Simple flip switches with Z-wave


#1

Does anyone know of simple flip switches that work with Z-wave? I’m looking for switches that function exactly like a standard toggle switch (flip up and down for on and off - not one of those toggle switches that don’t fully flip to either side) but will allow me to control the devices even if the wall switch is in the ‘off’ position.

I’m looking to replace single, double, and 3 way switches in my parents’ house and I know they won’t be happy if I replace their switches with something new that they have to get used to!


#2

There is no easy way to do this.

There are options:
Option1:(You will need to have both of these for a 3-way switch setup.)
https://www.amazon.com/GE-Wireless-Lighting-Control-14292/dp/B06VYCFXT4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505335320&sr=8-3&keywords=ge+z-wave+toggle
https://www.amazon.com/GE-Bluetooth-Wireless-STANDALONE-12728/dp/B00PYMGYY0/ref=pd_bxgy_60_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00PYMGYY0&pd_rd_r=RT35AKHPB5RKYVS1S8W9&pd_rd_w=ivqln&pd_rd_wg=pzmRD&psc=1&refRID=RT35AKHPB5RKYVS1S8W9

Option2:(You can retrofit an original tuggle switch with this relay which you will place in wall connected in line to the original switch. There are YouTube videos on how this works.)
https://www.amazon.com/Vision-Z-Wave-Micro-Switch-1-pack/dp/B01GQX1GFC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505335566&sr=8-3&keywords=z-wave+relay

Video:


#3

You can do it with a Fibaro dimmer 2.
I use these all round the house and still have the original light switches. You just need to adjust a parameter to let it know that you are still using a standard toggle on/off switch.

The advantage is you can still control the light regardless of the position of the wall switch.

This is the custom DTH I’m using to adjust the parameters.


#4

I’ve seen these GE toggle style switches, but they’re just different enough that I know I’ll get complaints. I’m looking for a standard “flips up” and “flips down” type of switch.

The micro switch looks interesting…I wonder how many switches 1 unit can control? The Amazon description says it doesn’t control fan motors. I wonder if this can control a wall switch hooked up to a fan?


#5

Do you have any of these controlling ceiling fans? This might be what I’m looking for if it can control lights that are controlled by multiple switches and fans.


#6

Fibaro dimmer 2’s can only control lighting circuits upto 250w per dimmer.
But they do have other products. Like the Fibaro relay. As far as I can remember it can switch a load upto 2500w and can still fit behind the standard wall switch in the wall cavity or back box.


#7

The Fibaros are excellent devices, but they don’t solve this particular problem, because if you use them with the standard toggle switch you can still have the issue where the switch is in the up position but the light is off ( because it was turned off with the network command).

So let’s take a step back and make sure that we have defined the problem correctly.

Many people do not like toggle switches for Z wave switches because of this issue that the switch will not necessarily be up for on or down for off. It’s not just that this is annoying, to many people it appears that the switch is broken.

For precisely this reason, the rocker format is much more popular for zwave switches. You still press up for on and down for off, but when the switch is resting in the neutral position it just isn’t perceived as “broken” in the way that the toggle often is. So it looks like:

IMG_3832

Instead of this:

If your parents have been to a hotel or motel in the last 15 years, they have probably used rocker switches. Most people seem to have no difficulty adjusting to them even if they are used to toggle switches. So that would be my first suggestion.

If you really want a zwave toggle switch where up always means on and down always means off there was one introduce just in the last month or so which works by fitting over the existing switch and physically moving it.

The problem is that it is a battery-operated switch, and it will need new batteries about every two months. To me, that would be a lot more inconvenient than getting comfortable with the rocker switch. But if you really want one, you could have one.

The following picture was posted by @rayzurbock , Who has been testing this model

IMG_3833

But again, I would get one of the rocker switches and show it to your parents and see what they think about that one. There are several different brands of these, including gocontrol, GE, and Zooz.

As far as controlling a fan, GE makes a fan control switch for a variable speed motor which will give you low/medium/high and looks very similar to their other rocker switches. It’s a good choice.

If you’re just talking about something like a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan which just needs an on/off, then you just have to check The specs on any on/off switch you are considering to make sure it can handle the load. Just don’t get a dimmer intended for a light and pair it with the fan, the physics are different and you will burn out either the switch or the fan.

Again, I do like the Fibaro micros for light control, and you can use them with a conventional toggle, but you’re not going to get the expected results because it’s entirely possible to have the toggle in the down position while the light is on. So I’m not sure that’s going to solve your problem.


(Dtm) #8

Hey! This zooz looks awesome! First one I’ve come across that claims to be capable of replacing a single switch in a three way setup and allowing the secondary, existing switch to remain, and play nice together.

Do you have any personal experience with these? I’m wondering if the zooz will report the status of the light if the existing dumb three way switch is used to turn on or off?


#9

Lutron can also do this. But in both cases the original auxiliary can only do on/off, not dimming.

http://www.casetawireless.com/Documents/0301710a_Caseta%20Advanced%20Inst.pdf

Do you have any personal experience with these? I’m wondering if the zooz will report the status of the light if the existing dumb three way switch is used to turn on or off?

I don’t, but there are a couple of reviews in the forums. Make sure you read the ones about the second generation, not the first generation.

I believe @prjct92eh2 and @doncaruana have these, among others. :sunglasses:


(Dtm) #10

Just checked out their website, confirms that they will report even if dumb switch used.

Which Lutrons work with existing three way switches? I’m one click away from trying out one of these Zooz after getting all excited that I finally found one that doesn’t require both switches in all my three way setups to be replaced.

EDIT Found them in your link, casetta requires their hub to connect though right? I don’t think this will be cost effective for my retrofit job, zooz will allow me to only buy one switch per three way circuit, no extra hub required, and no additional remotes needed


(Jimmy) #11

Zooz dimmer using the dumb switch


(Dtm) #12

All good things to say about it?


(Jimmy) #13

Pretty much! Color was the one minor thing. Will definitely buy again.


#14

If you want to use the Caseta switches, you will need their SmartBridge. One SmartBridge can handle up to 40 Lutron devices. If you buy a starter kit with one master dimmer and one pico and the smartbridge, then you’re only paying about $20 for the smartbridge.

https://www.amazon.com/LUTRON-P-BDG-PKG1W-Wireless-Lighting-Starter/dp/B00MXCRAX8

As far as cost, it depends on the entire project. If you use the pico’s so that you can get dimming from the auxiliary position, then the total cost for the Lutrons may end up less than Z wave switches that also have dimming from the remote.

But if you don’t need dimming from the auxiliary position, then the Zooz will end up being less expensive.


(Dtm) #15

That’s my logic as well, I’ll try out the zooz, hopefully they work out.