So I have the semi common problem of having some janky wiring for some lights in my house.
I have a 3 way situation that I ended up just removing the 2nd wall switch (i.e. just wire nutting the wires together as there was no neutral wire and other crazy older house crap), to make it a single pole switch with a leviton wifi switch.
My thinking is to just use a battery powered smart switch that I can link to that switch in that same spot.
Do these lutron switches fit the bill? Can I set them up with smart things to turn on the leviton switch? Therefore turn on the lights?
To be clear, no smart bulbs are in play here.
If lutron won’t work, is there a generic battery powered (non in wall wiring, but fits a standard wall panel size) that I can setup to “when pressed turn on this device”. Or more optimally a dimmer that can directly link to it.
I haven’t set up a 3-way yet, but that is high on my to-do-next list. As I understand it that’s exactly how Lutron works. Wire nut the three wires together at one end, wire in the real switch/dimmer on the other. Then use a Pico remote at the wired-together end in place of the old switch.
You can use any battery operated switch which smartthings can recognize to create a virtual three-way in that situation. There are quite a few different ones that might work. See the community FAQ. Some of the devices listed are battery powered, some are Mains powered, some are for the US, some are for the UK so read each entry carefully to make sure it matches what you are looking for.
The FAQ is only intended to have one or two posts per device, and generally will have a link to a discussion thread about the device. Please do not post any questions about individual devices in the FAQ thread. If it has a discussion thread, use that. Otherwise you can come back here and ask more questions. Thanks!
All of that said, the Lutron pico cannot be used in this manner if you are using the official Lutron/smartthings integration, because in that integration the Picos are invisible to smartthings. They can be used as the auxiliary for a Lutron master switch if that works for you. But not for a switch of any other brand.
There is an unofficial integration which can make the pico’s visible to smartthings, but it requires also having an additional device act as a “man in the middle“ server and it requires significant technical skill. So there aren’t too many people who use it, particularly when there are other battery powered switches that are directly visible to smartthings.
In particular, the Eaton Cooper aspire “any place“ Z wave switch is popular. It was intended for exactly this purpose and is visible to smartthings. ( Eaton is the company, Cooper is the division, and aspire is the model line. The switch may be sold under any of these three names. ) it’s probably the most elegant as it is very thin and looks just like a regular switch on the wall, but there are other less expensive brands as well.
I forgot to ask, do you have a smartthings hub or not? (Still getting used to the whole “hub optional“ idea. )
If you don’t have a hub, you would have to find a device that could also be visible to SmartThings without a hub. Or use IFTTT is a man in the middle. Either way, it wouldn’t be a Z wave device. But there are some Bluetooth choices.
Most of those just look like plain buttons, though, they don’t look like regular light switches. So I’m not sure if that’s acceptable for your use case or not.
I had the lutron switches already in my house with lutron hub in place. I eliminated 3 and 4 way switches using use the Pico remotes and a lutron switch. When i got my Samsung hub I added the lutron app to it and I see all my switches minus the Pico remotes which to be honest I don’t need to see anyhow since the master switch is all that’s needed. Works great with ST. Even have a ST button programmed to toggle various lights around the house as well.
So the problem with the Eaton is that it does not fit in standard switch frames. The position of this switch is in a dual switch box. Eaton requires you to use their custom frame. To bad, because this would have been perfect as the switch works perfectly.
All the other switches (batter powered) are ugly and also seem to have their own frames as well.
Yes, Lutrons fit in a standard switch space. The one caveat is if you have multiple-gang boxes, you will need to break off some of the heat sink tabs. They cover that in their instructions. I currently have one switch (so far) and it shares a 2-gang box with a dumb switch. I didn’t have to break the tabs off, but once that dumb switch gets replaced with a Lutron, the inner-facing tabs will have to go.
By “Lutrons” You specifically mean the Lutron pico battery operated device, right?
They do fit behind a standard cover plate and can be used in a multi gang set up alongside an existing dumb switch, but they do require a special piece behind the pico to hold it in place.
It is generally not safe to put a battery operated device inside a wall unless designed for that purpose because batteries can and do outgas. So most of the battery operated switches are intended to be surface mounted on the wall rather than inside the switch box. The ones which are different, like the pico, have a separate protective plate behind them.
( there are no heat sink tabs on the battery operated model, so you don’t have to worry about those.)