Opportunities abound for smart switch innovation – considering their convenient location options in every home and easy access to power. I’m not sure why other companies have failed to give these comparatively simple devices the full attention they deserve, but HomeSeer definitely gets it. With the release of their new 200+ series switch and dimmer, HomeSeer has once again hit it out of the park on what I consider to be one of the most useful Z-Wave devices on the market today.
I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that HomeSeer’s latest switch endeavors have been quite successful based solely on the feedback and traffic I’ve received for the SmartThings device handlers for the previous 100+ series switches. Not willing to rest on their laurels, HomeSeer has relatively quickly released a compelling switch upgrade that not only addresses customer feedback, but also brings new capabilities to wake up the market.
While the previous 100+ series switches were extremely well liked from my observations, the two most common complaints were that the white LED’s did not match the standard blue of many other popular Z-Wave switches such as the GE’s and also that there was no “night light” option for the dimmer to set the bottom LED when the dimmer was set to off.
These new switches have the same look and feel as well as instant status capability as their 100+ series predecessors while addressing the issues mentioned above. In addition, these new offerings expand on the multi-tap features and provide an intriguing LED status mode option allowing individual control of the LED color and blink status.
200+ Series Added Features
Full Feature Summary
As with their predecessors, these new switches utilize a 500 series Z-Wave Plus module sporting extended range and network-wide inclusion (NWI). A summary of capabilities as well as a brief description of these features is included below.
Multi-tap: Notifies the controlling hub via central scene notification when the switch has detected 2-5 taps or a held press in either the up or down direction. A simple use case for multi-tap capabilities might be to turn on your porch light with a single press, include pathway lighting with a double tap, and also include flood lighting with a triple tap.
Instant Status: Immediately notifies the Z-Wave controller via a Central Scene notification as well as Switch Multilevel Report (dimmer) or Binary Report (switch) when the switch has been turned on or off. This provides fast on/off change detection when using a compatible Z-Wave controller.
Normal mode: Standard/default operating mode. The LED indicators glow indicate the on/off/dim level status. All LED’s are set to a single defined color that is controllable via a Z-Wave controller.
Status mode: Allows independent control of color and blink status of individual LED’s. This can be used to reflect the status of connected home automation sensors and devices. For example (from HomeSeer’s web site): if it’s after midnight and the garage door was left open, the 3rd LED on all the bedroom dimmers can be programmed to glow yellow (or any color). If a smoke alarm goes off, all LEDS on all dimmers can blink red. If no status conditions are active, the wall switch can return to normal mode. When in status mode, the dimmer will temporarily revert to normal mode when the switch dim level is being manually adjusted, and will return to status mode immediately when the switch paddle is released.
3-Way Switch/Dimmer Configuration
Both the HS-WD200+ dimmer and HS-WS200+ switch can be installed in 3-way switch configurations using the HomeSeer HS-WA100+ wired 3-way companion switch. This is a non-RF companion switch and requires a conventional 3-way traveler wire. Once installed, HS-WA100+ works like any other paddle-style switch and will remotely control the attached HomeSeer wall dimmer or wall switch with on-off-dim functions as well as trigger the advanced multi-tap/hold capabilities.
Feature Detail Summary:
On/Off Switch Features
As with the 100+ series predecessors for these devices, the instant-on and multi-tap capabilities worked well for me and the dimmer produced no noticeable hum or flicker. I noticed no degradation from the prior capabilities and I had no issues controlling the LED colors in both status and normal modes. As minor as the issue sounds, I was very pleased to finally have the LED colors for these switches match the blue LEDs of the other GE Z-Wave switches that I have in my home.
Also as with its predecessor, the on/off switch has a 0.4-second delay between when the physical on/off switch is pressed and when you actually hear the switch relay click and see the light turn on or off. This is common to the GE Z-Wave switches as well. As I mentioned in the GE Z-Wave switch review, that sounds like it would be a little more annoying than it ends up being in practice. You get used to it – or, at least I quickly did.
I did have an initial issue setting blink status for the dimmer LEDs when connected to the SmartThings hub, but after a quick perusal of the device handler code and after confirmation with HomeSeer, I was able to make a small change to the device handler code to correct the issue.
I tested both the dimmer and on/off switch with both a HomeSeer controller and the SmartThings hub. I also added these to a Wink Hub, and while they joined fine as generic switches, the Wink Hub software does not include options to make use of the multi-tap or LED control capabilities.
To make use of the enhanced multi-tap and dynamic LED color control capabilities of these switches, the SmartThings hub requires a custom device handler. This currently necessitates that the SmartThings control logic runs in the cloud resulting in control response times that are orders of magnitude slower than for the locally operating HomeSeer controller. You can see some examples of this lag in the demo video below. While not ideal, this is certainly not a deal-breaker for me.
Based on my initial evaluation, these are now my favorite Z-Wave switches. Although the price point for is currently a tad higher than for the previous generation from HomeSeer, the added cost is worth it to me for the flexibility of the added features.
- 7 LED color options
- Flexible status mode allowing individual addressed LED color and blink status.
- Option to turn on bottom LED when switch is off.
- Instant status
- Multi-tap control
- Almond color paddle option
- 7 level LED dim indicator (dimmer)
- 0.4 second delay between when on/off switch is toggled and load is controlled
- Neutral wire pigtail not included in packaging (this is a nice extra touch included with the GE Z-Wave switches)
SmartThings Device Handlers for HomeSeer HS-WSD200+ & HS-WD200+
I was quite impressed to find that HomeSeer updated the device handlers I originally wrote for the 100+ series switches to extend them in support of the added 200+ series capabilities. HomeSeer has even detailed out specific SmartThings instructions in a HomeSeer HelpDesk article.
I’ve since updated the WD200+ device handler to include a fix for individual flash states, as well as the ability to set all LEDs at once by specifying LED 0.
Device Handler Installation:
The latest HS-WS200+ and HS-WD200+ SmartThings Hub Device Handlers can be downloaded at:
- WS200+ Switch SmartThings Device Handler (DarwinsDen)
- WD200+ Dimmer SmartThings Device Handler (DarwinsDen)
Installing the Device Handler:
- Login at https://account.smartthings.com
- Select “My Device Handlers” and select “Create New Device Handler”.
- On the “Create New Device Handler” page, select the tab “From Code”, and paste in the code from either of the above links into the IDE editor window.
- Click the “Create” button at the bottom.
- Click the “Save” button above the editor window.
- Click the “Publish” button and select “For Me”.
The device handler is now ready for use.
HS-WS200+ and HS-WD200+ Button Mappings
The button mappings for SmartThings can also be found in the mobile app GUI for the WD200+ dimmer.
Which SmartThings SmartApp should be used with these?
I highly recommend WebCoRE to control any SmartThings complex interactions such as controlling the LED color and/or blink state of these switches in status mode. For most simple interactions involving multi-tap actions, the standard Smart Lighting app may satisfy your needs.
Here is the sample WebCore script I used to set flash all LED’s red when a door is open when in night mode:
Which controller/hubs and devices may be best for your specific system needs?
I typically test products and services that have been purchased through standard retail channels. There are many reasons for this; Aside from the concern of the perception of bias from the receipt of products for review, ideally this also provides some indication of sample variation versus items hand-picked by vendors. While I have no reason to believe that these samples are not typical production units, the switch and dimmer reviewed here were provided directly to me from HomeSeer as review samples. I’ll soon have additional samples of the switches arriving from standard retail channels and I will note here if I encounter any anomalies.
Hi! Thanks so much for the 13-Aug-2020 version of the SmartThings device handler for the HS-WD200+. I am able to connect the switch to my v2 SmartThings hub and control it using the new SmartThings App, but any settings I change for the switch in the SmartThings app seem to be ignored by the device handler. For example, if I select a different default LED color, or indicate the LED should be on if the load is off, a change in the settings shows in the SmartThings app but has no effect on the switch. The same problem happens with the original device handler v1.0 as well as 1.0.dd.1. Any advice?
Hi Everyone! First of all, thanks to Darwin’s Den for writing this DTH. It has worked well for the almost two years I have been using it.
I forced myself to switch over to the new SmartThings App (and updated this DTH and Button Controller App) and most everything seems to be working now, except the button controller on both the classic and new app only let me get to button # 8.
After 8 it goes back to the beginning on the classic app, and in the new app, the only option is the “save” after reaching Button 8. So I can’t attach any scenes to buttons 9-12.
Any idea why that is happening? TIA. -Brian
I’m not sure why buttons 9-12 aren’t working with the button controller app, but if it’s the dimmer (WD200+) that you are having issues with, I do have a newer beta version of the WD200+ device handler that should support the Automation capability in the new app. It may allow you to work-around the issues you are having, but I’ll caution that this new version has not received much testing yet. The new handler can be downloaded at a different location than the current production version (for now) at https://raw.githubusercontent.com/DarwinsDen/SmartThingsPublic/master/devicetypes/darwinsden/wd200-dimmer.src/wd200-dimmer.groovy.
This new handler was specifically updated to work with the button mapping approach used by the new Automation capability. Once you update to this new device handler, the device needs to be refreshed in the app for the new mappings to take effect – by either pulling down on the device once it’s selected in the new mobile app (ie. to get spinner for a few seconds) or by hitting config in the old app. The new handler provides a preference/setting option that is required to be used if you wish to toggle between the new button mapping approach used by the new Automation capability and the legacy button approach used by the current smart lighting, button controller, WebCore, etc smart apps (at least until these legacy smart apps are updated to use the new approach). The default setting is to use the new Automation button mapping approach.
Thanks so much for letting me try out your new DTH!
It works perfectly with the automations in the New App! Is there anything you’d like me to specifically test/try? I’d be happy to help.
I have two WD100+ dimmers that have having the same button controller issue as well. Do you have a beta version for that model?
Samsung is forcing users to their new app and it looks like it’s breaking the device handler for the HS-WS200+. I suspect the same for HS-WD200+. After messing around a bit it looks like the “special” triangle characters in the tile label is confusing the app. I played around a bit and replaced the triangle characters with ASCII characters and restored functionality. Hopefully find the helpful, and it leads to a more formal bug fix.
Thank you! I haven’t had a chance yet to look at compatibility with the new SmartThings app for these devices. I appreciate your efforts in not only debugging these, but also taking the time to provide your findings. I’m hoping to to be able to get to the updates shortly.
Thanks for all of your work.
Is the HomeSeer HS-WA100+ wired 3-way companion switch necessary if you want to use one of the Z-wave dimmers on a 3-way switch or is it only required if you want to have the control capability the companion switch offers?
Hi Mark. Thanks! Appreciate it.
You likely have the answer by now, but the HS-WA100+ is required any time you want to use a HomeSeer dimmer or switch in a 3+ way configuration. Unlike some of the newer Z-Wave dimmers out there such as the Inovelli’s, the HomeSeer’s are not designed to work with standard switches as the aux switch. Hope that answers your question!
Hi Mark. That definitely sounds like odd behavior. Just to make sure I understand what’s happening – if you manually turn on the switch by holding down the up toggle, the light will reach full brightness when the dimmer reads 50% (and there is no additional change in brightness as the dim level increases to 100%). But if you then decrease the brightness from 100% to, say 90%, the light will dim slightly. Is that correct?
I can’t think of anything offhand with the device or device handler that would explain that, but I’ll look a little closer. Are you able to try a different bulb? Possible an incandescent bulb for testing? Also, does it have the same behavior when changing the brightness from the slider on the mobile device?
Let me know if my understanding is correct regarding the behavior of the issue, and I’ll keep pondering!
Thanks for your brilliant work with the WS200+ DH! I have a small issue that when pressing the paddle the ramp up rate appears to hit full brightness and around 50% of the led climb. Further more in limited testing it doesn’t seem to matter what I set the local parameter 12 (local ramp rate) if remains the same. However, it does function correctly when ramping down on shut-off. Any suggestions why it’s only working one-way and not both on and off?
Thanks! Works perfectly! Is there an update for the switch (non dimmer) device handler?
Great! Always good to hear when things work! No updates yet for the WS200+ switch. I still need to merge in the mobile UI tile display updates to make the switch display interface better match the dimmer, but as far as I know, there are no outstanding functional concerns. Let me know though of any issues, or if you have any other great enhancement suggestions.
Any way to add the ability to change the LED flash rate like with HomeSeer’s software?
Hi Kyle. Yes, I’ll put LED flash rate on the list for future enhancements.
Kyle, I’ve added the capability to programmatically specify the LED blink rate. The new command “setBlinkDurationMilliseconds” allows you to specify the blink on/off duration to be anything from 100ms to 25000 ms (25 sec). The firmware allows you to specify a single value that controls both the on and off duration. The default was 500ms on/500ms off.
Let me know how this works for you.