GE, Lutron, and Leviton Smart Wall Switch Review | DIY Smart Home Guy

What smart wall switch is the best? In today’s episode we are going to compare and review the GE, Leviton, and Lutron smart switches, both dimming and non-dimming.

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GE12722 Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control On/Off Switch http://amzn.to/2bDkc5U

GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer (In-Wall), 12724 http://amzn.to/2bDkGJh

Lutron PD-6WCL-WH Caseta Wireless 600/150-Watt Single Pole In-Wall Dimmer, White http://amzn.to/2buoyAi

Leviton VRS15-1LZ Vizia RF + 15A Scene Capable Switch, White/Ivory/Light Almond http://amzn.to/2b8UzIP

When selecting a wall switch for your smart home, it is important to know what type of switch you need and what look you want. For example, for some applications you want a dimmer, and others you need a three-way switch. If you want a dimmer, you need to make sure that the device you are controlling will handle a dimmer. For example, if you are controlling a ceiling fan or a standard fluorescent shop light, don’t opt for the dimmer model. A dimmer could damage your device or the switch itself.

The second consideration is the look of the switches you have in your home already. For me, it is important that I achieve two things: 1) I want to have uniform switches types throughout my home, regardless of if they are smart switches or regular switches; 2) I want the switch color to match the other switches in my home. I have a total of 37 wall switches in my home. 15 of which are smart switches. I don’t plan to replace all of the remaining 22 switches, so I want the smart switches to match my existing switches as much as possible. So I use white paddle switches instead of toggle style.

I won’t be installing the switches in this video, so be sure to subscribe to my channel so that you don’t miss out on those videos once they’re posted in the next week or two.

The first two switches we are going to look at are the standard GE and Leviton Paddle Style Non-Dimming zwave smart switches. Both switches look like a normal paddle style switch. Both have a small zwave indicator light that illuminates when the light is off, making it easier to find the switch in the dark. Both will work manually, even when the smart home hub is offline. And both fit into a standard switch box.

The Lutron switch always rests in the on position. This is true regardless of if the light is on or off. Turning devices on or off is always performed by pressing the bottom of the switch, the action you would normally perform to turn the light off. And just like the GE switch, the only way to tell what state the switch is actually in is to look at the green light on the bottom or the light you are controlling . This only matters if the light is burned out and you don’t know if the switch is on or off.

Next we will look at the GE paddle dimmer and the Lutron Dimmer. One thing I like about the GE Dimmer switch is that it looks exactly like the non-dimming switch. So, again, in my house, all switches look the same. To dim or brighten the light, simply long press the switch to control the dim. Tapping the switch down or up turns the light off or on. And on is always to the last brightness setting of the switch.

All switches easily integrated with my Wink Hub and are all accessible to my Amazon Echo groups and voice commands through Alexa.

So, all in all, while I like all of the switches we talked about today, I am using the GE line for a majority of my house. I plan to remove the Leviton switch from my laundry room and replace it with a GE switch. And I will repurpose the Leviton into my garage to control a less frequently used light. This will keep the look and the experience of the switches in my house consistent.

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Comments

Ronald Reagan says:

Hi, review is fine. BUT– People BEWARE when buying any of these “smart” switches! Whether it is the flip or paddle style, they are NOT going to work normally like a regular flip or paddle switch. If you try to use the “flip” switch, they do NOT flip up or down like a normal switch. You have to “toggle tap” it up for on, and “toggle” it down for off. But the switch stays in the center position , and looks like it is broken. The worst part is that if you have these new switches mounted alongside a normal switch, they look re-tarded! I can’t tell you how many people have tried to turn on a light and thought the switch was broken. This is the same for the “paddle” style switches, they stay in the middle. There is no reason these companies can’t make these switches work just like a normal switch and have them stay in the up or down position while still having the “smart” automation features added. The only way the companies will fix these switches, is if we refuse to buy them.

RTarson says:

Do you find it difficult when using manual determining which GE switches are dimmers and what are not dimmers?

Frederick aguila says:

Hey John, Great vid! Just 1 question…do you remember if all these switches require a nuetral wire and if so can you recommeded that doesnt. Thanks Freddy

Kip Sullivan says:

John Stone, you may want to add that the Lutron Caseta switch/dimmer does NOT require a Neutral switch, which make a great convenience for light switches that do not have one. The GE & Leviton BOTH require a Neutral

Larry Dalton says:

Great videos, all of them! Do you know if this GE smart switch (non dimming)you reviewed will work with small under cabinet fluorescent light fixtures as on/off only?

mrsnuffleuppagus24 says:

does lutron now have dimmers that work with alexa without having the smart bridge from lutron or another hub

Ian Konrad says:

What happens when you replace one of the switches on a three way switch with GE’s smart switch and don’t replace the other switches with GE’s add-on switch? Do the other switches still control the device, or does the smart switch then become the only functional switch on the circuit? Awesome and very informative video btw!

Judson Zhao says:

Bought tons of GE switches too, the lag for turning it on could be really annoying for somebody. It’s at least a solid half sec. Not a dealbreaker for all, but definitely something you need to keep in mind when shopping. Of course, GE’s require neutral wire, keep that in mind.

Brian Clark says:

Thanks for the great overview. I will hopefully post a little Tips & Tricks overview of a few things I wanted to highlight about Lutron’s RadioRa2 system soon. There are a few things that I like about Lutron better than the GE:

1. I like Lutron’s satin texture plastic. For an upgrade, you can go to the architectural switch style which has squared off and beveled corners on the trim plates. I think the satin plastic finish is more common on the higher end dimmers (Control4, Crestron, Lutron) and less common on the ones available more widely (Cooper, Leviton).

2. Your application is a bit different than mine, and GE seems to work great for you. You use it more to automate things. I use RadioRa2 mainly for scene control in rooms that have a lot of dimmers. The problem that RadioRa2 solves for me is that the all the dimmers are in sync, so when I press the scene button the lights all come up and go down at the same time, which I really like. I don’t really use tie ins with security systems or voice commands for automation (some simple timers), but just like the scene control and all on / all off functions for the house.

Matt Rausch says:

I am curious how the GE models work if you have 2 switches on same circuit. Example I have a switch at top and bottom of stairs ect.

Rafa Acosta says:

The information you are providing about the position of the Leviton Switch when is on or off  is incorrect. Leviton Z-wave, Wi-Fi ( no need for Hub) or Apple Home Kit remain in a neutral position when light are on or off.

Deney Tuazon says:

Are there any smart switches that doesn’t require a neutral wire? I’ve been looking for one everywhere but it doesn’t seem to exist.

Felipe Farias Secundino Secundino says:

Algum desses equipamentos funciona como tensão de entrada de 220v

Wei Li says:

Can you please recommend a smart lock to work together with those smart switch? Thank you.

arturin rabag says:

Does all this switches have batteries inside ? Or how does the leds get turned on, if so, in how much time do you have to change the batteries ?

John Luciano says:

Thanks I purchased a Wemo switch it connected directly to my home internet router.

secretspy711 says:

Also, you didnt mention that the Lutron dimmer requires its own hub… on top of the other hubs I already own (Hue, SmartThings)…

Michael Hinchey says:

aeon tech makes one called the micro smart switch.

Wicky Ramrattan says:

Hi John,
I’m stuck with a problem. I want to change my regular switch to a smart switch, so I can use it with Amazon Echo. The problem is that I do not have NEUTRAL WIRE in my home. I see all of the smart switches requires a neutral wire. I only want to switch on and off. Is there another switch that doesn’t requires a neutral wire? thank you!

Chris Klee says:

Great review, thank you! Have you been satisfied with the long-term reliability of the GE switches? I really like their simplicity, but the reviews on Amazon for nearly all of their smart dimmer versions have about 10% negative comments, many indicating failures after relatively short life spans and poor customer service.

GenCode FPV says:

I got the Lutron Caseta because of all the features and I really like the push button over an older analog flip switch look. To save money I only used Castela on the outlets I need wireless, all my other switches I am slowly changing to Lutron Maestro because they match pretty close the Caseta line when it comes to the look and touch button feel.
I really like the fact that Lutron integrates with Siri, have geofencing, pico remote to put by my couch or even put in other walls where the is no switch. I would like to know about the other manufactures features in comparison in one of your other videos.
Also Lutron has a Pro bridge that lets them integrate withe even more. It’s not Z-Wave but I have had no issues on range or anything, I will probably get a Samsung Smart bridge over their pro-bridge to connect all my non-zwaves(Echoee/Lutron) and my true zwave devices together into one system like my Alexa does.

Mike Heilman says:

I have a 4 way switch. 3 separate switches to turn one light or in this case a ceiling fan on/off. How would this install be different from the 3 way shown?

francisco sevillano says:

do the plum switches work with androids? please help me !!!

Jeff Roach says:

A very helpful video. Thank you, John!

John Luciano says:

Here is my question. I purchased a GE Smart Switch . Now I want it to work with Echo.. I have a Honeywell Thermostat I control with Echo. I have a wall plug I control with TP-Link. And bulbs I control with OSRAM. Now hooking up this new wall switch who will pair with it.. Hope I don’t need another WiFi hub.

An nguyen says:

do we have to use a dimmer light bulb?

Penjor Ngudup says:

Hi John, 2 questions please.

1. If I have 3 switches controlling 1 light (3 3-way switches), can I replace just one of the existing 3-way switches with the GE Smart switch? Or do I need to by a GE Smart switch and 2 add on switches and change all 3 existing 3-way switches?
2. Do you recommend the GE Smart switch over the WeMo smart switches by Belkin?

Thank you.
PJ

shane guirovich says:

Can the ge add on switches work with the wink hub without the smart switch

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