Leviton DW15S wiring confusion

I purchased a Leviton DW15S smart-switch for my kitchen light. It’s not clear to me how to properly wire it up. I’m uploading a photo of my existing switch. I was going to include a picture of the DW15S wiring diagram but I’m not allowed to upload more than one image since I’m a new user.

My existing switch has two black wires (hot and common?) and a red wire. It also has two white wires (neutral) connected to each other. There is a second switch on the other side of the kitchen that controls the same light. I’m wondering if that’s the reason for the red wire (load?).

I took a stab at connecting up the DW15S but it wouldn’t turn the light on (I didn’t bother trying to pair it with my router yet). Any ideas as to how I should wire up the DW15S given my configuration? Or is it even possible with the wiring I have?

If you live near a Home Depot, many of them have free one-day workshops on how to replace a light switch or maybe how to set up a three-way switch. You should take one of those. Even though they are only going to be dealing with dumb switches, you will learn how to find out what each wire does and how to use the tools. Then you will be able to start addressing the issues involved with a smart switch.

Even though light switches are simple devices this is not an area where you should just guess or go for trial and error or try to follow something on the Internet that isn’t crystal clear to you. You can literally burn down your house.

So start by increasing your own knowledge and everything after that will go much easier. :sunglasses:

Also, it’s important to note that in the US most wire colors are not mandated by law. People can and do use any color wire for pretty much anything. So you can’t go just by the wire color. You are going to have to use some tools and Map the circuits.

BTW, kudos On taking an excellent before picture of your switch. That’s a very important “best practice” and it will help you a lot. You should do this with every switch that you replace, and do it just the way you have here: take a picture so that you can see which wires go to which screws on the original switch.


Oh, and in the US, when two switches control the same light fixture that is called a “three-way“ set up. If there are three switches that control the same light fixture then that is called a “four-way.“ And so forth.

(In the UK, the terminology is different and when two switches control the same light fixture that is called a “two way” there.)

Three-way set up when you have a smart switch is different than when you have a dumb switch, which is why it can be helpful to make sure that first you understand the wiring for the dumb switch before you start changing things up. :sunglasses:

1 Like

As @JDRoberts said, you’ve got a three-way switch configuration.

I don’t know the specifics for the Leviton you have, but the Leviton z-wave switches I have require that you replace both of the dumb switches, not just one.

The instructions that came with you smart switch should include info about the companion switch you’ll need and some wiring diagrams. Three-ways are lots more complicated than you’d think with several possible ways to wire the switches and the lights they control. It’s important you figure out exactly what you have. Miswiring can damage your smart switch.

Taking the wiring class is a real good idea!