Getting my GE Smart Switch + add-on switch installed

Hello, I’m working on installing some GE smart switches. I got a couple single switches working properly, now I am working on a three-way switch (smart plus addon), and I’m running into some trouble with neutral lines, or lack thereof.

I looked at a bunch of previous posts, and my wiring setup looks like this:

(based off of #5 here

The source goes to my light fixture, then a 2 wire (with ground) to switch #1, then a three wire (with ground) to switch #2. It doesn’t look like they pulled a neutral line in with it. Any way to easily make this work? Thanks, appreciate the help.

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Great resource here:

without a neutral no… You could do the following wire the switch without a neutral pernanetly on and put a battery operated smart switch over it and use an automation. then put a std ge switch on the one that has a neutral… I have done this is a few places.

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Like Lgkahn said, without a neutral no.

Your only options are to run another 2 wire from the source line at the light (instead of tying into the light) to either box which would effectively turn your setup into a number 1 or 9.

Alternately, if you have an outlet near either switch you could disconnect the 2 wire source at the light and instead tie into an outlet if one is near either box - again turning your setup into a 1 or 9. See Add a Light from a Receptacle, Switch First about half way down the page for more info.

The GE “Add-On” switch does NOT require a hot (120v). It requires the common and it requires a “Traveler”, but not a not. If you have a dedicated Romex from switch #1 to Switch #2, you can use the white as your common and the black as your “Traveler”. The Traveler is basically a 3V signal wire.

I have installed about 4 of these now and really like them. My only complaint is that the primary switch will update in SmartThings immediately, however the Add-on switch does not update SmartThings so you have to wait for a poll cycle in order for SmartThings to update.

I still have not done my 4-way in the bedroom and I have not yet confirmed the wiring schematic. The nice thing though is all 3 boxes have full 120v circuits for other switches, so I can also put in 3 standard switches and just use SmartThings to simulate the 3-way/4-way behavior.

The Add-on switch is not the issue. The main switch is the problem as there is no neutral going to either box, only a hot.

Just a note, this is not the case with ZigBee master GE switches. Their biggest weakness is that they don’t include fade on/off. They could if they made a new firmware version but it’s never happened.

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Thanks everyone, your replies make sense. I’ll have to look at the workaround options, or wait on doing that light until I get some time from an electrician friend. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with the 10 other switches I have on the docket!

Appreciate the help!

You can wire a relay in the ceiling fixture, like the ones made by aeotec, qubino, fibaro, etc.

I have power into the fixture in most of my circuits too. No neutrals in the switch boxes is annoying.

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Ok, I did not catch that reading your description from the first time. As @marktheknife suggested, I would put a Z-wave relay in the fixture, where you have source power. Then wire the switches in parallel with the relay, so that you now have 120vac and common at both switches and install GE switches in both boxes. The switches will not control any load. You could save a few dollars and do an add-on switch in the second box; I would personally spend the extra $5 and go full switch in both boxes.

Register all three devices in Smartthings and use the SmartLight App to trigger the lighting events.

I did this similar in my breakfast table lighting, where I put Hue lights in the fixture, but the LED bulbs did not fit in the bottom portion, so I used a Aeotec dimmer relay inside the fixture to control the two appliance bulbs that do fit. I control all the hue bulbs and the dimmer via SmartThings using my Z-wave switch as the event trigger.

Why would you do this? Once you put a micro relay in the light fixture box. The light is smart and controllable from smart things. The micro does not require smart switches on it’s switch circuit. You use standard wall switches or momentary push buttons.

My bad, I thought you questioned why I did that in my case.

As far as why I suggested what I did. I overlooked that the 120v power goes directly to the light fixture. I have never seen this in any of my 3-wire or 4-wire layouts. In this case, you are correct. Install the mini-relay in the light fixture box and use the dumb switches as the local control for the relay. Genius. I am so used to the hot power coming in at the switch, I just did not think about it that way.

That’s the right way for wiring.

You never wire switch and relay in parallel. When power is in the fixture, power line comes to switch and through it to the fixture (switched power). You wire this switched power to the relay input and relay output to the light, so that you control relay either from switch or ST and relay applies power to light.

I don’t think you all are understanding. In my case, the relay is NOT located in the box with the switch. It is located inside the chandelier.

I did understand. That’s exactly why I said how it should be done.
Maybe your definition of parallel is different than mine. That could explain the misunderstanding.

Very Possible LOL