Using physical switch as virtual switch


(Daniel Ratzburg) #1

I am looking to set up my bedroom fan/light combo to be separately controlled via an Echo Dot/Smarthings. My current issue is that my home is older and only has one gang box with one wire going from the wall switch to the ceiling. Current set up is wall switch wire runs to the ceiling where the fan and light are controlled by the switch and we use the pull strings to control them separately.

I will be using the GE fan control switch to control the fan. And either 2 smart bulbs or the micro switch to control the lighting. We plan on using an echo dot to control them most of the time. My issue is I would like to still have a physical switch on the wall to control either just the lights or both for when the MIL comes she won’t get confused and can easily turn the lights on(fan isn’t an issue at all if we have to include it to make it work not a big deal.)

At first my plan was to put all the switches up in the fan unit and then use a door/window sensor in the wall switch and connect it via wires to have basically a physical virtual switch. That will get tough to fit in the wall though.

Has anyone used a GE light control switch or any other type of switch that doesn’t physically send the load to the lights and just controls smart bulbs via a virtual switch? Would make for a cleaner and easier install.

Not sure if the switches can even work that way or not.

I’ve seen the other posts about trying to figure this type of project out but haven’t see a good way to still have a physical switch with my wiring set up.

Thanks for any help!


#2

Yes, it’s quite commonly done when someone wants a switch on the wall but they are using smart bulbs that need to stay powered on . There are four or five different ways to do it. :sunglasses: See the FAQ for that for various options:

The problem you’re going to run into is that without a neutral to power the radio in the switch, most of the regular zwave switches won’t work for you. But the battery operated smart switch covers would work just fine.

If you do have a neutral wire at the switch box, I think the most common solution for the type of set up you’re describing is to use the linear auxiliary switch. It’s intended for a three-way and is not a loadbearing switch to begin with. But you do need to have a neutral to power it, so the battery switches might work better for you.

Again, all these options are discussed in the FAQ.