3-way wiring with power through light fixture - am I on the right track?


(Jason T) #1

Hi - It was smooth sailing integrating GE smart switches throughout my house until I hit one room that unfortunately as the lines coming through the lights before getting back down to the switches. I’ve seen that the Fibaro dimmers can be used in this situation, but had a few questions where some help from the community would be appreciated!

  1. Does the fibaro go into the fixture switch box? In the case of the fixture being a series of recessed lights, I’m assuming I need to find the first light in the series and take it apart to access the switch box?

  2. This is currently a 3-way setup and I would like to maintain dimming ability from the switch. Should I buy a dumb 3-way paddle dimmer and use one of my existing GE add-on switches as a momentary switch in the other box? Or…should I use 2 add-on switches and connect it to the Fibaro?

  3. What’s the difference between the Fibaro dimmer and the Fibaro Dimmer 2?

Thanks - really appreciate some advice before I buy more switches before knowing how to install them :confused:


(Charlie Morris) #2

I’m not quite sure I understand the question… but I’ll answer what I think you’re asking:

  1. For the three way solution you will buy two different GE SmartThings switches. The primary switch 45607, 45609 or 45612 and the “add on switch” 45610. The primary switch is the transmitter back to the network, the add on switch will communicate back to the primary switch through the traveler wire.

  2. You will need to determine your wiring configuration, that is which of the two outlets has the “hot” wire coming in. You can see how to do this on the YouTube https://youtu.be/Xp4FWJRzHdo

  3. After you have determined which switch has the hot wire (and mark it with tape) and which switch has the load wire (and mark it with tape) the rest is pretty simple

imageIMG_3287


(Jason T) #3

Thanks for the response, however the GE switches only work when the power (line) is coming directly to the switch. I’ve successfully installed a few 3-way and 4-way configurations with the GE switches.

My issue is that I have two sets of lights (both 3 way) where the power from the panel is first going through the fixture. Similar to the diagram here: http://www.how-to-wire-it.com/images/3-way-power-at-light.jpg

In previous posts, it was mentioned that the Fibaro dimmer can be used in this situation and placed in the switchbox of the fixture receiving the power from the panel. My questions involved specifics on how to set up this configuration. Namely, which Fibaro product is most appropriate and what switches should I buy to still retain dimming functionality at the switch (as well as via z-wave - assuming both is possible). Also step by step instructions for installing the Fibaro would be helpful too.

Thanks


#4

Fibaro puts their generation numbers at the end of their model names. The Fibaro dimmer (211) was the original model. The Fibaro dimmer 2 (212) is the second generation of that same device. If you want to discuss the technical specification differences we can, but most retailers will only be carrying the newer model and that’s what most people should use now.

Here’s a three-year-old discussion from when the 212 first came out that list the various technical differences. Don’t worry about any place where someone says “it doesn’t do this yet” – – as mentioned, that discussion is three years old and all those deficiencies are corrected by now. :sunglasses:


#5

There are at least eight different ways to wire a two way setup. The one that the OP describes is more unusual, but you do see it. It’s where the hot goes into the fixture before going to the switches.

See the GE wiring FAQ:


Help with tricky 3-way switch wiring -- Fibaro Dimmer 2
(Don) #6

I have not used the fibro dimmer, I have used several other types for just the scenario your describing.

I have put all 3 of the ones I’ve installed in the light box in the overhead.

I used the 3 way switches that we’re already installed to hook to the Micro’s.

The wiring was different for each one so you’ll need to read the manual, trace your current wiring, and most likely change the wiring around to get it to function.

I think on the one dimming micro I have it will only turn on and off via the wall switch. That was fine for me.

I have not looked up the fibro your looking at as I wasn’t sure which it was.

Not alot of details but hopefully it will help you research the dimmer and be able to ask others for more detailed help.


(Jason T) #7

Thanks! So it sounds like Fibaro Dimmer 2 is the way to go

I’d like to use momentary switches to take advantage of double/triple taps and press and hold. Given that, I’m assuming one of these are the switches to buy? One looks to be 15amp while the other is 3 amp… (Note, I see that Zooz has $8 switches, but I dislike how the color doesn’t match GE switches)

or