This product was mentioned in
with an average of
Searched for "zwave led dimmer" and this was the first one on the list, recommended by Amazon and works with Alexa.
GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Smart Dimmer Switch, In-Wall, Includes White & Light Almond Paddles, Works with Amazon Alexa, 12724 [link]
Thanks for your feedback, it was incredibly helpful. So These are the switches I will get since the lights I got for my rooms are LED Dimmable. I'll get the smart things hub as well to interact between the switch and my echo, but what do I use to program all the details. For example how do I get alexa to recognize "bedroom 1" name when I talk to her and have her interact with it. Is there a software program I use to manage all these devices and name them, etc?
Also, my light switches do not have a ground since the house is older, so I'll have to have an electrician come out and figure out a way to install these switches
> I will say I am rethinking sticking with toggles. I have had many visitors flip a switch with a whole arm swipe, which seems bad for longevity.
That's the kind of thing I'm interested in hearing. Thanks for sharing.
That said, I'm not sure that's any different for any smart devices when it comes to visitors. I had this GE/Jasco dimmer in my previous house and guests constantly misused it by holding down to turn it off (instead of tapping) which would just dim to the lowest brightness.
And then they would also turn it on and and just accepting that the lights were supposed to be at their lowest brightness. I suppose that type of user error is less concerning than improper use that could damage, though!
I like the GE Z-wave smart dimmer paddle. I've installed 4 of them and 2 add-on switches for the three way switches. No issues so far, they were easy to install, the videos they have on YouTube are very easy to follow. I set up a price alert on amazon for these [link] and nabbed them when they got down to $33 each, which is about the best price I've seen.
??? any dimmer or on off GE switch can be made into a 3 way as long as you add the add-on switch or dimmers. there is a piece of tape on the back that covers the traveler you take off. PM me if you have questions ...
I'm technically savvy but more on the software side than the hardware side. I was geared up to do it myself until I started reading about 3-phase light switches (when you have more than one switch that controls a set of lights) and then it started to go over my head with load, line, neutral, etc...I figured: "Hey, I don't wanna burn my house down. Let's leave this to the pros."
I've done a ton of research but there is so much information out there that the more you look the less you know. I was looking at the GE 12724 but I'm open to recommendations as well.
I do know I'll be using the Samsung SmartThings hub for the brains of the whole thing. I'll likely tie in a Logitech Harmony hub in there too along with a Google Home for voice activation.
Thank you for taking the time to reply, every bit of help is appreciated.
Maybe you can clarify. I have two GE 12724's. Just focusing on the 'master', near the breaker first- I only have three connections and ground, not four. If you look at the second picture here, the fourth connection is covered, and says 'no 120V'.
Secondly, and less importantly, can I used a second 12724 as a slave? I can always replace it later on with an aux switch, I'd just like to have light for the time being at least. Worst case, I do have a manual three way I could toss in for the time being too.
Lastly, god forbid I made the connections incorrectly, are these switches prone to burning out with swapped line and load, or do they simply (and I imagine more likely) just not work?
What you want is 12724
Fan control and light dimmers are very different. Fan control starts power high and lowers from there, light dimmers start low and dim up. This is important when it comes to not burning out a fan motor. You want to make sure you have them straight.
IMO it's not hard at all.
Three wires, two screws and a pretty plate to snap into place. The only difficulty I've run into is being short of space in the box.
I use these in my house.
GE / Jasco dimmer switches, ~$40 on Amazon, a few bucks less without the dimmer function.
Plug and play zwave functionality, just make sure there is a neutral wire.
I'm controlling incandescents, halogen, LEDs and I think at least one CFL with them and had no issues with the switches.
I am using a SmartThings hub to control them, FWIW.
EDIT: There is a zigbee version as well, though I think they are harder to find.
EDIT 2: Just to be clear, you don't HAVE to use the SmartThings hub to control them, you can just tap on the switch and it works like any other paddle dimmer, it just provides the option of controlling via zwave.
Doubtful. You would have to have something that would control the output to the light.
Here's a dimmable smart switch.
Most old dimmers would make my lights flicker or buzz... and this was back when only incandescent bulbs could be dimmed. It's not anything to worry about, but it's definitely annoying. It really depends on the type of bulb as some are worse than others.
Newer LED bulbs may humm similarly when dimmed though some will blink. I have several completely quiet ones but I also have several that say they are dimmable but don't dim that much until you get down to 40% and they definitely hum past that. Though the buzz isn't nearly as loud as I remember incandescent bulbs with x10 dimmers. I'm using the GE zwave dimming wall switches.
Check the reviews of any bulbs you're interested in and make sure others mention how well they work with dimmers. I have a handful of "dimmable" bulbs that will dim, but start blinking or buzz when they get low. But I got them because they were cheap and didn't do my research.
the beauty of the z-wave light switches is that if somebody turns off the light by hand, you can always switch it back on with automation. so you'll always be able to control the hues from automation app.
these ge switches
another reason i went with z-wave switches is that i can mix and match my bulb types. some fixtures can be plain led bulbs and still have on/off or dimming capability via the switch.
the velcro solution is a neat one and i'd probably end up doing just that if i was in an apt or unwilling to spend extra money.
This one shows 500W but it says nothing about Halogen. I have no idea if there needs to be a differentiation?
it might work, but it certainly isnt officially compatible. lutron holds a patent, and the 45612 expressly states it's for incandescent use only. actually, all of them are 'for incandescent use'.
edit: sorry, man, this one got under my skin, and is why crowd sourced information is both awesome and awful at the same time. for anyone else reading, DO NOT use incandescent dimmer switches to dim LED bulbs. most will end up with bulbs that buzz and flicker while dimmed, and the dim level won't be consistent. with that said, it is possible to get them working as long as you have enough LED bulbs strung together to get above the typical load limit (20/30W, maybe higher) for an incandescent dimmer to operate properly. but don't do it, it's just bad practice.
~~well, shit. i didnt know this existed. if this is what you were talking about, my bad, you're right.~~
i guess not, that requires a neutral.
If I buy a GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer and 2 Add-On Switches, is that enough to set up a 4-way control of my bedroom lights with a main switch at the door, and 2 switches either side of the bed? Do the add on switches need to be hard-wired to anything?
Would these work as a small self-contained system without a hub, or is a hub required for them to work at all?
You will need smart switches for this scenario.
If the bedroom already come wired with individual switches to control the light and the fan separately, you can replace those two switches with a light dimmer and a ceiling fan control. (<-Those links are just examples, both are Z-wave).
If the ceiling fan currently has only one wall switch, you can still control the light and fan separately by installing an Insteon FanLinc in the fan's canopy, and replacing the wall switch with an Insteon keypad. Insteon is the only solution I'm aware of for this scenario, but there may be others.
Next you need a hub. A hub contains the radios to talk to the switches and to your wifi network, as well as a processor to run automatic "rules" like "turn the lights on at 8AM". (An Echo is not a hub. But an Echo can issue instructions to a hub (well, some hubs, anyway), which in turn can control your ceiling fan)
Depending on which technology you decide to go with (Zwave, Insteon, Zigbee, etc) you can determine what features you need in your hub. A few popular (and relatively cheap) hubs are:
There are pros and cons to every one of these, including price, stability, and user-friendliness. One thing to keep an eye out for: A lot of current hubs (like the Wink and the current SmartThings hub) "run" in the cloud, which can be laggy and means they don't work when your internet is down.
Generally, in existing residential settings, I think smart switches are a better option than smart bulbs. However, if you want color-changing lights, you're going to have to get a smart bulb.
Anyway, hope that gives you a starting point! Good luck!
On a budget, I would stay well clear of things like Hue- they are very expensive to scale up because they rely on each bulb being "smart", and this also means they are limited in terms of which light fittings you can use in the future.
Personally i've gone for a self-build Z-Wave option, preferring to embed z-wave dimmers in my walls (behind the light switch) and make my own controller from a raspberry pi + some software called "Domoticz". This means an initial outlay of about $70 for the pi+Zwave adaptor, and then a cost of $40 per room after that regardless of how many bulbs you need. A hue solution would be 3-4x the cost.
The downside (or upside depending on your POV!) is that you need to build this yourself - setup your own alexa bridge, install + configure domoticz, and be willing to handle the electrical connections to your switches. It's all really easy though if you have the desire to get stuck in (there are lots of youtube tutorials). You can save a lot of $$ though particularly if you are in the US where the parts are generally cheaper than the UK (Where I am), and your setup will be much more configurable than any off the shelf solution. You can also add more obscure devices easily to a domoticz setup. I have my security cameras hooked in for example and setup so that a relevant light will turn on when the motion sensing is triggered between certain hours, and my wifi kettle connected so I can ask alexa to turn the kettle on. It's rather fun and addictive once you get started :)
As a starting point here are a few links that may help:
I use either GE or Linear/GoControl brand. Both seem to work the same. Only reason I use a combination is because I'm picky and the white color of the Linear ones don't quite match the standard wall plates and switches. So I use the cheaper Linear switches for single gang boxes and the GE for multi:
If you have 3-way switches though, be aware that the Linear option can end up costing a bit more. With the GE switches you have one master switch like the one I linked above, and then their add-on switch for the others in the circuit. Linear has an add-on switch also, but it's like twice the price of the GE one. So I always use GE for 3 or 4-way switches:
I'm copypasta'ing my answer to this question from a month ago. Good luck!
Just reno'd my home, and I LOVE MY SMART HOME. I'm using SmartThings in conjunction with Logitech's Harmony Hub, and it is working fantastically!!
A few other recommendations:
CAT6 EVERYWHERE. This is so important and worthwhile, that I'm writing it to echo everyone else's statements :) I had my contractor's wiring guy run unfinished, plain Cat6 everywhere, and will finish the ends myself, which saved a ton of money.
Get them to install your Smart Thermostat. I supplied mine (Ecobee 3) to my contractor and wanted them to install it. This is because when I asked them if my furnace had the C-wire, they said yes, so I could install it myself. I pushed them to install it for me, and it turned out that I didn't have the C-wire, so they had to do the extra wiring run to my furnace and get it installed. Massive bullet dodged, no way I could have done that myself after the walls were up. I love smart heating/cooling. I chose the Ecobee 3 because it is actually a hard-wired thermostat, so no need to ever change batteries :)
Smart dimmer switches for nice pendant/chandelier LED lights in kitchen and/or living room (or anywhere else). I bought a couple smart dimmable GE z-wave switches (I think it was this, or a similar model) and had the contractor install those too. This you can probably do yourself, but it's better if they do it for you while they're installing all the other wiring and regular switches anyway. The switches are wonderful, and can dim my beautiful kitchen pendant LEDs, as well as my beautiful chandelier LED. Thus, those lights didn't have to be smart, just the switch, which allowed me unlimited access to any light I want. Light shopping is a lot of fun, a lot of cool stuff out there. If using this switch, just make sure the lights you buy for them are dimmable, as some LED lights are not dimmable, and will tell you so in the specs.
Outlets at every window. For what? SMART AUTOMATED BLINDS. And with the outlets by the windows, then you can order the blinds that come with standard wired power, which is cheaper than the battery powered and solar powered ones. And c'mon, let's face it, no one wants to change the damn batteries, especially with the blinds going up and down at least one cycle per day, and solar power never seems to deliver enough juice. I ordered smart Bali Blinds through Costco that have the Somfi receiver built into them. You build your own package when you order (because you have to measure and specify lengths and widths for blinds), and when choosing accessories, you have to order the Somfi to Z-wave controller (Zrtsi is what they call it) with it. I LOVE these smart blinds.
Get them to install your Smart Door Locks. I'm using a Schlage Z-wave (or zigbee?) lock for this, and it is working great so far. But it was a pain in the ass to install apparently, or more specifically, to line up with the hole the door bolt lines up with in the door frame.
Now, I have my smart home programmed so that when I pull up onto the driveway and into the range of my wifi, the blinds automatically open, my LED lights come on, and the TV system turns on, programmed to my starting channel of course (which is usually sports, because baseball is on by the time I get home :D), and the door unlocks. It's...really amazing lol...I freaking love this setup.
If I have gone out for the day and just remembered that I didn't check to see if I locked the door? I can just check the status of it from the SmartThings app. Unlocked? Click. Locked.
When I was out of town last month, I programmed a couple SmartThings routines to open and close my blinds, and turn my lights and tv on and off, at different intervals on different days. I used different timings for different days, because why not? It's so easy and simple to set up in SmartThings, so why not make it just the slightest more realistic and difficult for burglars to figure out?
All in all, I can't believe my smart home is actually functioning the way I hoped it would. I expected there to be more issues and problems, but nope, it's working exactly the way I wanted it to.
When my garage is cleared out, I will be installing my wifi enabled Chamberlain garage door openers too, so that the garage door will open automatically for me as well :) If you can get them to install that too, that would save you a bunch of time, since that's a lengthy install and you usually need someone to help with it.
6. Speaker wire in every room, like bathrooms. Or at least the rooms you'll want sound in (kitchen, bedrooms, living room, bathrooms....that's pretty much every room :D). I wish I had done this. I initially thought I would just use a bluetooth speaker wherever I wanted sound. But then Google released the Chromecast Audio, and you can get whole home sound now for CHEAP...if you have powered speakers everywhere. Plus, it's always good to have speaker wires wherever you're going to have a tv, because true surround sound will always be better than soundbars.
Writing this prompted me to check my stuff while here at work. I just opened the SmartThings app and noticed I left the blinds open! Click. Closed. :D
DOUBLE BONUS EDIT:
I can't wait for my Google Home and Amazon Echo Dots to arrive!!!!
What you want to accomplish is certainly possible, however, you have a 3-way switch, so you will have to replace both switches. GE makes a 3-way compatible z-wave dimmer switch that I've used in my house that I've been pretty happy with. You will need to install the z-wave dimmer on your load switch (where the hot line comes in) and an "add-on" switch on the other 3-way switch. The photo you posted appears to be of your non-load switch since there isn't a black line connected to the switch, but to be sure you should test the load portion of the switch with a multimeter.
Here's links to the GE switches I use:
GE Z-Wave Dimmer
Edit: Upon looking at the photo you posted again, I do see a black line, but I can't see how it's connected to the switch. It's possible this is your primary load switch, but again I'm would test with a multimeter to be sure.
For number 3, you could replace the switch with a Z-wave dimmer switch:
And then get one of several hubs that works with the switch and Echo, like Smartthings for example:
That setup might let you use your current bulbs with Alexa without having to swap them all out for Phillips Hue or LIFX. I say "might" because not all dimmable LEDs work well with all dimmer switches. Probably want to buy the switch first without the hub and try it. This setup also has the added benefit over Hue lights of still being able to use the physical switch for dimming without having to add a Hue dimmer: [link].
/u/Alwayssunnyinarizona raises a lot of good points as usual. I would also add that if you ever outgrow ST, you can always integrate it with Home Assistant and keep ST as the basic device manager.
Lights (dimming): [link]
Lights (non-dimming): [link]
All three of those work with ST, but do indeed require neutral wires.
It’s this one: GE 12724 Z-Wave Smart Dimmer,... [link]
You have a few options, you can use traditional z-wave devices and then pair them to a remote like the Aeon Labs minimote and operate them that way (no hub required). I also discovered that GE has a bluetooth switch that you can program and operate remotely with your phone but looks like you don't want to use a phone.
Edit: as /u/gurase mentioned Lutron has a system that will work too.
and if you get a hub later, you can still use these devices so that is a plus.
I've never heard of Legrand, and I've always seen Lutron as having more of a closed system, but I see that Caseta is getting, or just got official SmartThings support. What I meant was going with z-wave dimmers or on/off switches like the ones made by GE or Linear/GoControl. The nice things about regular z-wave, z-wave plus, and zigbee products like this is that it's compatible with a whole slew of hubs, and will probably be supported by all future hubs for a long, long time. Doesn't matter if you have SmartThings, Wink, VeraLite, whatever, it will work.
Lighting doesn't have to be complicated, it's more about the hub you go with, than the device that controls your bulbs because that is what you interact with. I have a mix of z-wave dimmers and smart bulbs around the house, altogether 20 something light devices connected to a SmartThings hub. Alexa integration is great, as is Google Assistant on android (I have no iOS devices). I can tell either Alexa or the Google Assistant to turn lights on/off, dim lights to a percentage (I love being able to dim lights to any percent I want, 1%, 10%, 63%, whatever I want) and they change instantly. I use an android app called SharpTools that has a great UI for controlling devices, and good support for creating widgets.
I don't use scenes, but SmartThings has "routines" so you can create a widget on your phone's home screen or control it with Alexa to perform preset tasks (Set Living Room light to 10%, Set Reading Lamp to 85%, turn on a power outlet, lock your front door, etc).
Here's some links if you want to look at some other options:
GE Z-Wave Dimmer: [link]
Linear Z-Wave Dimmer: [link] (I have a bunch of these and they're great).
Like /u/JshWright, I use z-wave switches and dimmers that replace the physical switch. They're quite a bit more expensive, but easily fit in any switch junction box and don't have to connect to wifi.
I use either GE or Linear/GoControl brand. Both seem to work the same. Only reason I use a combination is because I'm picky and the white color of the Linear ones don't quite match the standard wall plates and switches. So I use the cheaper Linear switches for single gang boxes and the GE for multi:
3-way configurations are pretty easy with these, just might take you a bit to figure out which wires need to go where. With the GE switches you have one master switch like the one I linked above, and then their add-on switch for the others in the circuit. Linear has an add-on switch also, but it's like twice the price of the GE one. So I always use GE for 3 or 4-way switches:
I've looked at the HomeSeer ones too, which look pretty cool. They're Z-wave Plus and also support double and triple tap, although I'm not sure if HASS and/or OpenZWave support that function anyway.
White is the neutral. Three wires would be black (hot), white(neutral) and the bare copper (ground).
When you would see more wires is for a 3-way light switch or a ceiling fan with a light where you may see a red wire.
Last week I installed a 3-way switch using the GE switches(Dimmer and Add-on). It was quite a hassle for a non-electrician because there are so many possible wiring configurations. I had to bust out my multi-meter and do some trial and error for over an hour to determine the hot, neutral, line, load and two travelers.
In my case the hot and neutral were in two different switch boxes but luckily I had another switch in that same box that had a neutral (they all go back to the same place, neutral bus bar)
GE's not quite as expensive. Check these out. You'll need one smart dimmer for every light, then however many add-on switches.
GE z-wave smart dimmer
GE add-on switch
Since those bulbs are dimmable, I would use this [link] and this [link]
I used this article for some cursory info on switches, and went with these in the end:
GE Smart Dimmer, Z-Wave, In-Wall, 12724
The price was good for how many switches I was installing, and I like them a lot except for two minor things:
The lights fade on/off a bit too slowly for my liking. This however can be changed by altering a setting from your Z-Wave hub, though I haven't had time to fiddle with that yet.
The rocker doesn't depress all the way, it sort of stops half-way and clicks. Most people won't care about this or probably even notice it, but it's a minor pet-peeve of mine.
I also got a SmartThings Kit to control them while it was on sale for $100 off for Black Friday (it was the lowest price they've ever sold for, but it's currently $50, which is still pretty good). You can also just get the hub, but I wanted some sensors so the kit made sense to me.
I wish the Hue Hub was a bit more robust, but sadly it can't be used directly in conjunction with any known in-wall switches. However, You can add Hue bulbs to SmartThings, so that can wind up being a central place to manage things.
Personally, I also setup Home Assistant which lets me do a lot more with other product APIs, and lets me control the UI to some extent as well. Be warned though that it does require some understanding of code and servers. I setup the Home Assistant MQTT Bridge for SmartThings so it can talk to my ST Hub, and use it for automation instead of SmartThings. Hypothetically you can just get a Z-Wave USB stick for your Home Assistant server in lieu of something like SmartThings and have it act as a hub directly, but I felt getting a ST Hub was easier.
Finally, I also got a Google Home while it was on sale, and used IFTTT to create custom commands so I can trigger scenes in Home Assistant for things like watching a movie on my projector, watching TV, getting ready for bed, etc. I also want to have it automatically turn the projector and TV on eventually as part of the scene, but haven't had time to play with that yet.
It was a little annoying to setup, but I like it a lot now that everything's humming along.
or will this work. Still kind of pricey for just one room
One of these
GE 12724 Z-Wave Smart Dimmer, In-Wall
and two of these
GE 12723 Add-On Switch
This is the one I've been using:
GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer (In-Wall), 12724 [link]
Does this allow it to work as a dimmer, or just as a binary switch?
The Amazon page says it's NOT WINK compatible
What's with the combination of Decora and Toggle switches?
Before doing any smart lighting in the house, that was a 2-gang toggle switch. One controlled the hallway lights and the other controlled a very high vaulted ceiling light/fan with candelabra bulbs.
Unfortunately, Philips doesn't have a solution for controlling dumb lights and there wasn't any way to convert them into smart lights. I looked for quite a while for a homogeneous solution but found that the best solution for what I was trying to accomplish was the GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer - affiliate link which could be combined with an add-on switch at the bottom of the stairs. That solution met all of my requirements
The only down side is it is only available in decora style.
Also, what was below the dimmer switches?
I am not sure what you mean so I will go through the entire process I used to create this solution. In the end, I wanted to something to look as normal/natural as possible.
Problem: How to mount the Hue dimmer switch to the wall
I asked here about people's experience and decided that I absolutely didn't want to actually mount it to the wall. I built a couple of prototypes to mount the Hue dimmer over the original switch to include a 3D printed design but ultimately abandoned this approach. The ultimate solution I went with was really the simplest:
Replace the existing cover plate with a metal one that has 1-gang more than you need and use the magnets in the Hue dimmer switch to give the illusion it is mounted to the wall. In other words, a single toggle switch becomes a 2-gang toggle switch and the dimmer magnetically connects to the 2nd gang.
Material list for a single toggle switch "upgrade"
When I switched from white to oil rubbed bronze I also ended up having to superglue a large washer to the extra gang in the switch plates because they are made from a non-magnetic metal. I only discovered this after purchasing a large number of them but you may be able to avoid this step by purchasing a different brand then I did.
Hopefully that answers all your questions and then some but if not, let me know.
Unless I'm misunderstanding, is this similar to what you're looking for? [link]
There are large number of switches like that available.
You'll need some kind of hub to get them to work though. I don't think you can with just the hue hub.. but you can use Smarthings or whatever.
Then you can tell the switch to be on or off, which would then turn the bulbs on or off.
They also make dimmers: [link]
Home depot, lowes, amazon, and everywhere else sells both types.
Top priority: make sure the LED bulbs are dimmable.
I've been using the GE 12724 dimmers in my house. They ship with white and light-almond faceplates. They've worked well with no noise with Cree and Philips dimmable LEDs. This switch has a blue indicator LED. You can buy auxiliary switches for 3- and 4-way setups, but you must have a traveler wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire available. I really like this setup for 3-way switches, because up is always on and down is always off, unlike dumb 3-way setups.
I also have one Linear WD500Z-1 dimmer. It works just as well as the GE dimmers (for me, anyway) and can usually be found for cheaper than the GE models. According to the amazon listing, they come with white trim, but you can purchase light almond trim separately. This switch has a green indicator LED. I don't like the transparent air-gap switch at the bottom - it looks like a hole. I think the GE's white (or light-almond) air-gap switch blends in better. I believe you can set this up as a three-way by using a Linear wireless auxiliary switch - no traveler wire required, but you do need to supply power, neutral and ground. I haven't used this switch in a 3-way setup, though, so take that with a grain of salt.
Here is a pic of my gang box
This is the switch I'm using
I apologize for the cluster of wires. I took that last night for my own benefit so I understand if it doesn't make sense. This box has wiring for my ceiling fan and another for some recessed lighting.
I know initially I had asked for advice on dimming the ceiling fan lights but I decided I would rather dim my recessed LED lighting. (Just two bulbs)
I tried to label each wire the best I could. I attached the wire labeled "Hot Wire" to the "line" hole on switch. I attached the "Load Wire" to the "load" hole on switch. And I attached the "Pig tail to switch" wire to the Neutral hole on the switch.
The only thing I can figure is that maybe the area I have labeled as "Neutral Bundle" is wrong. It looks like its correct though. If you look carefully you can see the white wire from the "to lights" cable being tied into the neutral bundle. So unless that white wire isn't actually a neutral then I'm confused.
I appreciate your help this has been a learning experience for me, and I plan on ordering all my future devices through HA World just for being so helpful!!!
Edit: The "pig tail to switch" wire isn't pictured because I took this photo before I installed it. But, it's there just pretend that white line is a white wire. :)
No personal experience, but I've read that GE/Jasco Z-Wave dimming switches (this) do not require a neutral.