Switches and dimmers for large home?


(Samjjp2009) #1

I am planning to replace all the switches and dimmers in the house which are currently on control4. I have 80 switches (on/off, ceiling fan and dimmable switches) and that doesn’t include sensor. Will there be a problem to mix and matches different brand of switches? I am thinking Caseta wireless and GE smart switches. I know Caseta’s hub can only handle 50 devices. I am thinking half and half. Or is it better to use GE for the whole house? The house is approx. 4000 sq ft. Any suggestion is appreciated.


Switches for bathroom exhaust fan and light
#2

Nope, unless devices are proprietary.

ST’s hub can handle quite a number of devices. There is a zwave limit if I remember right, but the total number of devices is large. I’m over 280, with a mix of zwave, zigbee and wifi.

From a look and feel perspective, and wife acceptance factor, stick with the same manufacturer.

You’ll be fine with that size home because those switches will build out you zwave mesh network for coverage. You should do the same for zigbee devices (like Lowe’s or ST branded sensors).


(Samjjp2009) #3

Thanks for the response. I will stick with the GE brand for the whole house. I purchase a few dimmers, motion sensing switch and on/off switches from lowes but I am not sure if I get the right switches for the bathroom.
The bathroom has 2 switches which control the exhaust fan and the light within the fan (1 unit). I put in 2 of the motion sensing switch GE Z-wave plus 29631 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07226MG2T/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and only 1 switch work and the other doesn’t. When I say it work, I can hear it click but the light won’t turn on.
The other switch is completely dead (the wiring for the fan).
Then I try the GE Z-wave plus 14291
https://www.amazon.com/GE-Wireless-Lighting-Control-14291/dp/B01M1AHC3R/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1501314193&sr=1-1&keywords=ge+14291
Same thing happen, one side the switch has power (the light in the front turn on) but the 2nd switch will not (the fan side of wiring). I check the wiring and it seem to be fine compare to the old configuration.
Finally, I only hook up the light wire to the smart switch and cap off the rest of the wires. Same thing, the switch has power but it just won’t turn on the light.
Am I using the wrong switch? Any suggestion?


(Someday my dog will be automated) #4

With the light/exhaust fan combos it can be tricky. Your switch has to be able to handle exhaust fan motors AND a low wattage light. This might be tricky sometimes. Someone with more electrical experience can jump in and correct me if I am wrong.

With the house, I concur with John in that it would be better for aesthetics to stick to the same brand, unless you run into no neutral wires or something like that. I would make a good floor plan and add both the GE Z-wave switches and the Zigbee as well, to make sure you have a strong mesh of both. I say GE because it seems you already went that route, but other brands can work.


(Samjjp2009) #5

Thanks for the reply. I thought ST has 100 devices max, does it mean it can add more now? As for the ZigBee, which brand will you recommend? I am really stuck on the switches for the bathroom, I will post another subject, hopefully someone have a switch that can work right out of the box.


#6

I have the older GE switches the 14291’s replaced controlling all my bathroom fans w/lights in them, and no problems with them at all (3+ years and counting).

You don’t have a wrong switch, it sounds like your not wired correctly. The old wiring configuration can’t be used as a guideline sometimes. You want to find the hot wire coming into the box (typically black) and then the leads going to each device (typically black) - fan and light. Those leads are what each switch connects to (called “load” on the switch) and then the hot you found in the box also goes into each switch (called “line”), along with a neutral (typically white) and the bare ground wires.

image

It sounds like you have the same set up as me - 1 switch controlling the fan and 1 controlling the light. You may need to get a voltmeter or other easy to use testing device to find the wires you need. If you’re not comfortable with that then bring in an electrician to be safe.


(Samjjp2009) #7

I double check my wiring. I locate the load wire (black) and since there is only 1, I hook 2 wires with a cap and then split it among the 2 switches. The old configuration (control4 switches) did exactly the same. I then hook up the rest to the two switches. I have included pictures of my hookup. The result is still the same, the switch on the left, the led on the front will come on but the one on the right (the led will not come on). Pressing the one on the left (I can hear the click sound) but the light on the exhaust fan will not turn on. I even switch the load wire with the line wire in case I was wrong. That did nothing and both switch has no power.switchswitch2
I really have no clue now what to do next. Please help.


( Cosmo) #8

I have 50+ GE switches of all variants.
Switch, dim, fan, ZW and Zig.

Rock solid. Perform well. Highly recommend


(Samjjp2009) #9

Thanks. One of the GE motion sensing switch will not response once a while (sometime within the same day). It won’t response to the app nor with physically pressing the button in front. I have to turn on and off the breaker to get it working again. Is it a sign of the problem with the switch or am I wiring it wrong? When it works, it works great. I walk by and light come on and then off. It response to control from the app. Any idea?


(Samjjp2009) #10

I decide to change it out and will monitor it closely.
I have a different problem. I purchase the GE 14291 (on/off) and the GE 12733 (add-on switch). I have a switch on top of the stair and bottom of the stair. When I open up the one on top of the stair, I notice I have 7 wires plus the copper ground wires.
switch
2 black 2 white 2 copper on 1 set and 1 black 1 white 1 red 1 copper on the other set. Which wire do I use to connect to the master swtich (GE 14291)?
I have tried to use the black for load, white for neutral, copper for ground, other black for line and red for travel but that doesn’t do anything. The switch has no power. I tried different black for load and still no power. Which way should I hook this up?
On the bottom of the stair, I only find 4 wires inside the box.
switch1
1 black 1 red 1 white 1 copper
In the video, it said tie 2 black together and just use the red white and copper but I don’t have 2 black. Do I just cap off the 1 black?


(Samjjp2009) #11

I finally able to get those switches to work. Thanks for this forum.
@cozdabuch, I am having some problem with the GE switches. Is it normal that the green screw (the ground) very hard to turn? I have multiple one that I already strip. It seem that the first few turns are the hardest, only hard way through then it loosen up. It is very tight compare to the rest of the screw on the side. Is it normal?


( Cosmo) #12

Yes. The green screw is exactly as you described. It always is. Don’t know why, but it’s gotta be a bit different a connector inside that it’s always harder to screw down,