Many 2-way switches

Posted on
Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:06 pm
jltnol offline
Posts: 256
Joined: Oct 15, 2013

Many 2-way switches

So the house I bought a few months ago has plenty 2 way switches, and one 3-way switch. While convenient, they do make automation kind of a problem. One idea I had was to simply make some of these circuits a one way circuit, install a smart switch, and call it a day. I could easily just cover the non-used switch with a blank plate. Of course, when I move, I'd have the option of going back to the 2 way switches... or at least explaining to the new owners that it would be easy to do.

But I guess I'm wondering if there are any smart switches designed exactly for this kind of purpose? Smart switches that could installed in a 2 way circuit, and both switches would turn on or off the light, and could be automated via Indigo?

Posted on
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:25 pm
Swancoat offline
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Location: Houston

Re: Many 2-way switches

First of all, I think your terminology is a little off... Two switches controlling a light is a 3-way switch, and so on.

That being said, I know what you're getting at, and the answer is: Yes, many systems can be setup like this. With insteon for example, wire one switch so that it just controls the load like any other normal switch. Wire the other one to just connect to line and neutral, but with no load. You can then link he switches together programmatically and replicate the exact behavior of the 3 way switch, but with automation. Or you can have the second switch do whatever you want.

http://nerdhome.jimdo.com

Posted on
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:53 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Many 2-way switches

There are also Z-Wave equivalents of standard 3-way switches - you purchase one switch that's the "main" switch, then buy "companion" switches for the other locations in the multi-way setup. HomeSeer has them for instance - I've not used any of the HomeSeer switches in multiway because I prefer Insteon switches, but I do have a couple of those switches in standalone positions and they work nicely.

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Posted on
Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:37 am
jltnol offline
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Joined: Oct 15, 2013

Re: Many 2-way switches

Wow!
Didn't think this thru all the way, and yes... sorry about the wrong terminology..

thanks for the ideas...

Posted on
Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:09 pm
Colly offline
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Joined: Jan 16, 2016

Re: Many 2-way switches

Not sure of the differences with the way you connect 2/3 way circuits. I have a few circuits connected as I think you are describing and the secret is to connect to the "switch wire", that is the last connection from the wall switch to the lights. Once you connect there no matter how many other switches are in the circuit it shouldn't matter. I use 1 Fibaro ZWave module in a circuit with 6 switches. See image which will hopefully show what I'm trying to describe above.
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two-way_and_intermidiate_light_circuit.gif
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Posted on
Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:27 pm
mclass offline
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Re: Many 2-way switches

i have recently adopted the same technique offered by Colly with great success! The secret is to find the existing switch from which the wiring goes to the load, and locate the module there.
The other benefit is that it uses the existing switches and the operation is "transparent" to those (SO included!) that display a phobia towards automation! My installation has achieved a high WAF (wife acceptance factor) whilst allowing me to satisfy my urge to automate :-)


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Posted on
Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:16 pm
Colly offline
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Joined: Jan 16, 2016

Re: Many 2-way switches

mclass wrote:
The other benefit is that it uses the existing switches and the operation is "transparent" to those (SO included!) that display a phobia towards automation! My installation has achieved a high WAF (wife acceptance factor) whilst allowing me to satisfy my urge to automate :-)


Agree totally mclass, I initially started wondering how I would connect to circuits such as these, once I got my head around it and wired it in as above it did indeed achieve a high WAF. :)

Posted on
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:25 pm
jltnol offline
Posts: 256
Joined: Oct 15, 2013

Re: Many 2-way switches

My other idea was to get one of the Insteon Micro dimmers and put in line right before the fixture. In theory, switches would turn it off... or on... at least I think...... but I'd leave them on so that they would be automated..

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