Disclaimer: I received this device from TheSmartestHouse.com in return for an honest and unbiased review.
I'd like to start this review off by saying the Fibaro Dimmer 2 is not a ground breaking device, like some of Fibaro's other devices (ie. the Swipe and the RGBW controller). If you're looking for something like that, I'm sorry to say, this isn't it.
But... (There's always a but!)
That being said, this is a fantastic dimmer that can completely change how you control your home's lighting!
What Is the Fibaro Z-Wave Plus Dimmer 2 FGD-212?
If you're like me, the first time you saw the Fibaro Dimmer 2, you probably thought to yourself, "What is that and how can I use it in my smart home?"
The packaging is cool, but at first glance it gives you literally zero information. It simply looks like a black rounded plastic box and that's it. Well, let me tell you, it's a lot more than that...
The Fibaro Dimmer 2 features 6 inputs/outputs which can be utilized for different types of lighting setups (2-way, 3-way, etc). Basically, you can install it behind a dimmer switch or just a standard on/off switch to control them via Z-Wave.
What's particularly intriguing about the Fibaro Dimmer 2 is the S2 input. According to The Smartest House, the S2 input can be used to control scenes based on the amount of taps/holds you do on the switch. Don't take my word for it though, here's what they said:
The second use for the S2 port, is scene activation. S1 & S2 both send different scene ids when you single, double, and triple click the switch connected to them. Even when the switch is held vs. pressed a different scene id is sent. What this means to a user, is that (with a compatible gateway), you can assign different actions to be carried out when you do such things as double or triple click the switch. For example, you could have a triple click lock your front door, or a double click turn off all the lights in your house. This is a very handy feature that really has limitless possibilities. Link
Now, I didn't personally test this, as I was controlling a three way set up, but it sounds like a fantastic use for this device! Alternatively, if you use Vera and PLEG, you can set up scenes (aka conditions) that take into account the amount of taps you use on a switch.
What This Device Can Do
Fibaro is known to release very customizable devices. Just look at the FGMS-001, one of our favorite motion sensors on the market. That motion sensor features 30 different conditions that can all be customized to your smart home. That's a lot considering most devices only feature 1 or 2!
Fortunately, the Dimmer 2 follows this same Fibaro style and offers you the ability to customize it to your needs, as it allows you to change over 50 conditions! Here are some the best conditions you can change written out like this:
Condition Name (Default Level); Description
- State of the Device After Power Failure (1); 1 means it returns to it's state before the power failure and 0 means it returns to the "off" position after the power is returned.
- Timer Functionality (0); Condition can be set to anything between 0-32767 (seconds). This condition automatically turns the lights off after the set amount of time. 0 turns this condition off.
- Burnt Out Bulb (30); This condition checks to see if the power consumption is a certain percentage lower than standard (checked during the calibration process). Condition can be anywhere from 1-99.
- Double Click Option - Set Brightness to Max (1); 1 is enabled, 0 is disabled. This condition does as it says. It sets the brightness to max with two quick clicks.
- Scene Activation (0); 1 is on and 0 is off. This activates this function which allows you to run scenes based on the amount of times you tap the switch.
Installing the Fibaro Dimmer 2
Frankly, the manual that comes with this devices sucks. I spent more time than I'd like to admit trying to figure out what each port on the Dimmer 2 was for and how to install the device. Then, I realized that the manual included with the Dimmer 2 is not the full manual. The full manual can only be found on Fibaro's website, not in the box.
And if you're not the reading type, here's a fantastic installation video. Note: This is the Dimmer 1 installation video, but it is very similar to the Dimmer 2.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely customizable with many different conditions.
- Very small. At only 1.6 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches, it can easily fit behind a switch.
- Works with any dimmer or switch you have in your home.
- Can work with no neutral wire, but only if you use incandescent bulbs.
- Cheapest way to control a 3-way+ set up.
- Can control any type of bulb.
- Very expensive, especially if you're only controlling one switch.
- Somewhat tricky installation.
Who Is This Device For?
As with all Z-wave Devices, not every one is meant for every household. And honestly this device likely won't end up in many homes, because it's quite the expensive device to control just a single switch.
That being said, this dimmer is a fantastic option for those of you looking to control a 3-way, 4-way, or even 5-way switch, as you can control all of those lights with just one Fibaro Dimmer 2.
So, if you're in the market to "smartify" multiple switches in one circuit, this is by far the best bang for the buck option! The alternative to this, would be to buy multiple Z-Wave bulbs or switches, which would quickly cost more than a single Dimmer 2.
The Fibaro Dimmer 2 is quite a spectacular device that will likely end up in many different smart homes. Thanks to it's ability to adapt and control virtually any switch or dimmer, the Dimmer 2 really shines!
That being the case, the Dimmer 2 is arguably more expensive than a standard Z-Wave switch, so using it for a single switch or dimmer may not make financial sense.
However, if you have multiple 3-way, 4-way, or 5-way switches in your home, a few of these devices would significantly cut down on your smart home installation costs. It would even make your install much easier, because you would only have install behind a few switches, instead of installing a brand new Z-Wave switch in all of your gang boxes.
Taking all of this into consideration, we've decided to give the Fibaro Dimmer 2 four stars! This is a great device with very few faults. If you'd like to learn more about it, check out this review of the Dimmer 2 by The Smartest House. You can also buy it on their website!
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