There were a lot of vendors showing off different home automation products at CES this year. One company that has some-what quietly been producing common automation products for a while had some new nice items on display. GE has offered a range of Z-Wave based devices for a few years, but this year they were displaying a new scene and group controller that we really liked.
The GE Z-Wave Wireless Keypad Controller gives you simple control of four scenes and four groups from a very stylish wall-mount unit. It really is quite nice to look at. It’s design is simple and clean and won’t look out of place, unlike many other competing products. It also has back-lit buttons. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually pretty rare in this type of device. It’s also very helpful, because often times you’re using it to control lights or devices that you can’t see. When the keys light up while pressing them it gives you reassurance that you’ve actually completed the task you were looking to accomplish. Perhaps the thing we like the most about it is how easy it to mount. It’s incredibly thin. It’s also completely wireless. It just runs off of standard watch batteries. It can also be mounted using double-sided tape. So you can easily place it anywhere without even drilling holes in the wall. If you want to use a wall box for mounting you still can, or you can just stick it directly to the wall, wherever you want, without a wall box.
This new controller has an MSRP of $79.99, but it can be had on Amazon for under $50.