Other Switches that Don't Require Neutral


(Morgan) #1

I’ve read through the posts, and I’ve actual bought and install the GE dimmer switch and it works great. The usage for the family is not good, and they don’t like using the dimmer switch.

Is there any other light switches I can install that do NOT require a neutral. I’m adding in a neutral wire to several of my switches, but there are a few that are going to be too expensive to put in a neutral wire on it.

Morgan


GE 12727 for Ceiling Fan Switch with Ceiling Fan Light on Seperate Switch
Help installing switch GE on/off
(Gray) #2

How is usage different from a regular switch for non-dimmer use? Click the top to turn on, click the bottom to turn off.

Homeseer claims that some switches from Cooper and Leviton don’t require a neutral. I’m not sure if that means they don’t need a neutral in certain applications or what, but see their chart here:

http://store.homeseer.com/store/HomeSeer-Z-Wave-OnOff-Wall-Switch-Comparison-W7.aspx

Those switches are, of course, quite a bit more expensive than the Jasco switches.


(Morgan) #3

The usage pattern is very different, the click top and bottom are the same but since they don’t respond instantaneous like a normal switch, they are held on or off. The lights then dim up very light, and get left that.

It is different use case, than a normal switch and every after explaining how it will work it is not getting warm receptions with everyone at home.

I’m willing to pay for a more expensive switch in a few places for the experience to be seamless from older switches.
I’ve looked at that link before that you provider, and it is very helpful. But, does anyone have experience with some of the other switches?

I would try either the Cooper RF9518 Z-Wave Control Switch or the Leviton VRS05-1LZ Z-Wave 5-amp Switch if someone has had experience with them, and they have worked.


(Ken Ramey) #4

I had a similar experience over the weekend. I turned off power in my living room, pulled the cover plate off an old switch that I intended to replace with one of the Jasco On/Off switches and compared its wiring to the Jasco’s wiring diagram. What a mess! My existing switch had a black wire connected to its top terminal and then going over to another switch’s top terminal. The bottom terminal had a black wire that, after cleaning off, I could see had a red stripe on it. That was it. The Jasco diagram calls for a black “Hot” line, a black “load” line, a white neutral wire and a green ground wire.

Does anyone have any suggestions how to replace the old switch with the Jasco switch?

Thanks.

Ken


(Huntb) #5

@thrash99er you can use these with your existing wall switches: http://www.amazon.com/Aeotec-SC19103-ZWUS-Z-Wave-Energy-Illuminator/dp/B008VW8NYE/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

Edit: for some reason the clickable link wasn’t showing up

Edit: never mind. I missed the part about not having a neutral


(Ken Ramey) #6

The description says that it requires a 3-wire installation, with neutral. How do I provide neutral from my current setup?

Thanks.

Ken


(Gray) #7

@kenramey: You’re not going to be able to install the Jasco switches without a neutral. I have the same problem, since my house has lots of lights with wiring installed when it was built in 1939.

The basic issue is that to run the Z-wave radio all the time, there either needs to be a neutral or the possibility of running just a small amount of current through the circuit, like with the dimmer switches. I’m not sure how the other non-dimmer switches in that chart I linked to above get around this issue, though you might have luck with them. They just appear to be quite a bit more expensive than the Jasco switches.


(Ken Ramey) #8

Thanks, Gray. I took a look at the installation instructions for the two switches that the chart said did NOT need neutrals. Both of them showed a neutral line in the wiring diagrams. There were no “alternative” wiring plans that did not use neutral. Not sure what the “No Neutral Needed” tag means.


(Gray) #9

@kenramey: The vizia rf+ instructions show it not needing a neutral in a single pole operation, but needing a neutral if you want to set up a 3-way circuit. I’m not sure if that really works in practice, but you might want to check that one out.


(Ken Ramey) #10

You’re right. I missed that.

Thanks.


(Morgan) #11

Ken if you try out the Vizia RF+ and get it to work, please let me know.

Morgan


(Boris M) #12

Morgan, I have the same problem with these dimmers and my 9 year old daughter. I could not find anything else that does not require a neutral wire. I called at least a dozen home automation stores - nothing. There may be some zigbee stuff, haven’t looked into it.


(Morgan) #13

Boris, I’m going to try out the Leviton VRS05-1LZ and see if it works, I’ll let you know.


(Impliciter) #14

If your switch is only controlling one light, it would be pretty easy to install the Aeotec micro switch (linked above) in the light fixture box in the ceiling. Obviously, there would be a neutral there. You leave your existing switch as is.

One downside is that the switch position will not necessary indicated the light status. If you turn the light off via Smartthings, the switch will still be up.

I’ve been looking for a normal decorator wall switch that like z-wave switches return to center, ie click up, click down / click down but I’ve found nothing.


(Boris M) #15

Impliciter, I am not sure, but these might work as click up and click down in your scenario GE 45610WB Z-Wave Add On Auxiliary Switch.


(Michelle) #16

It may be the ramp rate that your family doesn’t like- all the Z-wave switches I have (Evolve, GE & ACT) have a “soft” on where the light ramps up over a second or so to it’s final setting. On some switches this can be changed with parameter codes (like the change you can make to whether the led on the light is on or off when the light is on), but since that parameter change is not yet built into the z-wave switch device in smartthings, you would have to create a custom device that supported changing the ramp rate parameter, and I don’t know if you would want to tackle that.

Anyway, Homeseer has ACT 2-wire switches which allow parameter changes to control ramp rate, but you have to want ivory (fortunately, I did):

http://store.homeseer.com/store/ACT-ZDW120-Z-Wave-500-Watt-2-Wire-Dimmer-Ivory-P1299C64.aspx

Don’t know why they haven’t added it to the comparison chart, I guess it’s not a hot seller.


(Todd Wackford) #17

I believe ST has implemented the dimming rate. As I have some notes from old docs that had:

“setLevel(value, duration)”

I don’t know if the duration is in seconds or milliseconds though. @urman or @megapixel, can you tell us?


(Morgan) #18

I should be able to create a Virtual device with this, and hook it to my physical dimmer with an app to adjust the dimming rate if my dimmer supports that right?


(Chris) #19

I use the GE dimmer switches in our bedroom. Furthermore, When I press them just once (on the top or once on the bottom), the lights go to full on or full off. If I hold the switch down or tap the switch, the lights will dim.


(Morgan) #20

I get the same behavior, but because they do not respond instantly, all of the kids and wife have NO liked how they have worked out. I’m switching out the dimmer, until I can figure out if I can get the ramp rate modified which I’ll look into tonight.