GoControl Accessory Dimmer, Wiring and Other Questions

This may have been answered elsewhere bit I’m not feeling 100% clear around the subject. I already have 1 WD500z-1 GoControl dimmer installed in my house so I’m happy/comfortable with it (and my wife is too). I have several traditional 3 way switch circuits that I want to upgrade. Two of them are the can lights in my family room (split into East and West sides of the room). I’d like to install two WD500Z-1 dimmers and then, across the room a single WT00Z-1 accessory switch that will dim and brighten both (this will free up a spot in a j box for another z wave dimmer that doesn’t currently fit). Is this possible through ST? By association? Does it require a minimote or some other method of association (I’ve seen there is a DTH that can do it?).

For other 3 way switches in my house, for example, my stairs, do you simply connect the traveler wire in the 2nd box to the fixture (bypassing the 3 way setup) and then wire in the accessory switch? Or us it better to go with a GE or other dimmer that handles traveler wires?

Thanks for your wisdom!

BC

I’m sorry, I don’t understand your second paragraph. Are you talking about using the go control accessory switch with a dumb master switch? Or something else? In any case, you don’t use traveler wires with the gocontrol accessory switch.

As far as your first paragraph, there’s an FAQ on these specific models. You don’t need a minimote, you will just use the tweaker DTH. See method 4 in the FAQ (this is a clickable link)

If I understand your question correctly, you can associate one accessory switch with each of two different master switches. What happens then is if you press master A, only the light that it controls comes on. If you press master B, only the light that it controls comes on. If you press the accessory switch, both master A and master B come on. That particular model of accessory switch can control up to five other devices.

https://products.z-wavealliance.org/products/1888/assoc?noFilename=True

If you are going to do that kind of set up, it will be best if you can just make yourself ignore the accessory switch in the app as far as its status, because its status is not going to reflect the state of your lights. That is, depending on what people do with the physical switches, there might be times when accessory switch showed is off but one or both of the lights were on. So it’s doable, but is the kind of thing that will bother some people but not others.

Appreciate it JDRoberts. Just wasn’t clear from the discussion you linked (which I read last night) if controlling both A and B was possible with a single accessory switch. Now that I know it is, I’m comfortable moving forward with that solution despite the status not always being updated.

For the 2nd question, with a smart master and the GoControl accessory switch, I’m asking how to physically wire the circuit so its complete and reaches the light switch. Isn’t the traveler wire needed to make a complete circuit. Do other just bypass it, wiring it directly to wire going to the fixture in the 2nd box? Thanks again.

There are at least eight different ways to wire dumb three way switches, so it does depend on exactly how your switches are wired as to whether there’s a circuit that will need to be closed once you remove the dumb accessory to replace it with the Smart accessory.

But the go control accessory doesn’t have to be on the same circuit at all It just needs a neutral and power. Communication between the smart accessory and the smart master is by radio. You can use zwave direct association, or if you want to keep the statuses in sync, you can have the accessory talk to the hub and the hub talk to the master. :sunglasses:

Thanks. I get that. All of my uses are existing 3 way setups which will be replaced by identical smart 3 way setups. Thanks for confirming that it’s all possible.

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They won’t be identical if you are using the gocontrol devices, because those don’t use traveler wires. :sunglasses:

Identical to the end user. Not wired identically.

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Actually took the plunge and wired in a GC Dimmer and Accessory. The dimmer is wired and workimg, found with my ST hub and named. Its got 2 can lights as its load, both with Hue BR30 bulbs. When i click on or off, instead of smooth dimming or brightening, the lights blink 4 times then come on. Anyone know why?

The accessory switch is wired with the hot (neutral only) and its found in the app as a z wave device bit not a switch or dimmer. Im assuming that when i correct the wiring to give it house current and neutral and re-add it, it should be found as the right device.

Thanks all!

First things first: you should never use a dimmer switch, smart or dumb, to directly control the current to smart bulbs. Since these are two separate dimming devices they will confuse each other and you can burn out either the switch or the bulbs.

You can use a smart dimmer switch to control a smart bulb as long as the communication is all done just by radio, so that the switch does not actually control the current to the bulb. Instead, the switch will send an instruction to the hub which will then send an instruction to the bulb which will then modify the current for itself.

So you basically have two options. You can either replace the switch with one which does not attempt to control the actual current load to the bulbs or you can tie off your existing switch so that the bulbs always have current.

You should check your local code, but bot( these methods will meet code in most places in the US unless it is an attic light. You just have to be aware that if you do it this way, then if your home automation system is not working, the switch will not control the light. That’s why many people prefer the first option which leaves the original dumb switch in place for emergencies, but provides a different switch or a smart switch cover to control the bulbs when the home automation system is working.

See the following FAQ: ( The topic title is a clickable link)

Thank you again JDRoberts. As i read this I’m assuming a smart switch with no dimming would be acceptable. So I’ll swap for that model and try again.

A smart switch with no dimming that controls the current to the smart bulbs has other problems and is not recommended either.

  1. (Most important): Smart bulbs are intended to always have power. Every time the power is cut and then turned back on, there is a surge of power called “inrush current.“ it’s all right if this just happens a couple of times a year, like with a power company outage but if you are using the switches to turn the lights on and off all the time you will very significantly reduce the lifetime of the radio in the bulbs, making expensive bulbs that much more expensive. :disappointed_relieved:

  2. when the power is cut by a switch to the bulbs, then the bulbs cannot hear the next “on” command from the network. They just aren’t designed to be used that way.

Instead, either use dumb bulbs with a smart switch or use a smart switch which is specifically designed to be used with smart bulbs.

See the following:

Seems as though I’m stuck, as was the OP on the linked thread. I am required by my wife and family to have a physical switch that doesn’t rely on wifi, zwave, or zigbee so it works even when network is down. I want the abiliity (with smart bulbs) to dim or toggle each of the 2 fixtures on the circuit separately. Finally, I want to use ST/Alexa to “wake” the circuit when someone has has physically switched it off. If I’m to underatand, all 3 cannot be accomplished.

There must be hundreds or thousands of Hue bulb owners using them with existing wiring/switches without significant adverse effects? No?

No.

That’s why Phillips has introduced multiple switch devices that don’t change the current to the bulbs. Including the most recent which look just like a regular switch and don’t require batteries, but also are not wired into the mains.

They will work as long as the hue bridge is working, which does not require the Internet or Wi-Fi, it’s a local connection. (it is zigbee, but it’s zigbee to the hue bridge, not the smartthings hub, and reliability is excellent.) They will work with Alexa.

Where you run into a problem is if you are trying to mix dumb bulbs and smart bulbs and control them from the same wall switch, but most people aren’t doing that.

As always, thanks for the excellent explanation and suggestion. Ill check that out.

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JDRoberts, can i use Linear accessory dimmers exclusively with the smart lighting tlsmart app to control the Hue bulbs (no WD500Z in the circuit)? Assuming the circuit isnwored to be on all the time.

I’m sorry, I rely on text to speech and I couldn’t quite understand what you were asking.

But if you’re asking if you can just use the accessory switch and not use the master, sure, there are quite a few people who do that to control smart bulbs.

That said, I have heard of better results from using the previous generation of the accessory switch, not the Z wave plus version. But I haven’t been able to confirm that yet.

Thanks again!

Edit: I just remembered, I try and use built-in default handlers when possible. The behavior I describe is using standard built-in handlers. Using custom handlers may improve dimming performance communications to the hub.

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Do you need dimming or just on and off?

On and off will work fine, I recommend any of the new zwave plus switches. No need for accessory switches as newer zwave plus switches report status.

Not sure if any of the switches will do intermediate dim values back to the hub.

Meaning as you hold the button, no comms sent to the hub until you release the button.

Makes trying to dim lights using the switches “hard”. Hold, guess when to let go, then if too far up or down, try again.