FAQ: SmartThings-Compatible Switches that Don’t Require Neutral (US, 2019)

hello I am new to posting on smarttings forum, I have been a smart home user for several years, but I am mostly a grateful reader of the site. But recently I have been looking for some new non neutral switches do to my past intermatic switches are starting to fail. After reading many postings I started to feel like i was swimming in information, but i was coming up with little information. I was wondering if a list could be put together of non neutral switches? Makes models and if they and be used in 3 way setups?
So far all i have found is
lutron 1000w z-wave switch only works with incandescents
Lutron caseta switches with a bridge only

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The first one you listed is not a Lutron switch (they don’t use zwave), it’s a GE switch.

Here’s the current list that I am aware of. ( and always remember the first rule of home automation: the model number matters.)

(If you’re in the UK, see the following FAQ instead:

FAQ: Light switch no neutral (UK) (2019) )

1) Lutron Caseta, Integration through the Lutron SmartBridge. Several of their models do not require a neutral, and Lutron, which is an engineering company, holds patents on their method, which is why they can do things that many other companies cannot. Note that you can use their pico battery operated remote for the auxiliary in a three-way, and that can save you quite a bit of money overall. These will work with LED bulbs as well as incandescent or halogens. This is probably the most popular choice as of this writing. These will also work with HomeKit or IFTTT. They are on the official “works with smartthings“ list.

You can use either the regular smartbridge or the smartbridge pro. The pro will give you more integration options in the future, so personally that’s the model I recommend, but it will cost about $50 more than the basic model.

Get the second generation of either bridge model if you want HomeKit compatibility also. One bridge can support up to about 40 Caseta devices.

They’re sold in a lot of different bundle options, I’m linking to one that has the pro bridge, a master switch, and a pico.

image

2) GE 14299. Zwave plus. Works with incandescents or halogens, but not LEDs. (it’s a physics thing)

3) aeotec zwave plus nano dimmer. May also require a “bypass“ device if the current load is too low. This is an inwall micro. You can use it with any dumb light switch, although retractive/momentary will be more intuitive for dimming. Like the Lutron, works well with most bulb types. This is probably the second most popular choice right now, it’s just a little intimidating to people who have only worked with all in ones before.

I’m going to link to the smartest house website because they have the best product description, but you will be able to find this other places including Amazon if the smartest house is out of stock. Note that only the dimmer does not require a micro. The regular “switch“ does require a micro.

https://www.thesmartesthouse.com/products/aeotec-by-aeon-labs-z-wave-plus-nano-dimmer-zw111

IMG_5503

As with any zwave device, Make sure you get the frequency that exactly matches your hub, so don’t buy one from the US and expect it to work with the UK hub or vice a versa.

4) Fibaro Dimmer 2. Very similar to the Aeotec Except this one only works with incandescents or halogens, not LEDs. Again, only the dimmer works without a neutral, not the relay switch. And again, if you don’t meet the minimum current load you may need an additional bypass device.

5) Leviton Lumina ZSS10_G0Z no neutral zigbee Switch. these are officially compatible with smartthings, but are very difficult to purchase outside of wholesale channels. The Lumina line is intended for hotels and office buildings. Typically very expensive if you are only buying one.

This switch comes in two versions, one which requires a neutral and one which does not, so check the model number carefully. Also note that this is a switch, not a dimmer. Works with all bulb types.

Some community members who have all zigbee installations are using them. Note that with this brand it’s the relay switch which offers a no neutral option and the dimmer which requires a neutral. So read specifications carefully.

https://www.leviton.com/en/products/zss10-g0z

http://www.onestopbuy.com/leviton/ZSS10-G0Z-74011.asp?sin=ZSS10-G0Z

image

6) older GE zwave Classic switches. you may be able to find some pre-2016 GE switches which do not require a neutral, but which will only work with incandescent bulbs.

7) anything which has two way communication with IFTTT. you can use IFTTT as a “man in the middle“ integration with any switch which has an IFTTT channel. It’s just a question of how much lag and if all features are available. You can usually get pretty good integration with an on/off switch, dimmers may be trickier. But it is an option to consider and some community members are using it. You have to set the switch up with its own app and/or hub if it has one, and then just use IFTTT to trigger events in either direction. This is most popular for our EU community members who may be using lightwave RF generation 2 devices, but if you happen to find a no neutral switch and it does work with IFTTT, that’s an option.

8) Use Echo as the “Man in the Middle.” This is a new option as of the fall of 2018. Any device which can be controlled through an echo routine (not a smartthings routine) Can now be triggered from a smartthings event. Setup is a little complicated, but not too bad. Again, it’s a matter of finding a device you like, setting it up with its own app, setting up its native echo integration, And then using an echo routine to tie it in with smartthings. There are a few Bluetooth switches like Switchmate that this might work with, for example.

9) Illumra or other “Friends of Hue” zigbee green power switches.. there are now several zigbee green power switches which can work with the hue bridge. These do not require batteries, but are also not mains-powered. They harvest a tiny bit of kinetic energy when you physically press the switch (which for this reason will feel quite sticky and a bit hard to press).

No wiring, so the absence of a neutral doesn’t matter. But they can only be used to turn on devices which are connected to the Phillips hue bridge at this time. They may eventually be able to work with the smartthings hubs which support zigbee 3.0, we will just have to wait and see on that one. But if you do want a wall switch to control lights connected to a hue bridge, this is worth adding to your candidate list.

At the time of initial release, the US models from Illumra cost just under $50 and can be set up as either a 2 button switch which looks just like a conventional rocker or a four button switch which looks like 2 skinny rockers side-by-side. Comes in lots of different colors, including brown and black.

IMG_5534

10) battery-powered devices There are a couple of dozen different battery powered devices that work well with smartthings, some of which are designed to look like regular wall switches.

Some fit over an existing switch and physically move it.

Most just send an instruction to the smartthings hub which then sends an instruction to another device, typically a smart bulb but could also be a micro or another in wall switch. Prices, shapes, and protocols very. But this is a good choice for many people.

See the FAQ for the full list:

Or the following discussion thread which goes into more comparisons and other issues:

I may have missed something, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. :sunglasses:

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this was great thank you JDRoberts if you remember any others please post them I think its helpful to a lot of people including me.

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The Eaton Wiring (formerly Cooper Industries) RF9534 dimmers also can be wired without a neutral.

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Good point, just remember that like the older GE devices, they cannot be used with LEDs, even dimmable LEDs. They need a resistive load.

Cooper themselves officially renamed the device to “incandescent dimmer” to underscore this point.

http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/public/en/wiring_devices/products/lighting_controls/aspire_rf_wireless/dimmers/aspire_rf_600w_incandescent_smart_dimmer_rf9534.html

Amazon page says " * Neutral wire is required. Includes white and light almond paddles (wall plate not included)"

Yeah, I know, but that’s wrong. It’s copied from the product description for another switch. Look at the manual and the wiring diagrams: “neutral wire not required“ and there’s no neutral on the wiring diagrams. You can confirm this with Jasco support.

Most of the current generation GE Z wave switches do require a neutral, but that specific one, 12725, does not. Which is why it doesn’t work with LEDs.

The new model, 14299, is described correctly, so I have fixed the Amazon link above to go to that one.

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I see… so in fact it never turns the line fully off, just keep it so low current that nothing gets lighted?

I suddenly had regrets I bought the GE plugs rather than the switches I originally bought and returned after I found they needed the neutral I don’t have in the drywall but since i anyway use LEDs, no remorse.

Thanks JD

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I agree with JD, the Lutron Caseta switches are one of the best light switches that don’t require a neutral and and offer versatility for creating 3 way and 4 way switch configurations. The only downside is that you need the lutron caseta hub in order for them to work properly.

But lutron is a well known brand and the lutron caseta system or variations of it are often used in commercial lighting setups and they work flawlessly.

This post covers how to wire the smart switch, where to find them on amazon and their features: https://www.onehoursmarthome.com/blog/best-smart-switches-no-neutral

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I bought my Lutron Caseta switches from Amazon, use through the smarthub, and controlled aby Alexa also, works seemlesly, excepting some of the low current Led’s which need a little capacitor ballast to assist with the load, or they dont fully turn off.
Highly recommended, just wish there were two way switching without neutrals both in the US and UK

I’m not sure I understand this comment.

There are some switches without a neutral requirement for the US and there are some for the U.K. But since the zwave frequency is different in the two regions and the voltage is different, the only single device that will works in both regions are the battery free friends of hue devices. But even there the physical shapes are different so people may prefer the one intended for their region.

This thread is a US FAQ. but U.K. options include Aurora AOne, Lightwave RF, the UK versions of the Aeotec or Fibaro micro models mentioned above, the Friends of Hue batteryfree Switches, any of the battery operated devices combined with smart bulbs, or IFTTT as a “man in the middle.” (Echo routines only provide one way integration at this time.)

The following is the U.K. list of officially compatible devices.

Ok, simplifying, I dont have the US switches here in the UK, but I do in the US.
I have Broadlink in the UK, (another issue entirely)
But neither, unless i’m mistaken allow two way switching.
I am unable at last looking to find any US/UK neutral free two way smart light switches.

HTH.

Yes, it did read ok in my mind first time around, but hey, its only me in here…

Ah! You’re using “two way” as the UK term for a setup with two switches controlling one fitting, right? Again this is a US FAQ, and the term for that in the US is “three way.”

As far as that goes, I believe all of the UK options I already listed allow for multiple switches to control one light, including the micros and Lightwave RF. I’m not sure on Aurora, that’s a new Integration and
I’m not as familiar with it.

As for the US, almost all of those listed also allow it. Although Lutron recommends their battery option, the Pico, for the auxiliary position, some models can also be wired with a dumb auxiliary.

But please start a new thread for this discussion, we’re getting offtopic here. Thanks! :sunglasses:

Every days a school day, thanks for the help with the different terms.

I won’t derail any more,

Thanks

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Just to get back on topic, here’s the US guide for using the aeotec nano dimmer with multiple switches to control a single light, so you can see it can be done. :sunglasses:

https://aeotec.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/6000176583-nano-dimmer-wiring-3-way-4-way-5-way-switch-methods-

(Wiring methods do vary from model to model, so always read the instructions for the specific model you are considering.)

In your case, you would still have to purchase different models (US vs UK), but if you went with the micros both country installations would look the same in the SmartThings app, if that’s what you were going for. :us: :uk:

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Brilliant, thanks. It makes our US home decisions on hallway lighting a lot easier now.

K

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For those based in UK / Europe I found 2 x types ZIGBEE switches which do not require NEUTRAL wire and they are not dimmers , only on/off and work perfect with smarthings and or directly with phillips hue links below.

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How come nobody mentioned Inovelli’s no neutral switch?

https://inovelli.com/shop/smart-light-switches/zwave-smart-switches-gen2/z-wave-dimmer-switch-no-neutral-required-scenes-notifications/

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Because it’s a brand new device that wasn’t available when the previous posts in this thread were written. :sunglasses:

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Which DH do you use with this? Because it only shows “connected” status in smartthings app with no interaction

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