Author Topic: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?  (Read 914 times)

Offline jrweiland

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No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« on: July 23, 2017, 08:33:02 pm »
Just moved into an old home, and the light switches don't have a neutral line.

This is a very out-there idea, but figured I'd run it by you all and see what you think.

What if I just took the line and load and connected them in the Jbox, and then installed a Z-wave lightbulb. That way the bulb is always receiving power, and can be turned on/off via Vera.

On top of that, is there a way to install a switch into that wall, give it power (via batteries or from the wiring) and connect it to Vera so that when the button is pressed it sends a Z-wave signal (NOT a change in the actual power line) that directs the lightbulb to turn on/off.

Do you think this is possible?  I searched in the forum, but couldn't find much on this.

Thanks so much!

Offline BOFH

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 09:51:05 pm »
There are Z-Wave micro switches you could install at the light location  that would allow you to use standard bulbs but still adhere to your idea. Leave the standard switch in place is also an option to switch power to the micro switch on or off as sort of a backup.

Examples I found on Amazon (not promoting any brand)
https://www.amazon.com/Switch-DSC26103-ZWUS-Aeotec-pigtails-1-pack/dp/B06Y23DYWV
https://www.amazon.com/Vision-Z-Wave-Micro-Switch-1-pack/dp/B01GQX1GFC

You can use battery operated zwave  scene switches (GE/jasco makes one for example) to control all these micro switches.
https://www.amazon.com/GE-45631-Z-Wave-Wireless-Controller/dp/B003OUWABU
https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-Almond-4-Button-Controller-RZCS4-1LX/dp/B000R4L36O

Or use a tablet to control them.

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Offline zedrally

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 10:05:39 pm »

What if I just took the line and load and connected them in the Jbox, and then installed a Z-wave lightbulb. That way the bulb is always receiving power, and can be turned on/off via Vera.



That will work, might frustrate others who try to use the switch!


You're other solution could be to install the Z-Wave relay in the light fitting or roof recess where the neutral is present.



Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, Fantem Tec and then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors, RFXComm, Broadlink RMPro & Mini plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline jrweiland

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 10:12:34 pm »

What if I just took the line and load and connected them in the Jbox, and then installed a Z-wave lightbulb. That way the bulb is always receiving power, and can be turned on/off via Vera.



That will work, might frustrate others who try to use the switch!

Haha I'm thinking of putting in z-wave bulb, connecting line & load within the wall, then removing regular switch and putting a scene controller instead

Offline jswim788

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2017, 10:42:37 pm »
I'm thinking of putting in z-wave bulb, connecting line & load within the wall, then removing regular switch and putting a scene controller instead
Make sure you research whatever bulb you are thinking of prior to purchasing them.  This person had a heck of a time with bulbs turning on at 2 AM every night - hopefully that is now resolved: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,47827.msg324056.html#msg324056

Offline zedrally

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 10:45:29 pm »


Haha I'm thinking of putting in z-wave bulb, connecting line & load within the wall, then removing regular switch and putting a scene controller instead


That will definitely work, but can by up to twice the price by the time you buy a scene controller.

Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, Fantem Tec and then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors, RFXComm, Broadlink RMPro & Mini plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline shallowearth

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 12:44:52 am »
A couple of other options:

Caseta Wireless lighting can be used in 2 wire applications.  If you want to connect them to Vera the cheapest way is via a Wink hub+plug in.

Also Cooper makes a battery powered switch that can control z-wave bulbs via direct association, however they cannot be installed over an existing jbox.  They just stick on the wall.  So you would have to put a blank plate over the jbox then put the Cooper next to it or something (not the best looking option)


Offline Priest

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 08:26:11 am »


You're other solution could be to install the Z-Wave relay in the light fitting or roof recess where the neutral is present.

This right here. The switched hot that you have will throw the relay in an enerwave single or dual relay z-wave device and things will act as normal for most people. The switch will act like a 3 way switch where it will change the state of the device no matter if the switch is up or down. this set-up is what these relays were designed for as far as i know.

Offline RichardTSchaefer

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 08:39:03 am »
Other  solutions ...
1) Use a Z-wave switch that does not need a neutral and use an incandescent bulb
    (You can also play with  a hidden low wattage incandescent bulb in parallel with CFL or LED lamp)
    The incandescent provides a high  resistance circuit for the Z-Wave switch to work even though the light is out.

2) Modify the circuit.
    Modify the "LOAD" wire at the switch and the fixture ... Connect it to the Ground at the Fixture.  .... Make sure you mark this wire ... i.e. wrap it with white tape on both sides.
    Then you can continue to use the Z-Wave switch at the fixture ... and you will have power for a Z-Wave scene controller.
    I would have done this with a Z-Wave module at the fixture ... which would have provided more light options at the fixture.


Offline zedrally

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 06:43:00 pm »
snip

1) Use a Z-wave switch that does not need a neutral and use an incandescent bulb
    (You can also play with  a hidden low wattage incandescent bulb in parallel with CFL or LED lamp)
    The incandescent provides a high  resistance circuit for the Z-Wave switch to work even though the light is out.


   


RTS,  Are you saying that you can use a "normal" z-wave relay in a no neutral scenario or have I read this wrong?


edit: If you are, can you post a schematic of what you have in mind?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 07:34:36 pm by zedrally »
Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, Fantem Tec and then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors, RFXComm, Broadlink RMPro & Mini plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline JS007

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 10:43:50 pm »
I ended up going with the Philips Hue, then adding that to vera, I too did not have a neutral, old house
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 10:45:41 pm by JS007 »

Offline RichardTSchaefer

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Re: No-Neutral Switch -- put a remote there instead?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2017, 08:05:19 am »
Quote
RTS,  Are you saying that you can use a "normal" z-wave relay in a no neutral scenario or have I read this wrong?
NO, the original Z-Wave incandescent light switches did NOT have or require a neutral. But they required a bulb that was resistive, i.e. even when it was off a small leakage current, not enough to turn the light on, would supply power for the Z-Wave device.

LED and CFLs bulbs will not work for this, but you could use these if you put a 10 w (refrigerator/microwave) bulb in parallel with these bulbs.