Leviton DH15S-1BZ Product Scorecard Review

This scorecard review is focused on the Leviton DH15S-1BZ is a HomeKit-enabled, smart switch. While this switch is not as smart as we would have hoped, it does garner reasonable marks in one of our first product scorecard reviews. If you are one of the many out there looking to smarten up your home check out our review of this Leviton smart switch option.

Objective Criteria


Cost: 4.0

Cost was one of the best things this switch has going for it. At a list price near $45 it comes in 24% less than several of the competitors.

Quality: 2.5

Not sure how to rate on this with only a couple of months use of the switches. Wish me good fortune with a long a perfect performance…because who can afford to change these out like light bulbs?

Performance: 3.0

The jury is still out on this one. Although I’ve had a month’s worth of good behavior from a group of about a dozen switches, in the previous month I experienced intermittent connection issues, some of which forced resetting the switch. Nothing will frustrate you faster than not being able to operate the switch, due to connection issues, when your 3000 miles away on a business trip. There’s little point to a smart switch you can walk over and turn on manually.

Simplicity: 4.0

Not much to complicate the switch with just on and off. Installation is not too complicated, but may surprise some with regard to requirements for attaching 4 different wires and understanding which ones are load and power sources. Also, if you’re using HomeKit, I found it far easier to use that application for pairing the switch to your system than the Leviton application.

Innovation: 3.5

I am giving a 3.5 score to these switches because they basically offer you what is expected from a smart switch. The fact that they have a HomeKit compatible option and that there is no bridge/hub required made me go 3.5 instead of 3.0. They also have an Alexa version. Either way, the feature set doesn't appear to merit much higher of a score.

 

Subjective Criteria


Market Acceptance:  3.5

The general ratings for this seem to vary between 3 and 4 stars. Some complained about the bad installation and use instructions, as well as the frequent loss of wifi connection. Compliments did include compatibility with HomeKit and overall switch reliability. This has basically been my experience. The switches are not perfect but do perform at a reasonable level for the cost.

Ergonomics: 3.0

I actually like the feel of turning on and off the more expensive Lutron-Caseta switches, but I can give up a little in this category for price, so long as durability remains the same.

Aesthetics: 3.5

I thought I would dislike the little green lights on the switch. There are so many digital gadgets around the house now which all have to have some sore of L.E.D. light on the front of it, you begin to feel like your house is riddled with light pollution. However, now they’ve been in place for some time, it does aide in finding the switches in the dark which is much appreciated.

Customization: 2.0

Not much going on in this department. This is not a dimmer switch, so all you get is on or off. Software will bring you some automation and preset scenes, but thats about it.

Impact: 2.5

One could argue several sides of this category with this product. For example, I like that a WIFI or smart switch allows me to program and monitor the lights. Then again, you can’t monitor consumption, which would allow you to make smarter choices with the use of lighting.

However, any control over unintended use is move in the right direction so I can feel like its a step in the right direction. On can only hope development continues across the board for these types of products.

Summary

The overall score for the Leviton DH15S-1BZ is 31.5, which averages out to 3.15. Not the best and certainly not the worst. The wifi connection loss issue can be a real nuisance, but is not an insurmountable problem. The other real downside for me was the feel of these switches (cheap feel) compared to other switches in this same category.

I would still recommend these switches for others looking to smarten their home up on a budget. However, if you have more money to spend there are better, more innovative options out there.

Posted in Product Review.