWP Dimmers and Switches now available in 3-Way Kits!

ZWP WD-100, WS-100, and WA-100

ZWP Dimmers and Switches now available in 3-Way Kits!
The majority of our users have purchased and successfully installed our ZWP line of switches and dimmers. They appreciated the quality and cost.
However, we are getting some of repeat questions when it comes to 3-Way switches.


We have added kits that help simplify your 3-Way WA-100 switch purchase. Below is some information that should help.

Definitions
 
Single pole: Your ‘average’ switch- the light is controlled from one location.

3-way: When the light is controlled from two locations. Also called upstairs/downstairs switches in some regions.

Primary switch: In a 3-way installation, the Primary switch contains the Z-Wave chip. The device used in Single pole applications is the Primary - same device.

Auxiliary switch: In a 3-way installation, the Auxiliary switch gives an alternate switch location. An Auxiliary switch CANNOT be used by itself as a Primary switch and is only used with a Primary.

Load: The light, fixture, or other item you want to turn on/off/dim.

Line: The source of the electricity from the electric box/fuse box.

Neutral: The return route of electricity. When installing a Smart Switch, a neutral is required. See What to Know Before Changing Your Wall Switch for more on Neutrals.

Traveler Wire: Also called the "common" wire, this power line is fed into the common terminal of one of the switches.

Toggle: Type of switch that sort-of looks like an older ‘standard’ switch, and will fit toggle face plates. We do not have any ZWP toggle dimmers or toggle switches, but they are available from GE/JASCO

Rocker: (also called a paddle switch or known by a brand name "Decora") Type of switch with a wider surface than the toggle. Most modern homes have rocker switches, and this is among the first upgrades done by DIYer’s.

Understanding 3-way Circuits
A 3-way switch is a setup where a load is controlled from 2 locations. There are also 4-way (3 locations), 5-way (4 locations) and even 6-way (5 locations) or more. For Z-Wave purposes (and this blog entry) we are writing about how to install ZWP 3-Way Smart Switches. NOTE: most Z-Wave devices will support up to a 5-way switch.

Why is it called a 3-way? I’ve been told that it’s because there are 3 ways for the electricity to flow, or that originally there were 3 points of contact. Nothing seems to make sense to me, and I will leave the nomenclature for electricians and scholars. The average DIY handyman/woman will need to know a single pole switch and a 3-way.

You’ve got a 3-way that you want to add to your Z-Wave network. Now what? The first step in automating your basic 3-way setup is identifying the wiring. There are at least 5 ways of wiring a 3-way switch, and each of those will require a slightly different setup. As we do not give electrical advice on this blog, we will assume you have the “standard” way that professionals will wire a 3-way circuit and refer to the wiring diagram below (full instructions available here). Know that there may be other ways before you play “Eeny, meeny, miny, mo” (yes, it happens) with the ‘extra’ wires. When in doubt, please call an electrician.



What is an Auxiliary Switch?
Smart switches can be broken up into 2 main categories: Primary Switches and Auxiliary Switches. A Primary (also known as a Master) switch contains the Z-Wave chip. It’s the more expensive of the pair. If you are only replacing one switch (non 3-way) then you would choose a Primary switch and be done.

An Auxiliary (also known as a slave or add-on) switch gives an alternate location to control the Primary switch. An Auxiliary switch will not control a load, or even work with a Z-Wave network since it does not have a Z-Wave chip. An Auxiliary is required when you want to automate a 3-way circuit. The old, existing dumb switch will NOT serve as an Auxiliary switch. A Primary Switch and Auxiliary Switch will NOT communicate wirelessly; you need the existing wiring that supported the dumb 3-Way switches.

   

What is the difference in Model Numbers?
(Click on the model number to open the product page in a new tab).

The WD-100 is an in-wall Z-Wave Plus Multi-level Light Dimmer

The WS-100 is an in-wall Z-Wave Plus ON/OFF Light Switch

The WA-100 is an in-wall Auxiliary Switch for both of the above
NOTE: Auxiliary switches will ‘become’ the type of device it supports; a dimmer becomes a dimmer; a switch becomes a switch.

The KITZWP-WD-WA-100 is a Dimmer/Auxiliary Switch set for 3-Way applications

The KITZWP-WS-WA-100 is an ON/OFF Switch/Auxiliary Switch set for 3-Way applications

Multi-gang Switch Boxes
When you have multiple switches in the same box, this is called a multi-gang switch installation. Although you MAY have one or more 3-way circuits in a multi-gang box, each of the switches in that box will be it's own circuit. Handle these like any other single gang installation with one caveat: You may not be able to fit multiple Smart Switches next to one another. In this case follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to clip/break off the heat sink tabs on the sides of the switch. This will allow you to fit more switches side-by-side, but removing tabs will decrease the load rating of the switch. Read the instructions that come with the switch for more information.

NOTE: This is an updated version of a previous blog that specified GE/JASCO devices instead of ZWP devices.

Have questions? See any errors/omissions/confusion? Please leave a message using the link in the bottom right of this screen, or fill out our Ask An Expert form for more help with your Z-Wave installation projects.
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Automate utility lighting with this GE motion sensor and LED bulb

Enbrighten 35931 Z-Wave Smart LED and GE 34193 Z-Wave Tabletop Motion Sensor

Automate utility lighting with this GE motion sensor and LED bulb
Cost and time; About $70 and 30 minutes (assuming you already have a Z-Wave gateway)

I have a closet where I stuff photography gear, blog ideas, reams of paper and Christmas gifts I’ve hidden yet forgot to give to my wife. It's lit by a single bulb operated by a pull chain. The closet door is in my line of sight, and every time I walk in to my office, the bulb is on. I’m not sure if I just leave it on, or if the pull chain is being pulled by ghosts determined to watch my electric bill climb. I'm not using the closet nearly enough to be burning the bulb 24/7.

   

As a blog writer with access to everything Z-Wave, I got my hands on the GE 34193 Z-Wave Plus Tabletop Smart Motion Sensor as well as the Enbrighten 35931 Z-Wave Plus Smart LED Bulb, Dimmable, (60w equivalent).



The 34193 was a bit smaller than I expected out of a device advertised as a ‘tabletop unit,’ but felt solid. Not related to your user experience, but I'm not crazy about the tagline, "Use any mobile device!".  While OUR customers would never see it on a shelf, I've already gotten an earful (or keyboard-full) from disgruntled users who purchased this from their local box store and were misled.

THESE DEVICES REQUIRE A Z-WAVE HUB! Regardless, both devices were packaged well and had a good feel and even some directions.

  

I used the motion sensor's included mounting bracket, screws and anchors, and installed it just above the transom of the closet door, so it will trigger as soon as I stick my head in to look for something.



I paired this and the 35931 bulb (a simple screw-in installation) with my Fibaro Home Center Lite, which took only a few minutes with no drama. I used the Magic Scene wizard to create two scenes: turn on the Enbrighten LED when the motion sensor detects motion, and turn off the Enbrighten LED when the motion sensor doesn’t detect motion for 4 minutes. So far, 3 days since I set this up, the LED bulb is off, and responds quickly when I need something. This inexpensive and easy solution automated my office closet to save energy and money. Granted, it would take approximately 1 year to recoup the $70 cost of this project (A 60 watt bulb costs $0.0071/hour x 24 hours 365 days =$62.34/year) but the convenience of the automation and never walking into a dark closet gives value as well.

Take a look and see if a quick automation project like this will work for you. As always, please feel free to send me a message using the link in the bottom right corner, or ask our team at Ask An Expert
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Kit Suggestions for new WINK 2 owners

Kit Suggestions for new WINK 2 owners
A few visitors to Zwaveproducts.com have asked, 'What home automation hub do Z-Wave retailers use at home?' and 'What devices work with my WINK 2?'

Here's the answer to both questions. Pictured above is my WINK 2, which has joined the army of other Z-Wave hubs in operation at home. The WINK 2 a good device (read my overview here), and there are many things you can do with it. In this blog entry are devices that you you consider when getting started with your own smart home network. Going back through my blogs, you'll see similar entries, but I tried to keep this one simple.
Click on the device names for links with more information.

In-wall Switch Lighting Control

Already have a WINK 2? Add these products to add lighting control to your smart home project.

Add two GE 12722 Smart Switches or two GE 12724 Smart Dimmers
Have a 3-way circuit that you want to control? Add a GE 12723 Add-On and READ THIS BLOG on Understanding 3-way Switches.

No Wiring Apartment Lighting Kit!
Have a WINK 2 but are not able to change the wiring in your home or apartment? Check out these plug-in and screw-in units that will have you up and running in less than 20 minutes.

Add two Z-Wave Dimmable LED Light Bulbs and two GE Plug-in Smart Switches for total control of a living room or bedroom.

Security Add On
Want to get notifications or trigger a robot when someone enters a room ? These devices work well with your WINK 2.

Three Aeotec Door/Window sensors are a great start and will allow you to really understand how these will work best for you and your smart home.
One Go Control Z-Wave Wireless IR Motion sensor covers those places where a door sensor won't work.  http://www.zwaveproducts.com/shop/z-wave-security/motion-detectors-and-sensors/z-wave-wireless-smoke-detector-sensor

Energy Saver Add On
Want to cut down on your A/C bills this summer? Use schedules and robots on your WINK 2 for best effect in your busy life.

Add a Go Control TBZ48 Z-Wave Thermostat and program the device to fit your schedule.

Door Lock Add On

Get a notification to your WINK 2 App when someone comes home, or even lock/unlock doors from your phone when you're not there

Add one Kwikset Smartcode Lever Lock and a Ecolink Z-Wave Garage Door Tilt Sensor to manage the coming/going of your family and stop unauthorized access to your home.

Complete Kits Available Too!

We also have WINK 2 kits with a hub and some devices, if you haven't purchased your WINK 2 yet.

Please let us know if you have any questions!
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The Z-Wave ToolBox in Las Vegas

The most popular ToolBox questions (and answers) from ISC-West 2017

The Z-Wave ToolBox in Las Vegas
Zwaveproducts, Inc had a lot of great items to bring to ISC West 2017. For those who are unfamiliar with the acronym, ISC-West is the International Security Conference & Exposition. It's the largest event in the United States for the physical security industry; covering access control, alarms, video surveillance / CCTV, networked security products and more. Our niche has always been strictly Z-Wave devices, but as Z-Wave gains traction in the security world, we have had much more to offer in the past few years.

We could barely contain everything in the “pod” (display kiosk) inside the Z-Wave Alliance pavilion. The main reason for ZWP attending ISC West was to show off our our suite of Z-Wave Tools. Included in this was the flagship of our troubleshooting line, the first-ever Z-Wave troubleshooting tool; Z-Wave ToolBox. Also featured were our popular Sensative Strips and the newly rebranded Zwaveproducts.com line of dimmers, switches, and accessory switches. For good measure, we also brought along a Remotec ZTS-500, a very futuristic and feature-laden thermostat from Remotec.

After years of soaking up the trade-show experience, I was on the flip side; giving a presentation (or two). It wasn’t like I didn’t know or believe in the ToolBox; this is what I lived for the past 4 years. But I was concerned how would the world react. Would others yearn for a product I knew was the best thing since the 100 series chip? It seemed like we were caught up in a swirl of pre-show preparations. I had a lot of help from Margaret, also from our Moonachie, NJ office.

     

When the show opened Wednesday morning, it was surprisingly quiet in the Z-Wave Alliance booth. Then all hell broke loose as swarms of attendees asked questions about the suite of tools we offered for Z-Wave installers. We sorted out questions from a steady stream of visitors, until it finally quieted down Friday morning. We had great interest in our dimmers, thermostats, door/window sensors, and received many questions about those items. For now, I’m going to give a general sum-up of the types of questions we got for the ToolBox and related tools, and leave input about our other featured devices in upcoming blogs.

Q: “I’m worried that this may be too difficult for my installer to understand. Is there a simpler tool that you will have on the market that wouldn’t be so complex?

A: When first investigating Z-Wave issues at MDU installations in the New York Metro Area, the tools I had very complex for me as well. The ToolBox is a reaction to that set of tools. The ToolBox may seem a little overwhelming at first, but creating an underpowered tool would get the installer the quick answers, but perhaps wouldn’t give all the answers. So as we developed this tool, we added simple widgets to ease the introduction to the new installer, but also created powerful tools so that the advanced user isn’t left out, either.

Q: “Why can’t I see my device names? Can I add them, or rename the devices that your ToolBox shows?”

A: This question specifically refers to the Network Health Tester. There is a Control Panel of devices that appears once the ToolBox is ‘Learned In’ to your controller. The Control Panel is based on Z-Wave device node IDs. It omits device names, or alternate controller IDs (such as the ones given to a device by the panel). The reason for this is due to the permissions that we get from the Z-Wave controller when we add the ToolBox via “Learn.” We are not a secondary controller, and only have access to the ID that’s on the Z-Wave chip. We provided a ‘test’ (On/Off) command to help identify nodes. The ToolBox is meant to quickly identify problems (20 minutes once the operator understands how the tool works), and really there should not be a need to rename nodes as you want to get in and out as quickly as possible. However, this is such a popular request, we will have our developers add it in subsequent firmware updates.

Q: “Can I purchase the software-only for inclusion on my own gateway?”
A: We did get many questions about someone wanting to implement our ToolBox into their gateway/panel. We do not have any plans for making this available at this time, but wouldn’t pass up a great opportunity for the right company.

Q: “The price seems okay for installers, but I want to troubleshoot my own network. Is there a cheaper alternative?"
A: We have created a packet analyzer-only version of the ToolBox, with a small form factor and more appealing cost. However, this device doesn’t take into account the installer-friendly features of the ToolBox. It assumes you will read the packet analyzer and understand what to do next. It’s a great tool for a specific application.

Q: “What is the difference between this tool and the CIT from the Z-Wave Alliance?”
A: “The Z-Wave ToolBox and the Certified Installer ToolKit (TM Z-Wave Alliance) are very similar, in that they allow the installer to troubleshoot Z-Wave networks. The Z-Wave ToolBox is commercially available now, and does not require enrollment into the CIT program. Zwaveproducts.com provides support for the ToolBox. The ToolBox was scratch built by installers, for other Z-Wave installers, and takes a more installer-friendly (not developer intense) view on troubleshooting. Each region has its own SKU, which allows us to keep costs down as well as keeping the programming simple (Why pay for and manage AUS frequencies when you run an installation shop in California?).  We also can respond very quickly to feedback from installers, and firmware updates are included for one year from purchase.

Q: “Will your Z-Wave ToolBox work in other countries? (Brazil, Mexico, France, etc.)
A: Right now only the US version is available. The North American frequency has been released for sale, and currently we are 'doing the details' for sales in the EU and AUS markets.

Q: “What if I want to sell the ToolBox [or] become a distributor?"
A: Please contact sales@zwaveproducts.com

Q: “How is the ToolBox powered?”
A: The ToolBox is delivered with a 120VAC power adapter. There is a 12V battery option with case and strap that will go on sale as soon as we iron out all the features for our installers.

Q: “Can I see the ToolBox in action?”
A: Check out this video “Ad” that we played at ISC-West 2017 CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Q: “How much does the ToolBox cost?”
A: The Z-Wave ToolBox retails for $249 USD and can be purchased HERE.

Over all, the show went really well. The reaction to the ToolBox was very warm, and the questions gave us a better insight on how to make the ToolBox more viable for the Z-Wave installer.
Did we not answer your question? Please visit ASK AN EXPERT to get your questions in front of our team!
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