Wall switch replacements

More importantly how old is your house. if your home was built pre 1980 you probably do not have a neutral wire at your switches and that makes your only choice the modules that go up inside the box at the lamp.

More modern electrical code requires power to be ran to the switch then to the fixture, older allowed them to dump power at the fixture and then run a feeder without neutral to the switch.

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The home was built in 1946. Here is an example of the wiring at the top/bottom of the stairs and the current switches. Most wiring has been updated but not all. The wires are labeled as T1, T2 and Common. There is no ground or neutral currently hooked up.

Then your choice is really simple.

This is the ONLY thing you can use. it has to be installed up at the fixture where you have hot and neutral available.

They do make a dimmer as well, but I gave up on dimmers as LED lamps stink with dimming.

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I thought the same thing. However I just picked up 6 of these at HD. They are awesome. When they dim they turn off some 2700k LEDs and turn on some 2200k LEDs to give a nice warm dim. They dim smooth and fluid with the GE ZWave Dimmer switch.

They are the new bulb of choice for my house and at $3.30 each a good buy.

What about on the regular switches, 1-way? Do I need to use those as well or are those only needed for the 3-way switches?

does not matter, if there is no neutral at the switch you have zero choice outside the fixture mounted micro box.

1 way or 3/4/5 way dont matter. what matters is having a neutral and hot and lamp feed wires in the switches box.

FRAKKKKKKKKK, so you’re basicallly telling me I need to rewire the whole home.

No rewiring you are just installing the microswitch at the light box rather than the switch box.

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Sorry, I’m a noob, I don’t understand. Can you explain further or point me to docuemntation to review.

Check out this thread it should help:

Based on this, I will just have to keep the current switches in place. The dimmer and ST commands work as long as others don’t cut power to the lights. The bulbs dim and everything works perfectly just wish it would not be possible for others to “kill” the power to the lights.

Maybe next year (doubtful) I will get wild and rewire the whole home. In the meantime, I will stick with the GE Link bulbs and basic things like motion sensors and thermostats.

Some folks on the forums have put on child locks over their switches. Looks like they just snap on over the switch to keep people from turning them off… You could search for that, it might be an option

GE/Jasco is releasing zwave motion switch dimmers soon. But. They aren’t going to work seamlessly with your zigbee bulbs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they follow up with a zigbee motion switch within six months.

But honestly? The ge link bulbs are terrible. Get rid of them and use zwave switches with dumb bulbs.

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Well, not anti-ST, but in my bathroom as an example instead of a motion detector and ST switch, I put in a motion activated switch by itself. No lag time, not dependent on a hub, very reliable, about $23 at Lowes.

I don’t know why you are so against the GE Bulbs. Mine work flawlessly.

I considered doing that, but since there are no children in the house (unless you include dogs) it would look strange.

Lots of people use switch locks to keep critical switches on, like those controlling freezers, air conditioners, or aquarium equipment, without having children in the house. There are many different styles available. Here’s the one we use:

As for the GE bulbs, I’m glad they’re working well for you. I hope that continues. But they do have a known firmware defect, which is why they aren’t on the official “works with SmartThings” list. Some (not all) have a tendency to drop off the network where other brands don’t. A lot of people don’t care, considering it just a mild inconvenience and worth the savings.

I really like to keep things clean and simple. Just a personal preference.

Understood, different things work for different people.

The following topic discusses what kinds of options different people use with smart bulbs. It might be of interest.

As far as smart switches with dumb bulbs, there are still a number of options to consider.

  1. Micro relays. As others have suggested, you can use a micro relay somewhere else on the circuit, typically at the ceiling fixture. Although you can use most dumb switches with them, people generally prefer to replace the switch with a momentary button as it will work more intuitively. A lot of choices for these.

  2. if you want to use incandescent bulbs, Both Ge and cooper make smart switches that do not require a neutral. They don’t work with LEDs, though.

  3. Lutron Caseta has a nice switch which does not require a neutral and does work with LEDs. However, it is not directly compatible with SmartThings. It does have an IFTTT channel, which gives you indirect integration, although there may be some noticeable lag. So it just depends on the exact use case. For lights which will primarily come on on a schedule, the lag may not matter. Or you might just keep that as an entirely separate system from SmartThings. It would be nice if someday SmartThings added full Lutron integration but I wouldn’t count on it. Even so, it is a solution chosen by some people in older houses without neutrals.

And on a separate note, there are not as yet any smart things compatible switches that have a built-in motion sensor. However, it’s very easy to use a separate motion sensor to trigger either a smart wall switch or a smart bulb. In fact, with a separate motion sensor it’s often easier to place it to catch just the right motion since the wall switch is almost by definition on the edge of the room. Many community members use motion sensors to trigger lighting with SmartThings.

I decided to integrate motion sensors into most of my automation and eliminate the need for wall switches when possible. This seems easier than wiring in new wall switches for some areas.

Other areas I am trying to use Z-wave primary and secondary switched to control the lights. This technically makes the GE Link bulbs pointless as the wall switch can thus control the entire circuit.