3-way smart switches


(Wayne Cierkowski) #1

Hi all. I’m trying to do smart 3-way switches in our house but I have come to a wall. My current ceiling light has the power going into the light first then the two switch legs. So I only have 3 wires in each switch. What switches should I use, including the matching 3-way switch?

I have already tried the GE smart switch but according to what I have read my wiring setup will not work with these.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. TIA…


#2

I’m assuming based on your description, you have this.

From the FAQ
For this type of wiring you can use relays or switches by Cooper or Linear which do not require a traveler. Another new option is Lutron Caseta or Leviton’s ZSS10-G0Z switches that do not require neutrals.

See @JDRoberts informative post below for more specific information.


#3

The simplest solution is probably to use the Lutron Caseta switches. These are very well engineered and the company has a number of patents on switch design so they generally can work with more retrofit situations than other brands.

Their usual approach is to use a wired switch for the master and then one of their pico battery operated switches at each auxiliary position. The pico battery is good for 10 years and these are very reliable and quick. You can also do dimming from the auxiliary position.

There is an official SmartThings integration which will require that you also get the Lutron SmartBridge. One smartbridge can support up to 40 Lutron devices. You can get a starter kit which has the SmartBridge, a master dimmer switch, and a pico, and in that case the smart bridge is only about an extra $20.

https://www.amazon.com/LUTRON-P-BDG-PKG1W-Wireless-Lighting-Starter/dp/B00MXCRAX8

If you just want white switches, these are widely available including at Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, etc.

If you want black or almond or other colors you will have to get them from one of the specialty retailers like Westside wholesale.

https://www.westsidewholesale.com/lutron-pd-6wcl-bl.html

The Caseta line also has its own native integration with echo, Google home, HomeKit, and harmony just in case that’s of any interest. It does give you a Plan B for voice control if SmartThings is ever unavailable.

One more thing to know: If you get the bridge from the starter kit, then the Picos will always be invisible to SmartThings. They will just work to operate their associated master switch. If you want to use those for other things with SmartThings, you will have to get the smart bridge pro and do some other technical stuff. Most people don’t do that, but I did want to mention it up front because it does change which bridge you should buy.

You can get more information about the Lutron integration in the following thread:

If you want to go back to considering the GE switches, talk to the people in the following thread. They may have some additional wiring suggestions:


(Wayne Cierkowski) #4

The Lutron Caseta with Pico remote can I have multiple in one area. We have a 3-way light for our dinning room light and one for our kitchen ceiling cans. All these switches are located next to each other.


#5

If you are asking if you can put two Lutron Caseta master switches side by side in a double gang box, each controlling a different set of lights, then yes. You do need to check the specifications to be sure each can handle the desired load.

http://www.casetawireless.com/Documents/0301710a_Caseta%20Advanced%20Inst.pdf

And then you can put the pico auxiliary for each wherever you want it to be since those are battery-operated.

If you have a dual gang light box you can also mount a master Caseta switch for one branch next to a pico auxiliary for the other branch as long as you use the extra wall mount piece from Caseta for putting a pico in a switch box.

If you could post a picture of your existing switches, we could be sure we’re answering the right questions. :sunglasses:


(Wayne Cierkowski) #6

OK what we have is half of our house is the dining room and Kitchen. In the dinning room on one side of the room we have one 3 way switch for the kitchen lights, one light for the dining room chandelier, and one single switch for the outside light in our garage. On the other wall in the dining room we have the other 3-way switch for the kitchen lights, the other for the 3-way switch for the dinning room chandelier and a single light for the dining room ceiling can lights. My concern is two switches with remote switches so close together. If they are “Paired” to the master switch then I should be fine.


#7

Yes, with the Casetas each Pico can be paired to its master. See the wiring manual I already linked to above.


(Wayne Cierkowski) #8

OK great… Going to order now…