New to Smartthings - Wiring advice/help for switches

Just picked up a Smarthings hub ver2 this week and I’m hooked. Currently, I only have ge bulbs in 2 lamps. I have them turning on at 6am (so the family doesn’t have to walk down the stairs in the dark) but can also control them with our Echo. Very cool and now I’m hooked.

So, I’m looking to integrate some zwave switches as well and have found my first challenge. I’m fairly good at wiring/technology and very good at following instructions. At any rate, Here is what I’m dealing with:

Living Room Lights (4 cans in the ceiling) that I want to put on z wave switch that is currently controlled via 3 way switch.
The wiring: Both switches have the following colors for wires - Black, Blue, Red (and a ground at both of course).

The problem: One of the switches is a shared 1 gang switch (ie, two switches but on a single gang - one is the three switch for the living room lights, the other switch is part of a 4 way for the entry way light). In this particular box, there are not neutral wires (ie, white wires that are tied off behind the switch). In the other switch, there are a bunch of white wires that are tied up behind the switch. Because of the configuration of the single gang, multi switch, I will not be able to put in a ge aux switch because I still need the other switch and it’s only single gang (and I’m assuming I don’t have a neutral per the lack of white wires in the box).

Possible solutions:

  1. put an Aeon Labs (Aeon Labs DSC18103-ZWUS) in the box with the neutral wires and everything will work (not sure if this is possible)
  2. put a ge zwave switch in the box with the neutral and wire the other 3 way switch so it is basically a 2 way switch (ie, take the 3 way out of the equation).
  3. leave the switches as they are and put in zigbee light bulbs instead. This is my least desirable but if it’s my only possibility, that’s what I’ll have to do.

Thank you in advance for any insight/help/suggestions.

You should NOT do this, I am NOT an electrician.

But I had the same situation so I purchased linear switches, the main and the aux and an aeon Minimote to associate them.

I then used the traveler wire to transfer neutral to the other box for the other linear switch.

I have done this in 2 locations in my house.

Direct association is instant in the linear switches.

I feel okay doing this because the neutral that I send over is the same neutral that would have been used anyway so the circuits should still be “balanced”

The one issue that took me a couple of minutes to realize is that the “main power” not sure what words to use, was in the box that did NOT have the native neutral, which means the main switch has to be there, and the aux in the other box, otherwise when the switch is off the other switch is not powered.

Even though you are tieing together the power in one box because one of the switches will no longer physically power the light; which end you place the main and aux switches can matter depending on how the wires were originally run.

Good luck!

the variable wiring of 3way makes me refrain from commenting on #1 and #2.

Except to say maybe you can pull a neutral from a switch or receptacle on the other side of the wall. Somebody will probably chime that sharing seperate neutrals is a remote or not-so-remote danger of overloading the neutral wiring in the event of a broken connection - True. Life is fraught with danger danger danger.

number3, regarding GE-Links, they are troublesome. I think they can work most of the time. Mine stop responding 1-5 times a month. Sometimes I try to do a explicit exclude or re-inclusion, and they “re-appear” without a complete re-installation by me, and sometimes I just ignore them and they re-appear. It’s like having house semi-automation.

Hue lights are probably better reliability but that’s almost an order of magnitude more expensive so I have no experience with them, just anecdotes.

4th possibility you could put the Aeon Labs DSC18103-ZWUS (Micro Switch) at the ceiling fixture. Then either wall switch can kill the fixture, so you may or may not want to put magnetic switch covers at the wall switches. It does make service of the Micro Switch inconvenient, but I’ve never had to touch mine in the past year, and it operates several times a day, and through power failures, no issues.

Thank you for the replies. I did end up ordering the Aeon switch, but not sure how to hook it up. I also changed my location where I want to control (Outside front lights as opposed to living room lights) but the wiring seems to be exactly the same. The problem is I’m not sure how my lights are wired. So, to combat this, I spent some time today gathering data in hopes that this will shed some light (no pun intended) on how to wire the Aeon (assuming it’s possible) or at a minimum give some clues on how my lights are wired (I’m not sure if the lights are between the switches or not as I believe this make a difference).

Here is what I’m dealing with. One 3 way switch in the garage, one in the house. Switch in the garage does have a bunch of neutral wires I can tie into, house switch does not. Both switches have the black, red and blue for colors hooked up to the switches (and grounds of course). In the house, there is only one wire drop in the gang. In the garage, there are multiple but there are also other switches involved (3 gang). One interesting note in the garage is that the red and blue wires travel up through on wire drop, but the black goes to a different wire drop.

I spent the day with my favorite son and a multi-meter to gather data in hopes that someone can help me better understand what my wiring looks like and how I would wire it to the Aeon.

From the Garage switch:
Garage and house light both down (Lights off) - black 4.1 volts, red 120 volts, blue 4.18 volts
Garage down and house up (Lights on) - black 120v, red 103.4, blue 120v
Garage and house switches up (lights off) - black 4.19v, red 4.2, blue 120v
Garage up and house down (lights on) - black 120v, red 120v, blue 54v

From the house switch:
House and garage lights both down (lights off) - black 120v, red 121v, blue 4v
House up and garage down (lights on) - black 120v, red 104v, blue 120v
House and garage both up (lights off) - black 120v, red 4.2v, blue 120v
House down and garage up (lights on) - black 120v, red 120v, blue 55v

Any help regarding above would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Thinking about this more, I think what I really need to do is take the switches off at both locations and identify where which switch has the power (based on above, I would suspect from the house). If that’s the case, then that is where I would need to hook up the aeon switch, right (which will be a problem because I have no neutral there…)?