In this episode we are going to review what could be considered to be the most basic and essential piece of your home automation project: The Plug-in Module. Today we will be looking at two different modules made by Leviton: the Appliance Module (VRPA1-1LW) and the Dimmer Module (VRPD3-1LW). At the end of the video I’ll show you how to connect the Leviton Dimmer module to your Wink Hub.
- Both devices look fairly similar and plug into a standard wall outlet.
- They have this green light on the front that indicates they are operational.
- If the light is anything other than green, it is having a problem and may need to be reset
This is module is great for controlling lights and other devices that you want to turn on or off from your phone or with a schedule. For those of you that want to ease your way into a smart home without changing wall switches or outlets, this is your first step. Once you decide you like smart devices, and you will decide you like them, you may want to expand into smart wall switches and outlets.
The construction of the Leviton plug in modules is very good. Both have a strong plastic contemporary shell. Not modern and cartoony like some of the other devices. The cartoon looking devices have a nice appeal, but may not suite your needs if your goal is a more contemporary look.
So what’s different? Cosmetically, not a lot.
- The easiest way to tell the difference is the plug
- The dimmer module only has two prongs
- The appliance module has three prongs
- You will also notice that the appliance module is a bit thicker
Why the difference you may ask
- Say you want to control an appliance. Something that should have constant power. This can be standard fluorescent lights, a blender, a coffee maker, and so on.
- Using a dimming module on these devices can damage the module, or worse yet, damage the device.
- You would feel very silly, and probably angry, if you burned up your $500 tv by using the wrong $30 zwave module.
- So unless you are sure the device can operate with a dimming module, always use the appliance module.
- We have an indoor greenhouse to grow our Thai chili peppers. Each rack has a set of grow lights. These fluorescent lights have a ballast that requires constant voltage.
- No need for a dimmer here – we use an appliance module.
If you’re connecting to a Wink Hub, the setup is very easy. This is a bar-code enabled device, which we will talk more about in the setup portion of the video.
Once you have connected the module to your hub, it is very simple to control and it works as expected.
Setting up the module is very easy –
On your Wink App home page – select the Add Product icon.
Since the Wink App supports this Leviton module using the Scan Barcode, we will use that method.
Locate the barcode on the back of the Leviton box.
Press the Scan Barcode button in the Wink App.
Now center the barcode from the box in the scan window.
Now – Plug in the module to a wall outlet – preferably more than 5 feet away from the hub, but still fairly close.
Once the module is plugged in the light on the front should turn on – press the next button on the app.
Make sure the Wink Hub light is blue and press the next button on the app.
When instructed, you will press the green light on the Leviton Dimmer Module. But first, you need to press the Connect Now button in the app.
I suggest pressing the button on the Leviton module more than once for one or two seconds. Don’t hold it down to long.
That’s it, now you’re connected.
Next we will rename the module. Press and hold the new light in the App, then click the Edit this Light button.
Rename the light and press ‘Done’.
If you have an Amazon Echo – don’t forget to tell Alexa to discover devices. This will ensure that your Echo will recognize your new module when you issue the voice commands.