I have an outside lantern controlled with an interior switch. I would like to run another line from the site of the outdoor lantern to another exterior light. I would then like to install in-line z-wave control switches so I can control each light separately via SmartThings. Looking to see what my best options are. Any ideas? Thanks in advance…
This is depending on how you want to control the two lights. By running the wiring of the new light from the latern. The indoor switch will cut off power to both lights.
I would install a dual relay module at the lantern fixture for controlling both lights separately and another smart switch at the indoor switch for controlling both lights together.
The most ideal way would be to run a new wire from the new light to the indoor switch but of course that’s not always possible.
This may be one of those unusual situations where a combination of connected switches and bulbs would be the easiest solution, but this depends on how many additional exterior lights you want.
If the fixtures are exposed, or you do not like the selection of connected bulbs (i.e. want something brighter), then relays in outdoor junction boxes would be the best solution. If there are more than 2 lights you will need to install individual relays behind each exterior fixture with a constant source of power to each fixture. Vision makes 1-way relays and 2-way relays that are less expensive than other alternatives.
In both cases, the interior switch should be a non-load bearing switch like the GoControl WT00Z5-1. This interior switch looks like a regular switch, but does not directly toggle power to the exterior circuit. Instead the switch programmatically controls the other lights, thereby acting like a hardwired z-wave remote. Programmatic control can either be done with direct pairing between the z-wave devices (using a minimote controller) or through SmartThings.
With this scheme, your exterior relays/bulbs will always have power and remain on the z-wave mesh network. If you cut the power to exterior light(s), then those devices would fall off of the z-wave network and must rejoin the network when they regain power. During this period of time you would be unable to control the device(s), and they may return to default settings (i.e. all on) when power is restored.
Thanks so much!