One physical light switch to control a separate smart switch?

(Keith) #1

I’m about to place a large and heavy aquarium in front the light switch (#1) for our dining room lights. Since that physical switch will no longer be reachable, I would like to place an Aeon micro switch (dimmable) on it. I would then like to use another physical switch (#2) in the room to trigger the Aeon micro behind the aquarium. This setup would allow us to control switch #1 via the app or switch #2 (for guests).

My question is, what type of a setup do I need in switch #2 so that when it is turned on manually, that it turns on its original outlet (has a table lamp on it) and also switch #1? Can I simply put another Aeon micro behind switch #2 and then use CoRE to make the digital connection? If it helps, neither switch #1 or #2 are a three-way setup.


I don’t know anything about the aeon micro switches, but I know you can do this with normal z-wave switches, so I don’t see why not. You just need to then make rules to have one switch control the other (much easier using CORE).

I have a similar setup with my external garage (with a small complication of trying to control two things with the extra switch).

(Keith) #3

Thanks Scott,

I figured it would be possible with CoRE. The logic should be as simple as when switch #2 turns on, turn on switch #1. I’m more curious now if that will work with the Aeon micro switches (although I’m really considering switching all of my lighting over to HUE and not having them touch ST at all) .


Here’s a simple solution that I’m using. Go to the Automation page on the ST app. Select SmartApps at the top. Then Add a SmartApp. Under the SmartThings Recommends category, you should see an app called Smart Lights. This app will enable you to configure a single switch to control multiple switches (or smart outlets).

(Keith) #5

Thanks for the tip. I am using Smart Lights for my porch lights and really like it. They have been the most stable smart things in my house and I’m sure that is because they run in local mode.


In SmartThings, any controlled device that talks to the hub can be used to trigger any other controlled device that talks to the hub. As @bholmes mentioned, the official SmartLighting feature is probably the easiest way to do this, and has the advantage of running locally if both devices are eligible to run locally.

So it can be a regular light switch, an inwall micro, or any of the devices on the buttons and remotes FAQ:

(Keith) #8

Thanks JD. I’m really looking for confirmation that manually turning on switch #2 will be read by the Micro switch on switch #2 in ST so that ST can then turn on/off Micro switch #1.

(Keith) #9

I was able to wire in the Aeon Micro Dimmer into switch #1 last night and got it paired to ST. As a standalone smart switch it is working just fine. I can turn it on/off via the ST app, I can dim the lights via the ST app, and I can turn it on/off via the physical switch.

However, when I turn it on/off from the physical switch, ST does not know that the state has changed. I think this is going to be an issue for my use case. I’ve got a Aeon Micro switch (not a dimmer) showing up either today or tomorrow that I was going to install in switch #2. But if someone uses the physical switch #2, ST is not going to know this and in turn not do anything with switch #1. Do I need to use something other than a Aeon Micro Switch at the switch #2 location to make this work for my use case?

(Ron Talley) #10

Don’t know if you have neutrals in your boxes or not but if you do, you can do what I did.

  1. Install smart switch on the box the aquarium will cover. The Aeon is ok for this as long as the physical switch stays on.
  2. Use a regular wireless battery operated smart switch and install it wherever you want.
  3. Use CoRE or Smart Lighting to sync them.

I use the Iris Smart Buttons and they work just fine for me.

(Keith) #11

Thanks for that Ron. I had thought about using an Iris button (I had an extra one laying around until one of the kids broke it), but I would really like to keep everything “stock” looking if at all possible.

I do have neutrals in my gang boxes throughout the house and I wired it up per the instructions (right side of the below image):

In daily use, I doubt anyone is going to log into the ST app to turn those lights on, so really the main (or only) control of the lights would be the physical switch #2. Not sure if that will matter for any possible options.


@RobinWinbourne or @mike_maxwell might have more to say on this topic, but you should definitely be able to get a status update at the hub when someone changes the switch for the micro manually.

There may be a parameter that needs to be set to do that, I’m not sure.

(Ron Talley) #13

If one has a neutral wire, then the Aeon micro is not the best solution for switches. With a dedicated Smart Switche, there is no “turning off” the physical switch and messing things up.

If you mean “stock” as in the look of your original house switches, then there are options for the regular switch “look” like the Zooz toggles (2 for $50 pack). Put one on both lights and then use CoRE to sync.

(Keith) #14

The look and feel of the switch is indeed what I meant by “stock”. Our problem is that we don’t have normal white switches in our house. They have all been replaced with colored rocker switches and the company that makes them does not make smart switches. That is why I’m trying to go the micro switch route. Plus, when we move I can pull the micros out and move them over to the new house without having to replace all the physical switches and face plates.

(Ron Talley) #15


Welp, I see your issue now. With the micros, your switches are bound to get out of sync. Shouldn’t be a big deal if this is a known issue going in. If the micro is off and the switch is in the on position, then flip it off then back on to turn the light back on with the physical switch.

As @JDRoberts stated, the micro will update it’s on/off status. The switch is just the controller. If the light is off, then it will read off in ST no matter the switch position and visa-versa…

(Robin) #16

Personally I would use the Fibaro Dimmer 2 modules for this.

Each dimmer module can connect to two physical switches, one controls the load, the other sends scene ID’s to the hub.

At switch position #2 you could therefore replace your single existing switch for 2-gang faceplate. Switch 1 will control your table lamp. Switch 2 can be linked to switch position #1 via two methods.

  • CoRE - there will be a slight delay

  • direct association using @zcapr17’s Zwave tweaker device handler. Instant change, bypasses hub.

(Mike Maxwell) #17

the issue with aeon micros not reporting physical state changes is due to the default factory configuration, parameter 80 needs to be changed from the default of 0, to 1 or 2, 1 is HAIL which works with ST, 2 is a mite faster than 1. With the setting at 0, the device will not report unless an explicit basic report is requested, which is what the refresh method invokes.

(Keith) #18

Except my case my make that even harder… Switch #2 is one switch (far right) of 3 in the gang.

(Keith) #19

Mike, where do I change that parameter, in the DH via the IDE?

(Keith) #20

Yeah, we don’t care if “On” of the physical is up on time and down another. So long as flipping the physical switch # changes the current On/Off state of the lights, it’s all good.


None of the official SmartThings features expose the parameters for a Z wave device. You have to do it through a device type handler.

Fortunately recently one community member has created an all purpose Z wave device type handler which just lets you get to the parameters of any Z wave device. Then after you set them the way you want to, reassign the device to the regular DTH you were using before and the parameters will stay set. :sunglasses: