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    Question about UPB device availability

    I am about to automate (or at least partially automate) a new vacation house we just bought. 20 or 25 years ago I fully automated my current house with UPB and at the time I did whatever was needed (cutting up walls to install larger boxes to replace 1/2 gang switches; running neutral wires; etc.). This time I am only doing what is easy. So I pose the following questions (and I will pose the same questions in a ZWave thread as I have not decided between UPB and ZWave). As far as I can determine the answer to all of these questions is no but I would love to be wrong. My goal in this house is two-fold: to be able to monitor from afar and also to simplify control of certain devices such as outside lighting -- the back deck, for example, has four or five lights each controlled by a separate switch with the switches spread out the length of the house.
    1. Are there any devices that control multiple loads from a single gang unit -- specifically two dimmable lights (there are several 1/2-gang light switches in the house) or a unit that can control a multi-speed fan and the light attached to it (there are about 6 fans with combination light dimmer//fan speed controls in single gang boxes)?
    2. Are there still no UPB controlled devices such as thermostats, motion sensors, light sensors etc.?
    3. Are there any wall switches that indicate the dim level (presumably with a series of LED indicators)?
    4. Is UPB or ZWave (or something else) a better choice?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Pete Tompkins

    #2
    Originally posted by pete@malibubeach.com View Post
    1. Are there any devices that control multiple loads from a single gang unit -- specifically two dimmable lights?
    Simply Automated makes (made?) a dual load switch. A keypad can signal multiple load controllers using UPB links, but you'd still need a separate switch for each load.

    2. Are there still no UPB controlled devices such as thermostats, motion sensors, light sensors etc.?
    I don't think there are.

    3. Are there any wall switches that indicate the dim level (presumably with a series of LED indicators)?
    I don't believe so.

    4. Is UPB or ZWave (or something else) a better choice?
    Is vanilla better than strawberry?

    In my experience UPB works extremely well. All the time.
    Z-wave is more versatile and has lots of capabilities, but also exhibits considerable variability in performance and reliability from my reading on this board.

    I see no reason that you could not use both, though. You'd just need to be cognizant of the z-wave mesh network requirements when dispersing z-wave devices.

    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

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      #3
      I appreciate the input. Sounds like it is still pretty much the same as when I was doing my current house 20 or 25 years ago (zWave was not a very good option then so it is all UPB with a little zWave added ten years later). I am happy with UPB though I am starting to see some device failures (after 25 years I guess that is acceptable). In the lighting arena UPB clearly has more options, but in overall flexibility, zWave wins. I may have to end up with both again. Thanks for your information.

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        #4
        Switches and keypads that I have purchased in the last few years (mostly PCS) appear to be better made and more robust than those I bought even 10 years ago. They clearly work better with new LED fixtures than the older ones. The biggest threat to UPB in my opinion is that it is designed and intended for a knowledgeable installer rather than a retail customer. As such, it is unlikely to escape being a niche player, and will always struggle for viable market share.
        Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
        HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

        HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

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