Using GE Add On Switch as Smartthings controller ONLY?


I happen to have 3 switches that are no longer in use due to removing their controlling fixtures. Can I put an add-on switch in the junction box and use it solely as a switch to control routine and not part of an actual circuit controlling a fixture? I know the Add-On switch is used in 3-way circumstances, but I just need it to activate other smart-devices in the room.


You can use an auxiliary switch from some of the other brands, and in particular the Linear/gocontrol WT00Z is popular for this.

However, You can’t use a GE add on switch because the GE add on switch is not in and of itself a smart device. It doesn’t have a radio in it. It only communicates to its corresponding GE master switch through physical traveler wires. So the GE add on switch itself is invisible to SmartThings.

You can see some recent discussion on this in the following thread:

Thanks for the reply. I don’t have a neutral and I’m leery about putting a battery powered switch among by other switches. I was hoping there would be a switch out there that got it’s power from the standard load/line and was just an always on button that was powered through the home and not a battery.

Oh well! I’ll wait it out.

The battery powered switches go on the wall, not inside it. But you don’t have to use one if you don’t want it.

As I mentioned, there are other brands that would work inside the wall, the trick is finding one that doesn’t require a neutral to power the radio.

Here you have a couple of choices.

You can use a GE master switch (but not the add on) from one of the older models that doesn’t require a neutral, if you can find one.

You can use a Cooper switch which doesn’t require a neutral and is z wave. Again, you would have to get the master switch, but it would still work. You were just tie off the line.

(Eaton is the company, Cooper is the division, Aspire is the model line-- The same switch might be listed under any of those three names.)

The GE master is likely to be less expensive, though. I just don’t know if you’ll be able to find one. The Cooper is still being made and marketed.

A third alternative is to wait another month or so as smartthings has announced an official integration with Lutron coming soon. Lutron Caseta switches generally don’t require a neutral. But it looks like the integration with SmartThings will require the Lutron SmartBridge, so again, more expensive than the zwave options.

So there are definitely ways that you can do this. You just can’t do it with the GE add on switch, which was your original question, because that one doesn’t have a radio in it. But you can do it with the Cooper master which doesn’t require a neutral, which does have a radio – –and just don’t connect it to the line. (Or with a GE master that doesn’t require a neutral, if you can find one.)