Do 3 way dimmers at each end both need to be Z-Wave?


(Jim Archer) #1

I have an existing installation of an overhead light and at each end is a Leviton dimmer. These are nt Z-Wave, and they are a style I can’t recall the name of, but they look great and went in 7 years ago during a remodel. Sadly they are not available as Z-Wave.

So my question is, can I replace just one end with a Z-Wave dimmer or do both ends have to be Z-Wave?


#2

You have options here, but if you want to use a Z wave Leviton master, you have to use the auxiliary that goes with it which will also be a Z wave Leviton device.

There are some other brands where the auxiliary does not have to be a Z wave device but you still have to buy the specific auxiliary that goes with that specific master dimmer.

The reason is that there are several different ways for an auxiliary to communicate with a master and you have to get ones which are specifically matched.

There’s no situation where you can keep the existing auxiliary, though.


(Jim Archer) #3

Thanks @JDRoberts. It seems all of the devices are not particularly good looking. If they were on off I could go with micro relays hidden in the box. I’ll just suck it up :smile:


#4

Different people have different aesthetics, so it’s hard to say what is and what isn’t good looking.

Personally, I like the Cooper Aspire line a lot.

Other people prefer the Leviton, which is a very different style.

And of course as you mention, you can also go with in wall micros. They can do dimming, but you normally need a momentary button style switch for that. A number of community members use the Legrand Adorne line switches with Inwallmicros for a very high-end look (you get a choice of color plates). ( note that we are using the electronics for the LeGrand, just the faceplate)


(Jim Archer) #5

Those do look nice!

I just spent some time reading about the Aeon micro dimmer and trying to figure out if the dimmer can be controlled from the module. It seems from what I found that the device has two modes for the control input - toggle on off and momentary contact. So how does this work? If I just press it once it goes on or off, but if I hold it it changes the light level? If so, how does it know to go up or down?

If I can find attractive wall switches / buttons and use the micro dimmers then that would be excellent.

UPDATE: @JDRoberts lso these Adorne devices seem to be on/off switches, do they make a push button? I can’t locate it…


#6

Aeotec makes four or five different inwall micros. One is just on/off, one is a dimmer, one is for motor control, and then some also have energy measurements. So you just have to buy the one that is a dimmer. After that, yes, you can dim from the wall switch but to be honest I don’t remember if it’s press and hold or repeated presses. That may even be a configurable option, you’d need to look at the specs.

As far as the LeGrand, @Mike_Maxwell has done the most research on those, I think. ( The picture above is from him.) He can answer better than I can. :sunglasses:


(Jim Archer) #7

I ran across this thread, basically he hacks the on/off switch to be a push button.


(Jim Archer) #8

And just like a dimmer switch, I would need a 3 way micro dimmer at each end, is that correct?


#9

Not necessarily, because the micro might be positioned in a different place relative to the fixture.

A lot of people use the micros with physical traveler wires from the other switches.

Aeon has a couple of different wiring diagrams on their site for how to use the different models in a three-way or four-way set up. Note that the wiring is different for the different micro models so make sure you’re looking at the right one.

I’m honestly not sure if you could have dimming from the auxiliary without a second micro or not. Mike should know.

http://aeotec.com/support/1218-micro-dimmer-wiring-schematics.html


(Mike Maxwell) #10

For an N way dimmer setup using the aeon micros, only one micro dimmer is required, however the dimmers do not allow for three way switching using 120vac travelers like the aeon switches do. The trigger input is low voltage only. I wired mine up using a 120vac traveler into an SS relay, with the outputs of that relay connected to the aeon dimmer.


(Jim Archer) #11

Thanks @Mike_Maxwell so I guess, as @JDRoberts said, this might depend upon where the power and light is relative to the switches. If I have two wires running directly between the boxes with no power on them I could just wirh both switches in parallel to the control input of the micro dimmer.

Why do you use the solid state relay?


(Mike Maxwell) #12

It’s somewhat frowned upon (if not in direct violation of NEC code) to run low voltage over main wiring.
At the very lease it will confuse the heck out of some future electrician, however if you have two spare wires, then technically wiring the momentary switches in parallel, with the other end of those two going to the aeon dimmer switch input will work.

I used that specific solid state relay due to physical constraints, 120 vac coil relays tend to be quite large…
I could have used a miniature 5vdc relay with some sort of voltage limiting rectification circuit in front of it to accept 120 vac, but it was simpler just to use the SSR.


(Jim Archer) #13

Oh so the SSR is energized by 120VAC, I get it. Very clever, thanks!


(Jim Archer) #14

@Mike_Maxwell do you mind sharing what make / model SSR?


(Mike Maxwell) #15

It’s a bit of a bastard in that it’s the only one I could find of its type at the time…
Omron G3TB-IAZR02P-US

Omron 3GTB


(Jim Archer) #16

Great thanks @Mike_Maxwell !! They have a good price too, DigiKey wants $40 each. I just ordered 3 of them (minimum order $50). I wanted two but I’m sure the third will come in handy.

I didn’t think to just replace the load with an SSR in a three way application, that’s a great idea. I have two uses for that right off in on/off circuits. I still have to figure out how my dimmers are wired but this is a great start.


(Jim Archer) #17

@Mike_Maxwell have you had any need to debounce the output of the relay? I can imagine that the electrical switches are fairly dirty (from a signal standpoint) and if the relay chatters it could confuse the dimmer module?


(Jim Archer) #18

For applications where a small relay is not required, this would do nicely:


(Mike Maxwell) #19

I’ve not had to worry about that with the aeon modules, they obviously have their own built in de-bounce.
I didn’t put a scope on the output of the Omron, but suspect with it being an opto device that it’s not going to chatter anyway…


(Jim Archer) #20

@Mike_Maxwell that makes sense.

I just ordered 8 of these [Edit: the Adorne Paddle switches] on Amazon, they are only like 4 bucks each, although hard to find. No one seems to have the white, and I have not priced the face plates yet. I’ll try my hand at modifying them next week.

I was wondering, is there a way to make the locator LED come on?

Thanks!