Leviton's second-generation Decora Dimmer review: Wi-Fi connected HomeKit switches

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,879member
    stulaw01 said:
    KBuffett said:
    The roll out of HomeKit and supporting devices is a joke.
    Agree.  Compared to Alexa or Google the choices in devices are disappointing and more expensive overall (because Apple wats its cut surely). 

    Homekit has been a bit of a flop overall IMO after all of these years. 

    SUPPOSEDLY Matter is to fix this but that won't be for another year or more still. 
    Incorrect. HK devices require more stringent security implementations, which some manufacturers don’t want to bother with. I’m glad for it, and have been using every sort of smart device for years and years: sensors, switches, outlets, lighting, etc. No problems here. 
    lightvox88pscooter63
  • Reply 22 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,879member
    I have three of these competing iDevices dimmers:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0743Q7VCL

    …they’re perfect for me. HomeKit (and thus Siri), granular dimming to 1%, physical rocker, double-tap at top or bottom for max, a separate configurable night light, etc. 
  • Reply 23 of 35
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,054member
    netrox said:
    I am tired of Homekit being unreliable with "no response" that happen too often - I am waiting for Thread enabled products which in theory should solve that issue since they "self heal" the network. 
    HomeKit is not reliable compared to Alexa. All my HomeKit devices at home are also Alexa compatible. I had to use Alexa a lot to control them. Only Philips Hue is HomeKit consistent. 
    I wouldn’t replace the smart switch but smart bulbs instead. There’s so many light bulb options to choose including RGB and the can be controlled individually.
    stulaw01
  • Reply 24 of 35
    Leviton lost my business … 

    I had 15 of their Gen 1 devices mainly switches and dimmers. The switches would go “No Response” so often, that I would have to reset them at least twice a week. 

    Most people would say, it’s your network, and I’d probably agree with you if I was an average user, but my network is far from Average. Fios Gigabit, Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro, Ubiquiti 24 port POE switch, and at the time, 2 Ubiquiti NanoHD APs. 

    I had troubleshot multiple times with Leviton’s customer service, and would email them every time the devices would stop working. I sent screenshots and the steps to resolve, and by week 2 they stopped responding to my emails and when I would call, they would place me on hold, and eventually the call
    would “drop”. 

    I have since pulled all of their switches leaving only the 2 sets of 3 way dimmers and remotes. I replaced all of the switches with TP-Link Kasa devices and integrated them into HomeKit with HomeBridge. They have been rock solid since, and the only “No Responses” are from, you guessed it, the Levitons. 

    So as I mentioned at the beginning, they lost my business for smart devices. 
    stulaw01pscooter63
  • Reply 25 of 35
    fallenjt said:
    netrox said:
    I am tired of Homekit being unreliable with "no response" that happen too often - I am waiting for Thread enabled products which in theory should solve that issue since they "self heal" the network. 
    HomeKit is not reliable compared to Alexa. All my HomeKit devices at home are also Alexa compatible. I had to use Alexa a lot to control them. Only Philips Hue is HomeKit consistent. 
    I wouldn’t replace the smart switch but smart bulbs instead. There’s so many light bulb options to choose including RGB and the can be controlled individually.
    For me personally, I would rather use the smart switches. This way I can use the physical switch, use the app, or use Siri interchangeably. If I use smart bulbs, then I can only use the app or Siri because if the switch is off then the bulb is no longer smart. The majority of the time I turn the light on or off at the switch.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 26 of 35
    I have been very happy with the Gen 1 Lutron’s. I have a boat load of them. They seem to have issues with Eero’s mesh back a few months ago but they haven’t gone “no response” in months now. I suspect the person who was having issues wouldn’t if they weren’t using the latest mesh features. However, I found the no response easy to fix with a reboot of the switch (no even needing a reset). That is my one complaint on the first gen, a reset vs. reboot is tricky to time right. Hold
    the button too long and you are sunk. 

    John
  • Reply 27 of 35
    I have 37 of the 1st generation and they work great with HomeKit and the design is perfect. I can highly recommend these.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 28 of 35
    I have been very happy with the Gen 1 Leviton’s. I have a boat load of them. They seem to have issues with Eero’s mesh back a few months ago but they haven’t gone “no response” in months now. I suspect the person who was having issues wouldn’t if they weren’t using the latest mesh features. However, I found the no response easy to fix with a reboot of the switch (no even needing a reset). That is my one complaint on the first gen, a reset vs. reboot is tricky to time right. Hold
    the button too long and you are sunk. 

    John
  • Reply 29 of 35
    stulaw01 said:
    Had one of these, the model just on/off and not a dimmer, and it lost connection once a week.  Had to hard reset and re-add it in the app and Homekit.  Ended up returning it.

    The router base is 8-10 feet away with no walls or obstructions. It was not a WIFI issue.

    If you google the issue Leviton wifi switches are notorious for disconnecting issues over the years. Not "no response" but disappears from the app totally cannot connect no matter what you do.

    I have only heard good things about Lutron Caseta; and they aren't THAT much more expensive per switch than Leviton really; $10ish more per switch (once you have the hub).  I will likely be going that route here.
    I just now checked Amazon. I saw the “Standard” Lutron Caséta dimmer switch and a remote bundle for $64.95. The “Expensive” version is listed as $115.95. When I bought my switches last year the “Expensive” version was $109.95.

    The “Standard” version does NOT require a neutral wire but also does NOT have a “favorite” button which is very useful to have.
    The “Expensive” version DOES require a neutral wire but also DOES have a “favorite” button which I wouldn’t want to be without.
    They have a ton of different packages.    I was just comparing 1 normal toggle to 1 normal toggle.  Lutron has a lot more variety of course- fans, button types, remotes, etc.

    But basic on/off to basic on/off  is $40 for Leviton (wifi 2nd gen basic toggle) to $56 for Lutron (the light bulb icon 2 separate button model).  At least as of today on Amazon.  Of course the bridge is a separate issue and would make far less sense for 1 swtich.

    From my experience at least, the $14 savings per switch though is not worth the hassle. Leviton was incredibly unstable, and from my research before returning it is a common issue that Leviton has never solved. 
    edited August 2021
  • Reply 30 of 35
    Leviton lost my business … 

    I had 15 of their Gen 1 devices mainly switches and dimmers. The switches would go “No Response” so often, that I would have to reset them at least twice a week. 

    Most people would say, it’s your network, and I’d probably agree with you if I was an average user, but my network is far from Average. Fios Gigabit, Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro, Ubiquiti 24 port POE switch, and at the time, 2 Ubiquiti NanoHD APs. 

    I had troubleshot multiple times with Leviton’s customer service, and would email them every time the devices would stop working. I sent screenshots and the steps to resolve, and by week 2 they stopped responding to my emails and when I would call, they would place me on hold, and eventually the call
    would “drop”. 

    I have since pulled all of their switches leaving only the 2 sets of 3 way dimmers and remotes. I replaced all of the switches with TP-Link Kasa devices and integrated them into HomeKit with HomeBridge. They have been rock solid since, and the only “No Responses” are from, you guessed it, the Levitons. 

    So as I mentioned at the beginning, they lost my business for smart devices. 


    Same. 
    Full TP-link mesh here.  It's not the network and the swtich in question was 6 feet from the main router.  There is no way it wa a signal issue and I have all of 12 devies inthe house connected to 3 total APs; not a volume issue either.

    This is an ongoing ssue if you google Leviton wifi switch disconnet; for years with these WIFI only models. 
    edited August 2021
  • Reply 31 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,879member
    fallenjt said:
    netrox said:
    I am tired of Homekit being unreliable with "no response" that happen too often - I am waiting for Thread enabled products which in theory should solve that issue since they "self heal" the network. 
    HomeKit is not reliable compared to Alexa. All my HomeKit devices at home are also Alexa compatible. I had to use Alexa a lot to control them. Only Philips Hue is HomeKit consistent. 
    I wouldn’t replace the smart switch but smart bulbs instead. There’s so many light bulb options to choose including RGB and the can be controlled individually.
    Dunno what I’m doing wrong - house full of HK devices and no weird issues.
  • Reply 32 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,879member

    I have since pulled all of their switches leaving only the 2 sets of 3 way dimmers and remotes. I replaced all of the switches with TP-Link Kasa devices and integrated them into HomeKit with HomeBridge. They have been rock solid since, and the only “No Responses” are from, you guessed it, the Levitons. 
    Interesting. I don’t have any Leviton HK devices. Maybe their firmware sucks. 
  • Reply 33 of 35
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,368member
    Grounded outlets became a requirement in the early 1960s so that's probably not as big of a downside as you'd think, especially for folks who've updated the electrical systems in their home sometime in the past 50 years to address the vastly larger numbers and types of electrical appliances and stuff in the home. What's more of an issue for me, in a newly constructed home, has been the very large number of 3-way light switches, which allow you to control the same light from multiple locations, that are necessary to meet current electrical code requirements. Needing support for 3-way setups definitely adds another layer to the smart lighting decision.

    Fortunately, Leviton's devices that are mentioned in this article do support 3-way wiring setups. But you'll need to replace all of the involved 3-way switches at every location with a matched wired 3-way companion device. This will drive up the total cost of devices and increase the installation complexity. Leviton is nice enough to provide a how-to video for dealing with 3-way setups, but it's probably still going to intimidate some DIYers who will end up hiring an electrician - which is the right thing to do if you're not comfortable with the task.

    Just one more thing to think about before jumping in. 


    StrangeDaystenthousandthings
  • Reply 34 of 35
    dewme said:
    Grounded outlets became a requirement in the early 1960s so that's probably not as big of a downside as you'd think, especially for folks who've updated the electrical systems in their home sometime in the past 50 years to address the vastly larger numbers and types of electrical appliances and stuff in the home. What's more of an issue for me, in a newly constructed home, has been the very large number of 3-way light switches, which allow you to control the same light from multiple locations, that are necessary to meet current electrical code requirements. Needing support for 3-way setups definitely adds another layer to the smart lighting decision.

    Fortunately, Leviton's devices that are mentioned in this article do support 3-way wiring setups. But you'll need to replace all of the involved 3-way switches at every location with a matched wired 3-way companion device. This will drive up the total cost of devices and increase the installation complexity. Leviton is nice enough to provide a how-to video for dealing with 3-way setups, but it's probably still going to intimidate some DIYers who will end up hiring an electrician - which is the right thing to do if you're not comfortable with the task.

    Just one more thing to think about before jumping in.  
    Finally someone who knows something about wiring a house.

    I don’t understand what this article means by the “neutral” wire — I think they must mean the ground wire? Older houses and indeed all electrical circuits have neutral (return) wires, what they don’t always have is ground wires, because the grounding is through the metal boxes and the metal conduit that contains the wires. But you can still ground outlets by wiring them to the grounded metal boxes/conduit. 

    In standard US wiring black is hot, white is neutral, and green is the ground wire. Sometimes you have a second hot wire, usually red. In some wiring schemes, white can end up hot, in which case it should have a piece of black or red tape wrapped around it to indicate that. 
    edited August 2021
  • Reply 35 of 35
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,008member
    dewme said:
    Grounded outlets became a requirement in the early 1960s so that's probably not as big of a downside as you'd think, especially for folks who've updated the electrical systems in their home sometime in the past 50 years to address the vastly larger numbers and types of electrical appliances and stuff in the home. What's more of an issue for me, in a newly constructed home, has been the very large number of 3-way light switches, which allow you to control the same light from multiple locations, that are necessary to meet current electrical code requirements. Needing support for 3-way setups definitely adds another layer to the smart lighting decision.

    Fortunately, Leviton's devices that are mentioned in this article do support 3-way wiring setups. But you'll need to replace all of the involved 3-way switches at every location with a matched wired 3-way companion device. This will drive up the total cost of devices and increase the installation complexity. Leviton is nice enough to provide a how-to video for dealing with 3-way setups, but it's probably still going to intimidate some DIYers who will end up hiring an electrician - which is the right thing to do if you're not comfortable with the task.

    Just one more thing to think about before jumping in. 


    For 3-way, iDevices sets up a master switch and a dummy switch default wired to keep the circuit live on its end and then just communicates wirelessly with the master when physically toggled. I have a couple of those, and they generally work well. (They also have a little color-changeable beacon light in the middle of the switch, which I have programmed with a HK automation to indicate the current status of the garage door, which is an added convenience.) 

    Wemo has released a single smart switch that somehow handles the whole scenario without replacing the second switch. I bought one of those but haven’t installed it, so I’m not certain how the logic works for that. 
    edited August 2021
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