We have moved at community.getvera.com

Author Topic: 3-way switches there must be a better way  (Read 5607 times)

Offline markbannister

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Karma: +1/-0
3-way switches there must be a better way
« on: January 19, 2010, 06:09:48 pm »
Office situation with drop ceilings and six 3-way switch groups. 
Since the wiring is easily accessible it seems to me it would be cheaper to rewire switches/lights so they are not 3-way.  A 3-way with slave looks like it will run $80-$90 whereas a relay or normal switch and scene buttons seems cheaper.  Hmm, looks like maybe not.  Scene buttons are just a tad expensive I see.
Any thoughts on the most frugal way to go?

Offline michaelk

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 633
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 3-way switches there must be a better way
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 08:32:21 pm »
depends on where your switches are located and if you are open to non- standard use. But you can use one switch to do multiple fixtures.

Some of the switches allow you to 'associate' to other switches.

I have some (from act i think) when you double tap the switch it will activate another switch(s) that you associate to it's 'group 2'. When you triple tap it can activate any switchs that you have associated to 'group 3'

Example. My Basement has just a switch at the top of the stairs to control the stair light. Then in the basement at the base of the stairs there was a single switch for a light at the far corner.

so I have stair light and basement light. And a switch at the top of the stairs and the bottom. The top switch single tap controls the stair light. The bottom switch single tap controls the basement lamp. AND a double tap on the bottom switch controls the stair light also through an assocation to the top switch.


Offline shady

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1331
  • Karma: +11/-0
  • This monkey knows his Window Coverings!
Re: 3-way switches there must be a better way
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 11:08:31 pm »
The Z-Wave Intermatic (discontinued, but picked up by Wayne Dalton) 3-Way toggle switch I have has an extra wire that allows for the 3-Way switch at the other end of the hallway/room to trigger/operate the Intermatic switch.  I am talking about the standard non-zwave 3-Way wall switch (actually it could be a standard toggle switch, as you are just using one screw of the 3-Way).  The Intermatic switch is just looking for an open or closed contact in the other switch and depending on the state of the light it just alternates, giving you the same operation as a 3-Way circuit (except because it is a dimmer the light ramps up to full on or the last dimmed level).  This at least saves you from having to buy switches for both sides.
Vera3 1.5.346, Schlage (3)DB (2)Lever, Kwikset (1)Lever, RCS TZ43 Thermo, (2) Vizia RZI06-1LX 600W Dimmers, (17) Monster (Leviton) Dimmers (6) Monster (Leviton) IWC Scene Controllers (1) Etherrain-8, (3) HSM 100's (1)GE 3-Way set

Offline steveg

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Karma: +0/-0
Leviton VP00R-10 or VP00R-1L
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 03:55:06 am »
These are coordinating remotes that can be combined with any Leviton Vizia dimmer including the Z-Wave Vizia RF+ models. The difference between the two is whether or not there are LEDs on the unit to provide feedback on both ends.

These units are substantially cheaper than Z-Wave controllers (smarthome has the LED model on sale for $18.94 US).

They work like a regular 3-way circuit. If you're currently wired for a 3-way, you can replace the 3-way switches with one dimmer (e.g. VZI06-1LX) and one of these. You end up with something than can be fully controlled from either end (on/off/dim). You don't have to use a Z-Wave dimmer, but when you do, the circuit can be controlled remotely as well.

This also works for 4-way circuits (one dimmer, two coordinating remotes) and even larger 4-way configurations.

Note that these repurpose one of the traveler wires that run between the switches to convey control information. This usage is vendor specific so, you can't mix and match between vendors.

Other vendors have similar products.

Offline Anthony420

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 3-way switches there must be a better way
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2010, 10:47:37 am »
The low-cost three way solution based on Home Settings HA20C Z-wave dimmer (three-way) can be wired with the existing companion (slave) as shown in the attached drawing.  I have posted this before, so some of you may have already seen it.  I hope this helps as the HA20s are low cost units and I have about eight of them working well with Vera.

Please make certain you are qualified to do wiring, or contract a professional if necessary.

Anthony

Offline markbannister

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: 3-way switches there must be a better way
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2010, 11:29:08 am »
Thanks Anthony.
The only drawback I see is that the HA 20C will not know that status of the light, or am I missing something?