Advice needed on some devices

Lutron Caseta are not zwave devices, they use their own proprietary protocol, “clearconnect,” which is in an entirely different frequency band. It doesn’t repeat for anything, it’s not a mesh network. are those the ones you have? :thinking:

Yup- good to know! The other devices I use (maybe they’re zwave) are August connect (for Yale) Amazon Echoes, and a Ring doorbell chime.

The Yale Lock might be. (But locks don’t act as repeaters so it doesn’t make any difference if it is or isn’t)

The echoes and the Ring are WiFi, not zwave. :sunglasses:

So that means that you may need some repeating devices to support whatever battery operated sensors you get.

Did you want the siren for indoors or outdoors? Battery operated or plug-in or solar?

Actually, I’m thinking the Yale is not z-wave. It has a z-wave module, but I’m not using it. I’m using the August connect instead.

So I guess I have none!!

The lock Has to have some kind of radio or it can’t communicate with the app. But it could be zwave, Zigbee, or Bluetooth, they all work with the August bridge.

I couldn’t get my August bridge to work with the z-wave module.

I had to use the supplied August Connect module to talk to the bridge/connect.

Either way- do I need other zwave devices to get the door/window sensors or outlets?

How big is your house? What’s the farthest distance from the hub that you would place a sensor?

The hub is in the basement, right in the middle of the house though. Furthest distance is probably 35’

Stick to devices on this list for the fewest issues.

Thanks. I got some Sensative strips from eBay, but they had 25% battery for ‘new’ items… I returned them.

I also have 2 metal doors, which won’t work with this.

I am looking at bulbs that do not have a hub, that I can natively use with SmartThings.

Any recommendations on bulbs with dimmers? Not Caseta/Lutron, but something that I can use with the bulb… If that makes sense.

I don’t want to remove the existing wall switch, but simply add a ‘remote’ type that mounts to the wall…

Lutron Aurora makes something like this, but it is for Zigbee 3.0 devices, which I don’t think my v3 ST hub is.

Lots of great options available for door/window sensors. A quick search of the forum will turn up lots of results.

I use Visonic MCT-340E sensors for my doors and windows and have been really happy with them. They’re really slim profile, have great range, great battery life, and can sometimes be found on sale for as little as $10/ea.

Pretty much any z-wave or zigbee smart bulb can be used natively with SmartThings. While Hue bulbs can be used with their own Hue bridge, they can also be connected directly to SmartThings (or connected to a Hue bridge and then the bridge connected to SmartThings).

I’m personally a fan of smart switches with dumb bulbs rather than the other way around for a variety of reasons, but also understand the appeal of tunable color temperature and RGB bulbs.

By “bulbs with dimmers” do you mean bulbs that can connect to physical dimmer remotes? Pretty much any smart bulb will have dimming capability, and any button/remote you can pair with SmartThings can be used to control your devices, including bulbs. In other words, if this is what you’re looking for, you can shop for bulbs and dimmers separately.

The Ikea Tradfri bulbs can be bought with dimmer remotes. They’re relatively inexpensive, reliable, and work well as repeaters for other zigbee devices (which a lot of other smart bulbs don’t). Hue bulbs have a great reputation and are popular here. I would personally stay away from some of the Sylvania Lightify bulbs, as they’ve been known to cause mesh network issues by acting as repeaters to end devices but then not forwarding messages to the hub. I have a few Sengled RGBW bulbs I’ve been happy with (they don’t perform as zigbee repeaters).

Be aware that if someone turns off the physical switch to your smart light bulb you won’t be able to turn the light back on until the physical switch gets turned back on.

I believe the current firmware for all SmartThings hubs supports Zigbee 3.0 devices. I think the only aspect missing for the older hubs is joining Zigbee 3.0 devices via QR code. I hadn’t seen the Aurora before now, looks like a promising device.

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I really like the Lutron Aurora switches, we have 4 of them now. But we are using them with a hue bridge and also with HomeKit as a parallel means of control, not directly with smartthings.

The community FAQ discusses multiple options for using smart bulbs with a smart switch:

FAQ: Looking at a good Wall Switch for my Hue Bulbs (2018 Short FAQ) ( also applies to other brands of smart bulbs)

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I ended up chatting with Sengled.

I personally like dumb bulbs w/ smart switches/dimmers, but for this application I cannot use it.

The wall box has only 2 wires. A load coming into the switch, and a line also attached to the switch.

There is also a fan on this light, so I can’t use a dimmer…

What I can do is wire nut the wires together so there is always power. The fan won’t be affected (pull chain), but the bulbs can be dimmed.

Sengled makes a wall dimmer :

Not bad for $15. 4 pack of bulbs were only $31.00.

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There are numerous other ways to solve this problem, many of which offer more functionality such as separate control of the fan and lights.

I had a similar situation and ended up getting the Hampton Bay/Wink zigbee fan controller which installs inside the fan canopy, as well as an in wall RF remote to install where the wall switch had been previously. Info on that can be found here:

This enables me to control the fan and light separately (including dimming the lights) both from the wall and from the SmartThings app and with automations. If I were to do it over again based on currently available devices and the current state of the SmartThings apps I would do it differently, but I also have more options than you because I have a neutral in the switch box.

One option would be to install a dual relay rated for fan load in the fan canopy, and a smart switch in the wall. Some switches don’t require a neutral, and also have a feature that allows the relay in the switch to be bypassed. With the switch relay bypassed, the relays in the canopy will always have power and you can set up rules to allow the switch to control them, such as single tap on top turns the lights on, single tap on bottom turns the lights off, double tap on top turns the fan on, and double tap on bottom turns the fan off. This would give you separate control of the fan and lights, but wouldn’t allow dimming of the lights.

Are you saying I can install some type of controller into the fan box in the ceiling, that can be controlled using ST?

They way I have it wired right now is that the fan box is the junction for the line.

One 12/2 wire is run from the fan box to the switch. The black is used as the line and the white is used as the load. In the box there is no ground wire either (1950s home).

I didn’t think to connect the blue/fan wire to anything, but if there is a ST device I can attach it to, that would be great.

If you’re willing to rewire, there are several options. See the community FAQ. (It says Alexa in the topic title, but it also applies if you are not using a voice assistant.)

FAQ: 2018 Ceiling Fan and Dimmer light wall mount control compatible with SmartThings and Alexa?

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Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. There are several options that can do this, two of which I’ve outlined above. In a bit more detail with added pictures:

You could do what I did, which is tie the line and load together in the switch box, essentially bypassing the switch, install the Hampton Bay/Wink controller in the canopy, and then a battery operated RF remote where the wall switch was. The controller that goes in the canopy also comes with a handheld remote. This is a more expensive option, and requires using custom device handlers that don’t work very well in the new app (they work fine in classic app though). If you don’t want to spend the money on the separate wall mounted controller you could always just put a blank cover over the switch box (and even velcro the handheld remote to the blank cover). The components look like this-
Controller and handheld remote:

Wall mounted remote:

Another option would be to install a smart dual relay (rated for the fan load) in the canopy and a smart switch at the switch box. You could use any smart switch since you could change the wiring in the fixture box to run a hot and neutral to the switch box (you don’t need to control any load with the switch, you just need to power the switch so that it can send push events to the hub). If you want dimming control of the lights you’d probably want to get two single relays instead of one dual relay (one dimming relay and one on/off relay rated for the fan load). This is because you don’t want to connect a dimming relay to a fan because if it ever gets dimmed it could damage the fan motor or even cause a fire. This is the option I would choose if I were to do it all over. There are many options for the smart relays, but they’re all very small (much smaller than the Hampton bay module) and most are z-wave:

Just to clarify: all Zooz switches require a neutral connection. The new Inovelli dimmer doesn’t require a neutral but their on/off switches need a neutral connection as well.

The Fibaro Dimmer 2 is another option that can work without a neutral wire.

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Thanks for the clarification, post above edited to reflect that. For some reason I thought there was a Zooz dimmer model that didn’t require a neutral.


Neutral is definitely needed to accommodate the 3-way solution that’s implemented in the Zooz switches to allow them to communicate with regular mechanical on/off switches in 3-way and 4-way installations.

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