Can ZWave light up a dark basement?


Good evening, everyone. In order to turn on the lights in my basement, I must descent the dark, creepy stairs and try not to bash my ankles into a coffee table as I fumble for the pull string on the lamp. (My wife really hates this.)

Rather than run new Romex up to the top of the stairs and install a dumb switch, I would like to take advantage of my ZWave network (Indigo with a Aeotec Z-Stick S2). My thought was to pair a ZWave LED bulb with either:

a) a wall switch that could send a ZWave ON command directly to the bulb


b) a wall switch that can send an ON command to the controller, which when triggered sends an ON command to the bulb.

Option a) seems more direct, but the wall controllers I’ve seen are very expensive and have multiple buttons, which I don’t need.

I’m fine using Option b), but I still need help choosing a switch. I already installed a GE switch to control my front porch light (which Indigo turns on and off at sunrise and sunset for me), but that would not be the right choice for my basement project because there is no load. What I need is a ZWave switch with only a neutral and a line connection. Does that exist?

Thank you.

Dark Man Cave
Melrose, MA

(Dan) #3

Do you have a SmartThings hub? If so, pick up $15 GE or Cree bulb from Home Depot and a $20 PEQ motion detector from Best Buy (if they are still on sale!) very inexpensive solution to turn on the light when there is motion in the basement (or the stairwell.)

(Keith Croshaw) #4

As @ogiewon said, I put a motion detector in my basement to turn a light on for the kitties. It’s nice for us too incase I think it’s bright enough from outdoor light that comes through tiny windows but it’s not and I’m trying to figure out what is what down there.

ST really has become a basement commander for me. Other than a door most of my other ST things are in my basement and I want at least two more down there.


@ispern. @ogiewon has a good point. I have a Cree Connect bulb in my livingroom window lamp and it is activated when there is motion. You can use a basic ST rule for this light, i.e., Turn on when motion detected.

Also, you can setup GE LED light strips on your steps down to light each step.


Thank you for the suggestions, everyone. I would rather not use motion detection for this problem because if (OK when) I fall asleep watching TV, I will wake up in the dark.

Also, using ZWave would allow me to dim the bulb with a handheld remote or smartphone from the couch if want to watch a movie, etc.


The great advantage of SmartThings is that it can talk to both zigbee and zwave devices. So you can still use the SmartThings mobile app on your phone to talk to either device, or any handheld you want. :slight_smile:

Also, you can set the motion detector only to turn ON the light, then it will stay on until you do something else to turn it off.

(Keith Croshaw) #8

Yea you don’t have to do one or ther other. You can trigger the light from all three things. Motion / Fob / App.


You can also have a Minimote on the couch for the time when you fall a sleep to control things in your basement and still have the lights trigger when you walk down your steps.

(Darc Ranger) #10

I have a similar situation. I resolved it by a door switch. I open the door and the light stays on. Only down side is if the door is closed while down there. I usually keep it open, and can use my mobile or my UBI to turn the light back on.