Single Gang, Dual Switch One 'Real' One 'Virtual'

I have a single-gang switch that controls an overhead light above my back door. Installed in this single-gang is a GE/Jasco Z-Wave switch that controls this light and serves to trigger a virtual switch for a flood light on my detached garage. This set up has worked (nearly) flawlessly for the better part of three years.

Which brings me to my question: we’re having a patio installed with landscape lighting that I would like to control from inside my home. Would it be possible to replace this single-gang GE/Jasco Z-Wave switch with a standard, single-gang dual single-pole switch? Such as the following:

Two Single Pole Combination Decorator Light Switch

Along with a couple Aeotec Micro Switches one to control the actual, hard-wired switch that currently occupies the gang (controlling the porch light) and the other to interpret switching activity from the second switch to toggle the virtual switch (controlling the landscape lighting). It’s this bit that I am a bit unsure of. Is this possible?

This thread, GE zwave paddle -12722 as a dummy switch for a virtual 3-way? , seems most similar to my use case but doesn’t address whether or not a micro switch would be able to interpret commands without an actual load influencing its interaction with ST.

Any help is appreciated.

P.S. I know that there are plenty of valid alternative solutions to the one I am seeking a above (I imagine the following suggestions would be popular: ‘use a minimote’, ‘add a second gang, it’s easy’).

I don’t think you could get 2 aeotec switches in the box. Even if you could get 2 nano’s in there I would be really concerned with the box overheating.

Unless your wall is masonry, lathe (sp?) or something equally difficult, I think swapping the box for a double gang would be the best choice. I have done many and they really aren’t difficult when working with drywall or paneling.

Good Luck

EDIT: The switch would work fine without a load. I have several GE’s hooked up that way for ceiling fan lights and I have bench tested an aeotec switch with no load attached. They all work fine in ST with no load attached.

It would be easier to put in an “old work” 2 gang box instead of trying to screw with the micro switches.

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There are quite a few different ways to do this, but I would think the simplest would be just to put in one of the single gang switches that can do both single tap and double tap. Use the single tap for the fixture on the load to that switch and use the double tap as your “virtual” switch.

There are a couple of different Z wave switches that have come out in the last year or so that can do this, including the homeseer and one of the recent GE models. :sunglasses:

The wiring is simple, it works well with SmartThings, and it sounds like it would give you what you want.

See also the following thread for discussion of this feature:

A note on using the double-tap…cause I thought of that too…you will lose local control if your internet is down. For lights I require 100% local backup. But that’s just my thing. You might be okay not being able to turn them on or off for a day or two.

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