GE Pluggable Light Switch - Enabling Load Sensing Step by Step

With appreciation for help from Andrew, here is a step by step method for configuring your GE Z Wave pluggable dimmer switch for load-sensing with the GE 45601 controller.

  1. You will need the 45601 controller for this method. It has an LCD and a lot of features. Please read its manual before proceeding
  2. Set the SmartThings App to Connect New Device
  3. On the GE Controller select Setup/Transfer/Receive and hit OK
  4. SmartThings should recognize a Z wave controller. Name it and you are done with this step
  5. The GE controller is now a secondary controller on your SmartThings Network.
  6. On the GE controller, select Setup/Advanced Configuration and hit OK
  7. Select Parameter 29 and hit OK
    8.You will see in the LCD, “NUM BYTES” Hit OK
  8. You will see in the LCD “CONF VAL 1”
  9. Hit the Right Arrow Key and you will see “VAL 1 = 1”
  10. Hit OK and you will see “PRESS BTN”
  11. Press the button on the lamp module, you will see “SUCCESS” if you did it right
  12. You can now turn your lamp on and off from the switch. It may take a few on and off pushes to turn the lamp on

If this doesn’t work, direct questions to me. I think that I have it right but can always recheck my instructions.


Unfortunately, it seems that the handheld controller is no longer being made, and isn’t available either through Amazon or Home Depot. It might be worth adding a button to the Dimmer Switch device type to turn load sensing on and off. I’ll have a look - the Lamp Module documentation agrees with David H’s instructions that it’s simply a matter of setting parameter 29 to “1”.

As an aside, it sure would be nice if the My Devices page had a way to send one-off commands to devices for things like this.

I agree that one off commands need to be implemented. I believe that the harder to use 45600 will enable load sensing as well and it’s available. Perhaps the 45601 will be replaced or come back in stock.

Update: The 45601 has been superseded by the 45633, different form factor but looks like the same instrument at a higher price.

guess the big difference between the old 45601 and the newer 45633 is the backlit LCD and the black case. Are there any other difference?

I haven’t looked at it in person, but I think higher price is the main difference. I wouldn’t want a controller of that type without a screen, so as long as it has a screen it should be okay. The actual steps to incorporate it into a network as a secondary controller and then use it properly to enable load sensing are crazy complicated, and 90 per cent of people won’t even consider doing something like this.

Does anyone know how to enable load sensing without buying the controller? Trying to find a simple solution for turning on the light for people other than me. :smile:

So far, I know of no way. SmartThings should be able to do this through the hub and app, but so far it hasn’t been implemented.

Hi David,

I’ve already added the remote (45601) to the hub (steps 1-5) with success. Following that, only errors.
Made a small video to show what happened:

Am I doing something wrong?
Thank You!

It won’t work with SmartThings. The 45601 is a discontinued model and requires a zwave command class that ST does not support, while ST uses a zwave command class the 45601 does not support.

much discussion of this in the forums, just search on 45601. Here’s one of the most recent:

Yes you did something wrong. The button you are supposed to press is on a z wave switch or plug. Pressing that button will configure the plug to be load sensing. You are pressing a button on the controller. This will do nothing. Let me know if this explanation makes sense. I assume you are trying to make a plug load sensing so that turning on a light connected to the plug from the light’s own switch will allow it to turn on. That’s what this maneuver is for. You are using the controller to change the configuration of a device.


Hi there. I got the 45601 to add and followed all the other instructions, receiving “success” at the end after pushing the button on the plug I want to set to load sensing…but the function of the plug never changed. It does not load sense. It’s a z-wave plug, just as demonstrated…any idea what’s wrong or how to get it to work? Thanks!

Not sure what happened. Try another plug and try the same one again. Turn the light switch multiple times. Sometimes it takes several on off presses or turns of a light switch before the light comes on. And the light will brighten gradually

45601 or its successor is easier to use as it has an LCD display

It may be easier to use, but the 45601 cannot be used as a secondary controller in a SmartThings installation unless you had previously initialized it with a zwave hub that supports replication (like Vera).

When you have a handheld remote, you are in one of three situations:

  1. the remote thinks it’s the primary controller for the network.

It can include or exclude devices to itself. It cannot include or exclude them to the SmartThing network

It can directly associate local devices to itself.

It can define scenes involving devices using its same protocol.

  1. the remote thinks it’s a secondary controller and is recognized as such by smartthings. ST usually calls this a “button controller.” The Aeon minimote can serve this role. The GE remotes can do this for Vera, but not ST.

The secondary controller can include or exclude some devices for the ST network.

It can’t define scenes that ST can use, but it can link one of its buttons to a Hello Home Action created through the regular ST mobile app.

It can also act as a local controller .(see below)

  1. it can act as a local controller. This is pretty much the way your regular TV remote works. There will be a few devices, near to the remote, that can be directly associated to it. You may be able to control dimming or some other features.

It may be able to control several devices with one button press in an association group.

It may even be able to define local scenes (local, not global) that control several devices at once with one button press.

But ST won’t have any idea what the local controller has told the devices to do, so the status will get out of synch.

And the local controller can’t trigger devices using a different protocol, or
Hello Home Actions.

So just as an example, a GE 45601 is a zwave device. It can never control a zigbee device, like a Hue bulb or a zigbee plug in. It can only act as a local zwave controller.

And if you did set it up as a primary controller, assuming it has that ability, any devices it controlled would no longer be available for ST control, because a device can only have one primary controller.


You only have to push a button on the lamp if you are trying to use the 45601 to include the device for the very first time (which won’t work with ST anyway) OR if you are trying to use the 45601 as a local controller and directly associate the lamp to the remote.

If you just want to use it as a local controller, go for it.

But the 45600 and 45601 just don’t work as secondary controllers for ST. So you can’t use them to execute hello home actions or control devices that have not been directly associated to them, or any zigbee devices.

If you use the Aeon minimote as a true secondary controller, you could do all of the above, even though the form factor isn’t as cool.

@Gasparian ,

Forget about ST for a minute. What’s the specific device you’re trying to control with the remote? Is that device known to ST? And does the remote work to just turn it on and off?

@JDRoberts first, thanks for the fast and very complete answer to my doubt.

Let me short my story here:

I have 3x Aeon Labs DSC19103-ZWUS Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Smart Energy Dimmer, 2nd Edition on my bedroom, controlling 3 different circuits and it works very well, with a small delay thought, on the smartthings hub. I can turn the lights on, off and dimmer, one by one.

I´ve bought 2x GE 45631 Z-Wave Wireless Keypad Controller to add to my Smartthings network and control the lights in my bedroom, but I´ve learned (too late) that, as it is only a secondary controller, it doesn´t work without the help a primary one, so I´ve bought the 45601 remote.

Too bad that I´ve found out (too late again) that my setup is not going to work with the Smartthing hub, so I´ve got stucked between three options:

  1. Take a big risk and buy a Vera hub, only to start and replicate my remote and make it work with Smartthings. Don´t even know if it’s going to work and it´s very expensive step just to do that.

  2. Take all my bedroom dimmers out my smartthings hub and make it only work with the GE remotes. Do you know if the DSC19103-ZWUS Aeotec Z-Wave will work well with GE Remotes?

  3. Buy a Aeon Labs Z-Wave Minimote, which will solve the problem, but won´t have the chance to fix them mounted on the wall (as my wife wanted, and because all this started. She does not like to control lights on the iPhone).

Also have other sensors and locks working on Smartthings and home theater equipment controlled by my Logitech Harmony Hub, which I´ve integrated with Smartthings as well and it´s working fine.

What is, in your opinion, the best solution?

Thanks to @DavidH for the support too.

There is another option, which is the Enerwave sc7. That’s a multi button wall switch. Some people have it working. The Aeon Minimote definitely is the easiest solution, but take a look at this discussion also. The first picture is a dashboard smartapp on a wallmount tablet. The second picture is the Enerwave.

It’s getting complicated. The 45601 will act as a secondary controller with the ST hub but I suspect that it is correct that it does not completely integrate with the ST system. The 45601 set up as a secondary controller, can change parameters of a switch and turn lights off and on manually. I wouldn’t do anything else with it without getting rid of the ST hub. If you want to program devices for multiple on and offs and scenes with the 45601, get rid of ST. I don’t know about compatibility with Aeotec devices.

You said you can turn the lights off one by one. Was that from the SmartThings app or with the 45601 remote?

The 45601 remote can, even in secondary controller mode, be paired to any or all of your switches, and turn them off and on manually. I use it to fix problems with my system, as when ST fails to turn off a light automatically.