3 way lighting help - Zen 27

This is a circuit in my kitchen that has been causing me to lose hair faster…

Trying to hookup a zen27 to dim 5 LED recessed lights.

Box 1 has power line and 3 of the circuits for drop lights. This is the non-preferred dimmer switch since it’s in the hall outside the kitchen, but can use it if only way to do it if needed. Traveller available to box 2…

Box 2 (preferred dimmer location) has 2 of the circuits for drop lights in the kitchen. No load (of course) for this side of this circuit, however there is another line/circuit in this box running 3 island pendant lights. That I might be able to use, but there is a bunch of other stuff on this circuit…

@TheSmartestHouse has excellent technical support for customer wiring issues. Have you contacted them yet?


Indeed I have, sent a note to their email address.

Edit: Weekend project to complete, not sure of their response on weekends.

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Don’t know about email but they do respond to cases opened on their support site on weekends. My experience is that it takes a few hours to get a response.


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Good point . I logged in and Confirmed a ticket was created with my original email.


Do you want all 5 lights controlled from same dimmer? Then you need to have all 5 lights (connected to Load one the dimmer) in the same box and only after that you worry about 3-way control. Based on the manual, you need both traveler and load wires between the 2 boxes. I assume traveler is the red wire. That’s in a 3 wire cable with white and black. Where do these go? If the go to box 2, then use these for load and neutral between boxes, but only if ALL lights are on the same breaker.
Did you have 3-way control before?
Otherwise, you need 2 dimmers one in each box that will act independently and control separately each set of lights.

I tried a mechanical dimmer there in the past, and somehow had it working. This is the second time I’ve tried putting in a smart dimmer, looking at everything more closely this time.

Prior owners/contractors really didn’t make this easy on both of the areas they remodeled that I’m trying to do this with. How normally are multiple recessed lights brought into a box? I would think normally bringing 5 pairs into a box, with line pair and Traveller set would be too much.

I’m finding the same genius work on a different 4-way I was trying to do today. 2 sets of 3 wires in one box, one set in another, but my line/load box only has 3 sets, one where they extended the circuit further into the garage… Getting close to calling someone in.

Not done usually, as each box has limited number of wires allowed inside, based on box size.

That the easy (and more expensive) way out.
If you still want to do it yourself, I can try helping. But first you have to answer the questions I asked before.

Yes I do, they are all recessed lights in one room.

The traveler wires, as far as I can tell, go between box 1 and 2.

I had a manual dimmer before that worked, took it apart to try smart switches, and it’s been a mess since.

Any advice/help is much appreciated!

When sending images to our support, please have all of the switches connected to the wires, specifically showing which wires connect to common (usually black) screws since that will help us to tell what’s what in the set-up. We work on weekends but replies may be a bit slower.

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The basics are.
Box 1
Line pair (b, w)
Load pair, 3 sets (b, w)
Traveller set (b, w, r)

Box 2
Traveller set (b, w, r)
Load pair, 2 sets (b, w)

Trying to get all 5 loads on the circuit. Was originally trying to put dimmer in box 2, but per instructions needs to be on line box.

Can you describe exactly which wires were hooked to which terminals on the dumb dimmer?

This page has a large number of possible wiring diagrams for 3-way switches.


I don’t know this stuff well enough to offer advice but got curious and googled “how to connect multiple lights to one switch”

Link below talks about two methods

  1. Daisy chaining, which I think is most common, and

  2. Home run, where all load lines are brought back to the box and twisted together

Looks like you’ve got home runs.


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Agree, this scenario is a home run for the 5 lights to two separate boxes.

A totally separate 4-way I’m working on is Daisy chained…

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Will not work as 120V AC will be divided onto the 5 lights. You need them all together in the same box as load to the dimmer.

Sorry, this is a different set/switch combo. I think I’m good there.

I am still working on this. Will work with zooz on this, however I wasn’t too smart in taking it all apart without adequate pics.

In the case line and load are in seperate boxes with a 3 or 4 way, are there any smart dimmer solution available, knowing I may have to buy the appropriate additional switches to go with it?

The Zooz Zen27 will work just fine with line and load in separate boxes. Look at the “Option 2” diagrams in the instructions.

You mentioned that the box with line isn’t your preferred location. I’ll guess that’s because it’s the less convenient place to put the smart switch with its physical dimmer. I haven’t done this yet but I’m looking at using a Leviton z-wave dimmer in a couple of locations. The Leviton dimmers require a companion switch on a 3-way, can’t use the existing dumb switch. But the companion switch has a dimmer rocker so you can adjust the dimmer level from either switch. It adds a lot of cost compared to the Zooz.

I can’t comment on 4-ways, I made sure our new house didn’t have any!

Here’s the Leviton companion dimmer:


Also meant to mention that a number of folks here, including myself, have had issues with Leviton Z-wave switches and dimmers. Solution was to buy the Homeseer Z-flash utility, buy a Z-wave USB stick, and update the Leviton devices’ firmware. So more cost.

Okay, for those interested… woke up in the middle of the night after tossing and turning about it and put everything back together (original) and it’s working. Moral of story, take better start pics.

Box 1 - 3 switches, 3 circuits
Switch 1 - attempted 3 way light

  • line (b/w)
  • Traveller (r/b/w)
  • 2 pair (b/w) to extend the circuit

Switch 2 - 2 sets of travellers (b, w, r)
Switch 3 - 1 set of travellers (b, w, r)

Box 2

  • Traveller (b/w/r)
  • 2 seperate load pairs Daisy chained for the 5 recessed lights (this is what was stumping me)

Needless to say, box 1 s a crowded box. Plastic box and the grounds were in the box, but not connected to the switches prob due to box size. This is where the smart dimmer will need to go, and don’t think it would fit without major adjustment to all 7 sets/pairs of wiring. Hard to change out the box since it sits on one side of a double wall. Original electrician must have been mad setting this up, why wouldn’t the foyer chandalier and master bathroom fan be on the same circuit?

To continue the journey… I started messing around with a 4 way WHILE working in the above 3 way. I gave up on this one. This seperate 4 way has been a pain, still don’t have it back to original, which wasn’t working good as it was.
Box 1

  • line (b/w)
  • Traveller (b/w/r)
  • circuit (b/w) - for other switches/outlets

Box 2
2 sets of travellers (b/w/r)

Box 3
One set of travellers (b/w/r)

I’m stumped. Again more pre-pics needed, but this 4 way has never worked right. One set of the travellers in box 2 must be hidden pigtails and used for load? I kept thinking the 2nd b/w pair in box 1 was load, but the rest of my circuit kept dying while messing with it. Since a heavy load is in that circuit (garage fridge), I want to run another circuit to the garage, thus an electrician is needed anyway for this, and can help me clean up/fix the other stuff. MN trades are unfortunately $$.