Need advice on dimmers


I’m brand-new to the Home Assistant community (this is my first post). I’m about to start remodeling a historic home, 1880 colonial with updated wiring, and I want to add in some smart lighting control to the house.

I’m trying to decide between two different brands:

  • Leviton Decora Smart (DZ6HD-1BZ)
  • Cooper Aspire RF serries

Does anyone have personal experience with these dimmers and if so, are you able to control the on/off and dim levels with HA? I’d appreciate any recommendations/advice.

I preferred the GE 12730 and similar

Leviton didn’t work well for me with openzwave.
Didn’t always show correct state(on/off)

I did look at GE; the dimmers don’t show dimming level status on the dimmer (no led lights), right?

Have you had any issues with using HA to turn them on/off and set a dim level? My top priority is finding dimmers that work the most reliably with this system.

Also, do you know if the GE dimmers are instant status or polled? In one of the rooms I’m adding a dimmer to I’d like to create a scene that activates a table lamp via a z-wave outlet so instant status would be nice.

No dim level shown on switch
Used in 1200sqft home, relaible operation and status

I’ve used GE, Leivton, and HomeSeer.

I would not recommend GE or Leivton as they do not report instant updates. You need to setup polling. Even the newer Levitons do not support this.

I have not used the Coopers.

I would recommend HomeSeer - they are fantastic! Really loving them.

I’ve read a lot about HomeSeer and that was the dimmer I was gravitating towards at first. However, I recall reading issues in the HA forum about them not working properly with scenes (I can’t recall the exact thing I read).

Have you had any issues or workarounds you had to implement and do they update their status to HA quickly? Also, do the multi-button taps work with HA (very cool feature in a dimmer I have to say).

I purchased several of the new GE Z-wave Plus Dimmers (model 14294), and I’m fairly certain the new ones report instant status (or at least some variety of quickly reporting status - I’m not sure how to definitively verify instant status). Edit: After further research, I have learned that Z-wave Plus devices should implement the Associations class and report events to their “Lifeline” group (group 1), which is typically the hub (Z-stick). You can see that the 14294 dimmers support this here, thus confirming an “instant status”:

I can turn the dimmer on/off at the switch and watch the associated toggle move back and forth in the HASS interface within 1 second. That seems pretty instant to me. I’ve attached node information for one of my switches below, if you are interested. I’m really happy with the purchase. I should note that I am using the Aeotec Gen5 Z-Stick attached to my RPi3 running HASS in virtualenv.

Here are the Node Config Options for this dimmer that are available for you to tweak in the Z-Wave menu:

  • LED Light
  • Invert Switch
  • Z-Wave Command Dim Step
  • Z-Wave Command Dim Rate
  • Local Control Dim Step
  • Local Control Dim Rate
  • ALL ON/ALL OFF Dim Step
  • ALL ON/ALL OFF Dim Rate

Node Information:
averageRequestRTT: 33
averageResponseRTT: 35
capabilities: beaming,routing,listening
friendly_name: Office
is_awake: true
is_failed: false
is_info_received: true
is_ready: true
is_zwave_plus: true
lastRequestRTT: 34
lastResponseRTT: 45
manufacturer_name: GE
max_baud_rate: 40000
neighbors: 1,3,4,7,8,9,10,11
node_id: 2
node_name: Office
old_entity_id: zwave.office_2
product_name: 14294 In-Wall Smart Dimmer
query_stage: Complete
receivedCnt: 44
receivedDups: 9
receivedTS: 2017-07-21 11:16:32:098
receivedUnsolicited: 0
retries: 2
sentCnt: 53
sentFailed: 0
sentTS: 2017-07-21 11:16:32:052

The multi-tap doesn’t work yet but is coming. Besides that feature the devices work fine.

I have a handful of the Cooper Aspire RF dimmers (no neutral required version) and they work great. Instant feedback both ways (switched by HA/switched by physical switch). You can set dim rates as well which is a nice feature. Ex: for the kitchen I have it set to instant turn-on but for the family room the gentle 3sec turn-on is a nice touch. Dim rates can even be different if triggered from switch vs triggered from HA.

They have lead wires coming off the box which might be an issue if you’re switch box is really cramped. (if you’re redoing it yourself, though, you can keep that in mind.)

Only thing that doesn’t seem to work is when dimming from the switch the changes aren’t immediately noticed by HA (light %). They update in HA on the next poll cycle. This isn’t a flaw with the hardware though as I can see zwave updates in the logs when I dim the lights. Must just not be implemented on the software side. (Not to be confused with on/off)

If you have any other questions about them let me know, I might be able to help.