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12-01-2011 02:06 PM
Greetings fellow Home Control users!
I think this Home Control has the potential for becoming a great feature. Right now, I just have the incandescent lamp module for lighting control and I find it to be not particularly useful because you have to bend way over behind the lamp stand to turn on the light if you left the device in the OFF state before turning off the switched outlet from the wall switch. The point being I want and need the ability to turn the lights on and off in the usual way at the wall switch but also would like the option to use the z-wave control. The solution would be to purchase a Z-Wave wall switch (2 way or 3 way) from GE, Leviton, or one of the other suppliers and replace the wall switch with the Z-Wave switch. Has anyone done this yet with the Verizon system and if so, how well does it work for you? Thanks.
12-02-2011 05:17 AM
As nice as it would be to have a z-wave wall switch Verizon does not offer them now and if you don't buy it from Verizon then you can't use it on their system. There are plenty of z-wave products on the market but unless Verizon sells it to you it will not connect to their Gateway.
I sure hope they are working on expanding their product line or allowing us to buy from who we want and be able to connect to their system. Hint hint Verizon
12-02-2011 07:39 PM
That's funny because no less than two sales reps told me that I could buy an Z-wave Schlage lock from any reseller (such as our local home warehouse stores) and it would work with this system. I ended up buying it from Verizon though, because it was actually a little cheaper and more convenient to have it sent to the home. I just assumed that this would apply to more than locks. I must say that if this turns out to be the case, I will not continue my service simply because they don't sell built-in 3 way and 2 way switches that can control CFLs or ceiling fans. $10 a month is kind of expensive to just get a text every time one of the kids unlocks the front door. I was hoping I could operate lights, but those stupid plug-ins aren't useful for much of anything. It's very undignified to have to bend way over and reach behind a lamp stand to push a button on the outlet plug-in to turn on a table lamp when what I really need is to be able to control the hall and kitchen ceiling lights. I'll give it a try and see what happens. I can always return a GE or Leviton switch to Home D if it won't enroll.
12-03-2011 09:57 AM
Short story, based on my experience below, is that devices outside of what's purchased from Verizon aren't currently supported.
After I hooked up my home monitoring and control system I couldn't find any info about supporting other devices either, so I purchased a GE Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control Dimmer Switch. I got it locally so that I could return it if it didn't work.
I had hopes, because for one, when I installed my thermostat I didn't click through the icon on the add devices page, and it added an additional thermostat. There's still a spot for one on the Devices Settings page saying "Device has been shipped - Setup Device" because I didn't click through it the first time. I didn't realize I had to because I got the hang of using the remote to pair after setting up the other devices. So, with this behavior, I thought as long as the system can recognize the exact device you could potentially add others (now I don't know how far Verizon goes, but they could even be working with manufacturers on specific devices codes to keep the system locked down and proprietary). This particular GE dimmer switch appears to be made by Jasco, who also seems to make the plug-in light module offered by Verizon. I was hoping this similarity may help make it recognizable by Verizon.
Since I had my doubts, I very carefully setup a little test scenario with romex and a couple replacement plugs rather than going through the trouble of fully replacing a light switch. I went through the procedure of pairing it with the remote, which seemed normal. I went back to my computer and the Verizon page had a pop-up that suggested a device had been added, but there were no options to name and configure it. I tried several times, but no luck.
I think what's happening is that the z-wave components, like the gateway and remote are pairing with the device. However, on the Verizon side, they don't know what it is and how to handle it, so it can't really do anything about it until it's programmed into the system to be supported. From what I understand of the z-wave protocol each type of device has a specific device code. Since there's a variety of different devices, they each have a set of instructions to communicate back and forth. I can see how initially it's overwhelming to support a long list of devices and keep it user friendly, but hope that they'll continue to grow it.
I agree with everybody else here, that built-in devices like this will really make the system useful. Otherwise being limited to plug-in devices doesn't offer enough of a whole home control solution to do much with. Even before I signed up with the verizon service I was researching MiCasaVerde which seems to be much more expansive, but slightly more DIY. The key difference is that you have to purchase the gateway for like $200-300, but don't pay monthly. If the verizon thing doesn't pan out, I might switch to that, and hope my devices (which appear identical) will work. In that case, I don't feel too bad because the bundle price was competitive, I'd just miss out on the integration Verizon is adding.
12-03-2011 03:54 PM
Gee thanks jdp83....(LOL).. spent the last hour looking at MiCasaVerde's web site. You are correct, while they are a tad more expensive they have the following paragraph that Verizon should take notice of (Hello Verizon?)
... Guaranteed compatibility with ALL Z-Wave devices – Includes deadbolt locks, scene controllers, all kinds of sensors and lighting, thermostats, energy metering and more. Vera lets you can take advantage of everything the Z-Wave world offers, and also the ability to add in IP cameras, some alarm panels, IR devices, Control4 and more.
If Verizon wants to lock down its devices, as it has, and not offer a decent selection, which it does not, have then I can see myself moving to and recommending a product like MiCasaVerde also. I love my Verizon FIOS and am thrilled that something like Home Monitoring has come along but somewhere in the Verizon hierarchy someone has decided that they must have full control of their products up to and including disabling things like audio on the cameras sold then not bothering to either inform us when or even if more z-wave products will be offered by them for sale.
12-29-2011 01:26 PM
Yes, It appears that the lack of support for different products is a programming issue on Verizon end. This system is in its infancy and Verizon (HELLLOO VERIZON!!) needs to get on the ball and improve the software end of this. I have found the software/web portal for this to be very glitchy. It not only makes the product difficult to install but also I find the cameras often do not either detect motion or record or even say they recorded and never do. I have also had problems with recordings not being accessible or corrupted. I may switch to Verde if Verizon doesn't make involvements and SOON!
01-14-2012 10:49 AM
I wish it did. I need on/off control of wall switches so I can control my outdoor lights. Kinda stinks to have home control that is way behind other home control systems using the same technology. I am debating sending it back. I was under the impression that you could use any zwave component..but no.
04-29-2012 12:49 PM
I got really frustrated because the phone app was really slow and kept getting errors when accessing my camera so I just purchaseed a MiCasaVerde Vera 3 controller and absolutely love it - going to cancel my service with Verizon. I am able to use the lamp module just fine that came with the starter kit but have not tried the camera yet. To date, I have replaced all my light switches and all is working perfectly. Fully expandable and works with my Filtrete thermostat I got from Home Depot as well...Verizon needs to offer more functionality with their gateway for sure because for the 299.00 the MiCasaVerde Vera 3 possibilities are endless...AND everything works as designed.