Connected Outdoor Flood Lights?


#1

Does anyone know of any connected outdoor flood lights? I have 2 fixtures that light my backyard & each fixture has 2 bulbs. Want to replace the LED floods I have in them now with connected so I can control them when I am away from home. Looked in the search & could not find any. Want to connect them to a ST Ver2 hub.Also would like to use normal white light.
Thanks Mike


(Christopher Masiello) #2

I would say go back to the switch/plug where the fixture draws its power. You can still control it the old fashioned way, plus use automation.


(Never Trust @bamarayne) #3

Yes, I use a GE outdoor switch to control them.

I will avoid connected bulbs wherever I can. So far, I have none.


#4

GE makes outdoor BR 30s you can try. I would get them at Home Depot or Amazon so you can return them if they don’t work well. Some GE bulbs have a habit of dropping off the network a couple of times a month, which is annoying. But it’s not every bulb every time, so they may be worth trying.

I would agree that replacing the indoor switch with a smart switch and using regular dumb bulbs would probably be a better choice if the wiring for the switch has a neutral.


#5

My house was built in 2004 so I am guessing there is a neutral wire. Can anyone recommend a switch?
I have 2 standard switches in the same box, one for patio light other for floods. What I see in the Smartthings list all look to be what I call the rocker style switch.
Thanks Mike


#6

There are only two toggle style switches made that I know of. Jasco, which makes the GE branded Z wave switches, has always made them in a toggle version also. These are on the official “works with smart things list” and you can often find them pretty cheap at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Note however that because of the way network switches work, the toggle always returns to the center position after you use it. A lot of people don’t like that look. It will be very visibly different if you put it next to a regular toggle switch which locks into the on or off position.

The rocker switches do this as well, but it’s not as obvious.

Also, one caveat on the GE switches – – there is a known issue, nothing to do with smart things, where around 10 or 15% of the switches have difficulty staying connected to the network as they age, typically starting about six months after the end of the warranty. Because the device is out of warranty it’s not technically defective. And because the GE switches are often much cheaper than others, many people are willing to just replace 10 or 15% of them about two years in and they feel they still save money on the overall project. But it is something to be aware of. You can find much discussion of this in the forms.

And the new zooz switches also have a toggle style. ( they may even be made by the same manufacturer and rebranded, I’m not sure.) I don’t know if they have the same aging problem or not, they haven’t been out long enough to tell.

So those are your choices in toggle style switches. But because the toggle rests in the straight out position, it just bugs a lot of people. They may try to flip it up into the on or off position as they walk by. So that’s just something to be aware of.


#7

The following thread has more discussion of different options the different brands might have. The light switch discussion starts around post 40.


(Nathan Cook) #8

I have three outside led flood lights that I control via double tap at front and rear doors. I used the above GE toggle switch switch which works better than the standard dimmer or on off paddle switches. Also have a bunch of automation running: on when someone arrived and off after 5 minutes, on when front or back door opens, on when garage open and off after 5 minutes, on when door bell rings after sunset, on when smoke alarms or other alarms go off.


#9

If you want double tap and you are putting in new switches, I would recommend using the new homeseer devices which are specifically designed for both double and triple tap and which handle the tap processing in the switch itself.

This makes them much more reliable since the lag introduced by the smartthings cloud can throw off the tap processing if you try to do it with a different switch.

But again, those are rockers, not toggles.


(Paul Haskins) #10

FWIW - when I built a small addition to the rear a few years ago I made a point to add LED floodlights facing the rear. I had previously used x10 units on an outbuilding(non led).

When I added my ST Hub I replaced the x10 switch with a GE and a Minimote to remotely control it. I have a routine that will turn it on for all of 1 minute and then off after 1 minute. I use it for a quick glance to see what critters are in the yard. Also have a button for full on/off.

I have a camera tied into the avi port on my main TV. Added a Harmony routine that switches the TV input and turns the floodlight on as well. I can use Alexa to switch it,

Eventually I will replace my old outdated 150 watt flood on the outbuilding with 2 LED units and switch them , either with another switch or a ST relay.

It’s simple - but one of those things I use every night. Also have a multi color bulb indoors that I use as an indicator - in sync with the floodlight to show it’s on. I used to leave te x10 setup on all night at times :slight_smile:


#11

Picked up the GE switch at LOwe’s today, will wait a few days to install. I have on order one of the new Gen 2 Echo Dots & waiting to get it so I can show wife how it works.
Mike


(Jeremy) #12

I swapped out all of my outdoor lighting with LEDs (including flood lights) and swapped out the switches with GE switches. It works fantastic and I don’t have to deal with asking everyone to not flick the switches.


#13

I finally had a few minutes today & was able to install GE switch. ST found switch & connected with no problem. Able to control from my phone when not at home. Also was able to connect switch to my new Dot Gen 2 so now voice controlled.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions & this is not going to be my last switch. Now to get my wife used to automation & Alexa.

Mike


(Jeff Pollock) #14

Hi folks- just wanted to report out that for my situation the best fit was to use the Aeon Micro Switch in the base of the Flood Lights. In my case, I have two units on one circuit (two halogens per unit) and what I did is put the microswitch inline to the power leads going into the first unit on the circuit. Thus, I can have both flood units controlled by the single micro switch. Ordinarily these micro switches call for wiring from a wall switch (on/off) but since I installed them at the base of the lights (not at the switch) I went ahead and jump’d the inputs so the micro switch just always thinks the switch is “on”. Lastly, I’ll point out that in several other posts here on ST community, others have noted that these Aeon units are no good when trying to put thick gauge copper wire into to them, so I pigtailed out 18 gauge stranded wire and tied that in with the house copper lines. It was tight up in the junction/housing for the flood unit but it all went back in the box eventually. Paired right up, and now I can tie in my flood lights with my other ST events.


(eddie) #15

Recommendations for an older house without a neutral wire?


#16

You can use a Lutron switch which doesn’t require a neutral wire. There’s no direct integration with SmartThings yet (a cloud to cloud integration has been announced for later this year, but no specific time line). But both Lutron Caseta and smartthings have an IFTTT service/channel, so you can get in direct integration that way. There will usually be some additional lag. At my house it’s a pretty consistent eight seconds. So that may or may not work for you depending on the exact use case. For me it works fine for “on at sunset” or just turning on the light by voice if my dog is barking in the yard, because the few seconds lag doesn’t matter. But the lag could be annoying if you want opening the front door to turn on the porch lights.

The other alternative is just to use a smart bulb. GE has some indoor/outdoor PAR38 flood’s which work with SmartThings.

Hue bulbs are not rated for outdoor use, but some people have used them successfully in a sheltered location in temperate climates. (Don’t put them in a fully enclosed fixture like a globe as they can overheat.)

Personally, I have not had good luck with GE bulbs, so I went with Lutron switches for the ones I wanted to be able to turn on by voice and nonnetworked motion sensor triggered Mr. beams for places where I just wanted motion sensor lights and I didn’t need them integrated with anything else. Sometimes it’s just case by case as far as what you need for any one light.


(eddie) #17

Great info. When looking at the lutron switch instruction… It looks like it is requiring a neutral wire? How did you wire them? Also, if it doesn’t integrate into the ST hub… Would I need their hub?


#18

Look at the Lutron Caseta line. Most of those do not need a neutral. And I believe only the Caseta models will eventually be compatible with SmartThings.

You do need the Lutron smartbridge or smartbridge pro to use the IFTTT channel. Or you could get a Wink hub instead of the smartbridge and use the Wink IFTTT channel. But if you use the Wink you won’t be able to eventually use the official SmartThings/Lutron integration, because that one is going to require the smartbridge.

The pro model gives you more integration options for the future because it allows for telnet, so that’s just something to keep in mind. Otherwise both Lutron bridges are very similar.

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products/Pages/SingleRoomControls/CasetaWireless/Overview.aspx


#19

It looks like they may have renamed a couple of models because the Caseta line has been so popular. The models that are called “Caseta pro” will require a neutral wire, but the ones that are just called “Caseta” usually don’t. Both will work with the smartbridge and therefore both will work with both IFTTT and/or Alexa and/or HomeKit. I would expect both will work with the eventual smartthings integration since it is based on the Smartbridge, but I haven’t heard for sure.