Z-Wave On/Off Switch and Disconnected Loads

I have some outdoor lighting I want to add some switches to. The rub is that these fixtures have integrated light sensors that shut the light off at sunrise.

So if they are connected to a Z-Wave switch, am I correct in assuming that once the light’s load goes online (when dark) that they will automatically be fed current from the switch?


The Z-wave switch should work the same as any ordinary switch in this regard. Essentially you have a double switch going on here.

  1. The wall switch provides power to or interrupts power to the built in switch. When the switch is on (whether it be z-wave or ‘normal’ wall switch) power is provided to the next switch. When it’s off, power does not go to the next switch.
  2. The built in switch is obviously light based… If there’s power going to it (ie, Switch 1 is on) and the light levels are low enough, then it turn on.

The Z-wave will not sense that the second switch is trying to draw power and turn on, or that it’s stopped drawing power and turn off. It will work independent of what happens with the second switch.

So, for example, let’s say you want these outdoor lights to come on at sunset, and then turn off at Midnight. I’d set your Z-wave switch to turn on at noon (this way you know there will be power available to the lights whenever sunset happens) and then turn off at midnight.


Thanks, Chris, but I don’t think I made this clear enough. With an x10 module, if the switch is currently off, and you unscrew the light bulb, and then screw it back in, the switch senses the load being applied at that time and supplies power. This meant that the light wet on at dark no matter if the switch was on or off (not what I wanted).

Do the Z-Waves behave the same way?


No z-wave operates that way to my knowledge. There might be some switch out there that works that way, but again, none that I’m aware of. Most will turn on/off independent of any load being added or remove.