Which switches? Trying to understand 3-way switches


#1

I’m planning on buying some GE Z-Wave plus light switches. I’m a little confused on what I actually need to buy.

For example my living room lights are turned on and off by 3 different switches. Do I just buy one 14291 GE Z-Wave Plus Smart Switch, In-Wall switch and two 12723 GE Add-On Switches? Or do I even need the add-on switches since they are already wired in standard 3-way config?

Is the 14291 universal in the sense that it is a standalone switch but can also be wired in 3-way configurations?


#2

You are correct. You have what is called a 4-way set-up (fixture plus three switches). You need one master and two add ons. You cannot wire in a smart switch with any dumb switches. The add on switches actually operate as a remote to the master over the existing traveler wires. They do not control the load/fixture directly nor do they have their own z-wave radio.

Again, you are correct.


#3

Thank you! I’ve been reading a little bit about z-wave relay switches. From what I gather I may just be better off spending the extra to buy all the GE switches than installing these relays as they seem kind of unreliable. Or are there some really quality reliable relays out there?


#4

You’re welcome.

I’ll have to let others respond on relays as I do not use them (only because I currently have no need). I don’t think I recall reading about reliability issues with them though.


#5

The wiring FAQ should help ( this is a clickable link)

As for the relays, there are several that are reliable, but if you’re using the switches you don’t need them. The relays are more typically used when people can’t use one of the switches.


#6

That FAQ is great! Thanks for the link :slight_smile: