Does a Scene Controller Replace a Light Switch?

I have 3 light switches in my Media Room that I wish to control with Zwave and a Vera 3. Should I just use 3 Linear WD500Z1 or should I replace one of the switches with a Scene Controller? If so which Scene Controller?

Are all three light switches controlling the same light, thus a 4-way circuit? Or are you wanting to Z-Wave enable three different lights.

In the case of three separate lights controlled by three separate switches, you can use three WD500Z-1 dimmers.

If it is a 4-way circuit, you would use one WD500Z-1 dimmer and two Linear WT00Z-1 Accessory Switches. Each WT00Z-1 functions as a one button scene controller that controlls the WD500Z-1.

3 separate switches, for 3 separate lights. My question was could / should a scene controller be used for one of them and then control a scene for all of them.

You want the scene controler to control one of the loads, right?
I heard there is a Leviton scene controller that can control one load, but it does not Dim, only ON and OFF.

Im new to zwave, so I dont have much information about scene controllers. I was hoping to find something similar to a Lutron Hybrid Keypad. It will control scenes and also Dim a load.

You could definitely use a scene controller to control all three lights simultaneously and this might be desirable if all three dimmers are in the same gang box. I’d look at using the Leviton VRMX1-1LZ 1000W Universal Magnetic Low Voltage Dimmer, in this case.

The Leviton VRMX1-1LZ 1000W Universal Magnetic Low Voltage Dimmer provides dimming of incandescent, LED, or CFL loads, scene control, and Instant Status. The WD500Z-1 does not provide scene control or Instant Status.

If the switches are in separate gang boxes, for instance, one switch on one side of the room and another switch at the other side, then I would use multiple Leviton VRMX1-1LZ 1000W Universal Magnetic Low Voltage Dimmers. This way, you can control all of the lights from any of the switches.

All three switches are in the same gang box but they control different lights around the room (1 set of cans, 1 overhead, and one over the bar in another part of the room). I’d like to be able to control them independently. So would I still go with 3 of the Leviton’s then?

You could go with all Levitons, or you could go with two Linears and a single Leviton to use as a “master” or group switch.

Your desire to have independent control and group control will be tricky, but can be done. You could:

a) Have one switch associated with the other two. The two switches would operate independently and the third switch could control all three.

b) Use no associations. Locally, three switches operate independently. But, using one or more Levitons, you could have a PLEG(or Lua code) detect double taps to turn on or off the group. I don’t know how you could control group dimming with this no-association method.

In either case, I feel that you will want a Leviton switch in this solution and since their appearance is different than most other switches, and all three switches will be in a single box, I’d probably choose three Levitons.

I want to do the following:

  1. control each light by itself
  2. have a “movie” scene which dims all lights and also an “all off” command
  3. control them with the iRule Vera plug in as I use iRule for my home theater control

So what will the Levitons get me that the Linears will not in this case?

Leviton switches provide instant status, which is required for some of the functionality Z-Waver mentioned. I will not do without that, but maybe my needs/wants are different from yours.

I think, more crucially, you need to decide the system configuration rather than the specific hardware. After skimming the thread, I see you reiterating that you have three switches that control three lights, and that you want to maintain independent control. It’s also important to note that they’re in the same gang box. Now… do you want a scene controller? Do you want a physical button that runs the scene, or are you OK with virtual (computer, mobile device) control only?

The point here is that you can easily replace all three dumb switches with any z-wave switch, and then create a scene in Vera that turns them all on, or all off, or whatever it is you want to do. However, the scene will exist in the virtual world only, unless you add the scene controller you’re talking about. And scene controllers, for the most part, don’t control loads directly, meaning you couldn’t just replace one of your three switches with one and maintain independent control of all of your lights.

As I understand it, you have a couple of options. You can replace your 3-gang box with a 4-gang box, replace your switches with z-wave switches, and then add in a scene controller. The other option is to replace the switches with z-wave switches, and then install the scene controller somewhere else. I like the latter, because in my opinion, there’s no reason to have a scene controller directly next to the only switches that it controls. Why not just tap all three switches & be done with it–right?

A third option opens up if you don’t care whether you have a physical scene controller. Get Vera, three z-wave switches, and a mobile app. Create your scene, and control it from the app.

EDIT: Here’s another option. This Leviton scene controller will control two loads independently, or control one load and leave a button available for a scene. This might be the option you’re looking for. I maintain that it’s silly to have a scene controller in a wallbox containing the only devices it controls… but that is only my opinion.

Nicely put @DeltaNu1142. Thanks.

Note that the scene controller above does not dim. The two loads are on/off only. Since the op wants to dim all 3 lights that scene controller is out.

In instances like this I use an insteon keypadlinc. With the isy and the isy plugin I use either a button for all off or a fast off command to handle the all off. They come in 6 and 8 button configurations and have a dimmer built in. You do have the added expense of the power line modem and the isy though. I found it was worth it especially since I use fanlincs to control my ceiling fans (fanlinc goes in the fan housing) so in 1 gang I get control over 2 dimmers and a fan and I have some scene buttons leftover. Unfortunately z-wave does not have an equitable solution

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The Linear switches say they support the Scene Command Class. What does that mean exactly? others mentioned it was not scene capable.

It usually means that the switch can be configured to control scenes that include other devices. While this feature may have worked in the past, it has been determined that it no longer works in the Linear and Evolve switches, likely due to the lack of support for the COMMAND_CLASS_Association. The switches may be able to receive scene commands, but they do not work to issue commands to multiple devices in a scene.

Do you need an ISY if you have a Vera/Vera Lite? One of the reasons I’m considering a Vera is the ability to hook up with an Insteon PLM and have one system to rule them all… Does that not work quite as seamless as it seems?

Do you need an ISY if you have a Vera/Vera Lite? One of the reasons I’m considering a Vera is the ability to hook up with an Insteon PLM and have one system to rule them all… Does that not work quite as seamless as it seems?[/quote]

The native Insteon support in the Vera does not include fanlincs (which I wanted/needed). When I did my cost analysis between using Insteaon with an ISY and z-wave dimmers and fan controllers, the Insteon way won out (cheaper in the long run). With the ISY plugin, I get all those devices in the Vera and “instant status” from my Insteon devices.

I also prefer some of the other benefits of Insteaon which include being able to set a “local dim level” when turning on the light at the actual switch vs the controller. The reason this was important was because during the night I turn my kitchen lights on to 20% automatically based on motion sensors. However the next day when it is no longer automatic, the first time you turn on the z-wave switch, it goes to 20% until you change it. All the work arounds were not doing it for me. The ISY, I can change the dim level at the local switch depending on time of day if I want or any other condition.

I am liking Insteon so much, that I am about to swap all my z-wave switches and outlets over to Insteon (especially outlets since they now offer the dual load control outlets). My only concern is that there are some longevity issues I’ve read about with Insteon, so I am being very cautious. Note that even if I were to go 100% insteon for lights/outlets, I would keep the Vera and and just use the ISY plugin. The Vera is a lot better with all the plugins.