Looking for a Zwave dimmer and a switch that don't require nuteral

(Boatsman) #1

I have done a lot of reading on this side, but would like to ask for a recommendation based on your personal experience. I need to replace 4dimmers and 6 switches, none of the gang boxes have nuteral wire present. Leviton sells two models 600w and 1,000w, also older GE dimmer models don’t require nuteral. Are there any models similar to the ones I mentioned. Leviton seems to be pricey and older GE models are hard to find. Thanks

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

I’m not an electrician, but I think these only work if there is trickle current on the circuit, which is generally only possible if it has an incandescent light bulb in the circuit.

Pretty rare to not be moving to LED bulbs, so without neutral, still not a real solution… No?

(Boatsman) #3

Thanks. I am planning to use no LED bulbs.


Cooper has a current model that doesn’t require a neutral, 5 year warranty, instant status updates, but probably pricier than the ones you already looked at:

GE has discontinued the models that didn’t need a neutral, so that’s why they’re hard to find.

Is this in the U.S.? Usually an electrician can fish up a neutral in American homes that are less than 75 years old, although not always.

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

Looked at the Cooper … $75?! I think you can find non-neutral options for ~$50 or a bit less even.

Cooper Aspire RF™ Dimmers replace regular switches or dimmers to provide local and remote ON/OFF/DIM/BRIGHT control and are compatible with incandescent lighting loads.

But, seriously, incandescent bulbs are a huge waste of electricity. I have about 6 left in my house, and two of those are 25-Watts and in lamps with dimmers, and 2 are turned on about 15 to 30 minutes each week.

I thought incandescent were illegal!

If there is an accessible point on the conduit, then … sure, but depending on your framing, many light switches are going to be pretty far out of reach. With “Dumb” switches it simply wasn’t necessary to run any extra wire … one in, one out, done.

I’m really surprised there aren’t more smart wall switches that would use some sort of long life battery and a solid-state low-draw relay…


Typically that would be a code violation because it would increase fire risk.

Inspectors and code writers are very concerned about fire inside a switch box because it can travel along the wires to distant parts of the house very rapidly. So you can have battery operated switches, but not usually a battery inside a box with hot wires.

The European alternative is to place a micro relay somewhere else on the circuit where there is a neutral to power the relay. You can do that at the light fixture in some U.S. Homes and still be to code, it just depends on the exact setup.

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #7

Yah… that’s what I was able to do in my Laundry area, though, frankly, the conduit to the light switch is only about 3 feet, so pulling a Neutral there would have been trivial. The light at that spot, however, is set to always turn on via the motion sensor (it’s a dark area), so I “never” use the manual switch … even though it works fine, of course, with the micro-relay…

(Boatsman) #8

Yes, I am in the US.

(Christian Laney) #9

I ran into this issue the other day, and I managed to find a GE dimmer at Lowes that did the trick. It’s in the “Works with Iris” section, but it’s just a zwave dimmer.

(Boatsman) #10

Thanks, I will stop by Lowe’s tomorrow.

(veni) #11

This site could be useful:


That’s probably why that same link was given 6 posts above yours. :wink: