G.E. switches are way cool!

For zwave switches, I like Cooper. Very nicely engineered, has instant update status, and their RF9500 is a battery operated remote that you can add that looks just like their regular wall switches. So if you care about aesthetics but you want to mix in some battery options, that gives you some choices. Also, I admit, I like their black and silver switch plate option. But like I said, it’s a personal choice. And they are expensive.

There are many good options.

We should also say that the GE switches use physical traveler wires between the master switch and the auxiliary switch in a three-way set up. Most of the other brands don’t, they make the aux a “virtual three-way” where the auxiliary talks to the hub and the hub to the master. There are advantages to both methods. Use of the physical traveler wire makes the wiring set up a little more complicated for the GE’s in some of the non-standard methods, but it also means the auxiliaries will still work even if the Hub is unavailable.

Personally my biggest concern with the GE is reports that some fairly high percentage, certainly higher than other brands, tends to lose contact with the network about three months after the devices are out of the warranty period. The only way to fix it is to cut power to the circuit and restore. (this has nothing to do with Smartthings, you see the same complaints in forums for other controllers. ) As someone in a wheelchair, that kind of “easy fix” isn’t easy for me. This problem has now also been reported in the newer models that do require a neutral.

Pretty much every brand has its own fans. Sometimes it’s something as simple as preferring a green LED to a blue one. :sunglasses:

I actually just received my first toggle switch and haven’t installed it yet. I already converted my basement to all paddle switches. But I’m hoping I like the toggle switch so that I can replace all my other switches and not have to replace cover plates, many of which were special ordered to start with.

My first impression is that the toggle might look weird sitting next to regular switches I don’t swap out, simply because the toggle rests in the middle.

I’ve had this happen to some of my GE switches and I’ve found that they will reconnect using the “Replace Device” feature from SmartThings. It’s worked twice now with no cutting the power, just entering replace mode, then pressing the switch a couple times.

Good to know, but the failure itself concerns me. There are always trade-offs, I guess.

I’ve done some searching and find lots of photos of the GE switches installed in single plates but none where they are installed with other standard toggle switches. I’m concerned that, because they rest in the center instead of top or bottom like a standard toggle, that they will look funny with other switches. I have a couple of boxes that have 3 or 4 switches in them and, of course, that is where I want to put the GE smart switch.
Does anyone have these installed with regular toggle switches that could post a couple of photos?
Thanks!

Talking about GE switches and cool. Pranalli created an app that lets you use “double” use the master switches e.g. you can assign functionality to the “off” toggle when the switch is off (kind of like double tap)

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Double tap is one of those features that people generally find cool when they live by themselves. And often drive everybody else in the house crazy. Just sayin’… :wink:

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You mean…like HA holistically speaking :wink:

I actually just finished installing this a few minutes ago. As you can see I didn’t even put all of the plate screws back in. Yes I know the toggle switch and the dumb switches are different colors, but that is a $1 fix instead of having to replace all the matching switch and outlet plates in the room.

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Hey man, thanks for the linkage. I have a new version of “Double Duty” that is almost ready to go that will allow you to assign different “slave” switches to both the On and Off buttons. Should be up soon!

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I have the GE switches installed in a 4 switch box and the existing face plate fit them nicely. You just have to, as the instructions for the switches will tell you, break off those three little tabs on each side. I have 1 box with 4 GE zwaves and 1 box with 2 GE zwaves and 2 exiting switches, both with the stock face plate…

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Can someone who had the GE switches installed tell me if they also have the GE switches fall off the network after 3 month? I already ordered my first set and am about to pull the rip cord on the project. That said, I would really like to know what to expect.

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The GE switches typically work fine throughout the warranty period. You get an occasional bad device straight out-of-the-box, but that’s true of any brand. If you search the forums for discussion you’ll find that the problem of them losing connection to the network typically appears about three months after the end of the warranty running out, so at around 27 months for a two-year warranty switch, and around 15 months for a one-year warranty switch. At that point, since they’re out of warranty, they can’t be returned. And they aren’t considered “defective” since the warranty period Has ended.

I don’t mean to imply that this is every GE switch, or even a majority. If I had to guess I’d say maybe 10%? The point is just it happens often enough to be a known issue, regardless of the controller being used. The price on these is low enough that it may be worth it to just replace a switch that goes bad with a new one.

When falling off the network are we talking permanently or something like G.E. bulbs where they just need reinclusion?

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It’s even weirder than that. You don’t have to rejoin the switch. Usually you just have to cut power to the circuit, restore power, and the switch finds the network again. It’s the fact that this is so weird it’s made it easy to isolate to these particular models.

The fan switch does not seem to have the problem, but it’s engineered differently.

But since I’m in a wheelchair, I’m not going to be going out to the circuit box and flipping circuit breakers there if the switch loses its network connection. So it’s not worth the dollar savings to me to run that risk.

@JDRoberts, so the rocker switches are not effected by this problem as opposed to the toggle switches by GE? 3-way toggle model?

The early model rocker switches were definitely affected. Any of the ones that didn’t require a neutral.

The newer models do require a neutral, and I don’t know if that changes this issue. Clearly there’s an engineering change, so it might make it better. But we just don’t know yet.

…had I know my wife hates toggles before I started buying switches…I’d have gotten paddles. Personally I’ve always preferred toggles. It’s a slippery slope…did two dimmers in office and bedroom. Then a toggle in the garage (which might be my favorite one–on when door opens or motion, off after no motion for 15 minutes). Then two more toggles in kitchen to get a good mesh with the garage switch…

Right now, only remaining items on her wish list are a smart outlet for space heater in garage in winter (hoping to trigger based on temperature), and one or two smart outlets for Christmas lights in the house (already have one for the outdoor Christmas lights)…but the WAF has been high thus far. Might go with the gen6 AeonLabs plug-in outlet/dimmer rather than the GE ones.

For what it’s worth, the GE plug-in outlets and the receptacles have not had the same drop off problem as far as I know. So maybe it is associated to the models they didn’t need neutrals.

As far as a space heater, you can definitely trigger one off of a temperature sensor, just remember that these devices should never run unattended. The risk of fire is too high. But if you want to have one automatically turn on and off while someone is in the room, that can be a significant money savings. A lot of people use those for home offices.

It’s actually for the pipes in the garage–I’ve been considering using the insulated wrap that you can plug in to heat the pipes, that’s probably better than a space heater. I’d re-purpose it during the summer to switch on the portable AC unit we have.

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