Older houses generally lack a impartial wire (which is often white) in each field the place a lightweight swap is put in. That may be massive downside for sensible swap upgrades, which just about universally require a impartial wire to energy the electronics that render them sensible. A couple of producers have discovered workarounds—together with GE Lighting with its Cync line (previously branded as C by GE). Now Jasco is getting into the house with its Enbrighten model.
The promote is easy: Fairly than requiring 4 wires, this swap solely wants three to work: line, load, and floor. Even higher, with the Enbrighten dimmer you don’t want to fret which wire is the road (bringing electrical energy to the dimmer) and which is the load (sending electrical energy to the sunshine fixture).
Because of Jasco’s SimpleWire expertise, which we beforehand encountered in its Zigbee sensible dimmer, this Z-Wave Plus swap can establish the road and cargo wires all by itself; so you possibly can plug these two wires into both of the first wire holes. There are additionally no pigtails and wire nuts, and no wrapping wires round terminals both.
This evaluate is a part of TechHive’s protection of the perfect sensible switches and dimmers, the place you’ll discover opinions of the competitors’s choices, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you need to take into account when searching for the sort of product.
Presuming you possibly can work out which wire is the floor (which ought to be simple, for the reason that floor wire is nearly at all times both naked or enclosed in a inexperienced jacket), connecting the Enbrighten No-Impartial Good Dimmer actually couldn’t be easier—it even helps multi-way installations through an non-obligatory traveler line. Additionally notice that whereas no wall plate included, the dimmer does include two colours of paddles, white and lightweight almond.
On paper, the dimmer is superb. It installs shortly and simply, positioning you to pair it along with your Z-Wave hub in a matter of minutes. Sadly, once I tried pairing the dimmer with a SmartThings hub, the SmartThings app popped up an odd error after scanning the QR code printed on the machine, saying that the code couldn’t be verified. Repeated makes an attempt to scan the code resulted in the identical error, after which I figured a product reset ought to be so as. That didn’t work both: Clicking the sunshine on 3 times then off 3 times is meant to manufacturing facility reset it, however I used to be by no means in a position to get it to return to defaults.
I known as Jasco’s tech assist and was despatched to voicemail. Nobody ever returned my message. I tried to escalate the problem with a Jasco product supervisor, however couldn’t prepare a assist name till a full week later. Ultimately, after 20 minutes on the telephone with a pair of technicians, I used to be in a position to push my manner via the connection to SmartThings. (Resetting the unit requires a really cautious cadence if you press the up and down rockers; if it’s too gradual or too quick, it received’t work.
Apart from that, the answer was largely a brute power matter of attempting to hook up with the dimmer time and again till it will definitely labored. Eventually, the dimmer confirmed up in SmartThings—as a GE-brand dimmer. Jasco, which licensed the GE model for a time (you’ll nonetheless encounter bins labeled as such at retail), says that is Samsung’s fault.
In SmartThings, operations are mainly as anticipated, with guide on/off/dimming capabilities, a countdown timer, and separate schedules for turning the lights both on or off. Naturally, the unit can work together with different units you could have related to SmartThings, and it additionally works with Google Assistant and Alexa.
As soon as I obtained the swap working, issues have been positive whereas working with it through the app, however I wasn’t a giant fan of the best way the dimmer operates within the flesh. The machine seems like a typical paddle swap, with no separate dimming controls, however as I alluded to above, it’s very finicky. For instance, it’s good to be very fast if you faucet and launch the higher paddle to show the lights on to their earlier brightness setting. Maintain the onto rocker for only a fraction of a second too lengthy, and the brightness adjuster will kick in, leaving you with a dim bulb as a substitute. Identical goes for turning the lights off. Maintain the rocker down for a contact too lengthy and also you’ll simply dim the lights a bit reasonably than turning them off utterly.
It’s powerful to get this good, and every week into testing it’s nonetheless inflicting issues for the much less tech-savvy members of my family. In a nutshell: In case your gentle swap is simply too unintuitive for the lots, it’s good to make some adjustments to the best way it really works.
Different options, similar to turning the onboard locator LED off, or setting the utmost and minimal brightness settings are a bit obtuse, so cling on to the guide to make sure you don’t lose the sequence of up-down rocker presses required to make these adjustments.
At $40, this is among the dearer Z-Wave dimmers in the marketplace, although there aren’t many overly reasonably priced choices to select from. Compound the value with the appreciable bother I skilled with setup and the dearth of tech assist, and in the end I can actually solely advocate this dimmer in case you each completely want Z-Wave connectivity and are unable to make use of impartial wiring.