Leviton VRS15 with EarthLED DirectLED FL - Flashing problem

I am using a Leviton VRS15 to control two EarthLED DirectLED FL Fluorescent tube replacements. I removed the existing T8 electronic ballast from the fixture before I installed the LED tubes. The switch turns the two LED tubes on and off without any problems. However, when the switch is turned off, one of the DirectLED tubes flashes momentarily at about a 21 second interval. When I remove the flashing tube, the remaining tube begins flashing at about the same rate.

EarthLED technical support has said that they have no ideas regarding how to get the VRS15 switch to work. They said they use Lutron switches and they work fine. Of course Lutron does not support Z-Wave. I believe a standard switch would also work, but if I used a standard switch I would not have Z-wave control.

My question is: has anyone any ideas regarding what I can do to be able to use a Leviton VRS15 relay switch to control two EarthLED DirectFL tubes without the momentary flashing occurring?

That seems odd. Relay switches kill all power to the device, they don’t (or at least shouldn’t!) allow a small amount through like some dimmer switches do to complete the circuit.

Have you tried a regular (non Z-Wave) switch? Perhaps the VRS15 is faulty?

It appears that the Leviton VRS15 switch is the cause of the flashing problem I am seeing with my EarthLED Direct FL fluorescent tube replacement.

I swapped the original VRS15 switch with another VRS15 switch and the flashing problem remained. The flashing occurred at the same rate: every 21 seconds.

When I installed a standard mechanical single pole switch in place of the VRS15, the flashing problem went away. I also was able to prevent the flashing by enabling the air-gap function of the VRS15 switch. The air-gap function disables the functionality of the switch.

So now I know what is causing the problem, but I still need to find a work-around.

I believe the older Vizia RF version (RZS15) had an issue with a small bleed. Don’t know if the Vizia RF+ flavor (VRS15) is any different. (Some of the plug-in modules have/had? the same issue.)

What’s the total wattage of your load?


[quote=“http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/index.php/t-1017750.html”]Well, I e-mailed Leviton and got an answer. At least it was nothing I did.

The RZS15-1LX switch is not designed for low voltage lighting or to control a switched outlet. There is a slight bleed through in the cap that allows some electricity to flow through when “off”. This is why you still see your rope lights on at very low levels when the switch is off (the minimum recommended wattage is 14W on this switch because of this). The RZS15 is being redesigned to fix this issue, however for your situation, because you are controlling an outlet, I would recommend using our plug in appliance module (RZP15-1LW). This plugs into your outlet and has a three prong plug on it for connecting up to a 15 Amp load. It is a Vizia RF product and can be controlled the same way the RZS15 is.[/quote]

At the present time, the VRS15-1LZ controls two 17 watt loads in a ceiling fixture. While there are two loads in the fixture, only one of the loads flashes. If I remove the 17 watt load that is flashing, the other load will begin to flash. Based upon my experience, it looks like the Leviton statement that one needs a minimum 14 watt load, may not be correct.

I plan to install a third 17 watt load tomorrow night (Friday) and see what happens.

The results I am seeing are unexpected. I am using VRS15-1LZ switches all over my house to control LED lamps. The only LED lamp that I am having a problem with is the EarthLED DirectFL fluorescent tube replacement. Otherwise I am using VRS15-1LZ to control EarlhLED Thetalux Pro (9W), EarthLED Zetalux 2 Pro (7W), and Evolux (12W) bulbs . I am also use the EagleLight G24q-1 (6W) LED Down Light replacement bulbs. Two of the VRS15 switches control ceiling fixtures that only contain two EagleLight bulbs (12W total load) in each fixture. So it looks like the VRS15 may have trouble with low loads, but the DirectFL tubes are not helping the situation.

I was able to solve the problem where I had momentary flashing every 20 seconds when I used a VRS15-1LZ in conjunction with two EarthLED DirectFL fluorescent tube replacements. The solution was to use three EarthLED DirectFL fluorescent tube replacements. It was not the cheapest solution imaginable considering the cost of each tube, but it works. I was fortunate that the ceiling fixture I was using could handle three tubes, otherwise this solution would not have been possible. The three tubes provide about 51 watts of load. The fact that the VRS15-1LZ had a neutral wire should have made the amount of load irrelevant, but the Direct FL tubes seems to perform differently the any other LED light I purchased from EarthLED.

Here are the flashing intervals that I observed when using the VRS15-1L with EarthLED Direct FL tube replacemsnts:
One tube 7 seconds between flashes - 17 watts load
Two tubes 20 seconds between flashes - 34 watts load
Three tubes No flashing - 51 watts load

On a positive note, every wall switch in my house is connected to LED lights. I have no CFLs in my ceiling or wall fixtures. On a “negative” note, I have purchased a Vera3 because my system of 55 devices and 35 Z-wave devices appears to overwhelm my Vera2 controller. Performance of the Vera2 is slow and logons to the Vera2 is not reliable. Hopefully, the Vera3 will solve these problems.

I think I am at 67 zwave devices. Switched to USB logging and swap, and it’s like it’s brand new!!

Thanks PurdueGuy for the recommendation that I try USB logging and USB swap on my Vera2. It made a tremendous difference in the performance of my Vera2. I don’t believe that I really need a Vera3 at this time because the performance of my Vera2 is excellent.

I tried USB logging just after UI5 was released, but I removed it because to me it seem caused more problems than benefits. However, USB logging combined with firmware version 1.5.346 makes an unbelievable difference in performance and it is not difficult to implement as long as you are patient. The documentation for implementing USB logging can be found at: http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Store_logs_USB

USB swap also appears to make a difference, but I don’t think that the difference is as apparent as that you will see when USB logging is implemented Also, installing it is not for the faint of heart. You need to download Putty or ExtraPutty and figure out how to use it in SSH mode to log into your Vera2. You also need to to have a great degree of patience while the USB swap area is built. The documentation regarding how to build an USB swap file is quite clear. (It can be found at: http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/USB_swapfile_creation). Although, the documentation is clear, I don’t know how big a mess it could cause if you do not install it correctly. I definitely would recommend performing a full backup before you attempt to implement a USB swap file.

So thanks once again, PurdueGuy, for the recommendation to try using USB logging and USB swap. The increase in Vera2 performance combined with figuring how how to get my VRS15 switch to work with EarthLED DirectFL LED fluorescent replacement tubes, has given me a memorable day with regard to my home automation efforts.

Glad it worked out!