We have just added a complete new wireless technology - Edisio. Everything is available now.
I often write about new products from Z-Wave or LightwaveRF, but very rarely do we add a complete technology, but Edisio has some great benefits that we couldn't resist it from the first time we saw it - especially the fantastic wall switches (more on those later).
Edisio are a Belgium-based company who have specialised in building automation - they come from a commercial market rather than residential. Products designed for hotels and offices are incredibly robust and resilient. When Edisio came to designing their products, they decided all existing wireless technologies had shortcomings - so they designed their own. In the five years since introducing their first products, it looks like they made some wise decisions.
In short, the Edisio technology has the following features/benefits.
- Low-power 868.3MHz wireless
- 100m wireless range, reducing to 30m indoors
- All switches are totally wireless - no need for wires and cables
- Stylish wall switches in 11 colours and up to 5 channels
- All Edisio mains-powered devices can act as repeaters - extending the range
- All Edisio receivers (dimmers and relays) send automatic status updates
- Each transmitter (switch or remote) can control an unlimited number of receivers
- Each receiver can be controlled by up to 32 transmitters
- No need for a central controller - devices can be easily paired with each other
As Edisio doesn't need a central controller it is very quick and easy to install, it even makes adding circuits much easier as you don't need to drop wiring down the walls to switches - all switches are totally wireless! All you need is power to the light fitting, an Edisio relay/dimmer and a wall switch - you're then all set.
In many ways Edisio has the benefits of Z-Wave, 2-way communication, status updates and signal repeaters, but without the complexity and with real stylish products.
And have I mentioned how fantastic the wall switches are - two designs, 11 colours and up to 5 channels!
The Edisio range brings real style and sophistication to the home automation market, and without bringing eye-watering prices with them. Here's what the product line-up looks like.
Edisio's big feature is easily their beautiful wall switches - they are the thing you first notice and keep on noticing. All Edisio wireless switches are battery-powered, you can position them absolutely anywhere and no need to drop cables down the walls to switches. They all have 5 channels, you select how many you use by choosing the corresponding faceplate - and the faceplates are available in up to 11 eye-catching colours. And, even though they are battery powered, the 3V lithium battery will keep them going for around 3 years. The wireless switches are available in two ranges.
Elegance Wall Switches
The 'basic' edisio wireless switch, the Elegance range, has polycarbonate faceplates in either black or white. You have the choice of 2, 4 or 5 buttons (channels). You can also choose the switch base colour (white or black).
Diamond Wall Switches
The more 'sophisticated' Diamond switch range feature a glass faceplate in 11 different colours, coupled with a black or white base. All Diamond switches are available with 1 to 5 buttons (channels) - these switches will fit any decor, any house and any situation. These are the first reason you'll start looking at Edisio instead of other home automation products.
In a similar way to Z-Wave, Edisio uses small relay and dimmer modules to actually control the lighting or power - the switches then wirelessly control these modules.
The Edisio Relay modules - a single 10A (EMR-2000) relay and a dual 2A (EMV-400) relay enable control of almost any electrical circuit including lighting, appliances, heating, blinds shutters etc. And, just like all Edisio receivers they can repeat the signals to ensure maximum wireless range - this is actually selectable on the device, so you can decide which devices act as repeaters.
The Edisio Dimmers take this a step further by bringing brightness control to the light circuits. There are two dimmer modules available. The EMDS-300 requires a 3-wire system with neutral and the EMDS-300A can be used in a 2-wire circuit without neutral. Interestingly both dimmers are the more modern 'trailing edge' design, but only the EMDS-300 can be used with LEDs. So for most homes moving to LEDs, the EMDS-300 would need to be used in the ceiling space where neutral is easily available - unless you're lucky enough to have neutral at the switch. In truth, the modules will be a little hard to easily fit into a switch back box as they are 26mm deep - it's possible, but ceiling mounting will be easier - and with wireless switches, no need to drop cables down the wall anyway.
Another unique product in the wireless home automation space is DIN modules. The Edision DIN modules can be mounted in a DIN enclosure allowing circuits to be wired back to a central point. This isn't that common in the UK, but more new-builds are using this approach. And, as the Edisio system doesn't need cables to wall switches, this becomes an efficient and economical way to install lighting and power circuits - saving hundreds of metres of cable runs.
The Edisio DIN modules aren't just simple devices, they cram in a lot of functionality. The EDR-B4 (relay) has 4x 10A outputs and 4 inputs. It allows On/Off, Open/Close and Pulse (momentary) operation. The EDR-B4 features configureable outputs - output 1 can be in On/Off mode, output 2 can be in Pulse mode independent of timers, and outputs 3 and 4 in Open/Stop/Close mode (Shutters, Blinds). It is ideal for numerous applications - shutters, portals, gates, electric strikes, lighting, motors 230V..
The DIN Dimmer (EDR-D4) has 4x 500W outputs and 4 inputs suitable for DIN rail applications. It's outputs are just as configurable as the EDR-B4 relay module, for instance - output 1 can be in On/Off mode, output 2 can be in Dimmer mode, and outputs 3 and 4 in On/Off mode with a timer function. It has a soft-start feature for gradual On/Off control and it keeps track of the last light level set.
Not everyone want's to get up to control the lights, so Edisio have a couple of handy hand-held remote controls.
The eTrendy Remote is a conventional 4-channel Key-Fob style remote. It's great for controlling lighting, and shutters - each button can control individual devices, groups of devices or scenarios (moods).
The second remote is a quirky one. The Smile remote is a single channel remote with a soft feel, a big smiley face and available in three colours. It's a nice twist for children or bathrooms.
Edisio doesn't need a central controller. Unlike systems like Z-Wave, that really need a central controller to add devices and configure them, Edisio's simplicity comes from being able to easily pair switches directly with receivers. This makes it quick and easy to install. However, part of home automation is also about using a smartphone to control the system, so Edisio do have three gateway controllers available. They have added some nice twists to these as well.
The Lite version accepts a maximum of 64 devices and allows you to control them from a smartphone (home or away) as well as create and run scenarios to make multiple things happen at once. A nice feature is that the Lite controller natively supports RF433 (433MHz), although we're still confirming what this will actually support in way of protocols. It can also use optional dongles to work with Enocean and Z-Wave devices.
The EasyLink pro are the two larger controllers and support up to 99 devices. These don't include native RF433 support but you can easily add this using a dongle. One version of the Easylink does have native Enocean support.
In truth, the gateways aren't a huge strength for Edisio at the moment, something they agree with and already have plans to release a new controller in September (we should get our hands on this end of August). In testing they do all the things you would need them to including basic scenarios, but at the moment they lack the 'power' of a similar Z-Wave controller.
The lure of Edisio is the switches, they really are stunning. We've had our Edisio system on test for a little while and it really is simple in installation and use. Range is also very good, we even took a remote down the street to check range and we got to around 50m through walls and it still worked - much better than some systems. We have also sold a couple large systems to lead customers - they have reported back similar results. So we're confident in the technical abilities of the system as well.
At the moment Edisio is firmly focused on lighting and shutter control, however, this will change quickly over the next few months. They have new motion, temperature and door sensors shipping end of August and new wall plugs in early 2016. This will then mean the system can cover most things in the home. The controllers do what they need to now, but will be more sophisticated come the Autumn, at which point I think Edisio will be on par if not better than Z-Wave for lighting and general control.
I like Edisio a lot, not just for the look and beauty of the switches, but for the ease of use. I'm lucky as I get to test all of these things and my house has many systems running (Z-Wave, LightwaveRF and evohome), I'm planning a renovation of the lounge area and my plan is to use Edisio as it fits the bill perfectly. I'd strongly recommend looking at Edisio and, as always, if you have questions, just let me know.