Hi! New zWave Enthusiast here! Great deals at Radio Shack and some Questions!

Hi There,

I am a tech junkie in my spare time, and we are remodeling our basement into a master bedroom suite. During my research for a home automation system I came across zWave, then Mi Casa, and now I am drooling at the possibilities. I ordered a Schlage lock and a MiCasaVerde2 online - the lock is here, the Casa is on its way. Also, thanks to info from this forum, I stopped into Radio shack today where they are giving away GE Zwave units, and got:

2 x 3 way dimmers
2 x dimmer switch
2 x lamp module
1 x appliance module
3 x power receptacle
1 x hand held remote control
1 x schalge deadbolt

all for $220! WOW!

So a few questions:

  1. recommendations for a simple yet integrable thermostat? I want something which I can program with the weather, occupancy, etc
  2. My new master bedroom will have 3 switches control the main lighting, one on entrance, one at the back door to the deck, and one by the bed. I believe the front and back are 3 way, and the middle is a 4 way - can anyone recommend a z wave 4 way dimmer? Or do I even need a zwave dimmer there if the other 1 or 2 will be zwave? In that case can anyone recommend a non-zwave 4 way dimmer which matches the style of the GE ones I just got?
  3. How are people using cameras in their systems successfully? Do you have a jpg capture camera that grabs the door when it opens? Window sensors? Video capture?

I have yet to set this gear up, but once the MCV2 gets here, I suspect I will hole up for a few hours and get it all configured - I saw the quick start guide so I will save simple questions until I have reviewed that.

Thanks so much in advance, and I look forward to lot’s of zWave fun!

I like the Trane thermostat the best, and if you can find one at Radio Shack, it’s a steal.

I am also a very new vera2/zwave user (2 months). I got 2 of the Trane thermostats (TZEMT400AB32MAA) which I think are fairly common and popular. I got them for around $115 each but sometimes I hear they go on sale for quite a bit lower. They are very straightforward to install and configure, and the manual controls are easy for anyone else in the family to use. I just set up some very basic scene programming for the thermostats since I want to wait for the vera firmware update but there is quite a bit you can do. I use the google weather plugin to display the current outside temp and humidity and eventually I may run some scenes based on this info. Right now I just have it set to diifferent temps based on the times of the day.

No info on your other stuff. A few hours for setup is probably wishful thinking: it is more like a perpetual project based on time and finances! Good luck!

Thanks both for the Trane recommendation!

Does anyone know if I can mix/match zWave with non-zwave switches on a 3way or 4way circuit?

Thanks in advance!

ZwaveSF, I just got into z-wave thanks to the radio shack sale as well. I went pretty crazy… I picked up about 18 switches, a bunch of modules, and a schlage deadbolt. I love the deadbolt by the way. I’ve been controlling everything with Schlage Link, I’m about 4 days into a 2 month free trial. It clearly isn’t going to cut it for me, so I’ll be ordering a Vera soon. Maybe today to get the power metering module.

I can’t help you out with the thermostat, other than echoing what others have said here. If you can get the Trane at Radioshack that is a great deal. My local radio shacks seem to be all sold out of those so I missed out. Plenty of other z-wave stuff so that is good.

As far as the 3 or 4 way switches are concerned, what you need to do there is pretty simple. If you buy the 3 way GE switches at radio shack they come with a 45607 Dimmer Switch plus a 45610 Auxiliary. You should be able to use the 45607 Dimmer by itself (for 2 way operation) or with 1 or MORE 45610 Auxiliary switches (for 3 way, 4 way, etc).

This means if you need a 4 way switch just buy two of the 3 way kits from Radio Shack. Use the 45607 + two 45610’s, and then save the extra 45607 to use by itself in a 2 way installation. So two 3 ways kits = a 4 way + a 2 way.

That is how pretty much any of these home automation switches work. Now a BIG caveat, some people have had problems with the GE 3 way kit not being compatible with their wiring (see the other thread on this). I would normally say before buying these make sure you wiring will work. But since these are going fast and are so cheap if you can find them in a local radio shack I would just pick them up. Worst case you have to use them as a 2 way.

Another thing to keep in mind, you can find $10 off $40 in store coupon’s to Radio Shack online. I have been getting enough from doing the survey on the bottom of the receipt, but if you search on google you can find them pretty easily too. That brings the appliances to about $7.50 each and the switches to $12.

Good luck!

  • re

edit: I just reread the forum post on 3 way switches myself. It looks like a lot of people bought only 3 way kits and used them everywhere, so they should have some extra auxiliary switches. Maybe you could see if anyone would send you ones they aren’t using?

One other comment on the GE dimmer switches: They can only control incandescent lights (and possibly some dimmable LEDs) only. The switches do not work with CFL (flourescent) bulbs. They also will not work with appliances.

GE does make an on/off zwave switch that is compatible with flourescents.

RE GE and CFL’s: mine seem to work with dimmable CFLs without any problems. They also worked with regular CFL’s but I read that could possibly damage the switch so I replaced them with dimmable CFLs.

@radarengineer: thanks for the info re the auxiliary! COOL! I assumed the 4 way would be more expensive and hard to find, since I haven’t seen anything packaged that way. I got 2 x 3 way packs, so it sounds like I have a leftover aux if I am reading you right.

We are doing a remodel, so all new electrical; hopefully that will work with the GE switches.

Thanks all for your feedback - i’ll keep you posted on progress!

Use dimmable CFLs ONLY on dimmable switches & modules! You will damage the switches & modules. Also, bepending on the bulbs, you may get a mumming sound when dimmed.

I purchased all my GE switches, GE modules, & Trane Terms at Radio Shack. So, I saved a fortune!! Not counting the 8 more GE Outdoor Modules that I just got in. Radio Shack, we thank you. ;D

Sounds like you are set, especially if you are doing new electrical! However, the wiring for a 4 way install it might be a little different than with non z-wave switches. Just to be clear for anyone else reading this, you have to use z-wave auxiliary switches only in a 3/4 way install. Page 10 of the instructions show 4-way wiring:


Something else to keep in mind, these switches are rated at 500W only if they have the entire heat sink fin intact. Each side you snap off (to make them fit nicely next to other switches in a multiple gang box drops the power rating by 100W. Dimmers

If you are looking for other light bulb options… Home Depot has dimmable LEDs (EcoSmart) for about $17, and Purespectrum dimmable CFLs are pretty cheap on amazon. I’m planning on trying both of those in my switches. I’ll post my results on the forum. As aa6vg and tbever mentioned regular CFLs are a no go. This is important because it isn’t just that the lights might flicker or just not dim right, it can be a fire hazard!

I just ordered my vera about two hours ago, so now mine is one the way too. Should be here Wednesday so I’m very exciting!


The EcoSmart’s from Home Depot work great. I have 6 in my kitchen on a Leviton 1000W dimmer and they’re awesome. The wife even digs them.

Hi everyone,

As I read more about scenes, it strikes me that the more rooms I can control, the more efficient I can be. i.e., a “leave for work” scene is kinda pointless if only one room has smart switches.

Most of my rooms have a simple flip switch with old lighting from the 50’s. Can anyone recommend a zWave option to replace this - a simple and cheap rocker switch I could get 8-10 of and not flinch?

Also, has anyone used a zwave enabled surge protector? I hadn’t seen or heard of one until I watched the video on the Casa Verde home page…