What's the different between Master and Accessory?

In a 3 way or 4 way switch configuration for GE, is there any different as to which one to get ? As you purchase model X for the master versus the model Y as your accessory? Or they are all the same model number? With my Evolve brand, there is actually a differnent, LSM or LRM is the master versus the LTM is just the accessory. Also, the physically wiring for all of my 3 or 4 ways actually have a traveler which I am using to power the z-wave switches

As always, the first rule of home automation applies: “the model number matters.“ With some models there is a very big difference between master and accessory, with other models there isn’t. So you just have to read the descriptions carefully.

With many smart switches, the accessory switch just acts as a wall mount remote control to the master switch. The accessory itself switch doesn’t actually control the current branch to the light fixture. It just sent a message to the master, which does control the current branch.

But there are two different ways to do this. Some switches have a physical traveler wire between the master and the auxiliary. For example, the GE zwave switches do this. In this case, the accessory doesn’t even have a radio in it, it’s just a pulse pattern along the physical traveler wire.

Other models, such as the ones from gocontrol, do have a radio in the accessory And it communicates to the master that way. So no physical traveler line is needed.

There are pluses and minuses to both methods, but the main thing is that with smart switches typically their master switch will only work with their accessory. So you have to read the product description descriptions carefully.

If you are creating a virtual three-way, then you get more freedom once again, you just need two devices which can each communicate to the hub. Then the accessory sendo a message to the hub and hub sends a message to the master.

So lots of different options but which ones are available depend on the exact model number of the master. :sunglasses:


I can’t recall what I did, but I am pretty sure I leverage the travel wire on my setup with Evolve. I do know I tie the travel wire on the master (the hot, the traveler, and the hot in wire on the zwave switch) together so on my acc switch, it will always has power no matter, and vice versa. SO in my current setup, both switch will always receive AC power no matter what state it is in. Now, with that being say, do I use the GE or GoControl?