Product Reviews

It Looks Normal on the Outside, But It’s Pure Z-Wave on the Inside

Posted January 18, 2017

The Home Settings Model HA06 In-Wall Dimmer by Intermatic is a standard indoor control that offers Z-Wave network capability for virtually any switch-activated incandescent light. It’s not as intuitive as a basic switch but the flexibility it adds to an automated household is well worth learning the very different feel that comes with the button. Still, the Model HA06 dimmer turned out to be an excellent solution for those areas of the house where a lamp module was not an option.

Up until now our home networking project consisted of modules that simply plugged into the wall outlet. The Model HA06, however, requires dealing with electrical circuits. Fortunately, the Intermatic dimmer was designed as a standard household component and presents no surprises. Still, the installation was not entirely smooth. The first tripping point was that the switch only just barely fit in the electric box that we chose. The specific problem was that the original contractor who installed the kitchen island [where we placed the switch] installed screws that extended so far into the box that the HA06 almost did not fit. This is not an issue or critique of the Intermatic product but rather a commentary on the unit’s size. One should anticipate, therefore, the likelihood of having to file down the ends of the screws that hold the electric box in place. Or if you just can’t see yourself working with electric circuits and related issues then an electrician could get it done in about 15 minutes.

Figure 1
Wire tips covered until needed.

For the most part the installation document is adequate. Unlike other documents we have seen so far from Intermatic the text was generous in size and it is laid out in a very useful check-list-style format. There were a couple areas that were a bit annoying. One example is the reference to the “Air-Gap” switch located on the module. I still do not know what “Air-Gap” means but I did determine that the reference is to an off-and-on toggle that can be used to disconnect the module from the power source for actions like safely changing a light bulb. Another example is the point when we went to add the module to our existing Z-Wave network and the direction was to “See the instructions for” the specific “Intermatic” remote control I had. Fortunately I do have an Intermatic remote but my point is that I had to stop the process until I found the other document.

The good news is that the network portion of the installation was straightforward and uneventful. Another noteworthy item is the way that Intermatic pre-strips the wires in such a way that the ends are covered up to prevent premature bending while at the same time providing a quick way to uncovered them when the time comes. (See Figure 1)

There is one characteristic to the HA06 dimmer that is hard to get used to. The dimmer up/down switch is also the on/off switch. In order to change the intensity of the light once it is on it is necessary to hold the button in for a while until the module determines your intention. There is a bit of a pause and then the dimmer rapidly changes setting. The Wife had no problems with this feature but I still keep shooting past the point where I want to stop.

Figure 2

It should be noted that the Wife has so thrilled at my being able to install electrical switches by myself that she placed an order for several more of the Home Settings Model HA06 dimmers. Perhaps I should have asked for professional help when I had the chance.

Ratings

Overall Strength

Ease of Installation

Documentation

Value

Quick Reference

Product Name
Home Settings In-Wall Dimmer (HA06)

Company
Intermatic

Price
$39.99 (MSRP)

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