Lighting layout, switch recommendations for LED recessed & celing FAN advice

Morning all, I am about to start a remodel (see attached plan) of kitchen/dining/living, and am planning about 15-18 new recessed LED lights and fans (only two though). I’m looking for some advice on:

  1. what type switches (dimmable) would be best.

  2. what type LED retro fit lighting would work best with those switches.

  3. any recommendations or modification you all would do.

  4. I’m also looking to put some type of motion maybe in one or two of the areas, it’s a big open concept, that would basically shut lights off if no movement detected, any thoughts on that?

  5. FANS - what is best way to have the fans controlled via zwave??

Everything will be basically “new construction” so I have a clean slate. INFO/ADVICE from all you seasoned folks would be greatly appreciated.


Since this is a major remodel or new construction. I will first recommend that you install or at least wire for an alarm system. Run wires for motion sensors, door(interior, closets, and exterior) and window sensors. You can use the alarm system sensors for inputs in your home automation system and they work better than Z-Wave sensors.

Run ethernet wiring as well for cameras, wireless access points, and multiple drops for the entertainment system. Think of everything that might need a connection(TV, DVR, BlueRay player, game console) and add one extra for what you forget. Wire everything you can imagine everywhere while the walls are open.

Speakers need wires too. Decide if you’re going to use standard speakers and wire accordingly. If you decide to use something like Sonos speakers, then wire ethernet drops for them. Likewise, Amazon Alex. All these devices can work on WiFi but will work more reliably when hard wired.

The Leviton VRMX1-1LZ 1000W Universal Magnetic Low Voltage Dimmer is a very good dimmer that also has support for Instant Status. You should know what Instant Status is and why you might want it before deciding on a switch. Note that the Leviton switch paddles are a different design/style compared to the more common Decora style paddles of other Z-Wave and standard switches.

For 3-way(n-way) installations the Leviton VP00R-1LZ Digital Matching Remote Switch should be used with the VRMX1-1LZ. They are connected to each other via a standard traveler cable bundle.

If Instant Status is not required or a more standard Decora paddle is needed, I like the Linear/GoControl WD500Z-1 Z-Wave 500-Watt Wall-Mount Dimmer. It does not support Instant Status. The present price is unusually low for this switch and I’m not sure why.

The Linear/GoControl WT00Z-1 3-Way Wall Accessory Switch is used as an n-way companion to the WD500Z-1. The WT00Z-1 requires mains power but does not require a traveler to physically connect it to the master switch. That connection is done wirelessly via Z-Wave. The WT00Z-1 is actually a one button scene controller capable of controlling many other devices besides the WD500Z-1

I don’t have any experience with retrofit LED recessed lights and Z-Wave switches. Using standard recessed cans, I’ve found the Cree 65W Equivalent Soft White (2700K) 9.5W BR30 Dimmable LED Flood Light Bulb (4-Pack) to work well with Z-Wave dimmers and switches. I’ve had a couple of bulbs develop problems in the past two or three years. One blew, and a couple have developed flickers either immediately or quite some time after installation. But still regard them as being generally reliable bulbs.

You can control your fans, provided they are pull chain type rather than RF remote control type, with the Leviton VRF01-1LZ 1.5A Scene Capable Quiet Fan Speed Control or the GE 12730 Z-Wave Smart Fan Control . Again, Leviton has a unique switch paddle design, while the GE has the more standard Decora style.

Note that in both cases the fan switches control only the fan and its speed. A separate switch and wiring would be needed to control or dim fan lights. For example, your plans show a three gang switch box for the fans and a recessed light. To also control the fan lights, you’d need to change that and wire for a 5 gang switch box. Four switches for fans and lights and a fifth switch for the recessed light as it appears on the plan.

I don’t see anything in the kitchen for under cabinet lighting. Wire and switch for that. You may also want to consider LED strip lighting under the cabinet kick plates. Wire for that, including the island. If you want to use LED strips, the Fibaro FGRGBW-101 RGBW Micro Controller is a good choice for color or white strips.

@Z-Waver AWESOME INFO. Thank you… I do plan on running alot of extra cables, etc, and a few for POE cameras. I do have alarm system (vista 20p) some wired some wireless.

I’m familiar with instant status, debating if I really need it for the layout / entire space. Trying to think of some scenarios where I would need it. Can’t you set VeraPlus to poll more frequently, if you don’t have an instant status switch, I know it’s not exactly but just in case. Then just need to decide on what “style” switch.

As for the fans, there won’t be any lights, just fans so I should be good as long as I make sure it has a pull string vs. remote, correct?

As for toe kick, yes, I’m definately planning on doing that, my architect isn’t familar with Zwave so I just spoke w/ electrician to make sure I have some power there, I do plan on using the Fibraro, just trying to figure out if i’ll need multiple controllers for the entire cabinet and island area, the strip lights, controllers, power source still confuse me a bit…

Thank you again tho… great info!

[quote=“nutshellml, post:3, topic:192648”]Can’t you set VeraPlus to poll more frequently, if you don’t have an instant status switch…[/quote]No. Polling will take about a minute for small networks and longer than a minute as the network grows(device count increases).

As for the fans, there won't be any lights, just fans so I should be good as long as I make sure it has a pull string vs. remote, correct?
Correct. If you buy a fan with a RF remote, you can probably also alter the fan's wiring to bypass the RF control module so the fan is "hard wired" to teh power, then the Z-Wave switch can control it.
I do plan on using the Fibraro, just trying to figure out if i'll need multiple controllers for the entire cabinet and island area, the strip lights, controllers, power source still confuse me a bit...
You'll almost certainly need two power supplies and controllers, one for the cabinets and one for the island. Depending on the length of your strips(wattage) and what you want to accomplish, additional controllers may also bee needed.

AC Line ===[DC Power Supply]====[Fibaro RBGW]=====[LED Strip]
[Optional Standard Wall Switch]


Quick follow-up, still debating on what switches to go with. Question regarding the Leviton that I can’t find an answer too and hopefully you can :wink: What is the Vizia RF + vs. non +? I’m going to need about 10 switches all dimmers most three way.

Also, hoping to get a double tap feature as it will make things alot easier than waiting for a fade to off, i think :wink: ? ha… overwhelmed w/ options and don’t want to make wrong decision.

These will all be connected to LED retro fit recessed lights


For new construction provide a conduit with a drag line from your electrical panel, alarm location and telephone and cable D Mark to each level,attic and hung ceiling just in case you either forgot something or some new device comes to market in the future. Much cheaper and quicker to do this with open walls


The big difference between the Vizia RF+ and the others is Instant Status Vizia RF+ has it. I recommend that you use Vizia RF+ rather than the newer non Vizia models…

I don’t recall Leviton Vizia FR+ dimmers having a double tap for immediate off.

One thing to watch out for is if you’re planning on dimming any chandeliers or other fixtures that use a low voltage transformer is to check out the transformer. The magnetic low voltage dimmer that was recommended above could damage it (or itself) if it’s the wrong type of transformer, you might need to look for an electronic low voltage dimmer instead. Or at least that’s what I read when researching dimmers for my new fixture I got a few years ago

++ In for comments. I’m doing the exact same research. LED cans throughout an addition and a remodel and LED strips connected to Fibaro RGBW’s for both under cabinet task lighting and toe kick lighting. I’m having some of the same questions as the OP… especially with determining transformer loads and spec’ing adequate LED strips. Fun stuff :slight_smile:

I’ve had good experience with these in a recent kitchen remodel:

I used GE/Jasco dimmers with them. Bees Lighting had good prices when I bought them. They are direct wire/dimmable/linkable. They also tilt allowing to you aim them slightly in (against the backsplash) or out. At only an 1" think, the valence easily hides them.

+1 for Cree LED bulbs. My home is also new construction and the contractor installed awful CFL bulbs everywhere. I replaced every single bulb with Cree 2700k 40w or 6ow equivalents. For recessed can lights, I used the Cree BR30 equivalents on Evolve LRM-AS dimmers. For normal switches, I used GE/Jasco. I have one chandelier with E12 base bulbs that I replaced with Bioluz dimmable LEDs and for under cabinet lighting, I used the Inspired LED Pro Panels (small footprint and very lightweight) plugged into a GE Zwave outlet. I’ve got a couple ceiling fans wired up to the GE 12730 series switch.

The awesome thing about Cree is that they are available at your local Home Depot and run < $10 a bulb.

@ cgray

i just got 3 ge 12730
they are all installed and working
however vera detects them as dimable lights

i dont want my fans to turn off when i turn all lights off
have you found a way to NOT have them included in the allon/alloff command