My No-Neutral Switch Solution

I wanted to share a recent project I worked on.

Moved into an old house where the light switches don’t have neutrals. But I REALLY wanted to automate the lights in my front entryway, so I could make scenes that turn on the lights when I arrive home, etc. Here’s what I did:

In the front entry, there are two light switches on the wallplate. One controls the light outside the front door (porch area), and the other controls the front door’s entryway light inside. First, I installed GoControl lightbulbs in those two light sockets, so they’re controlled by Vera. That’s nice, but it would be easy for someone to accidentally flip the light switch off and mess things up.

So I consulted an electrician, opened up the wallplate and connected the line and load wires. This way, the lights will ALWAYS receive power and nobody can accidentally flip them off. Then I put a new, blank wallplate over those wires (again, no lightswitch, just blank).

Then I attached a remote to the blank wallplate, and Vera I made each button relate to a different light. One press turns ON, two presses turns OFF. I also made it control a nearby lamp, plugged into my Z-Wave wall outlet. There are 8 buttons, right now I only use 3.

It’s a big workaround, and would be much simpler if I had neutrals available in the switches. I don’t necessarily see this as a whole-house solution. But it helped me automate my entryway, and hope it helps someone out there!

Here are the products I used:
WALL OUTLET purchased for $25:
REMOTE CONTROL purchased for $45:
LIGHT BULB purchased for $18 each:


Nice! I’ve been thinking about going that route on a couple of lights with three way switches. There’s no power at those switches, and not enough room at the lights for micro switches. I guess I have my weekend planned now!

I really like the Lutron Caseta Switches for no neutrals, but you have to get a Caseta Hub or Wink Hub to automate them. They both have a plug in that works well with Vera.