I decided to automate my living room lights. My living room light is a single light with three in wall switches.
First, it would be nice if the Z-Wave manufacturers would be clear that you need “add-on” switches for this application.
I initially purchases a Z-Wave switch with the intention of swapping out an existing switch - alas, I found this would not work - since the other two switches were standard.
I used GE Dimmer and GE Add-on switches.
Here is my configuration.
left switch was a 4-way
center switch was the power
right switch was the load
As many may already know, the center switch takes a live line and switches it. you then have two “travelers” that go between the four-way switch and the load switch to flip power from one leg to another.
So the normal configuration is a bit complicated, but fairly easy to understand.
The “add-on” switches were a head scratcher. How do you go from five wires to 2???
The key to the whole thing were several posts that stated.
- Add-On switches will NEVER carry the load
- Add-On switches will NEVER carry the line (power)
So… this means I had to do some rewiring…
Step 1. Find the line in - obviously you need power (at all times) for your connected switch to function.
So the Z-Wave dimmer switch will be wired with the line in spot.
Step 2. Find the “live” line in wire and insert it into the switch. Wire in the neutral and ground.
Now you should have two wires left. Pick one to be you “load” carrier and mark it. The other will become the “traveler”
Step 3. Find the “load” carrier wire at you light in wall switch. twist the light and the load together - it will no longer be “switched” at that outlet.
Step 4. Wire in a “Add-On” switch at the load area, use the “traveler” wire you selected, and add the neutral and ground.
Step 5. At the 4-way switch, wire both “traveler” wires together on the same terminal, add the neutral and ground.
Twist the two “load” wires together - they will no longer be “switched”
Should be done now.
In my case, the 4-way switch did not exactly have a neutral - it was simply two wires from each switch - the line switch and the load switch. But… I was lucky enough to have a spare wire in the wall - I just needed to verify if the wire actually did anything - it did not. So I connected the spare wire to a neutral in the line outlet and I was good to go.
I have photos - but hopefully this description helps someone along.