I moved into a house with a ceiling fan/light combo. There was only a single wall dimmer switch that powered the whole unit. Researching it, I found that there must be 2 wires run to the wall plate (in addition to the neutral and ground) to install 2 individual switches (one for the fan and one for the light).
Since I cannot run the wires correctly (all the walls around it are external and thus full of insulation) I ended up taking a z-wave fan dimmer and a z-wave light dimmer, attaching them to the fan wiring and just leaving those connected above the fan in the crawl space between floors. This works fine from my phone using SmartThings, but I still would like to have a traditional wall switch. I tried to use the GE 45631, but since the units now reside in an inaccessible crawl space, I would have to disassemble everything to get access to the switches to toggle them for programming. I would much rather just trigger them from a smartapp or something anyway.
Does anyone know of a wall swtich I can use to control and dim these switches correctly?
Thanks for the suggestions. The minimote seems to have some potential. The Enerwave however is just a scene controller so it cannot do dimming. I wish someone made a wall switch, similar to the GE 45631 that would work like the minimote (since that, with some coding, can do dimming).
It may help to remember that since SmartThings is a multiprotocol platform, you can use any device that SmartThings views as a “button controller” and have it do what you want. It does not have to be a zwave device because you are not going to use zwave direct association or Z wave scenes.
instead, the button controller sends information to the hub whenever a button is pressed and then the hub sends a command to the end device. So since you already have the relays on your smartthings network, you won’t have to physically touch them again. You just add a button controller and use a smartapp like smartlighting to define what each button means.
This is exactly how the minimote works in a SmartThings system, which is why it can be used to change mode, run a routine, control a group of lights which includes both zigbee and zwave, etc.
The GE remotes, including the wall mount 45631, however, cannot be used in this way because they only communicate button presses directly to other Z wave devices which are within one hop. They don’t tell the SmartThings hub what they just did. So those are actually the worst solution for what you’re trying to accomplish.
The topic that @Automated_House previously linked to, the list of remotes, are all button controller devices In the smartthings context. So you can use any of those just as you would a minimote. Some are designed for wall-mounting.
And as was mentioned, the Enerwave SC7 can also be used as a button controller for SmartThings. The issue with that one for some use cases is that it has to be wired into mains power, typically replacing a light switch. The other ones in the remotes topic are typically battery powered. If you were considering the GE 45631 you should definitely look at the Enerwave SC7.
For example, here is custom code created by one community member that allows a lot of control for both a minimote and an SC7.
@JDRoberts: Thanks so much for helping clarify this. I understood the part about the 45631 having that shortcoming but I was missing the information about how the “button controllers” solve the problem. That is exactly what I’m look for!
Any switch that works with SmartThings can control any outlet that works with SmartThings through a virtual connection.
The switch talks to the smartthings hub, and the SmartThings hub talks to the outlet, and everything works fine.
You can do this with the official smart lighting feature. The outlets will show up on the list of lights, you select The ones you want , and say you want to have it turn on and off when a switch turns on and off. Then specify which switch.