Higher capacity zwave light switches? Or just use a relay?

I’ve had a number of GE Z-wave switches fail out in my shop & barn. Just realized that most Z-wave switches are only good for a few fluorescent fixtures. Despite being well under 15@, I have a pile of 4 bulb fluorescent fixtures on each switch. So it’s safe to assume that they are over capacity & welding the relays closed. It looks like my annoyance with poor reliability of the GE switches has been my fault not theirs.

Does anybody make a higher capacity switch that will support a large number of lights? I’ve seen some of the 40@ boxes from Aeotec & GE, but those are over $100 & quite bulky.

I built NEMA box with a normal zwave light switch controlling a 5hp air compressor via a 220v relay, status light & what not. I am guessing a similar but smaller setup may end up being the cheapest & easiest. Wiring in a relay is annoying, but well within my skill set. I’m looking at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LEUJU6/ & mounting it just outside the switch box. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079BBTBFM is cheaper, but not sure it will fit in the empty slot in the switch box. Seems like it generates a decent bit of heat as well. Any better cheaper suggestions?

If your current set up can be handled with a simple toggle switch, probably the cheapest and easiest way to get smartthings integration is to use a smart switch cover, which sits over the top of the existing toggle switch and physically moves it. I use several of these in my own home for individual switches, where I either didn’t want to change the wiring or where they were a non-standard voltage level. They work well, but they are a little bit noisy at the time they are moving. Not as loud as a garbage disposal, but loud enough to startle the cat.

Assuming you can get zigbee signal to the barn, this is just a really easy way to solve a Lighting situation where you have a standard switch but a nonstandard load.

There’s also a Z wave version available from a different company that works with rocker switches. But I don’t know if there’s an edge driver for that one yet.

Both of these are battery powered devices. So I don’t know if that’s appealing to you, but it’s definitely an easy solution. :sunglasses:

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That’s been my other ongoing battle. I’ve got my old v2 hub out in the barn as a separate site. It’s just barely out of range of my setup at the house. no matter how I fiddle with repeaters. Would love to the shop connected to the v3 hub in the house at some point. Not sure if the new 700 series modules may change that, but hope springs eternal if my budget does not. I also don’t have any other zigbee gear.

I’d prefer to avoid battery devices as that’s just another thing to maintain. Everything is all wired up & working. I just need to replace the 2 lighting switches out there (an maybe wire up some relays). As it’s a barn/shop I’m not worried about pretty, there is exposed wiring conduit & layers of dust everywhere already.

I’m usually wearing ear protection out there anyway so the noise wouldn’t be a factor.

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OK, in that case, we need more definitive specs than “a pile.“ :wink:

I understand the issue about having to change the batteries, but the nice thing about that option is it doesn’t matter what the load or the wiring is for the existing switch: all you’re doing is mechanically moving it. So if the dumb switch works, the smart switch works, as long as you can get signal to it.

But if you want something mains powered, there should be some options, we just need the exact specs.