New Construction- whole house lighting plan questions

Hello community, I am a newbie here… I am doing a major renovation and I’m planning on adding a zwave switch to every overhead light and fan. I would love any feedback on the following:

What types of switches do you recommend? I am thinking if GE as it seems easy and well vetted, however I am not sure about the importance of instant status… is it a “must have” feature in your opinion?

Also, I have read a bit about “Z Wave Plus”… is my thinking correct that I should use a “plus” switch wherever possible, as it will allow for a stronger mesh network? Does this matter? If I am correct, in the GE world only an on/off switch is available for Z Wave Plus at this time.

For anyone who has done a “whole house” switch upgrade, any pro tips you’d like to share are more than welcomed… Thank you!

There’s a quick browse list in the project report section of the community – created wiki for “whole house” projects which should have some interesting topics for you. :sunglasses:

As far as Zwave plus, that’s the newest generation of Zwave, so the devices are just starting to come on the market. The GE models have been certified, but aren’t fully into the supply chain yet. Those and some other brands should all be available in the next few months.

The two biggest advantages for Z wave plus with regard to light switches are significantly longer range and much easier pairing in place. Both are very helpful for light switches, so if you can wait for those, I would.

The following post should also be helpful:

As for brands and features, you’ve probably already seen the following thread, but just in case… The light switch discussion starts around post 40.


I personally use a combination of z-wave/z-wave plus. For switches and dimmers I use GE/Jasco. In other place I use Vision in wall relays installed inside the elctrical boxe behind regular swithes. Be aware that electrical code limits number of wires inside an electrical box depending of the box volume. When using relays, you can use any switch you like from your hardware store. Also, I standardised on double relays weather I need 2 or 1. If I only need 1, I have a spare. Price difference is minuscule. I also use the same relays to control outlets for floor lamps. I use smartthings hub so most of them are z-wave. Lately I also added some Iris smart plugs that are zigbee with a z-wave repeater built in and they all coexist nicely. Once you like something, stick to it and try to have all (or almost all) the same. They look and work the same. And if you want to have spares, you minimize your inventory.
Ultimately, decision is yours. Just pay attention to compatibility, setup simplicity and device handler availability.

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I have the GE Z wave switches all through my house and even out in my garage which is probably 30 yards from my hub and going through a concrete wall. Never had a issue with my GE switches and they respond very fast to smartthings commands.

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About 80% of my house has smart switches. I like the smart dimmers, the fade on/off is a nice effect.

I used to recommend the GE Dimmers, but with the latest releases they don’t fade on if you set a level (ie 60%). Thought I wouldn’t care, but I do. I am doing automations to turn on at a lower level at night and the sudden on ruins the efffect.

I think I am going to go HomeSeer on the remaining switches. They are zWave+ and look nice.


Thank you @JDRoberts, very helpful!

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My recommendation would be to put deeper boxes in as smart switches are deeper than normal switches and it gets difficult to fit extra wire in the back of the box with smart switches.


The blue plastic ones are a good choice. If you get the ones for retrofit (so called old work) they will also align themselves to the sheetrock surface and you do not need to nail them to the studs

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