GE Z-wave Toggle Switch suddenly cycling lights on and off rapidly

I’ve had the GE Z-wave Toggle Switch running my front outside lights for 2+ years (purchased March 2016). Tonight SmartThings sent the command to turn on the outside lights as part of the sundown routine. But instead of the lights turning on and staying, the switch’s relay starting clicking on and off. The switch was unresponsive to manual switching or to SmartThings.

I thought it could be the Hub stuck in a loop sending commands so I powered it off. No change. Then I turned off the breaker for a while. After a few minutes I tried restoring power but the switch immediately started cycling the relay again. I had to change it out with a dumb switch I (luckily) had on hand.


  • Has anyone experienced this with these switches?
  • Is this dangerous? I’m worried if I hadn’t been home. It’s holiday season and we just got home from a trip a few days ago and are heading out on one again soon. I’d hate to think this would happen while we’re away.
  • Is 2-3 years the expected lifespan of these things? That seems awfully short.

Luckily this is the only failure I’ve had so far. But I only have 2 of these switches. I literally just placed an order for a dozen more on a Black Friday sale and I’m not sure how I feel about that given this situation. It’d be helpful to know it’s not dangerous.

  1. yes. The device is toast.

  2. doubtful it’s dangerous per se. But I’d certainly not leave it on doing that. Disable it and replace as soon as you are able.

  3. I’ve had good luck with mine. But I have seen about a 5% failure rate across nearly 80 switches/dimmers/controllers and two years. Your mileage may vary.


Yes it happened with one of my switches as well. I got 10 of them same day and installed only 4. After 2 months, 1 of them starting clicking on and off rapidly and turned out it was gone. Air gapped it for that time and replaced it on my day off.
Looks like yours is also just a bad switch

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Having the air gap would be helpful. This switch was a toggle with no air gap. I just ordered a ton of newer paddle style switches. Looking forward to the air gap on these due to this scenario.

Thanks for your feedback.

Funny that I came across this thread as I had a switch do the exact same thing a few days ago.
I assumed it was toast, and ordered a replacement.

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The GE Z-wave paddle dimmer switch that controls my front porch light literally JUST exhibited the same exact symptoms that you just described!

There was a power outage an hour or 2 before, and now my front porch light keeps blinking on and off rapidly (switch is rapidly cycling on and off - you can hear the relay going on/off)

I have pulled out the air-gap for now as a breaker switch reset didn’t fix the switch’s behavior :cold_sweat::cold_sweat::cold_sweat:

I just called the GE Jasco Line (800-654-8483) and spoke to a helpful rep who is sending me a replacement with very few questions. I just had to email them a picture of the front of the switch and tell the model number (mine was ZW4005). Hopefully, I’ll get a replacements in 5-8 days, at no cost. We had a transformer on our block blow (and were without power for a few hours) about 4 days before the switch starting just flicking on and off. I have 6 other of these GE zwave paddles switches and so far, just this one is having issues (knock on wood).

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