Regular Outdoor Motion Sensor Flood Light + Zwave Switch?


I’m fairly new to the whole smarthing/zwave so my apologies first if this has been asked before. I tried searching here and google but have not found an answer (…yet)

So we have the normal (?) flood light with motion sensor on the back, left and right of the house. They are various versions bought from Costco. I would like to replace the regular switch with a z-wave switch. I have GE, Leviton (Z-wave) and TP-Link (Wifi) switches. I tried replacing with the GE Z-wave switch tonight and when i turned it on, the flood light would flash continuously.

The flood light used to be on (powered on) and allowed the motion sensor to work. However, my neighbor indicated (?) that the lights are often on all the times at night, possible triggered by the neighborhood outdoor cats and what not. So i want to be be able to turn them off (cut the power off during the night), but i want to be able to control them and turn on adhoc when I work in the yards in the evenings/nights. It gets pretty dark out there.

I know there’s integrated Z-wave flood light in the market, but I like these light and would prefer not to have to throw them away and replaced them if i don’t have to.

here is the latest flood light we have

Is there a Z-wave switch that allow me to control it manually? Thanks in advance!

Which model GE Switch did you try? (First rule of home automation: the model number matters. :wink: )

Ahhh… rookie’s mistake my bad.

looked all over the box and the manual, but it appears to b this GE one ZW4005.

I also have the Leviton DZ15S, which i guess i’ll try later tonight too. Thanks.

OK, that GE switch is not intended for use with LEDs, only with resistive loads. So that could be the problem.

The Leviton DZ15S is a universal Switch, So swapping it out for that one may solve the problem. If not, we have to start looking at how the wiring is set up.

Got home late so i didn’t have a chance to switch and try with the Leviton switch, but looking up the Amazon order for the GE switch, it says it support all bulb types…

  • Works with all LED, CFL, halogen, and incandescent bulbs and other devices. It must be connected to a supported hub in order to interact with the Amazon Alexa.

i’ll attach a picture in the morning, but the wiring is the usual. There’s a green ground, a neutral white, one line/hot black and one load/black wire. I have a few inside house and they work fine, but they’re the normal incandescent bulbs.

Btw, the motion-sensor flood light i connected to, has the halogen light, instead of the LED. I do have other motion-sensor flood light at the house, but i haven’t gotten to those yet.


edit: went ahead and swapped the GE with the Leviton switch and it’s the same result. The flood lights continuously flashes when turned on.

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Sorry, my bad then on the GE specs.

But, yes, if both switches do it it’s likely the wiring. The issue is that when you turn off a Motion sensor switch you likely don’t cut the power to it completely because the sensor itself still needs some power in order to turn the light on again if it triggers.

A smart switch is the same way: it’s still needs some power in order for the radio inside to hear the next “on“ command from the network.

So adding the smart switch can be a little complicated to make sure everything continues to get the current it expects when expects it. So I’m going to leave the next stage of the conversation to the wiring experts. :sunglasses:

(BTW, The user manual for the model of light that you listed says that it has to be on a “dedicated circuit” with no motors or fluorescent lights on the same circuit. My guess, just a guess, is that the radio draw inside the smart switch Would cause the same kind of issues. You might call support for the light and ask them if it can be used with a smart switch.)

Also, one other option if you really like those floodlights and you really want to add control of the switch is to use a “robot finger.“ That way it doesn’t affect the wiring at all.

These do work, I use a couple at my own house, but the aesthetics aren’t great. I use them because I’m quadriparetic and they solve some button pushing issues that I don’t have any other good way of solving. (Like the eject button on an old DVD player which otherwise I like a lot. People also use them to retcon window air conditioners and things like that.)

Anyway, I just mention them for completeness since they would be another alternative to smarten up your existing dumb switches. The integration with smartthings is through IFTTT.

2019 Switchbot Review ( robot button pusher), integration through IFTTT


The Costco link included above is clearly led. Are you saying you actually are having these blinking issues with some other (unknown) halogen flood light? Do you have make and model?

so i tried the TP-Link switch also (model HS200). And all it did is flashes when turned on.

I did mentioned in the original post i had purchased all the flood lights from Costco in the previous couple/few years. You’re correct the one i i linked is LED. That one is on the side of the garage, which I’ll test it next. The one i’ve been testing, was also purchased from Costco a few years ago, has the halogen bulbs. That for sure isn’t working with the GE/Leviton/TP-Link (models above).

I’ll spend time tomorrow tracing the breaker for the one outside the garage and repeat the test and hope one of these switches work.

ps. i don’t “really” like these flood lights, the remaining 4 were recently installed (other than the halogen one), so i’m wanted to see if i don’t have to waste them, not to mention i purchased a bunch of z-wave switches and i’m running out of places to use them.

So i gave up and put back the original single pole paddle and the light still flashes after i powered it on. I went ahead and “reset” it. I turned off all the buttons for photocell, mode, duration and once confirmed it was working fine with the non-zwave paddle. I went ahead and swapped with the Leviton siwtch and everything is working normal now.

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Glad it’s working. It sounds like either one of the wires was a little loose or the light had gone into some kind of reset mode after the power was cut completely. The model you linked to looked pretty fancy with a lot of different settings, so it could’ve been either.

Anyway, all‘s well that ends well. :sunglasses:

FWIW, i feel bad for wasted everyone time, but it was driving me a little crazy not getting it working.

so Thank you all and appreciated all the help!

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NP, we’ve all been there. :sunglasses: sometimes it helps to just talk through the process.