I have some light switches that are in a really bad location. I want to replace them with ZWave switches, then install switches elsewhere and have them trigger the lights. I figure there are a bunch of ways to do that.
I will have them in a three gang box with a working switch but they will not have a load. Will they work with just the line and common?
Is anyone else doing this? Is there a better alternative? I think this will be easier than hard wiring a three way switch to another room.
If you are in North America,There are models sold specifically for this purpose: one master switch, which you put where you have load, line in, and neutral, and an auxiliary switch which doesn’t use the load. In a SmartThings set up, pressing on the auxiliary sends a message to the hub which sends a message to the master. It’s also possible to have the auxiliary send a message directly to the master, but then he can get out of sync with the SmartThings mobile app.
Some people just use the auxiliary, no master at all, to control smart bulbs.
The most popular for this purpose is probably the linear/Gocontrol WT00Z for the auxiliary, paired with a matching master. But again, because it sends its message to the hub, you can use it with anything that smartthings can control.
Eaton Cooper also has a similar device.
Alternatively, some people just take an zwave master switch and tie off the line and the load so that the load doesn’t go through the switch and the power stays always on. That could work well for smart lightbulbs. But it doesn’t sound like that matches your particular use case.
Another option is to use a battery operated switch, which you can put literally anywhere. This works the same way as the virtual three-way: the battery operated switch send a message to the hub which then sent a message to the master switch. There are a number of these for both North America and Europe. See the following FAQ. (This is a clickable link) some of the entries are battery powered, some are mains powered, and the region frequency should be listed at the beginning of the post. So read each description carefully. . Form factors also very a lot, but some look just like Wall switches.
You Should always check with your local township, but in the US it’s usually to code with the exception of the attic, where in many places there has to be one working switch within 6 feet of the entrance. It’s a weird requirement, I’ve always thought it was probably added by some inspector who is afraid of bats or something. But other than that, in most places all your lighting can be on home automation if you want, so always powered on isn’t normally an issue for lighting. @navat604 or one of the other electricians in the community can probably say more.
When you say “tie off the line and the load” do you mean wire nut them together? Basically I am trying to accomplish this with a GE12724 Dimmer Switch. I currently have the lights always powered on by taking the load off the switch and tying it to the load. So currently the switch has nothing going to the load terminal, and it’s no longer working.
Do some switches require a load to work at all?
Could I put a jumper from the line to the load on the switch or is that going to cause a problem?
That will absolutely cause a problem. Google minimum load capacitor and see various posts on forums. I assume that the GE dimmer expects a load and you may need to trick the dimmer into thinking it has a load. Lutron makes a MLC for their dimmers to prevent flickering of low load LEDs and maybe this will work for your situation. Otherwise change dimmer to on/off switch which I know does work without a load.
I have a bunch of the GE 12724 dimmers because I bought them for my new construction build, so I was hoping to use them without having to buy something new, but it’s good to know that worst case scenario, I can just switch it out for a regular on/off switch.
I think what I’m trying to do is similar… I did it in our old house with UPB. But the new house I went with ST. I have two lights outside (L1 & L2), I have two different light switches on different walls (S1 & S2). I’d like to use S1 to turn L1 & L2 on/off…AND I’d like to repurpose S2 to turn on / off DIFFERENT lights, L3, and no longer control L2. Possible? I know I was able to do that with Simply Automated UPB… I currently have the Samsung SmartThings hub v3 and Leviton Zwave dimmers. Can I do this with what I have or do I need a different switch?
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