SmartThings Community

2 Fans and 6 Light Switches to Control in Groups. Advice Needed. (Mexico)


(Tim Foster) #1

We’re just had a new addition to our house with 2 fans and 6 lights. Rather than add smart devices, I want to add smart controls. The electrician has said that the fans will be on their own separate switch and all the lights on a single one (so three in total). We’re in Mexico and the electrician isn’t exactly up to speed with smart tech (it’s very new here!), so I’m looking for someone that can advise me on an installation as simple as possible. I’m limited to ordering from Amazon (or someone that will ship to Mexico), ideally if I can get the bits from Amazon.com.mx that would be best.

I’ve read a few posts on here about these and they all seem to talk about wiring issues. I’m not doing the wiring and I don’t really understand it. Basically, what I’m looking for is someone to help me with what wall sockets I need to make it work with SmartThings.

We haven’t bought the fans yet, so I can make sure that they are separate controls for the fan and the light (we don’t actually use the lights in the fans, so I’m not worried about these at all). In a perfect world, I would like a smart dimmable switch that will allow me to control the 6 lights. That way I can have normal recessed GU10 lights and control them via the app as a single unit. For the fans, I’d like to have a switch for each that controls on/off and speed. The fan is likely to have two cords (one for speed and one for light), so I’m happy having the light still controlled by the cord since we won’t use that anyway.

The bit that confuses me is whether I need z-wave or ZigBee. I really don’t want to buy another hub so something that works with SmartThings out of the box is perfect. I’m thinking I need three separate switches (2 fan and one light dimmer), but some say they need a neutral wire and some don’t mention it at all. Some specifically say I need their hub, and others don’t mention it.

I looked on the SmartThings website and it shows loads of different switches. I can see the Honeywell 3-speed fan controller. This says it will control two fans (both are in the same room so this would be ideal). Am I best buying one of these and a Honeywell dimmer for the lights? Is this all I will need? and is ZWave the right one?

Sorry if these are dumb questions.


(Tim Foster) #2

Quick update. I found the fan controller on Amazon Mexico, but it also linked to the GE version (GE Fan switch which is almost half the price of the Honeywell version. I can’t see if this is one switch per fan, or if I can have them both connected to one switch. I’m not fussed either way, just need to know whether I’ll need one or two. This is the GE dimmer that I’m looking at GE Dimmer. Is this going to do the job?


#3

Which model of the smartthings hub do you have? You should be able to use either Z wave or zigbee, But the zigbee options will require A custom device type handler. The Z wave options should typically work straight out of the box. (Also, the Z wave options should be available from Amazon. I’m not sure if the zigbee option is.)

Take a look at the following FAQ and see if it helps clear up the choices. (This is a clickable link)


#4

Also: the Honeywell zwave fan controller and the GE zwave fan controller are identical devices, Jasco model ZW4002. They just have different branding. :sunglasses:


(Tim Foster) #5

hanks JDRoberts. That’s exactly the kind of help I was looking for. I (think) have the latest version of the hub. The round one.
That FAQ is really handy. I’m going with the GE if they’re the same. It doesn’t specifically say it wil control two, but if they’re the same I should be good. Straight out of the box is exactly what I was looking for, thank you.


(Tim Foster) #6

Right. We’ve had the builders fit the GE fan controller and the GE light dimmer. SmartThings sees them, they work beautifully, even on our crappy slow internet. Very pleased indeed. So pleased in fact that I’m now thinking to replace all the switches with these rather than rely on having the right bulb in the right socket.

Now, the next question is faceplates. These switches don’t come with them. Being English, faceplates for wall switches is a bit of a novelty, but I measured them and picked up a couple in Home Depot that seemed right. They fit, sort of, but not perfectly. Slight gaps each side. Which face plates are designed to work with these? Do GE not do one? It seems a bit odd that they make something and then rely on 3rd parties to make the bit that finishes it off.


#7

GE doesn’t actually make those switches at all. They license their name to Jasco for those particular models.

Jasco does make different colored paddles for those switches:

https://www.ezzwave.com/z-wave-products/

As far as the cover plate, I believe it’s a standard “Decora” size. They are available from lots of brands, including Leviton, Eaton, Legrand, Hubbell, etc.


(Tim Foster) #8

Yes, that was what I thought, but the ones I bought are Decora and the paddle is about 1mm smaller than the hole in the plate on the width. For my wife, this is a huge deal breaker. gaps in the paddle and plate are a definite no-no when it comes to her aesthetic view of the house.

It could just be the way the builder has fitted it (Mexican builders are not known for their super neat installations) so I’ll take the whole thing out and see what the fit is like not in the wall.

Thanks again for your help.