I have several GE and Zooz switches for lights in my house. In the garage I added 9x 50w LED lights for a total of 450w on a single switch. Zooz customer support says they are only good for 150w of LED lights and claimed that was the industry standard. Can anyone recommend or show me a Z-Wave switch that can handle my 450w LED load? My LEDs are also Dimmable but that is not required.
50W equivalents? or 50W Actual Usage?
That is a huge load for a single switch in a residential layout. Are you sure they are 50 W each? Not “50W equivalent”? Those would be super bright.
Anyway, Leviton makes a zwave plus dimmer switch that can handle up to 450 W of LEDs. ( Note That the ratings for an LED load, or “non resistant load,” are always much much lower than the ratings for an incandescent load because the physics are different. LEDs have a very large current surge when first turned on, called “inrush current,“ before they drop back down to their regular operating load and the switch has to be able to handle that.)
Shop around, because most retailers will have it for less than the manufacturer’s site:
This model, Dz1KD, is also on the official “works with smartthings“ list.
a “50 watt equivalent LED” typically has a draw of 7 to 9 W. And the brightness of around 400 lm.
A 50 W LED would usually have a brightness of 4000 lm, and would normally only be used for photography, grow lights, nighttime construction projects, warehouses, gyms, and some aquarium set ups. Or the security system at an auto dealership. Almost always described as “super bright.“ But check the specs.
Example of 50 watt equivalent floodlight
Example of 50W LED floodlight
450w/120v = 3.75 Amps. Almost any Zwave wall switch should work (Not Dimmer). The GE JA14318 is rated for 15A load as are most switches.
I don’t know why but is says 960 watts incandescent (I thought that was a resistive load). That’s 8 amps. Still that’s much more load than you are applying.
Two words: “inrush current.”
The calculation you gave is for the operating current. But it doesn’t cover the surge when the switch is first turned on, and you need the switch to be able to handle that or it will literally catch on fire.
Read the specs, pretty much every switch manufacturer will have two different Max loads. One for resistant loads (incandescent and halogen) and one for non-resistant loads (CFL and LEDs).
The one for the non-resistant loads is typically 1/4 that of the one for the resistant loads. Because of the greater inrush current.
( as one of my professors used to say, electricity is physics, not math. )
As with any power supply, the LED Driver contains internal capacitors. For the typical LED Driver, the capacitors charge in less than one millisecond after power is turned on. This rapid charging creates inrush current which can be 100 times the LED driver’s continuous current rating. Compared to older lighting modalities, this is 6 times the inrush current of an incandescent lamp and 4 times the inrush current of the magnetic ballast used in fluorescent lighting.
I’m not sure if it’s a UL standard, or not, but a typical residential light switch in the US can handle up to 600 W of incandescent bulbs and up to 150 W of LED. So in this case you need to look for the high-capacity switches, like the Leviton that I linked to.
Makes sense. I was not thinking about the capacitors in the LEDs.
Seems like someone could make some $$ coming up with a method to limit the in-rush current such that a larger load of LEDs could be used on a circuit or smaller circuits could be used (20ga. or 22ga vs 14ga wire). I would think there would be an overall cost savings for new construction.
Thanks for all the links. Yes it is 50w each LED fixtures. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-1-ft-x-4-ft-50-Watt-White-Integrated-LED-Edge-Lit-Flat-Panel-Flush-Mount-Wraparound-Light-74031-HD-G2/301637287
GE has a 1,000w switch as well but the LED specs are unclear.
First rule of Home automation: the model number matters.
The GE 14299 will not work with LEDs, they will flicker.
- For Halogen and Incandescent bulbs - not compatible with LED and CFL bulbs. For LED and CFL bulbs, see GE Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer Switch 14294.
Unfortunately, the 14294 they mention maxes out at 150 W for LEDs.
This may work for you, can handle up to 40 amps.
You may need sunscreen too with that much light.
Just kidding, though. I assume there’s no way to split them up on different switches?
Yep, thats the plan! Shooting photos and video in there so a base of 45,000 lumens gives me a f/5.6 @ base 640ISO, 1/60th for video. Even better for photos. Being able to dim all of them would be awesome but I realize might not be possible.
Thanks! I’m going to try out the Levitron you linked to.
Also, I thought the first rule of home automation was, always talk about your home automation!
Second rule: Model numbers and firmware versions matter
Splitting them up on separate dimmers may work best for you. You could always set up some logic such that one dimmer controls the others when it is changed. Then you have option of adjusting the others to get different lighting effects.
Should be both easier and cheaper to just get the Leviton zwave plus switch linked to above in post 3. It can handle up to 450 W of LEDs.
There are lots of setups where there’s only one switch for that kind of load, it’s just that it’s typically in a warehouse or workbay or greenhouse where you always turn on all the lights at the same time as you enter the space . Or a photography studio.
Installed the Leviton 1,000w switch last night and it works great. Programmed in a few settings for LED and lowest dimming setting and it was working great. Linked it to a Zooz 4-1 sensor with a smartapp so walking into the garage (motion) triggers the lights to ramp up to a preset brightness within a second of opening the door.