Non-dimmable no-neutral switch for just on and off

Thanks so much for the response!

Smart bulbs work on a single bulb situation, from my point of view but for a bank of lights a switch seems to be the only way to go. Sounds like my electrician may be busy.

I bought a Leviton VRS05-1LZ Vizia RF + 5A. Doesn’t require a neutral, handles LED bulbs fine On/Off only. It is paddle down only which is annoying if all your switches are paddle up-down. Also it is outrageously expensive, nearly $80.I bought it because GE 12722’s were not available.
If you have any Intermatic HA06’s laying around they do not require neutral. You might get one for $20. They are hit and miss connecting to SmartThings. They require a 40 watt load and are really for incandescents.
So, did GE quit making the 12722 and then start making them again? I’m seeing them available all over now. For $37 probably your best bet for a non-neutral installation.
Paul

I bought a couple of GE 12722’s and cannot get them to work. It seems that they require a neutral. Someone smart out there will start selling z-wave light switches that will work without a neutral.

The GE 127xx models are the newer models, and those do require a neutral.

The GE 456xx models are the older ones that did not require a neutral, but they are officially discontinued now and are difficult to find.

Cooper still makes a Z wave switch, model RF9518, that does not require a neutral, but it is only rated to work with incandescents.

It’s not a matter of needing zwave manufacturers to get smart. They all used to make switches that didn’t require a neutral. The problem is the physics involved – – those only are guaranteed to work well with incandescents and these days most people want LEDs. So the manufacturers have mostly switched over to models that will work well with LEDs, and those require a neutral. There just isn’t a market demand anymore for the others, but Cooper does still make one if you want one.

The other alternative now is the Lutron Caseta switches. Lutron holds a number of patents on lighting devices and they can do things that nobody else can. Their switches do not require a neutral and do work with many LEDs, although not all.

The problem is that they don’t interface directly with SmartThings. They do have an IFTTT channel, so you can get indirect integration that way. The problem is that this can introduce additional lag. (At my house IFTTT lag is a pretty consistent eight seconds, but other people have much longer lag.) and you also have to buy the lutron SmartBridge in order to use the IFTTT channel so that adds to the expense.

If you go for the indirect integration, this is what happens:

One) the Lutron Caseta switches work just fine as a manual switch

  1. most people find any additional lag acceptable for timebased schedules, like “turn on the lights at seven”

  2. most people find any additional lag acceptable for lights in another zone, for example doing something inside the house that triggers the lights to go on outside.

  3. most people find any additional lag acceptable for turning off the lights like a good night routine that turns off all the lights in the house

  4. where you run into trouble is if you want the lights to come on in the same room based on activity detected on a SmartThings – controlled motion sensor. That’s when people may find themselves standing there in the dark waiting for the light come on.

So Lutron Caseta can be a very good choice when you don’t have a neutral wire at the switchbox for some use cases. But not for others.

Or you can get the Cooper switches and experiment with different bulbs and try to find a dimmable CFL or LED that will work with them. The following thread has a video that shows some of the problems you can run into and how using a different type of bulb can make a difference:

But I don’t expect to see other Z wave manufacturers introducing new switches that don’t require a neutral wire in the future. The market just isn’t there.

( and of course the other alternative is not to make the switch smart, but rather to get an in wall micro and put it someplace on the circuit where there is a neutral, typically at the ceiling fixture. This is what most people do in Europe where there is rarely a neutral at the light switch, and it works very well. It’s just a little bit more complicated in terms of the wiring. There are a number of good micros on the official compatibility list

https://www.smartthings.com/compatible-products )

I’m using Lutron Caseta switches in outlets without a neutral and they work very well. You can have direct integration with SmartThings if you are willing to root a Wink hub. I ended up buying a Wink hub on amazon warehouse (for about $30) and using the “nand glitch” method to enable root.

Out of all the switches I’ve used the Lutron Caseta switches are rock solid, no buzzing during dimming and I’ve yet to find a LED at amazon/home depot that didn’t work.

More information on the Lutron Caseta integration is here: [BETA RELEASE] Lutron support in SmartThings using custom Wink Hub software - looking for testers / the adventurous.

I wish Smartthings would offer direct isupported integration with caseta.

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If you are considering pulling out a light switch, make sure you have a voltage tester. I have a Greenlee GT-11 Voltage detector. Even if you flip the breaker and the light goes out, you will want to test for voltage in the switch box.

JD, Thanks for the info, helpful as always. I will try the Aeon in-ceiling device.
The Leviton VRS05-1LZ Vizia RF + 5A works perfectly with no neutral, turns led’s on and off. The problem is the price ($80) and the paddle-down only, that is inconsistent with all my other switches.
I really think there are enough old houses with no neutral wires for a market for a device that will dim led’s. Something with a capacitor or battery in it maybe to communicate with Z-wave.
Paul

I guess what I’m asking is there a normal paddle-up on/paddle-down off version of the Leviton VRS05-1LZ Vizia RF + 5A?

So, does the HD-WD100+ or the HS-WS100+ require a neutral? Can’t find that in their documentation.

Sorry, yes, it does. My bad.

I don’t know if this helps any, but if you use one of the in wall micros in the ceiling fixture, then you can use a push button type switch which might be more intuitive. The switch itself isn’t networked, it’s just on the same circuit as the micro.

Aeon makes one for this purpose, but it looks like that one might require that that one might require that the micro be right next to it.

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/shop/z-wave-lighting/dimmer-switches/touch-panel-1-button-for-micro-switch-white

But there are a lot of different styles that can work, many of which will work even with the micro at the fixture . Again you have to put the micro controller on the circuit as well.

Thanks JD, I’ll order the Aeon micro-controller and give it a try.
Paul

Be careful there; if I remember correctly those switches, while not Z-Wave themselves, need to be connected directly to the micro controllers to operate. There is a specific input on the controllers that those touch panels use to interface.

Good to know, thanks! My bad, then, the aeon switches would then only work if the micro was right in the lightbox.

There are other refractive switches which can work if the micro is at the fixture. My guess is those Aeon ones are different because they are capacitive.

So, I ordered the Aeon micro switch, Not the dimable one. I wired it into the ceiling fixture and used the schematic for live wire from the switch. Mostly because I could not isolate the wire coming from the switch. Screwed in the fuse and joined it to Smartthings. The wall switch worked and the app also turned the light off and on. Then the wall switch, not a dimmer switch, not momentary, an ordinary on-off switch quit working. I will check my wiring in the morning and eventually get a momentary switch. Maybe remove and include it again. It has started turning on and off randomly.
I do not have a neutral at the switch in some places in my house. I looked at the schematics for the Aeon Dimmer and it does not allow a live wire from the switch. I also am not sure I can identify the wires from the switch to the ceiling fixture. I cannot run wires because it is a flat roofed house. I could conceivably use a motion sensor to turn the light on or off. That may annoyingly turn the light on or off when I don’t want it to.
Surely someone makes a Z-wave switch that will install in a switchbox that reports to the Smartthings controller and can use an app to turn the Aeon Dimmer up or down. If not, I’m claiming copyright on that.
Paul

This should work, right? Well it does turn on, but when you turn it off with the Smartthings app the led’s strobe every few seconds. So, I tried incandescants. They turn on also and turn off briefly and then turn themselves back on. I cannot get them to stay off. I rechecked my wiring and eliminated the wallswitch from the equation. Same results. So I took a photo. The black line (live) wires are bundled in the yellow wirenut. The neutral wires and the black wire from the wallswitch are bundled in the black wirenut. The white wire from the wallswitch is capped off in the orange wirenut. The microswitch led is solid red. The light fixture is hanging below.



I would be happy to hear any suggestions, Otherwise, I’m going to assume the unit is defective. I’m hoping to exchange it for the dimmable version.
Thanks,
Paul