SmartThings Community

12720 Outdoor EZ Smart Switch (z-wave)

(arf77) #1

I just purchased the GE 12720 Outdoor switch and I am having a difficult time connecting it to my Smart Things network.

I have several things connected all over my house, and in the office window I have a Smartthings smart outlet, which is acting as a range extender and the outdoor switch is only 10 feet away. I cannot even get my switch into pairing mode that I’m aware of. I was hoping to use it to control our lights outside.

The instructions say to use my smart hubs instructions, but the Smarthings app doesn’t even have this particular model listed as an option, even though the box says it’s compatible, and there are several other z-wave devices in the app.,

I appreciate any help.

Thank you.

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#2

Smartthings is a multi protocol platform, which is great, but it does mean you have to pay a little more attention when it comes to repeaters. Zigbee repeats only for zigbee, zwave repeats only for Z wave. Unfortunately the SmartThings brand plug isn’t going to help at all with your outdoor device as the plug is zigbee and the outdoor device is Z wave. :disappointed_relieved:

Additionally, when you add a new zwave device, it’s really a good idea to run the zwave repair utility to make sure that your network is operating as efficiently as possible.

So the first thing is to look at your devices and see what mains powered device using zwave will be closest to your outdoor switch. Because exterior walls can be much more difficult to get signal through, ideally you would like this next device to be near a window in line of sight of the outdoor switch.

Then run a Z wave repair utility. Wait until the next day and then check to see if the outdoor switch is working better for you.

See the following FAQ for more details. Start with post 11, then go back up to the top of the thread and read down.

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#3

And here are the connection instructions from the official support database, including how to reset the device if necessary

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(arf77) #4

I really appreciate the quick response. I may get an indoor plug to connect the switch. There is a window directly next to the outdoor plug in my daughters room. I’ll plug the ZWave indoor switch there.

I did bring it inside, and I was able to connect it to smartthings, so it was most likely a range thing. I thought it said 100’ but after rereading, my brain added a Zero. Not sure how someone can realistically use an outdoor network at only 10’ considering most homes will have the extra obstacle of insulation, siding, and possible brick.

Thanks again. I’ll update once I tried the new things. It might not be until Mid December.

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#5

Range is always deceptive because the marketing materials are describing maximum range through clear and dry air, line of sight with no obstacles. Which for Z wave classic, which is what that plug is, is around 150 feet.

But in practice, indoors, most field techs will assume range of 40 to 45 ft. through typical US residential construction. There a lot of things that can reduce range, though, like adobe walls, plaster lathe walls, foil wallpaper, cement, etc.

The problem with the outer devices is that exterior walls are way harder to get signal through. They’re thicker, they often use different materials, they have insulation, it’s just difficult. So instead, we usually try to get signal either through clear glass or through the rubber weatherstripping around doors and windows rather than going straight through the exterior wall.

Quite often, if you have a in wall receptacle on an interior wall and in wall receptacle on an exterior wall of the same wall and pocket sockets in each, they can talk to each other. It’s always worth a try.

so some of this is just trial and error. You would definitely get more than 10 feet of range indoors unless it was an adobe house or something like that, it’s just that exterior wall that’s hard to get through. :confounded:

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(arf77) #6

Just to update. My inside switches arrived. I plugged them in strategic spots in the house. One of the switches is directly across from the outdoor switch with 8" of brick and ‘other’ wall.

At first it didn’t work, but afer messing around for several minutes it ended up working. So all is good.

I appreciate the help.

Thanks again. I consider this question answered and closed.

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