I installed a pair of Zwave switches today: A "master" and "slave" unit. They replaced an existing set of 3-way switches.Zwave products are great.
Zwave is not proprietary like RadioRa and similar technology. This allows you to mix and match products to create the perfect system. Not every manufacturer has the best of everything.
Zwave can also be configured as a stand alone system.
I have done quite a few Zwave installations involving whole home automation. (Locks, lights/dimmers, plugs, thermostats etc. )
Easy to set up and not as cost prohibitive as RadioRa or Control4.
The biggest challenge is deciding on your control platform.
Here is where things got weird: The slave unit would not work part of the time. Other times, it worked fine.
After pulling my hair out for several hours, I determined that the unit was using the existing 3-wire cable for signal transmission only, and since both switches were mounted in 3-gang boxes, they were being subjected to excessive interference from inductance of the nearby energized conductors.
I was able to make it work when I turned on the other switches in the remote 3-gang box. But when I turned off those other lights, the slave unit stopped working.
Searching on the web for others who have had similar experiences with installing these switches, I found someone else who offered a solution:
I had a problem with the auxiliary switch.... I ran a traveler wire across the ground through 100' of romex and it would work perfectly (so much for the 15-25 feet theory), but it would not work with my existing wiring. Evidently the AC power on the hot wire is causing inductance on the traveler wire since they are running parallel in the Romex.
With the help of a friend (with an electronics degree), we installed a diode (Motorola MR752 rated at 240 VAC and 6 amps) on the traveler wire and it solved the problem. It is working perfectly now. This is a better option than running additional wiring to separate the traveler wire from the existing 120 VAC load....
Has anyone else here had similar issues with the use of existing wiring as a signal carrier instead of for power? Why doesn't the instructions with those zwave switches mention this problem and possible solutions?