Wireless Light Switch?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by topgun260, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I need to add a light switch to the other side of the hangar. The area in question would be very difficult to pull wire to. I know there are wireless switches out there but I am having a hard time finding one that fits what I need. Is there something that connects to, or replaces, the existing light switch that would work with a wireless switch 50' away? I don't need a smart switch or want to have Alexa or anyone else switch it for me. I don't really want to buy a hub either if I don't need to. Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Try Amazon. I was just looking at them. Basically the transmitter on the wall switch, and a receiver in the light box. Since you want to replace the existing light switch, you would need to wire nut the two wires at the switch together to provide power to the light. The receiver at the box then acts as the switch. Need to make sure how the power is provided to the light in the ceiling. BWTHDIK... but, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
     
  3. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I bought one on amazon, will try to find the model so you don't buy it. Works 25% of the time from about 60' (it promise over double that)
     
  4. Heftiger

    Heftiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Single Pole/3-way Dimmer Switch Starter Kit, P-BDG-PKG1W-A, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and the Google Assistant https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G5V6M6G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_DAACDb7EXE3T8

    I installed this switch for my grandparents. Works without the smart equipment.
    Installed the switch on the porch light on the detached garage. Remote in the house means they can also operate the light from in the house.
     
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  5. Larry in TN

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    I'll second the Lutron Caseta system.

    Very robust wireless technology. Easy to install (just change the light switch). Very flexible control options with the Pico remotes which can be hand-held, wall-mounted, or put on a pedestal for use on a table or desk.

    Doesn't sound like you'd want it, but you can add control via app, voice, scene, or schedule with the smart bridge. The link above is a package that includes the smart bridge. If you don't want the bridge, get a package with just the switch and a Pico such as this one.

    https://www.amazon.com/Lutron-P-PKG...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    There are also different switches for different types of loads (on/off, fan speed, ELV, etc.)
     
  6. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Actually I don't want to replace the existing light switch. I want to add a switch to work with and in addition to the existing switch. I was hoping for a replacement switch for the existing hardwired switch that would also work with additional wireless switches.
     
  7. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This Lutron Caseta looks like just the ticket! It just has an on/off switch with no dimming. Thanks!
     
  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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  9. mcdewey

    mcdewey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have all the outside lights set up with Caseta's. I have set up a Pico remote that turns on all the outside lights at once. I also have my phone set up so that when I get home at night, all the outside lights and a couple indoor lights go on. I have the Lutron bridge to control the switches from Apple Home and a Raspberry Pi to control a couple Wemo's. You can do some cool home automation. Only problem I've found is that the switches don't work when the power goes out. ;)
     
  10. Larry in TN

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  11. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Unfortunately I often have my hands full so I don't think this will work. Good idea though!
     
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  12. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    Also, if anyone's planning on a larger Caseta system, shop around.

    Sometimes Amazon was cheapest but I got some good discounts by buying from other sources. I bought a couple of "six packs" of the dimmers on Ebay for significantly less per switch than the Amazon price. Some of the less common Picos (mostly the scene Picos) weren't available on Amazon. I'd find them through Google searches.

    Lutron recently increased the maximum device limit to 75 which makes a big difference on whole-house installations. The old 50-device limit would start kicking in in homes in the 2000-2400 sqft range. There are also motorized window shade systems that work with Caseta. I don't have any of those, though. Just lights and fans.

    I had used X10 for years--since the 1980s. It is so nice to have Caseta now which is rock-solid reliable after all those years of X10.

    https://www.casetawireless.com/
     
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  13. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    Or go to Z-wave which is an open standard. Lots of manufacturers. Available at Lowe’s etc in basic configurations.

    I have started replacing Insteon in my house with Z-wave. Very reliable so far.
     
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Caseta is designed really well. No neutral needed, 3 and 4 and 5 way switching can be handled by a single smart switch and multiple pico remotes if you don’t mind a little connecting the travelers in the boxes and you don’t want their actual three way switches, they don’t care about polarity... all sorts of good reasons to use them.

    As someone said, the 50 device limit in the hub if you need connectivity to other automation and voice command toys, could get in the way a bit, but they’ve upped it a bit.

    The ability of the pico remotes to be paired to multiple smart dimmers can allow interesting things. An example is you can have individual control of say, a porch light and the lights on the garage at the main smart switches but have a pico remote somewhere else that turns on both smart switches simultaneously.

    Caseta dimmers do leak some current to the light bulb as their way of powering themselves so VERY efficient LEDs may flicker or glow dimly. They make models to help alleviate this as well as their own branded little capacitor in a proper insulated package that can be put across hot and neutral in the switchbox to leak that current to ground before it goes to the bulb. A tiny vampire load of about 5 mA.

    And if you’re having trouble figuring something out, they have an excellent tech support staff who’ll walk through it and even ship out the correct things or those little capacitor shunts, if needed. Quite good documentation too.

    It going higher end, many seem to like Insteon. And if you don’t want to touch any of it and want a pro to do it, keep in mind all of the major manufacturers make pro models and systems of this stuff that aren’t all available to the public. Some of those can do more things. You can find online discussions about the big pro systems in home automation forums.

    But for adding a switch where one isn’t for a home gamer? Yeah. Caseta. Super simple and work well. Very few reports of failures. Not scary cheap Chinese stuff with questionable or flat out fake UL labeling, etc etc etc.

    Keep in mind if new to this stuff they make both smart switches and smart *dimmers* and pick the one you need. If you have LEDs, make sure they’re the dimmable variety if you go with the dimmer. Most non-dimmable will flash when dimmed and perhaps self destruct. :)

    I’m not done figuring out some mess in my upstairs wiring and what I want to do about it, but Caseta is highest on the list for the smart retrofit.
     
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  15. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Where did you guys find these for a decent price? I'm looking for the PD-5WS-DV-LA (LA = Light Almond color) but Amazon has them at $123.53! The same switch in white is only $58.90! I need the PD-5 because I don't have a neutral on the circuit where I need this otherwise I could use the PD-6.
     
  16. Larry in TN

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    Mine are all white. I used a combination of Amazon, Ebay, and a few electronic retailers that I found with Google searches of the part numbers. Here's the average price I paid for each switch I have.

    PD-5NE-WH ELV+ Dimmer $98.25
    PD-6ANS-WH Switch $39.08
    PD-6WCL-WH Dimmers $29.99
    PD-FSQN-WH Fan Speed Control $54.99

    And the Picos.

    PJ2-2B-GWH-L01 Pico on/off 20.91
    PJ2-2B-GWH-P01 Pico Home/Away 63.10
    PJ2-2B-GWH-P02 Pico Alert/Goodnight 49.99
    PJ2-3BRL-GWH-A02 Audio Pico 37.45
    PJ2-3BRL-WH-F01R Pico Fan 30.25
    PJ2-3BRL-WH-L01R Pico 17.38
    PJ2-4B-GWH-P03 Bright/Entertain/Relax/Off 40.62

    I also bought six of the P-PKG1W-WH packages which include one dimmer and one Pico at an average cost was $39.65. My smart hub was in a package with two dimmers and two Picos which cost $130.99.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 3:23 PM
  17. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well I guess the Caseta switches won't work after all. The circuit I wanted to switch is 648 watts and the PD-5WS-DV only handles 600 watts.
    Back to the drawing board.
     
  18. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Use it to switch a relay? Like the Functional Devices RIB2401B(20 Amp), I'm using it for a low current Z-Wave relay to switch the 1500W heater in the bathroom.
     
  19. PeterNSteinmetz

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    The reason I am gradually replacing Insteon in my house is lack of reliability. They just don’t seem to consistently communicate, even with the dual mode.

    Also, the company does not take longevity seriously. A couple of the switches in high use areas of my house would always stop registering the click after about 3 years. When I complained, Smartlabs said they consider that a reasonable lifetime for an electronic device. They don’t seem to understand the average consumer does not want to be replacing 120 VAC devices wired into the wall every couple of years, especially when a good regular switch lasts decades. When asked if they knew the mean number of switchings between failure, they claimed they didn’t even know that.

    So far the GE branded Z-wave switches seem more solid and reliable.
     
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  20. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do Z-Wave switches require a hub? I really don't want to buy a hub for one switch.
     
  21. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    Do you have multiple load wires at the switch location? i.e. two load wires which head off in different directions to different fixtures?

    If so, you can replace the in-wall box with one with an additional gang and split it into two switches.

    The 600W switch limitation is pretty common. Relatively few controlled switches are rated for higher loads.
     
  22. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Only 2 wires going to the switch. I have no idea which way they go only that it switches 6 fluorescent light fixtures. I like the relay idea. Would I need to add a box to put the relay into or would it fit next to a switch in the current box?
     
  23. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you don't have a neutral at the switch you'd need to put the relay in the electrical box where the power feed comes in, assuming they're wired sequentially this is probably the first light. Either way, the RIB relays I use hang off the side of the box on a knockout. I'm sure there are some in-box solutions, but these aren't one of them(personally I use them because they're cheap). Also, if your switch doesn't use a neutral then a relay may not provide enough load, so you might need to feed one light and the relay and run the remaining lights off the relay.
     
  24. Larry in TN

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    Aren't you going to need a neutral with a relay?
     
  25. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    Replace the fluorescent bulbs with LED. The load on the circuit will be substantially reduced.
     
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