We don't often announce a complete new range of products, but that's exactly what we're doing with the awesome Qubino modules. There's a lot in the Qubino range, not all the reasons why these are awesome immediately jump out, so it's worth taking a look at each device in detail. Get yourself a cup of coffee as this post is a bit of a long one, but well worth it.
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Why is Qubino Awesome?
The Qubino products include Z-Wave dimmers, relays, shutter controls and thermostats, all packed with extra features that have been added to make them especially useful. For instance most of the modules have an extra two switch inputs that can be used to control other devices or trigger scenes, all devices can have a temperature sensor connected to them to report local temperature and all devices have power monitoring. Each device has been tailored to what Qubino expect it to be used for - if they can't create a device that can cover all bases, then they create two devices that can do a perfect job for each role. This is exactly what they've done with the Shutter modules where they have introduced s 230V version and a low-voltage 24V (more on this later).
We've been quite slow in the Qubino introduction, they made a lot of claims about their devices when we first met them, and we didn't want to take it all at face value. So our support guys have had the devices on test for a few months - they've thrown everything we can think at the devices, and tested them with all controllers. They have passed with flying colours and impressed our support guys - and that takes some doing as they've seen it all before! All devices work with VERA, Fibaro and Zipato controllers, you can check the results in our Z-Wave Compatibility Guide.
This attention to detail, their focus on adding really useful features, and making the devices the best for their application is why I think Qubino are awesome. Each month we're seeing new products, all with a nice Qubino twist - we'll be seeing a lot more from them over the coming years.
OK, so much for what I think, let's take a look at the products.
The Qubino Flush Dimmer module is unique in the Z-Wave world as it is a 'Trailing-Edge' dimmer - all other dimmers are 'Leading-Edge'. Why is this good? The simple answer is that trailing edge dimmers work great with almost every kind of dimmable light bulb - especially those LEDs that cause so many issues with conventional dimmers. The technical answer, for those that are interested, is that the dimmer cuts the mains (AC) waveform on the decreasing edge (after the peak), this allows the voltage to fall to zero and cause no large spikes or in-rush currents. A conventional 'leading-edge' dimmer cuts the waveform on the upward edge - this causes very large in-rush currents that can destroy the dimmer or the LED. Trailing-edge dimmers are the modern dimmer design and favoured for 'electronic' bulbs like LEDs.
The dimmer's features don't end there - it's actually much more clever. When it's in a 230V AC (mains circuit) it operates as a trailing-edge dimmer, but if you put it into a 24V DC circuit it changes totally and works as a PWM dimmer. AC and DC circuits (and bulbs) use different dimmer circuits - so this device changes behaviour for how it is installed.
That's the theory, and I have to say our testing agrees with all of this. These little devices have worked flawlessly with what ever bulbs we've thrown at them - halogens, LEDs, low-voltage halogens, low-voltage LEDs - they've all worked perfectly. And, just like all Qubino devices, the dimmer reports the power consumption back to the Z-Wave controller, so you can see exactly what is being used.
There is one thing that prevents the Qubino dimmer from being all conquering, and that's that it needs neutral. The neutral enables it to be stable and reliable with all bulbs (especially LEDs). So it can't be installed at the switch if you have a 2-wire (no neutral) lighting circuit, but you can install it in the ceiling if you have space.
Other than that, the Qubino Dimmer is an absolutely fantastic dimmer!
These relays are perfect for controlling appliances or larger lighting circuits, and as they have power monitoring you can easily find the areas where you are using power. Or use the power monitoring to trigger scenes, making other devices turn On or Off based on power being used.
Qubino also have a new Relay 1D coming in June, this has all the same features of the other devices, but features a single 'dry' voltage-free contact - this is good for acting as a binary switch for an alarm system or controlling another voltage.
This is another area that Qubino have excelled themselves. Mains powered (230V) blinds and shutters work in a totally different way to low voltage 12/24V systems. Qubino have taken this into account and designed two totally different devices - each aimed at being the perfect control device for that particular system.
The Qubino Flush Shutter works perfectly with all types of 230VAC motors and blinds. They have a great calibration process so that all blind positions are taken into account and they have just added support for Venetian blinds allowing you to tilt the slats as well as move the blind up and down. Add to this the power monitoring and this is a great devices for all mains-powered blinds and curtains.
The Qubino Flush Shutter DC is specifically designed for low voltage DC motors. DC motor system only have two wires going to the motor, and due to the way DC motors work the voltage on these wires is reversed to make it go in different directions. This is called voltage or polarity-reversal. It's a nice simple way to control DC motors, problem is that no Z-Wave device supports this (unless you want to spend lots of money) - until now. The Qubino DC shutter module does just that, making it the perfect device to control low-voltage blinds and curtains. This device will be shipping middle of July and is the first Z-Wave Plus device from Qubino.
The Qubino Flush Thermostat is designed to control any electric heating system - underfloor heating, electric panels, or even a boiler or water-based underfloor heating where it will take control of the valves. The thermostat includes a room temperature sensor and can be used in 24V or 230V systems with no alterations. And just like all the Qubino devices, it measures the power being used.
Qubino also have a range of accessories including wall casings and mounts that enable you to install the modules without having to add a hole to your wall. They also have some innovative touch switches coming later in the year, so this is worth keeping a watch on.
As you may have picked-up, I really like these devices. Qubino are bringing new devices to the market - ones that push the boundaries and add features that address our users' needs. They do this is in a quiet way, no flashy marketing promising the world - they just deliver good honest devices that do what they say on the tin! And Qubino aren't a small new company, they are part of the very large GOAP group who are already involved in commercial and hotel automation. They take quality and safety very seriously, every Qubino device is fully tested with European standard's agencies and the results published (available on the Qubino website) for each device.
All Qubino devices are in stock ready to order, except for the Shutter DC and Relay 1D which will be with us during June.
Hope that was a good read, any questions, just let me know.
Speak to you soon.