Virtual 3 way without hub but z-wave ready?

Because your light is on a 2 ways wiring config. It’s nothing to do with cheap. Adding an extra wire to the circuit would be very confusing for the next person working on it and it’s not necessary. Changing a 2 ways to a 3 ways is something else. If you have access from the light switch to your new switch. You can run a 3 ways Romex. Red, black, white, and bare ground. This will be future proof for z-wave and dummy 3 ways.

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Right, you would need two regular GE (or other brand) switches rather than one regular and one auxiliary switch. Here’s all you would need to do with the wiring, no traveler required, assuming the minimote can make one switch react to the other. Still needs a hot (black) and neutral (white) on both ends.

GEs do not support association so cannot be used in a virtual three-way without a hub involved. They need the physical traveler wire and their own auxiliary.

The OP would need to look at other brands.

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Also assuming I do get a switch that does association would they be pretty fast? i.e. cutting out any lag that going to a hub first then back to the switch might normally have?

and I will wire it exactly as the diagram is shown actually…

It would be costly to try to run a traveler wire between them I think unless I went under the floor/carpet etc…just figurd a few 30-40 dollar light switches that can do it wirelessly would be far painless…

Linear aux dimmer will control any zwave switch or dimmer of any brand.

I have linear aux controlling GE dimmers and switches.

At the same time you can setup an enerwave motion sensor to also directly control any zwave switch or dimmer.

Zwave association by a linear aux is instant.

When I am turning on and off lights I completely forget which is the real and which is the virtual switch.

The linear supports multiple association groups but the functionality was implemented such that it is NOT really useful.

If the linear aux is set to control more than one association group this is how it works, when you tap or tap and hold it sends out instantly to association group one, then waits a few seconds and sends commands to association group 2, then wait then next association group etc.

Association groups would have been useful if # taps represents association group, but it does not/

Doesnt the GE dimmer have to support direct association to be controlled by the linear? or are you talking about with the traveler wire?

OK, my bad – I told you guys I was tired. The newest GE, the Z wave plus model, will support association with one device.

So you have to check each model.

the association is only stored in the linear Aux or the enerwave motion sensor, only the device that does the controlling has this information.

the zwave devices that are being controlled do not care about where the on/off/dim commands originate from, hub or other controller.

@JDRoberts just shared interesting information. I was not aware that the minimote can act as a controller without smart things.

I do NOT recommend getting this secondary controller but using this as an example:

this device can control any zwave device and it is similar to how the linear aux controls another zwave device.

Couldn’t reply for 17 hours! sorry bout that. I still haven’t found a solution.

@JDRoberts that is okay, the model i had was NOT that model so i know it did not support it… I wonder if there’d be much difference between that GE and a Linear

@professordave When you talk about linear Aux, is that the auxillary switch made by Linear brand? IF so, if holding up on the switch does a timing thing for the next group, does that mean I would not have any dimming controlling if the master switch had dimming? it would be nice to get identical functionality from both switches especially if the master switch has dimming.

My only problem with the HomeSeer is on their own comparison chart it lists them as:

3-Way Connection Type : Wired

Not wireless… as a matter of fact the first one on the list that is wireless is the Linear… So that means I still need a traveler for this HomeSeer? I like the features of the HomeSeer for sure but if it needs a traveler wire its out.

Actually let me make it a bit easier… I looked at the Z-wave alliance website for the info on the homeseer hs-wd100 and it looks like it does support association?

Supported Command Classes (15):
All Switch Association Group Information
Association V2 Basic
Central Scene V2 Configuration
Device Reset Local Firmware Update MD V2
Manufacturer Specific V2 Powerlevel
Scene Activation Scene Actuator Configuration
Switch Multilevel Version V2
Z-Wave Plus Info V2

I assume Association v2 basic, means it supports some ‘version 2’ of association?

Assuming that is true, Can i get that switch with that mini mote and pair them up without the hub? is that what association means? is it a ‘standard’ that any mini mote can pair up switches that have it?

Also do i need 2x of the hs-wd100 to do this?

And further that question, can any switch x2 that supports association do this with that mini mote and no hub? basically is Association the KEY that i need to make sure the two switches will communciate without a traveler wire? (and then is there any way to know if i’d keep the dimming feature at both switches? or is that impossible without the traveler wire or hub?)

Homeseer switch seems hard to find (not on amazon at this time, or ebay).

They homeseer switches are very new. I’m not sure anyone is carrying them except their own site.

As far as all your other questions, yes, association is the key. Association is what allows one zwave device to send a command to another Z wave Device in the same room without having to talk to the hub first. So this is why you could set up a virtual three-way (no traveler wires) that works without the hub.

There are several important caveats.

One) both devices must be zwave. Sometimes auxiliary switches which are intended to be used with physical traveler wires are not zwave devices at all. That makes them cheaper. But then you need physical traveler wires with them.

Two) association only works over a limited distance. I always say “in one room” but it’s actually “one hop” so you might make a slightly longer distance than that, especially for a zwave plus switch. Maybe 60 feet if you’re lucky. If it’s a regular zwave device, it will probably be about 40 feet.

Signal travels in 360°, so you could probably set up a three-way with one switch at the bottom of the staircase and one at the top.

  1. The device that is intended to control the other device is the one that must support “association.” In a three-way set up typically the master controls the current to the light fixture and the auxiliary controls the master. So it would be the aux that needs to support association.

However, there are some set ups where you want both to have association, it just depends on the exact details. But the switch where you will manually press the toggle must have association if you want that to trigger an event on another device.

  1. Association will only give you a basic on/off command without the hub. It probably will not give you dimming.

There are brands that you can buy that use their own features, not just Association, that may be able to give you dimming in a virtual three-way without a hub. I believe Leviton’s Vizia series can do this, but check to be sure. Switches that can do this will be much more expensive.

  1. There are some “scene controllers” which can use preset scenes like “lamp A to 50%, lamp B to 25%” and would work even if the hub was unplugged-- but some of them require that the hub have set up the scenes in the first place which doesn’t fit your example.

So if you want to use something labeled a “scene controller” you have to go deep into the details to figure out whether it will work for your use case.

  1. Because you only get a basic on/off command without the hub. You will not be able to take advantage of anything that requires “central scene” commands–And that includes the new homeseer double tap and triple tap features.


Z wave “association” allows you to send a basic on/off command directly from one zwave device to another zwave device that is close by.

You have to have a controller to set up the network and create the Association, but the $20 minimote can do this.

Once the association is set up, you no longer need to have a controller available, which is why you don’t need a hub.

There are some specific, more expensive devices called “scene controllers” which may be able to send a “set level” or scene command but there are a lot of details that go into what works and what doesn’t and how it gets set up.

It’s easiest if you think of zwave association as just controlling on/off for a nearby zwave device, especially if this is just a temporary set up until you do get a hub.

PERFECT! thank you so much for laying it out like that…

With that in mind, I will not expect to have dimming capabilities, and I will just get 2 of the same z-wave switch that claim to have association and buy that mini mote and go that route.

I will probably just opt for a Linear brand as it seems cheaper than GE and can probably get 2 switches for 60 bucks plus 20 for the controller.

thanks for all your help!

So I wanted to update my status with this to help anyone else who might be interested in the same thing.

I bought a ‘go control’ switch WD500Z-1 (which appears to be linear made? is this their home brand?) and a linear branded accessory switch I believe the wt00z-1 and the minimote with the numbers NOT the squares on the buttons.

At first I struggled because I couldn’t figure out how to associate them, I kept thinking the ‘pair’ button was associate I was wrong. The BLANK unlabeled button is the associate button. And you have to pair each device to the minimote BEFORE You associate, so you’ll feel like your doing the same steps twice in a row (essentially you are!).

I got them working together finally! The accessory switch has dimming capability too (I think, I forgot to full test), but they both control the light.

Now the only issue I have left is (and I cant figure out why these companies do this) the switches ‘ramp’ the light up instead of instant on and off… Totally annoying… in my opinion the default should be instant on and off… And I wish there was a way I could set this option with the minimote (i.e. without having to have my hub just yet) cuz then i’d be done and happy, but at least I can turn the dang light off and on from the kitchen now…

It does slightly feel like the accessory switch has an extra second of lag in there, but I cannot be sure with the ramping of the light from off to on, it could just be perception.

Nortek is one of the largest manufacturers of zwave devices in the US. They sell their products under many different brand names. Often these are exactly the same devices, just with a different box.

Linear is The zwave brand intended for contractors, but also popular with DIY.

Gocontrol is the brand sold through retailers like Best Buy. These are all zwave devices.

2Gig was originally intended as a security system brand for third-party security installers. Note that 2gig has devices on different protocols, not just zwave. Sometimes these are in identical cases. So not all 2gig devices work with SmartThings.

Numera is a wellness monitoring system, mostly unique devices but includes some of the common devices like the motion sensor, but not the zwave models.

And some products are sold to be rebranded by others, so for example the Linear zwave garage door controller is also sold under the Nutone and Lowes Iris brands.

Good to know! If anyone else asks a similar question and wants to implement a super cheap virtual 3 way system without having a hub yet (or not wanting the expensive/full automation) please feel free to point them to this post… all said and done it was about 80 bucks for me (30 for each switch and 20 for the mini mote) and I now have a virtual 3 way for the dinning light!
(no travelers necessary! woot woot!)

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