Comparing Z-Wave Switches

I purchased three popular Z-Wave switches—the GE 14294, the Leviton DW6HD and the HomeSeer HS-WD100+. All three support Z-Wave Plus, are rated for a 600W (incandescent) max load, can dim LEDs, and require a neutral wire for installation. Each switch has a unique sound and feel when pressed. Unlike a traditional light switch, the paddle returns to a neutral position when released.

Z-Wave Plus Dimmers (Front)

GE 14294

The GE 14294 is sold through many online retailers and is available in Lowe’s stores. Jasco makes a complete lineup of Z-Wave Plus products with the GE brand, including a non-dimming switch, a switch with built-in motion sensor, a fan control, an in-wall outlet receptacle, and an outdoor plug.

GE 14294

The plastic paddle is a bright, shiny white (the box also contains an almond-colored paddle). A single small LED is positioned at the bottom-right. An air gap switch is located at the bottom-left. When pressed, the paddle does not recess flush with the faceplate, like a traditional switch. Instead, it depresses very slightly and emits a low click. Dimming is controlled by pressing-and-holding the paddle.

Leviton DW6HD

The Leviton DW6HD is sold through many online retailers and is available in Home Depot stores. Leviton has a more limited selection of Z-Wave Plus products—notably lacking a Z-Wave Plus fan control or in-wall outlet receptacle.

Leviton DW6HD

Compared to the GE 14294, the plastic paddle has a more matte finish and is a less bright white (the box also contains an almond-colored paddle). A vertical line of LEDs is hidden behind the plastic to the left. To the right sits a narrow rocker that controls dimming. (The paddle is reserved for on/off.) The paddle feels cheaper than the GE 14294. When pressed, the paddle recesses flush with the faceplate and also overextends, revealing the back of the paddle. It’s unstable, jiggling horizontally. It makes a higher-pitched click.

HomeSeer HS-WD100+

The HomeSeer HS-WD100+, its successor the HomeSeer HS WD-200+, a non-dimming switch and a fan control are available for purchase on the HomeSeer website and at other online retailers.

HomeSeer HS-WD100+

The plastic paddle is a bright, shiny white, identical to the GE 14294. An air gap switch is located at the bottom-center. A visible line of LEDs is arrayed to the left of the paddle. When pressed, the paddle has the same motion and sound as the GE 14294. The build quality is similarly high.

Z-Wave Plus Dimmers (Back)