Smart Switch Options, Keep Wall Switch Function

I have a wife who will want to use wall switches for lights and fan. I want to find a smart switch solution that will work even if the switch is off. The GE in wall switch is out. The only thing ive found is the Wemo in wall switch. Ive seen that it integrates into Smartthings but i dont know what the realistic use cases are. Id like to integrate motion detection, voice control, sunset activation, etc. Would the Belkin switch + Smartthings (+ maybe echo), achieve my goal use cases?

Any other options that may get me dimming or fan speed?

Out of curiosity, why is the GE fan switch out?

Also, do you have two switches on your wall (one for the light and one for the fan) now?


The GE swotch is out because, as I understand, once the wall switch is “off” I wouldnt be able to remotely turn on the light through sensors or app. Please correct me if im wrong.

Currently most of my switches are grouped in twos or fours. One for fan, one for light, and two for outlets

Hi @mike12ophone, definitely not true. I have over 70 GE switches, outlets, and fan controls that are all controlled or managed by some type of open/close or motion sensor via several different SmartApps, and my Echo.

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That’s not true. The GE Z-Wave Fan control switch doesn’t really toggle. It stays in the middle and when you push the top it turns on and when you push the bottom, it turns off, but in all cases, the state can be changed remotely.

If you have a switch for fan and a switch for light, you should be able to put the GE Fan switch on one side and a GE dimmer on the other. (I am in the process of doing just this in my bedroom, I have the fan switch in and will be adding the dimmer soon.)


Thats awesome news! Perhaps these are the way to go. Thanks so much

You can use this for your fan.

GE fan z-wave

This for your light

GE on/off z wave

GE dimmer z wave

Or if you want to keep the old switches. You can use a z-wave dual relay but it will only on/off. No fan speed control.

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You May have been confused by the many forum discussions about the use of switches with smart bulbs, like the Phillips hue bulbs.

Any smart switch, whether it’s Z wave, Zigbee, or Wi-Fi, works by maintaining a small amount of current to the radio inside the switch, specifically so that it can hear the next “on” command from the network. When it is turned off, it cuts the downstream current that is going to the light fixture. But the switch radio itself remains powered.

If the fixture contains a smart bulb, like a Phillips hue, then turning the switch off means that the switch can still hear the next network command, but the smart bulb cannot. This can create some complications if you have automations which talk to the bulb directly rather than just using the on/off through the switch.

However, as long as you are using dumb bulbs with the smart switch, there’s no problem at all. :sunglasses: When the switch is turned on, either manually at the wall or via radio, current goes to the fixture and the bulb comes on. When the switch is turned off, again either manually or via radio, current is cut to the fixture so the bulb goes off, but the radio inside the switch remains powered so it will still hear the next “on” network command.

So as long as you were planning to use dumb bulbs, there should be no issue.

If you were intending to control the current load to smart bulbs with smart switches, it gets a little more complicated, but that is true of any brand of smart switch, not just GE.

Most people use dumb bulbs with smart switches. The exception would be someone who wants a feature only available with a smart bulb, typically the ability to change colors.

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Ok i was planning on using dumb bulbs for the most part. Thanks for the calification.

So should i replace the 4 switches with the GE ones, are there face places that would cover all 4 switches?

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Hi @mike12ophone, yes there are many different styles (and sizes) to choose from. I replaced every single switch, dimmer, and fan control everywhere in my home! I limited the use of smart bulbs, like Osram’s and GE’s, to just lamps that are plugged in to dumb outlets.

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