Z-Wave Dimmer for LED Lights - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-23-2013, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to find some dimmers for LED lights that can be controlled via Z-wave. My controller unit will be a MiCasa/Vera controller. I searched many sites but could not find anything. Any help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-24-2013, 04:26 AM
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post #3 of 17 Old 11-24-2013, 07:29 AM
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Evolve lrm-as work very well w led dimmable bulbs. I have tested them w 3 popular brands. They do require a neutral.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-25-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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haworld, thanks for the response. I did look at the Evolve LRM-AS and the description/manual says "500 Watts for control of permanently installed incandescent lamp fixtures only (not for control of receptacles)".

* Are you saying that you are using this dimmer with LED lights and it works just fine?
* How many watts do the LED pull?
* Did you have to change any parameters to dim without flickering?
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-25-2013, 02:46 PM
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Hi mujudu,

Yes I have tested the Evolve LRM-AS with three brands of LED's, here were my results...

1) Cree 6W Dimmable LED (450 Lumens)
- Dimming steps good.
- Dims full on/off (0-100%) nice and smooth
- Resume dim good.
- no discernible noise
- no flicker but hard to control on lower spectrum of wattage (close to off or 5-10%)
2) Philips 8W Dimmable LED (470 Lumens)
- Dimming steps good.
- Dims full on/off (0-100%) nice and smooth
- Resume dim good.
- no discernible noise
- no flicker
- Good control at all dim levels.
3) EcoSmart 9W Dimmable LED (650 Lumens)
- Dimming steps good.
- Dims full on/off (0-100%) nice and smooth
- Resume dim good.
- no discernible noise
- no flicker
- Good control at all dim levels.

Now there is no gaurantee that buying these brands and these switches will absolutely work for you in your environment, as every home is wired differently and may have other mitigating circumstances, but at least this is something for you to start with. I would reccomend that you get one switch and one LED dimmable bulb and hook everything up properly then test to see if it works for you in your home.

These tests were done on my test bench in my office under perfect conditions, I did not do anything but wire up the switches and screw in the LED's. I did not even set them up within Vera as I wanted an unrestricted unbiased test using a standard GE controller and an Aeon Labs Minimote, so those were what I used for my tests. That's not to say you couldn't improve the step rates and presets within Vera to improve the performance even more, as I am sure you could.

Hope that helps!
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-26-2013, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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haworld, GREAT info. Thank you.
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-26-2013, 09:07 PM
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Thanks, if anyone is interested in more test results, I will continue and post the results on here and on the company blog as I have time.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-09-2014, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Haworld, I am looking at the Cooper Wiring Devices RF9542-ZWS Aspire and Leviton VRCZ1-1LZ Vizia. Do you happen to have any experience with these for dimming LED lights?
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-09-2014, 08:51 AM
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Hi mujudu, No I don't but I will be happy to do some tests for you. We will have to get some Leviton switches in stock though, we do not normally stock them. As soon as we get them in I will do some more tests and post them on here.

FYI, I just completed testing CFL's & LED's, same bulbs as I used for the Evolve tests, but on our new product line of Z-Wave dimmer switches from Linear, Model WD500Z. I am very pleased with the results and the price point is better than Evolve as well. They sell for about the same price as the GE dimmers but are almost $10 cheaper than the Evolve LRM-AS plus they are a 3-wire dimmer (same as evolve) but have an added feature, Auto-Sense. Basically they will dim CFL's & LED's with similar positive results to the Evolves but have more features and are less expensive!

Here is a link to the Linear dimmers, in case you are interested. I will be in touch as soon as I can with the Leviton results.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-12-2014, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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haworld, I see that the Leviton is listed on your website. Did you get a chance to test them already? Also do you have any experience with the Cooper, not just for dimming but in general?

Also do you have any experience with mixing different brands, i.e. using z-wave dimmer switches from one brand and simple on/off switches from another brand?

I did look into the Linear you mentioned. I am not quite sure what this "Auto-Sense" feature does for a light switch. With the "PD300Z-2" one can turn on/off a connected device not only through the PD300Z-2 but also by turning off the connected device and then turning it on again. In other words, one can still turn the connected device on and off without having to tough/use the PD300Z-2. With a light switch the connected device is the bulb. The bulb has no on/off switch so I am not sure what this feature is doing for a light switch (unless you use a light switch to control a lamp with an on/off switch but usually such a lamp is connected to an outlet).
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-13-2014, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
haworld, I see that the Leviton is listed on your website. Did you get a chance to test them already?


Sorry no we haven't done the testing yet, should be done this week though. I will post the results asap on here for you.

Quote:
Also do you have any experience with the Cooper, not just for dimming but in general?

No we do not have a supply line for Cooper devices yet, we are working on getting them but at this time we do not sell them. I do not have any personal experience with Cooper products, sorry.
Quote:
I did look into the Linear you mentioned. I am not quite sure what this "Auto-Sense" feature does for a light switch. With the "PD300Z-2" one can turn on/off a connected device not only through the PD300Z-2 but also by turning off the connected device and then turning it on again. In other words, one can still turn the connected device on and off without having to tough/use the PD300Z-2. With a light switch the connected device is the bulb. The bulb has no on/off switch so I am not sure what this feature is doing for a light switch (unless you use a light switch to control a lamp with an on/off switch but usually such a lamp is connected to an outlet).

AutoSense works like this. When your controller sends an on signal to a light switch, if you try to turn it on locally AT the switch, it will recognize the fact that your controller has already turned it on, and you will be able to turn it OFF. Some switches without autosense will require you to hit the switch a second time as they do not poll the controller to get its status prior to executing the command. In other words, if the controller turned the switch on, when you try it locally it is like you are turning it on a second time and nothing happens - with autosense it knows that it is already ON, so will allow you to turn it OFF in the very first click.

Thanks.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-22-2014, 01:59 PM
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Mujudu and anyone else interested in performance test of Leviton Z-Wave Dimmer Model VRI06 using dimmable LED loads.

Follow this link to my blog, entitled "Using Leviton 2-Wire Z-Wave dimmer switches with dimmable LED's" for the latest test results, or as below...

Test done with a Leviton Model VRI06 2-wire dimmer, as follows;

1) Cree 6W Dimmable LED (450 Lumens)

- Dimming steps good.

- Dims full off ok but brightening to 100% requires holding the dimmer on for a while longer than normal to get to 100%, otherwise it is fine as far as smoothness goes.

- Resume dim good.

- no discernible noise or humming

- no flicker but hard to control on lower spectrum of wattage (close to off or 5-10%)

2) Philips 8W Dimmable LED (470 Lumens)

- Dimming steps good.

- Dims full off ok but brightening to 100% requires holding the dimmer on for a while longer than normal to get to 100%, otherwise it is fine as far as smoothness goes.

- Resume dim good.

- no discernible noise or humming

- no flicker but hard to control on lower spectrum of wattage (close to off or 5-10%)

- overall the same performance as the Cree above, except it seemed like the dimming steps were somewhat smoother.

3) EcoSmart 9W Dimmable LED (650 Lumens)

- Dimming steps a little rough.

- Dims only to 20% and flickers slightly, you need to hold the dimming a second for full off. Brightening to 100% requires holding the dimmer on for a while longer than normal to get to 100%.

- Resume dim good at only >40%.  Doesn't seem to work at all below that.

- no discernible noise or humming

3) GE 11W Dimmable LED (800 Lumens)

- Dimming steps OK.

- Dims only to 30% then you need to hold the dimming a second for full off. Will not dim up from off, Brightening to 100% ok only after being switched on, THEN dimmed up.

- Resume dim is good.

- no discernible noise or humming

- Very little flicker if any and good control at all levels.

Now there is no guarantee that buying these brands and these switches will absolutely work for you in your environment, as every home is wired differently and may have other mitigating circumstances, but at least this is something for you to start with. I would recommend that you get one switch and one LED dimmable bulb and hook everything up properly then test to see if it works for you in your home environment.

These tests were done on my test bench in my office under perfect conditions, I did not do anything but wire up the switches and screw in the LED's. I have a VeraLite controller as well as HomeSeer but did not set them up within either controller as I wanted an unrestricted unbiased test using a standard GE Z-Wave remote controller and an Aeon Labs Minimote, so those were what I used for my tests. That's not to say you couldn't improve the step rates and presets within Vera to improve the performance even more, as I am sure you could.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-23-2014, 09:26 AM
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Most of my house is 2-wire to the wall boxes and and I have several VR106s. I tried an outdoor Phillips CFL flood that claimed to be "dimmable" two years ago. It wasn't and z-wave stopped working on its and another circuit.

Has anyone found a dimmable low-wattage outdoor flood of any technology that works in this environment?

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post #14 of 17 Old 01-23-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by humbug2 View Post

Most of my house is 2-wire to the wall boxes and and I have several VR106s. I tried an outdoor Phillips CFL flood that claimed to be "dimmable" two years ago. It wasn't and z-wave stopped working on its and another circuit.

Has anyone found a dimmable low-wattage outdoor flood of any technology that works in this environment?

I have some test results that may help you. I have used an EcoSmart Dimmable CFL R20 Flood light from Home Depot (rebranded Crees) with a GE Jasco 45612 Z-Wave Dimmer (these are 11W ~ 50W equivalent bulbs, 380 lumens in Soft White) and my test results are as follows...

- Dimming steps good.

- Dims full on and off ok.

- Resume dim good.

- No discernible noise or humming

- no flicker but hard to control on lower spectrum of wattage (close to off or 5-10%)

I have not yet tested this CFL with the Leviton VRI06, as I recently did with LED's above, but will do so soon and will post the results. More test results of LED's are also available on our blog
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-12-2014, 01:39 PM
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Do you think the GE Z-Wave Rocker Dimmer Switch - Model 45612 (ZW3003) would work with dimmable LCDs? I have these LED lights (https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/10...14DR5630K.html)only have 2 wires available (no neutral). Have 3 dimmers with 6 on one (84w), 1 on one (14w) and 2 on the last one (28w).






My concern is that some reviews mention a 40w min and the switches with less than that might flicker with the current that needs to pass through to keep the zwave transmitter active.



Any other 2-wire switches I should be considering?


Thanks, Dan
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-13-2014, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by swassbac View Post
Do you think the GE Z-Wave Rocker Dimmer Switch - Model 45612 (ZW3003) would work with dimmable LCDs? I have these LED lights (https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/10...14DR5630K.html)only have 2 wires available (no neutral). Have 3 dimmers with 6 on one (84w), 1 on one (14w) and 2 on the last one (28w).






My concern is that some reviews mention a 40w min and the switches with less than that might flicker with the current that needs to pass through to keep the zwave transmitter active.



Any other 2-wire switches I should be considering?


Thanks, Dan
Hi Dan, its really hard to say whether that LED will work for sure, but as long as you exceed 40W - you are correct, you could be just fine, although there is no gaurantee more load will actually give you better performance without a neutral as long as you are dimming an LED. For the one circuit with 84W, that may be fine, the other two no way to tell without testing but I really doubt it. It doesn't matter which brand of switch you use, without a neutral you will not get great performance from a dimmable LED or CFL, its just science. You might try the Leviton VRI06 but at double the price, I don't think they work much better. See my blog for more test results here, http://blog.haworldonline.com.

Another thing to try for the lower wattage circuits is to install a dummy load, an incandescent somewhere in the circuit which will help the dimmers performance drastically, some people put them in a closet or somewhere it won't be see.

Or if you NEED a dimmer switch at those switch box locations, install an Aeon Labs Micro dimmer at the LED's ceiling fixture where you DO have a neutral and use a standard toggle at the switch. You may have to install the micro switch at a separate j-box depending on how you mount the cans for the LED and where there is room, make sure to mount them inside a proper j-box somewhere though, i have seen people stick them to a stud - DON'T do that lol.

Hope that helps, post back if you need more info or more help.
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-16-2014, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mujudu View Post
I am trying to find some dimmers for LED lights that can be controlled via Z-wave. My controller unit will be a MiCasa/Vera controller. I searched many sites but could not find anything. Any help is appreciated.
I would recomend Fibaro Dimmers.

The best thing about these is that you can use a bypass which costs a little extra but then you won't have a problem with minimum load. Which can be a problem with LED's and dimmers.

It will also allow you to use the dimmer without a neutral, which can be good if you cannot get a neutral to where you want to install the dimmer.
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