Primary vs Aux Switch for Event Triggers

I have only had my hub for about two weeks so I hope this isn’t a dumb question…

My ultimate goal is to disarm an Alarm smartapp using a light switch. I have a stairway light that is currently controlled by a 3-way switch setup - one switch at the top of the stairs and another at the bottom. I am planning to replace these with a primary/auxiliary set of z-wave switches. What I would like to do is disarm the alarm when I turn on the light switch at the TOP of the stairs, but not if someone turns on the light from the bottom of the stairs. I’m wondering if primary and auxiliary switches register as different devices so I can trigger off of one but not the other.

One other somewhat related question - does a z-wave auxiliary switch act as a repeater in the z-wave network? I need a z-wave repeater near the location of the downstairs switch to reach to an outdoor sensor that is currently out of range. I’m just wondering if the aux switch will also meet that need.

I haven’t ordered the switches yet, so if there are any recommendations on specific switches that might support this use case, that would be helpful as well. Thanks!

Also, the following to thread and its links have a lot of discussion about specific switch brands, so it might be of interest.

These are seen by ST as a single device, for sure at least the GE’s. I have several. The AUX device isn’t “smart”, and all it does is use the traveler wire to the primary switch to cause it to turn on/off the lights. It doesn’t even have an LED, which I wish it did (for ascetic purposes only).

In the use case you describe, unfortunately you won’t be able to do that. Also, AUX switches do not act as repeaters.

I looked at Z-Wave Smart Dimmers, Switches & Fan Controllers | HomeSeer to see what might exist, but all AUX switches listed are not separate zwave devices.

What you could do is install 2 zwave switches. One would still control the load to the light and be the primary, while the other did nothing (don’t connect the traveler wire). You’d have to have a SmartApp in place so that when the other zwave switch was turned on/off it would turn on/off the real primary zwave switch. I have a Community written app that I’ve used and modified that would do that for you if went down this path.

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My thanks to @johnconstantelo for the corrections to my previous post, I was just way offbase. My bad. I’ve deleted that.

If the auxiliary switch itself is not a “Z wave enabled” device, then it cannot be a repeater and it cannot trigger events on its own. It will just act as a remote for the master switch.

There are a few systems which use the virtual three-way concept where the auxiliary is in fact a certified Zwave device, often on a completely different circuit, and those would work just like a second master. Some of these set ups will work even if the hub is down because you can directly associate the two switches.

Or, as John mentioned, you could just wire a second master in place and create a virtual three-way by always going through the hub. The only issue with this option is that the auxiliary won’t work if the hub isn’t working if you aren’t also using association. That can be important for use cases like a switch at the base of the basement stairs.

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