How can I use a Z-wave switch as a 3-way with no neutral?


I recently had a 3-way replaced with a Z-wave combination from Leviton (R02-DZS15 and VP0SR-10Z). The switch requires constant communication with the hub and thus needs power. If you look carefully at the wiring diagram for the Z-wave switches, you will notice that there is a live+neutral powering the switch and a circuit breaking wiring to the light to turn it on-off. Thus, IMHO, you cannot have a Z-wave switch without a neutral wire. Fortunately, in my case there was a neutral wire in one of the boxes and the electrician was able to pull one to the other box.

Trust me once you set the z-wave switch with a hub and program it to work, the additional cost of fishing a neutral wire will be really worth...

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Retrofitting a home to be a smart home can be a real headache, but it’s well worth it in the end. After all, who wouldn't want to have a fully automated home?

One of the first things most home automation newbies want to replace is lights and light switches, but you want to consider your Z-Wave light switches carefully. In addition to the actual switches, you need to think about the existing wiring in your home.

When adding new Z-Wave devices to your home, you can run into all sorts of little issues here and there. One of the most common is when you try to connect your Z-Wave switches into your existing electrical wiring and realize you don't have neutral wires!

In most houses, you have several colors of wire: a black wire that is your “load” or “hot” wire that carries the current from the fuse box to devices, a green (or bare) wire that grounds the current, and sometimes a white neutral wire that carries return current. A light switch normally uses all three...

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I have this problem now, and hope someone can offer advice / shed some light on the options I have, especially if they have previous experience

This is a 3-way switch issue.

In Switch A, I have neutral wire. This means I can install the master dimmer switch EVOLVE LRM-AS

In Switch B, I do not have neutral wire. This means I cannot install an accessory switch EVOLVE LTM-5 to allow it to work with EVOLVE LRM-AS

How do I solve this problem?
I do not want to cut open dry walls to loop the neutral wire from Switch A to Switch B

The solutions I can think of (but I am uncertain whether I can still retain the ability to remotely control the LRM-AS switch thereafter from mobile phone, pc, etc.)

1) Install a normal rocker switch in Switch B.

2) Tap on a neutral wire from...

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You have two main options if you are in the US. (If you are in the U.K., let us know.) and two more possibilities, depending on the exact use cases.

1) use smart bulbs. That works very well for many people. The Hue white light bulbs typically cost $15 each. Once you decide to use smart bulbs, there are several options for what to use for switches with them. See the following topic:

2) use a micro relay that goes in the wall but put it someplace on the circuit where there is a neutral. There has to be one someplace. It's typically at the light fixture itself. This works very well for many people. The aeotech relays are on the official "works with smartthings" list. Lots of people use them.

3) use Lutron Caseta switches. Lutron has many lighting patents, they use different engineering than everyone else. And their switches can be used without a neutral wire to control dimmable dumb LEDs. The problem is they don't integrate directly with SmartThings. However, they...

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I tried to add another z-wave switch to my SmartThings network. I bought a on/off switch at Lowes (all the ‘works with Iris’ stuff you can use in your z-wave network), this is just a GE 1-way on/off z-wave switch, to connect to my outdoor lights so I can switch them on/off automatically with sunset/sunrise.

When I connected it to the 2 black wires which were used to the existing switch the lights didn’t come on. Although the led on the switch itself lighted up.

After some searching and reading the manual a little better I found out I needed to connect the neutral wire. Fortunately there is a neutral wire in this wall mount. I checked my study and that doesn’t have one. The weird thing is the z-wave dimmer works without the neutral wire.

So after wiring up the neutral wire the outdoor lights started working.

So I found some information on the SmartThings forum to explain what was going on.

No neutrals is a bad thing, unfortunately. You can use once...

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Other options if no dimmer, are the zwave GE/Jasco 3ways ($44 at lowes in the iris aisle)

Simple and easy.


Instructions for installing GE/Jasco 3way (requires neutral wire)

For three ways, remove all wires from both switches, meter all, one should be hot (120v) this is the primary switch ‘line’. You should see two black, one red, ground, and white (usually wire nutted)

Mark black wire that is hot (this is the common)

For main switch at 120v wire:

120v wire goes to line, red goes to traveler, other black to load, ground/bare to ground screw, use a short 14 guage white wire to pigtail off white wire nut, this goes to neutral.

On aux switch:

Meter, with main switch on, then when off, two should be hot- one when on, one when off (both travelers- usually one black and one red), one wire will have no voltage in either switch position.

Mark wire that is not hot in either switch position (this is the...

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IMPORTANT - Read this first!

Note: To simplify these diagrams, we have not shown the earth cables - but all circuits MUST have the earth cable correctly installed.

We've shown wires in red to indicate that they are new wires, but it doesn't really matter what colour you use.

To protect the module a suitable rated overcurrent protection fuse must be installed on the Live input.

We work hard to keep these wiring guides accurate and up to date and would appreciate any feedback, corrections or suggestions that you may have. Please contact us using our help page or by simply emailing

One of the things that confuses people the most is installing home automation into an existing 3-Way lighting system, especially when it uses Intermediate Switches. This application note looks at how a Qubino Flush Dimmer Plus module can be installed to control a Alternate 3-Way lighting system with an Intermediate Switch (with...

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My question would be what's the problem with getting neutral and line up to the slave switch? I just replaced one of my 3-way switches with a Leviton VRMX1-1LZ and VP00R-1LZ slave. In my case, one switch had the line and load coming into the box, as well as the 14/3 cable going to the remote switch. Re-tasking the 14/3 going to the slave to send neutral, line and traveler up for the VP00R-1LZ instead of the original config that didn't involve a neutral was quite simple. My switch was originally wired like this:

Essentially, I disconnected all of the wires for the 14/3 going to the slave. I then connected the neutral (white) and line (black) in the 14/3 cable to the appropriate wires from the supply (Ground was already appropriately wired), as well as wired up the new switch appropriately (line to the source, load to the the lights, neutral to neutral and ground to ground). I then used the remaining...

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I had a good question from a site visitor wanting to know how to add a 4-way switch to his existing 3-way switch network in the garage.

The question reads:

I have a 3 way switch in garage, now I want to put a switch in the house to turn off the lights after I am in the house not while I am in the garage. How can I splice into that 3 way and put in a 4way switch inside the house?


The easiest way to accomplish this is to change the thinking from adding a 4-way in the house, to moving the 3-way switch from where it is now, and changing the existing 3-way to a 4-way switch in the garage.

Run a new 3-wire cable to the desired box location in the house. Then move the existing 3-way switch to the new box, and install a new 4-way switch at the existing location in the garage.

The following diagram shows how this could be done. I am showing a situation where the existing 3-way switch box contains only a 3-wire cable. Regardless of how the...

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I had been considering using some kind of home automation system for a while, and decided to give it a go.


The first usecase is quite simple: not having to go upstairs to check if the lights were actually turned off, before leaving the house. In other words: lazyness.

The secondary usecase was to be a little eco-friendly and turn off all unnecessary electrical devices when leaving the house (e.g. TV/TV box, that still consume significant power even in standby mode).

Several technologies exist for home automation (e.g. the old X10 wired communication over power lines, or wireless Zigbee communication), I chose Z-Wave because it seemed to be becoming the standard (but time will tell if this will be the case) and seemed to have interesting capabilities/flexibility in the home network management. This is NOT a cheap technology though, so be ready to invest a few hundred dollars in your home automation, or go another way (e.g. simpler 433...

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For many people, pulling off a light switch coverplate and seeing what's behind may be the most practical first step into home automation. Determining if your house's switches contain a neutral wire or not can help direct which home automation solution will offer you the least headache down the road.

In the case where the majority of switches in your home do contain a neutral wire but there are one or two that don't, Insteon is now just as capable as it's wireless peers due to the recently released 2-Wire Switchlinc. In this step-by-step guide I'll show you how to install the module, using a recently completed installation in our living room as an example.

Step 1: Note the 6-digit IDs of both companion and fixture module. Using a simple spreadsheet is a good way to keep track of your ID's for input into control devices (like Insteon software, the SmartLinc or the ISY-99i) for use later. Determining the fixture module ID after installation is significantly...

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