A Smart Switch that can actually be turned off?

Hey everyone,

Posting my first question so I hope this makes sense!

I currently have a SmartPower outlet with a lamp plugged into it. I’m able to turn the lamp on/off remotely and even have it setup to come on automatically when I get home. However the lamp cannot be turned on/off by the switch that’s on the lamp because at that point I can no longer control it with the app. This is a problem for my wife and kids who, right now, don’t want to open an app to turn a lamp on. So this got me wondering about other lights I want to automate, like built in ceiling lights with a dedicated switch. I know I can replace the switch with something like a GE in-wall lighting switch, but does that switch need to remain in the “on” position for me to be able to control it with my ST app?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

The GE in wall switches are “always” on. That would be your best bet:)

Also to add to the information provided by @tslagle13. While the GE is always on, it is in a low power mode. Enough power for the z-wave interface and respond to turning on or off the light.

I am not sure about how much power it uses to just wait for a command.

Just looked at the manual for the Evolve that I use and the GE Jasco Dimmers. Not seeing anything about power usage while waiting for a command. I can tell you with my current implementation that I have found my power bill going down vrs up and away. I have about 10 devices now, and I am still growing.

Buy to resolve a problem, and work on ways to implement better to reduce power usage and gain convenience.

I have the same delema and so I haven’t added this one lamp to my network specifically because my wife manually turns it on and off. Maybe this solution will work but it doesn’t look very clean.

The switch doesn’t have to be on. The rocker part of the switch acts as a momentary switch that activates the internal relay that turns on the lights and STs just activates the relay.

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My solution in a similar case was to put a power strip on the table next to the lamp, and my family is able to push the button on the WeMo outlet rather than on the lamp. Not the absolute cleanest but we already had the power strip next to the table for other devices anyway.

Thanks for the responses everyone. From this information it looks like I’ll be good to go with the GE in wall switches, being always on will help with the wife approval factor!


If you have the option, you can always run this as a wirelessly connected setup as well.

For example, I have a dead switch in bank of four switches in my house by the front door. I have no idea what it was originally meant to do… I think it might have been hooked to a gas post lamp maybe, but really no idea. When I upgraded this bank of switches I also swapped out this switch for a z-wave on/off switch that’s hooked to no load. The switch goes on and off, but it doesn’t turn anything else on or off.

Now, through the magic of SmartApps I can “connect” this switch to any other switch or thing in my house. In the winter I’ll connect it to my out door Xmas lights. When I turn on this switch it’ll turn on the module that the lights are connected to. Right now I’ve got it connected to my whole house fan so I can turn it on/off on the main level of the house without having to run upstairs.