Controlling an in-wall receptacle with an in-wall switch

(Mitch Arends) #1

I am new to home automation and need some advice from people that have been there and done that. I want to control lamps in my house from both an in-wall switch as well as through the SmartThings controller.

If I buy the following in-wall switch and the following in-wall receptacle would this scenario work?

Does it also work with the wall plugs like this one?

Capability Question: Switch Remotely Control Circulating Pump

@mjarends - Yes (see my edit below), and save yourself some $$$ and get them from Lowes. Even though the Lowes switches say “works with Iris”, they are z-wave and work perfectly with SmartThings (only the packaging is different). Only some of the devices in the Lowes Iris lineup work, like switches, dimmers, outlets, Smoke/CO2 detectors, leak detector, siren, and maybe a couple other devices.

I have my entire house set up with these switches and outlets:|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

I control several lamps like you want to do. I personally like to use the phone app for on/off control, but some in my family still like a switched outlet controlled by a wall switch. In SmartThings you’d use a SmartApp to cause one device to be triggered by another, aka switched outlet, but any device or combination of devices are possible (for the most part), including the wall plug you mention.

I have a very basic SmartApp I hacked together (could be written much better - I’m not a programmer) that turns on/off my outlet when the switch turns on/off. Super simple.

Hope that helps you out!

EDIT: Just noticed that the GE switch and plug you linked to was a dimmer, sorry about that. While I have several dimmers (from Lowes as well), I don’t use them to control an outlet or plug. It may be possible to use the dimmer switch with the plug since it’s a dimmer as well and all you’d need would be a SmartApp to keep the dim levels the same, but you can’t with the outlet. More experienced users may be able to offer better help with dimmers.

(Beckwith) #3

@mjarends - Be aware most switches require a neutral (white) wire and that only certain dimmers/switches control fluorescent and LED lights.

@jscgs350 - I was able to kludge a virtual switch by changing the device to Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor from Z-Wave Switch. I was also able to use IFTTT but not quite as reliable or timely. Do you think your SmartApp is a better solution?

(Blake Westerdahl) #4


I’ll echo JSCGS350 warning about the dimmer part. You may be able to control the on/off from the switch but almost definitely not the dimmer level. The GE/Jasco switches are notorious for not correctly or promptly reporting dimming level. This is driven by a patent issue (i.e. they don’t license it) around instant updates. The only switches that support this and could potentially be used are by Cooper and Leviton. They are also 2 or 3 times the cost of the GE/Jasco switches.

You don’t need to even write SmartApp to do this. If you look for the app “The Big Switch” it does exactly what you are looking to do. I have this setup with the regular on/off switch and outlet.


@beckwith - my app works well, but it could be written better because I’m not a programmer. I actually have 2 apps - one for On and one for Off, but like I said, I’m not a programmer and I’m sure these could be combined into 1 app. There is a slight delay (a second or so), but it’s more than acceptable for me. There is an app out there that I thought does this, but I can’t find it.

@trotsky40 - I agree. The dimmer level does take a bit of time, but it’s acceptable. I do have to say though that I’ve seen improvements recently, and my other GE stuff is practically instant in reporting status. Also, thanks for mentioning that app - going to try it out tonight!

(Im Brian) #6

I created this smart app to allow a switch to control any other light (or outlet). Additionally, it listens for redundant events (clicking “off” when a light is already “off” or “on” when a light is already “on”) to toggle the state of the other light. This way, I can use the switch to keep things in tandem - or choose to operate the lights independently via the same hardware switch.

(Jordan Thurston) #7

I’m a little confused. Why couldn’t you just use the in-wall switch to control a standard outlet? I could be wrond, but don’t they work as physical switches as well as give you the ability to use the SmartThings app or SmartApps to toggle the status? I don’t understand the need for both.

(Im Brian) #8

@jthurston422 - they do act as standard switches, but for my needs, I want to sync a number of different lights that have no hardwire connection. One example is that I have my pendulum lights above the counters in my kitchen, but I use that event to turn on the wall-outlet powered under-cabinet lighting.

(Jordan Thurston) #9

That makes sense! I was just thinking of a 1 to 1 setup. That is a really good idea though, so of course now I’m racking my brain to think if I can utilize that setup anywhere.

(Mitch Arends) #10

Thanks to everyone that responded. I actually didn’t realize that I had linked to the dimmer version. I only want to put in an on/off switch. In my case I don’t actually have physical wiring running to the sockets. I just want to add a switch to wirelessly control them. I thought this scenario was possible but haven’t seen it described by anyone yet.

One more question. I need light almond colored switches/receptacles. I have only seen the GE switches in light almond. Cooper wiring makes something that is close. Is there a brand that I am missing?