Low Latency Z-Wave Plus Switches

On a friend’s recommendation I bought some GE Z-Wave switches to get started into home automation. I bought three 14291s switches and a 14294 dimmer. I installed one of the 14291s to get started and I was immediately struck by what a huge latency there is turning on the switch. I haven’t got my hub set up yet (got a separate thread for that), but just on its own the switch has about a 1/2 second delay between tapping the paddle the the light’s state changing and it really bugs me.

Are there lower latency z-wave plus switches that people recommend?

I found the HomeSeer HS-WD100+ recommended by an article on Wirecutter and found the related HS-WS200+ switch and HS-WD200+ dimmer that come with an RGB LED for status reporting that I like the look of. Any particular experience with these?

I’m also looking for a switch that doesn’t turn off its own load be default when pressed for a setup with a circuit that has smart bulbs that’ll turn themselves on and off. Any recommendations for that?

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I have one of the newer GE Z-Wave devices (although mine is the toggle version as opposed to the paddle.) The reason for the delay (I believe) is because they include a “double tap” feature. I.e., if you tap one side of the switch twice quickly, rather than turning the load on or off it will send a special packet to the controller (or, really, any device you program it to send it to.) The delay seems necessary for it to differentiate a regular tap (turn the load on or off) from a double tap (send the special packet instead.)

FWIW, I use this feature to create corresponding events in HA that I then use to turn my cameras on and off. Yes, the small delay is a bit annoying at first, but like anything, you quickly get used to it.

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I forgot to add, I also have a few of the older GE Z-Wave switches. Those don’t have the double tap feature and respond instantly. You may still be able to buy them, although they aren’t Z-Wave Plus, so that’s a trade-off to consider.

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Once you have your lights turn on automatically, you won’t need to touch the wall button often, so it shouldn’t really be a consideration.

@gpbenton Do you have your lights turn on/off with presence sensors or something?

The lights I have automated all turn on when motion is detected in the room when it is dark, and turn off about 10 minutes after motion has stopped. I can’t remember the last time I had to press a light switch in those rooms.

What do you intend to use remote controlled lights for if not something like this?

The latency is somewhat unavoidable with any wireless communication - particularly low power ones like Z-Wave. You can reduce it by ensuring you’ve got a healthy mesh, and avoided the common problems.

I think he was referring to the latency from manually toggling the switch, physically at the switch, to the time the switch state actually changes (i.e., the light turns on or off.) In this case, for the type of switch he’s talking about, turning it on or off via z-wave is actually faster! :slight_smile:


FWIW, I have several lights that, although they can be remotely controlled by HA, are still turned on and off manually on a daily basis. (I actually don’t think I’d like these lights automatically going on and off just via motion.) HA controls these mostly when we’re not home. And I have one that is both turned on by HA (when the sun sets), and then when we turn it off manually (when we go to bed), that triggers an automation in HA to do other things. So there are plenty of use cases for remote controlled switches that don’t involve only being, well, remotely controlled. :slight_smile:


I ended up returning the GE switches I had and opted for the HomeSeers I listed above. I went with those because I liked the idea of the coloured status lights. Turns out that they’re not any faster to respond than the GE ones, though.

To be clear, it was taking longer for the light to turn on from the directly wired wall switch than if I toggled the same from my phone, that is to say the delay is coming locally not from “wireless latency” – the latency of the z-wave command is usually not very noticeable on my network.

After poking around at this for a while, it turns out that a lot of the latency in these situations comes from the wall switches supporting various “gestures”. E.g. the HomeSeers can produce different events for 1-5 taps and in order to differentiate the different gestures, the switch needs to wait a short time to see if further taps are coming in. It makes sense and there’s not really any other way to deal with this so I’ve made my peace with it. I have seen that some switches can be configured to no longer support multi-gesture which makes the response time instant, which is great. I believe HomeSeer was working on a firmware upgrade to do just that for their switches, although HomeSeer charges for the firmware upgrade utility which is kinda crappy – I already paid for the thing!

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The delay caused by the double tap feature of these devices drives me crazy. I wish they all supported the ability to turn them off

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I use quite a few Fibaro switches and dimmers and never notice any appreciable lag with them.

FWIW, according to the changelog in this forum post, the added the the ability to disable multi-tap in firmware v5.12 of their WS200+ Switches & WD200+ Dimmers. If you’re as annoyed as I used to be, might be worth tracking some of these down. After using their switches for the last few months I’m happy with them, though it makes me angry that they charge for the firmware updater.

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