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Author Topic: Best/Cheapest source for switches?  (Read 10382 times)

Offline Dignan17

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Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« on: October 15, 2012, 07:47:42 am »
Greetings!

I recently moved, and for various reasons I won't go into I had to leave my wall switches behind (I was able to take my lamp modules). This was upsetting for me because I got all those switches in the Radio Shack fire sale, and I knew I'd never get switches for that price again. Ugh.

So now I'm in a much bigger house, facing the fact that I'm going to need far more switches than I had before anyway, in addition to having to face the much higher prices. Currently I'm seeing about $67 for the GE 3-way dimmable switches, and nearly that much for the 2-way switch. That's on Amazon.

Where do you guys get switches? Any good sources? I'm hoping for something that's less expensive than these...

Thanks for your help.

Offline saulfeldman

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 08:03:35 am »
ebay intermatic

they have deals periodically for 6 switches for 99

Offline garrettwp

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 08:10:27 am »
Also check your Lowes store as they should carry ge switches. Might be cheaper than on amazon. Not sure...

- Garrett


Offline oTi@

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 08:53:01 am »
Amazon has been running this 20% deal on Leviton stuff. The price of the VRI06 (dimmer) has been swaying quite a bit, and recently could be had for just under $40 after discount!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 08:55:41 am by oTi@ »
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline BOFH

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 12:24:57 pm »
ebay intermatic

they have deals periodically for 6 switches for 99

If you send a message to the seller, they have no problem letting your mix and match any of the 6 for $99 intermatic stuff they have listed . I ended up doing 3 switches and 3 dimmers.

As for Lowes, $35 for a single GE Zwave switch (http://www.lowes.com/pd_339577-1353-45637_0__?productId=3707736&Ntt=ge+switch&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dge%2Bswitch&facetInfo=) and $44 for a 3 way one (http://www.lowes.com/pd_339584-1353-45638_0__?productId=3707744&Ntt=ge+switch&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dge%2Bswitch&facetInfo=)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 12:28:24 pm by BOFH »
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Offline Dignan17

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 12:26:18 pm »
Thanks, folks! I appreciate the response.

ebay intermatic

they have deals periodically for 6 switches for 99
Winner winner! I don't like the appearance as much as the GE's but I can live with that. After reading around, I have one question: in a 3-way circuit, do I just put a standard $4 3-way switch at one end of the circuit? It's a little unclear after reading the manual. I can understand why two dimmers would now work, but I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly that I can just go to Home Depot and grab a cheapo Leviton 3-way switch from the bin and I'll be good to go.

Also check your Lowes store as they should carry ge switches. Might be cheaper than on amazon. Not sure...
I went to Lowes this morning. They do indeed have lower prices for what they have than Amazon does. Unfortunately they didn't have much. They had two dimmer switches, which I picked up but will probably return if I go with Intermatic switches. They also had 3-way switches, but not the dimming kind. Then they had the on/off switches. If I could easily find a 45610 I might keep the GE dimmers I bought at Lowes, but I can't. Can I use regular dimmers with those too?

Amazon has been running this 20% deal on Leviton stuff. The price of the VRI06 (dimmer) has been swaying quite a bit, and recently could be had for just under $40 after discount!
Yikes! I assume those are high quality switches that have some sort of advantage to them, but even with 20% off they're very expensive. I'm going to end up getting about a dozen switches, and couldn't possibly afford to go with those Levitons :) Thanks though!

Offline PurdueGuy

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 02:52:00 pm »
Thanks, folks! I appreciate the response.

ebay intermatic

they have deals periodically for 6 switches for 99
Winner winner! I don't like the appearance as much as the GE's but I can live with that. After reading around, I have one question: in a 3-way circuit, do I just put a standard $4 3-way switch at one end of the circuit? It's a little unclear after reading the manual. I can understand why two dimmers would now work, but I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly that I can just go to Home Depot and grab a cheapo Leviton 3-way switch from the bin and I'll be good to go.

Also check your Lowes store as they should carry ge switches. Might be cheaper than on amazon. Not sure...
I went to Lowes this morning. They do indeed have lower prices for what they have than Amazon does. Unfortunately they didn't have much. They had two dimmer switches, which I picked up but will probably return if I go with Intermatic switches. They also had 3-way switches, but not the dimming kind. Then they had the on/off switches. If I could easily find a 45610 I might keep the GE dimmers I bought at Lowes, but I can't. Can I use regular dimmers with those too?

Amazon has been running this 20% deal on Leviton stuff. The price of the VRI06 (dimmer) has been swaying quite a bit, and recently could be had for just under $40 after discount!
Yikes! I assume those are high quality switches that have some sort of advantage to them, but even with 20% off they're very expensive. I'm going to end up getting about a dozen switches, and couldn't possibly afford to go with those Levitons :) Thanks though!

Remember the Intermatic On/Off switches are loud.  The GEs have a soft click.  The Intermatics (to me) are a loud CLUNK!
Vera3, Leviton, Intermatic, SQ Blaster, HomeWave, DSC 1832, Insteon/Altsteon

Offline rajhouse

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 03:01:42 pm »

Remember the Intermatic On/Off switches are loud.  The GEs have a soft click.  The Intermatics (to me) are a loud CLUNK!

I can withstand the loudness. Does anyone know the intermatic receptacles are reliable when comparing with GE receptacles? I'm planning to add about 5 receptacles in my house and I was thinking of getting the 6-pack CA3500 from eBay. Please let me know if I'm not making a right decision.

Thanks

Offline hsmaier

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 04:09:40 pm »
Greetings!

I recently moved, and for various reasons I won't go into I had to leave my wall switches behind (I was able to take my lamp modules). This was upsetting for me because I got all those switches in the Radio Shack fire sale, and I knew I'd never get switches for that price again. Ugh.

So now I'm in a much bigger house, facing the fact that I'm going to need far more switches than I had before anyway, in addition to having to face the much higher prices. Currently I'm seeing about $67 for the GE 3-way dimmable switches, and nearly that much for the 2-way switch. That's on Amazon.
Where do you guys get switches? Any good sources? I'm hoping for something that's less expensive than these...

Thanks for your help.

I did quite a bit of reading prior to jumping in to home automation.
I have a Vera 2 and chose Insteon switches as they are dual band for both Z Wave and over power lines.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=insteon

I've been replacing switches in my house a few at a time for more than a year with no problems or complaints. They require a neutral connection. I replaced the light switch in my garage with an Insteon switch and have a remote in my car. I can now turn off the garage light from my car when leaving for work in the early morning hours.
Not the cheapest switches but they work well.
Vera 2 U14, Vera 2 U15, Two Trane TZEMT400AB32 Thermostats. Insteon Light Switches, Insteon Outlets, Power Linc Modem.

Offline kkl

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 04:54:03 pm »

Winner winner! I don't like the appearance as much as the GE's but I can live with that. After reading around, I have one question: in a 3-way circuit, do I just put a standard $4 3-way switch at one end of the circuit? It's a little unclear after reading the manual. I can understand why two dimmers would now work, but I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly that I can just go to Home Depot and grab a cheapo Leviton 3-way switch from the bin and I'll be good to go.

Yes, you use a standard 3-way switch, but it's wired a little bit differently.  The wiring diagram assumes you have a "standard" circuit - line/hot entering the box with the Z-wave switch and the load/light wire exiting from the standard switch box.  If it's not wired that way, there's usually a work around when two switches are involved.  When 3 or more switches are used, it can be complicated.  You might want to check first if that situation applies to you.  I didn't think my wife would like the appearance of the Intouch switches, with the two dimples, but she prefers them!

Offline Dignan17

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 01:39:46 am »

Winner winner! I don't like the appearance as much as the GE's but I can live with that. After reading around, I have one question: in a 3-way circuit, do I just put a standard $4 3-way switch at one end of the circuit? It's a little unclear after reading the manual. I can understand why two dimmers would now work, but I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly that I can just go to Home Depot and grab a cheapo Leviton 3-way switch from the bin and I'll be good to go.

Yes, you use a standard 3-way switch, but it's wired a little bit differently.  The wiring diagram assumes you have a "standard" circuit - line/hot entering the box with the Z-wave switch and the load/light wire exiting from the standard switch box.  If it's not wired that way, there's usually a work around when two switches are involved.  When 3 or more switches are used, it can be complicated.  You might want to check first if that situation applies to you.  I didn't think my wife would like the appearance of the Intouch switches, with the two dimples, but she prefers them!
Thanks! I might hit you up for some help if I can't figure it out when I get these switches. My current wiring works with the GE 3-way switch packs with some modifications.

Here's what I have with the standard 3-way switches (that came with the house) that I'm replacing: each has four wires going into them. One is labeled on the place where it goes into the switch as a "common," then there's a red wire and a black wire and a ground. So each has four wires total. I believe the red is the traveler, the two blacks are line and load.

So, what I did for the GE switches was: on the primary switch, I connected the existing wires as needed, then tied into a pigtail of neutral wires in the back of the box that weren't previously connected to the switches. Then, on the side with the aux switch, I connected the traveler, the neutral, and the ground, then took the line and load wires and simply bundled them together with a wire nut. This all worked just fine.

So, given my [probably terrible] description, how would an intermatic switch and a standard 3-way switch work? Would the standard switch basically get wired the same way those GE aux switches do?

Offline Dignan17

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2012, 09:03:47 am »
BTW, I realize I should have asked this right away: do the intermatic switches behave like the GE switches? Do they:

- fade on/off
- turn on to the previous brightness level
- if they have an LED, can it be turned off in programming

Remember the Intermatic On/Off switches are loud.  The GEs have a soft click.  The Intermatics (to me) are a loud CLUNK!
That's the on/off switches, right? What about the dimmers? I ordered the dimmers...

Offline garrettwp

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 10:07:55 am »
Do not know about the dinners, but the led is only lit prior to including into the zwave network. After inclusion, the led remains off. Another note on the Intermatic and ge switches, they do not support instant status updates. This is useful when you want to use the switch as a trigger to activate other devices in a scene.

- Garrett


Offline oTi@

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2012, 10:55:14 am »
BTW, I realize I should have asked this right away: do the intermatic switches behave like the GE switches?
Also, there are some recent threads on that.

- fade on/off
- turn on to the previous brightness level
- if they have an LED, can it be turned off in programming

Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline joshua.lyon

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Re: Best/Cheapest source for switches?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 04:48:06 pm »
- fade on/off
- turn on to the previous brightness level
- if they have an LED, can it be turned off in programming

As others have mentioned:
  • Yes, the CA600 switches fade on/off
  • No, using the physical switch the CA600s does not return to the previous brightness level. Yes(ish), after a power outage or using LUUP you can get the CA600s to return to a brightness level.
  • The LED turns off after being associated with the Vera and does come on when the switch is on/off.

I would also note that the seller on ebay with the $99 packs is Automated Outlet. They are based nearby me in Dallas so I have swung by their facility to pick up my 6-packs. They still have a bunch of the CA600 dimmers and are still doing them in the $99 6-packs. They said that they were low on the CA3000s so they are no longer doing them as $99 6-packs and recommended that I purchase all the CA3000 on/off relays that I wanted since they might run out at some point. As I understand it, AutomatedOutlet basically bought out the remaining Intermatic stock when Intermatic decided to get out of the Z-wave line of switches.