Dimmers/Switches that don't need a common (neutral) wire? (2016)

Hi,

I have a 4 way installation and a 3 way installation that doesn’t have neutral lines. Can someone recommend a light switch (primary and slave) that supports SmartThings and doesn’t require Neutral.

I use GE ZWave elsewhere in the house and work great but can’t use it where I don’t have neutral as they have to have them in order to work.

Lutron is not a solution since it appears not working with smart things.

Thanks,
IK

Here is an option by Cooper RF9534 or RF9536 with the slave switch RF9542 or RF9542-Z

FYI: Make sure to check ALL of the 3-way switch boxes and each of the lights boxes for the location of the neutral wire. The neutral location is basically where the electrician pulled the incoming power to. This is where the primary switch must be located because it needs to remain powered up at all times for it’s zwave/zigbee radio.

That being said it seems like in your case the incoming power will be at one of your lights? So instead of replacing the wall switches you could install the Aeon Labs DSC27103-ZWUS Light Dimmer (or the energy monitoring version) up inside the light box where the neutral/hot line is located and possibly re-use the existing wall switches for local on-off override but you could still dim from ST.

I had to do this for something similar for a ceiling fan light where the power was up at the ceiling box only.

I have several old Intermatic HA20 dimmers. They don’t require neutral and work great with SmartThings. The best thing, you can use them in 3- or 4-way setup using regular dumb wall switches. Obviously, they only work with incandescent lightbulbs.

Assuming works with Smartthings. Did you use it?
Also, do you know if I buy two slaves if it should work in 4 way setup?

I haven’t personally used it because I have neutrals at my house but just do a search here in the forums and you will read on others that have successfully used it. As far as a 4-way yes (according to the device description) it is like the others where you can slave multiple units so that will easily do your 4way setup.

Although it probably wouldn’t work for the OP, Another option is to use smart bulbs and a smart switch cover. This is a “no wiring” solution.

Hi, was wondering what device handler you are using? I found that only the Cooper 9500 gives instantaneous reporting. So if I turn on the switch by hitting the button, it reports back to the hub immediately. So this is great, but the issue is, when I try to turn on the light through the Smartthings app, it doesn’t work; it won’t actually turn on.

Just an update Since the new models have come on the market: there are now at least two brands of in wall micros which Can be installed at the switch and do not require a neutral, although you may need to use an additional “bypass” Device if the load is not at least 20 W.

Both of these are Z wave devices and are available in both the US and the UK.

Check the Aeotec “nano” line or the newest Fibaro dimmer modules.

Maybe the Aeotec works, but the Fibaro doesn’t (it says it requires a neutral for a 2-way switch).

The Fibaro Dimmer 2 does not require a neutral. The switch does.

Yeah, but what good is that for a two way switch (which was the original question)?

The Dimmer 2 can pretty much function as a switch - in my experience it switches on from 0 -> 100% with no noticeable dimming and dims from 100 -> 0% over a noticeable but sub-second timeframe.

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Okay, but (again) the original question I asked here which started all this is that I have a three way switch and wanted to automate it without a ground. Putting this in at one switch won’t work, I don’t believe (because the other switch won’t work with it).

So my original question still stands – does anyone make a 3-way switch that doesn’t need a neutral? (And I know the answer is no, not now. So perhaps some day).

I think you got your answer to that: SOL

I was simply clarifying what you said in case someone else read it and was misinformed.

Someone pointed me to this thread. Thank you everyone who posted here. I found this information quite useful.

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Hi, New here. I have three HA20C switches controlled by the HA07 controller. Wondering how you connected the HA20C to the Smartthings App. Thanks in advance.

Let me just check I’ve got this right:

Two switches with 3 wires between them, no Neutral at the switch?

If so, Fibaro totally works with that.

From Vesternet:

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Is the box that’s giving you trouble a master or an aux switch? If it’s the aux, you can probably use one of the travelers for the neutral. The aux only needs one traveler and the neutral. You should already have (at least) two wires for a standard 3-way.

Just to give people the heads up, the Aeotec Nano Switch requires a 3-wire setup - whereas the Aeotec Nano Dimmer works with a 2-wire setup.

Can confirm this as I’ve installed both (bridging the neutral connector) and only the dimmer works.

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In 2017 GE added a new zwave plus model which does not require a neutral ( unlike the rest of their 2017 models, which do require a neutral).

However, it will only work with halogen or incandescent bulbs, not LEDs.

Check model numbers carefully to make sure you are getting the one you want.