Leviton Scene vs ZoneContoller

I am trying to decide on installing either the RZCZ4 zone controller or the RZCS1 scene controller. Reading the documentation it appears that they both would do the same things. Is there any advantage to either device?

Depends on what you want to accomplish.

A zone control says to turn all lights on that are assigned to a specific zone. In other words, turn lights A and B on.

A scene control says to establish a “Scene”. In other words, turn light A on, light B off, light C to 50%, etc.

Do you prefer push buttons or rocker switches?

Also be aware that the Leviton controllers work best with Leviton devices. On non-leviton devices, you have to have Vera do the turning on, which also adds a delay to the light responding. It is also problematic turning off non-leviton devices, since Vera cannot distinguish between which control off button you pushed.

I have both a Leviton scene and zone controller, but I much prefer the Intermatic/Wayne Dalton HA07 and HA09 controllers. I think they are much more flexible (but that is my opinion).

Zone controllers can be linked directly to as many as five dimmers. They are great for eliminating a group of dimmers on the wall and having a nicely engraved controller. They work fine when setup with a Leviton remote. Vera currently is unable to set them up so that they are link to devices…it thinks they are scene controllers and the button, lights, and dimmer switches don’t work correct. The last thread recommends another brand but do they offer custom engraving like Leviton?

My Leviton 4-scene is finally working really well with the latest Beta (coming soon!), and I love the in-wall design. I believe the only difference in functionality between the scene and zone versions is that the scene switch is a push/push momentary switch and the zone is a two-position rocker. I haven’t installed my zone controllers yet, but I’m thinking I might prefer their rocker method over the push button of the scene controller.

Love to hear how that works… I was also a bit confused :-\ by the scene versus zone conversation. I only know Vera so pure leviton doesn’t mean anything. I have mostly GE switches (thank you radio shack ;D), so I hope this Leviton controller works to control this mess… I also liked the zone style switches better and I also got the impression that the led would light up on the zone controller if any light in the zone was turned on…? Is that correct (assuming that Vera or the ge switch directly turned it on)…

I haven’t tried any beta firmware versions but I will explain Zone verses Scene control because they are different. The zone rocker switches are intended to be linked to other dimmers…as many as five. They are to be used as a way to turn other dimmers on and off remotely. We for example, use GE dimmers, eight of them mounted inside a cabinet to control eight lighting zones and then use two zone controllers to activate those circuits. It’s a nice way to cleanup a room with lots of circuits to control. Leviton also offers custom engraving and lots of colors to give a professional look. The scene controller on the other hand uses single momentary switches to set dim levels in an area…eg to watch tv, or night time mode.
The difficulty right now is that you have too use the Leviton controller to properly set up the zone controllers…with Vera the dimming functions don’t work, the rocker at the bottom, and it doesn’t know how to link the rocker switches to the dimmers…it only understand scenes and makes you write scenes for all the button.
If I have missed something from one of you gurus out there then please set me straight!
Tim Alls

Leviton Definition of an Area

Areas are defined as a group of selected devices (within the Primary Remote) who are joined together as a group. This group of devices can be used to quickly associate to a controller. Leviton’s Vizia RF+ network is capable of creating 128 areas. These areas can be configured as a single device, all devices in a single room, or as a whole house area up to 32 devices per button on a controller.

Once your areas have been created, you can easily associate a group of devices to a button on a scene or zone controller. Areas are also used when selecting profiles in the primary remote this allows your primary remote to control areas within a profile. Each profile can turn on an area assigned to a button.

Areas can be assigned to a scene or zone controller. When associating your scene or zone controllers select the area option and assign the area you would like to control to that scene or zone.

Leviton Definition of a Scene:

Scenes are arguably one of the most beneficial advances that Vizia RF+ can bring to home control. The ability to conduct a group of lights to automatically change the appearance of a room, using a single stroke of a button is an amazing experience. Scenes differ from zones/area control in one important manner— invoking a scene adjusts the light intensity states of one or multiple devices, whereby a zone only controls the ON/OFF state.

All devices/Areas must be associated to each button on your scene controller. Each button on the scene Controller can support a total of 32 Vizia-RF+ devices Associated to it. NOTE: If a device was not associated to the button being programmed, it will not respond to any scene activations from the scene Controller. All devices required to respond to a scene Controller button, must be Associated with that scene button.

Programming a scene is done in a few simple steps. First you must put the scene controller into scene programming mode. Press and hold one of the scene buttons until it blinks green. This enables scene level programming, indicated by a blinking green LED in the button. (Each button requires its own scene programming). Next, walk through the house and set the lighting levels for each device in the area that is associated to that button (assigned to that scene). By adjusting the various intensities of each lighting load, you can create scenes for reading, entertaining, cleaning and even all off. After all light levels have been set (and each device has been associated to the appropriate button) Press the scene button a final time on the scene controller to learn the scene into a button on the controller.

Leviton scene controllers can be set to 5 default scenes allowing for quick scene programming. Scenes 1-5 can be assigned to any scene controller button as default scenes. (I.e. scene one is defaulted to 100%, any devices associated to this scene will go to 100 %.) Scene two is set to 50%, scene three 10%, scene four OFF.
4 button scene controller, default scenes:

NOTE: If a device was not associated to the scene button being programmed, it will not respond to any scene activations from the scene controller. All devices required to respond to a scene must be associated with the scene button desired.

Zone Control

When devices are associated to a zone controller they are simply added to a list. The controller remembers these devices and knows which ones to call should its button be pressed. When zone control is selected or GROUP ON/OFF in your association menu for a given controller, any time that button is pressed your devices (dimmer/switch and/or plug-ins) at the receiving end turn ON. These devices will turn ON to the last level the devices were previously at regardless if the device was changed locally at the device, or at the controller.

A zone controllers LED’s will change depending on the action programmed and condition of the device it is controlling. If a group of 3 devices are told to turn ON by the zone button and all devices acknowledge back that they are ON to the controller, the LED will light green (IN ZONE). Additionally any other controllers that have any of these same devices associated to them will also light green (or ON). If all 3 devices are turned OFF either from each device or controller then the LED will reflect OFF (LED will go dark) any other controllers with these same 3 devices will also reflect OFF. If any of the other controllers have additional devices associated to these same buttons as the 3 devices, the LED will remain ON until those additional devices have been turned OFF. If only one device in that group gets turned off the LED will stay lit, this is because the programmed group of devices for that zone have not turned off.
The Zone controller also allows ability to toggle an area ON or OFF by the LEFT/RIGHT toggle button. Zone controllers receive true acknowledgement of a singe associated device or group of associated devices ON or OFF position.

Scene Control

When devices are associated to a scene controller they also are added to a list. The controller remembers these devices and knows which ones to call should its button be pressed, just as the zone controller. When a scene is selected as the action in your association menu for a given scene controller, and that button is pressed your devices (dimmer/switch and/or plug-ins) at the receiving end turn to the pre programmed scene levels. Each device is set to turn ON each time to the level your scene controller learned. When you press the scene controller button until it begins to blink green it is set to scene programming mode. You must then set each device associated to that button
to a level. (On a dimmer 1-100% or on a switch ON or OFF). Once you have set all devices to there level you must again press the scene button to learn that scene.

A scene controllers LED’s will turn ON whether the scene was programmed to turn ON or OFF. This is because when the scene is actuated it sets each associated device to the pre programmed level set by the user. If any one device in that scene changes its level the LED on the scene controller will go out (dark) indicating that the scene is OFF, or no longer true. If that same device is turned ON locally again to the same level the scene LED does not change. The LED will only turn back ON after the scene button is pressed on the controller and sets all devices to its pre programmed levels.

Note: If any device associated to either a scene or zone controller is removed or looses power, pressing a zone or scene button on that controller will still turn on the LED green. However when the button is pressed the indication that it is experiencing communication errors is indicated by a green blinking LED followed by the LED flashing red once.

The communication errors would be a result of removing or loss of power to the associated device.

Thanks…lots of good information.
A new firmware was released this morning and now the Vera can talk to the Vizia Remote and Vera can function as a secondary. I haven’t checked yet to see if they have corrected the inability to link the zone controller to switches and make the bottom toggle button work as a dimmer control but let’s hope so!
Tim Alls

[quote=“TimAlls, post:8, topic:167036”]Thanks…lots of good information.
A new firmware was released this morning and now the Vera can talk to the Vizia Remote and Vera can function as a secondary. I haven’t checked yet …[/quote]

Did you checked it Tim ?


First you have to add Vera to the list of associated devices then transfer all the data to Vera putting Vera in a secondary position. By doing this the Leviton Controller can set up the scene and zone controllers the way they were designed and you can still have scenes created using Vera as well. The best part is that there are no delays when using the wall contollers and the scenes are dimmable, a big feature if you ask me!

The only thing to watch for is even if Vera is a secondary, it will take over the scene/zone controllers when you have to update it becuase of adding nodes. You have to turn off the Automatically Configure option and Save on the dashboard for it not to do this.

And the possibility of Vera reverting to auto-configuring when you perform a firmware upgrade is also very high. Definitely do a backup before changing firmware. Even then it may overwrite your controllers.

You are both correct…first time I did the transfer it erased all the setting on the zone and scene controllers!
The good news is it only took a minute or two to reprogram the controllers. (using my Leviton handheld)
The engraving that Leviton did for me on these controllers is really bad.
Are there other controllers that offer custom engraving and dimmable scenes???
Tim Alls
AllSeas Yachts

We have used these guys in the past: http://www.rightplate.com/

Thanks I will give them a try!

I bought a Leviton Zone controller and I also have the Ge Wall controller. I have almost exclusively the GE dimmers (thanks RadioShack). There is no way my wife will allow any sort of delay and I really want to do is to turn on a group of lights, not set dimmer levels etc… I would rather Vera stay as the primary (mostly because it doesnt make my head hurt to think about it). Will I be able to use both kinds (Leviton Zone and GE) and will they work instantly? i.e. hit button one and these for lights come on… hit same button again and they go off…

The Leviton Zone Controllers work fine with other brands of dimmers and has no delay. However, the only way to link the zone controller buttons to one or more dimmers is with the Leviton hand held remote. Vera still works fine as a secondary and you can still write scenes with Vera that operate all your GE dimmers. Leviton Scene controllers are not compatible with the new GE dimmers but it sounds like you are only using the zone controllers.
They may be working on a fix for this but as of the last firmware update Vera treats the Zone Controller like a scene controller.
If I am missing something in the Vera Software please correct me, I would much rather have it all under Vera!!!
Tim Alls
AllSeas yachts