After a few hours of research I have come to the conclusion you can’t get a z-wave switch that can interact with philips hue, even via smart things… or that my internet research skills are lacking.
What I’m after is a decora style light switch that can directly replace regular light switches in rooms that I have philips hue in. I don’t want to overlay the current switch with a plate to stop it being turned on and off, I don’t want the Philips hue remote you can walk around the house with, I just want a switch that is powered by the usual light switch wiring, that keeps the power always on and when switched sends a z-wave signal I can link to the lights.
I love my home automation, but I’m a firm believer that the less you see the better, so having the functionality of a normal light switch and it also looking like a normal light switch adds to the seamless integration and accessibility of the system.
I use motion sensors to currently turn on and off rooms as well as some routines, but I would like to spare my guests a tutorial when they come over and afford them the freedom of turning off a light switch when they leave a room.
So far I’ve considered things like ZWP in wall switch, but I get the impression that receives a z-wave command and turns off physical power to the circuit. GE also seem to have a range on amazon that behaves the same way.
The GE range do seem to have a toggle switch which sounds like it does what I want, but it is not decora style.
I live in Canada and would ideally like to find it from a retailer here to save extortionate postage, import fees and the usual delays, although I would import if there is no choice.
This is a very good question and one which is asked several times a month in the forums.
The short answer is that you just get a switch which does not connect to the fixture, usually intended as part of a “virtual three-way,” tie off the line to the fixture so that it is always powered, and use the auxiliary switch on the wall. It will look just like a regular switch but it will not turn the current on and off to the bulbs. Instead, it sends a message to the hub which then sends a message to the bulbs. The gocontrol WT00Z is very popular for this purpose.
For additional details, please see one of the two existing FAQs:
In short you will connect your switch to line power but not to load. Connect the fixture that has the hue directly to the line as well - so that they are always receiving power. You can then use the switch to send the commands to the hue to turn off or on instead of “cutting power” to the Hue.
Although I haven’t done it, you could probably use a Z-Wave switch if you find the “perfect match” - even though Hue uses Zigbee - by utilizing WebCore.
I’m using this…installs over existing switch, provides control of two Hue bulbs I have where the switch box is crazy crowded and I didn’t want to deal w/stuffing a smart switch into it. isn’t for everyone - it doesn’t blend the way an integrated smart switch would, but it’s not in a high-traffic area of my house and solved other problems, so I (and more importantly, my wife) were OK w/it.
In most places you can, but you do need to check the local jurisdiction. Just as an example, many require that an attic light have a switch within 5 feet of the doorway that will operate the light, and that has to be direct wired.
As far as which device to choose, if you choose one like the Linear wt500 which is not intended to control the load, it tends to be about 10% less expensive than the ones that actually do control the load and the wiring instructions are a little easier to follow. But if you have a master switch at the right price and you know how to wire everything, you’re correct that you end up with the same result.
I control my Hue lights in several rooms in my house with the GE switches which are Z-Wave plus. There’s no worry about the protocol as long as you have the Hue Bridge. So essentially the Z-Wave plus switch talks to ST, which talks to the Hue bridge, which talks to the lights. Response times are actually very good. And if ST is down, I just have the Alexa or the Hue app turn on the lights. Although I use WC quite a bit, for this stuff I’m using the SmartLighting app. Local processing for the win.
My main reasons were to setup lighting zones and to to make my house more guest friendly. Besides color is cool.
Personally I like the GE switches with the nuttytree DTH which allows me to use the double-tap feature.