Question regarding the concept of 3-way z-wave switch!!

I just bought a Mi Casa Verde Vera3 controller. I also have in my home a door lock and thermostat z-wave controlled. Now I am planning to buy some switches. When it comes to regular ones (2-way switch) I have everything clear. Now my question is regarding 3-way switches. What’s gonna happen if I replace only the main switch (the one that controls the load) from a 3-way circuit??
After all, if I replace the main switch, I will gain access to the light (turning ON/OFF and dimming).
In other words is it possible to have a z-wave switch working in 3-way with a regular manual switch??

It depends on which make/model switch you choose, but mostly the answer is; no. In almost all cases, the Z-Wave switch that you choose will require a very specific and matched auxiliary/remote switch for 3-way circuits.

Only in-wall switch modules like Aeon Labs and Fibaro, allow the use of standard switches. There are also some old Intermatic switches that allowed this, but they are no longer manufactured.

Choose what switch you want to use and then see which remote it will require.

Why would you want to? Cost?

Because if you are in this world and trying to do it cheap . . . you’re gonna have a bad time ;D

I put aside 1.000$ to start this project. Definitely I don’t wanna build a system base on cheap stuff. Without knowing that the main switch has requirements for its own auxiliary switch, I thought I can leave the auxiliary switches for a later time :wink:
I am new in the world of home automation but I have been reading about this stuff during this month more than for my school :stuck_out_tongue:

I have another question for you guys
If my switches doesn’t support instant status what does that mean?? If I manually turn off a switch, it will still show ON in my phone application?? I am confused about this feature.
Thanks in advance!!

It will not show on your phone or in Vera until Vera polls the device to determine its present state. Vera polls certain devices approximately once per minute. So, your switch’s state in the GUI or on the phone should update and be correct within a minute or two, even though the switch lacks Instant Status.

The lack of Instant Status is not a problem for most people, until they need to use the manual activation of that switch as a trigger for other actions. For example, if you wanted to turn On several other Z-Wave devices when you manually turn On that switch, the lack of Instant Status could cause a lengthy delay between when you tap the switch and when the other devices come On. But, with Instant Status, everything happens immediately.

Depending on what switches you get, the remote switches aren’t that expensive. Leviton VRS15-1LZ main switches are expensive at $80 (US), but the remotes are closer to $8 (US)

Thank you for the explanation Z-waiver. Your reply really helped me to better understand this instant status concept. Since Vera checks the status of the devices every 60 seconds then it will be OK. If I need any switch to report right away, then I can buy only that switch with instant status.

Vera does not technically poll the device every 60 seconds. The more zwave devices on your network the longer the poll time. Vera will poll each device once every 60 second, but only one at a time. So it might take 5 minutes for example for a device to get polled. That is why instant status is very useful.

  • Garrett

If you care AT ALL on the status of anything on your system, you’ll want instant status. I’m guessing you’ll want to start to build up as you get more experience. If you do, not having instant status is going to cause many problems that can’t be easily worked around without replacing the switches with ones that do instant status. Just an opinion!

I am also interested in seeing if this would work. all i want is on off control of lights. the 3 way switch i want to control has one switch inside and one switch outdoors. The outdoor one is exposed to the elements. Has anyone ever made this work?

[quote=“sebby, post:10, topic:182174”]I am also interested in seeing if this would work. all i want is on off control of lights. the 3 way switch i want to control has one switch inside and one switch outdoors. The outdoor one is exposed to the elements. Has anyone ever made this work?[/quote]You’re interested in seeing if what would work? I thought that all questions asked in this thread, up until yours, have been decisively answered.

sorry, in reading your original reply i thought you said it depended on the switch that was used. Now that i read more closely, you stated that it only works with the in-wall devices which are not an option for me.

That reply says both. 3-way switch options depend on which switch you use(each manufacturer uses their own method) and standard switches work with in-wall devices.

You’ve still successfully avoided clarifying your question.

OK, let me clarify my question…

I have an existing 3 way switch at my house. One of the switches is inside the house, the other is outside and exposed to the elements. I would like to control those lights with my Vera. Knowing that i cannot use an auxiliary switch on the outside location, what switch(es) would allow my to control those lights from my Vera?

The in-wall switch would be your best bet.

But, have you considered using a cover on the external switch? This would allow you to use the popular Z-Wave 3-ways with one external.

I had thought of doing the cover, but the existing switch is some weird round box with a red toggle for the light. As far as i can tell it is completely waterproof. i’ll see if i can figure a way to get into the wall to connect an in-wall switch.

thanks for the help

“in-wall” switches can be installed at the light. See the attached diagram.

Thanks again for all the help. i purchased one of the in-wall switches and found a light in the circuit (there are 4 different lights) the is protected (actually inside the house). so, when i opened the light fixture, there is one line coming into the junction box with a white and a black, then one line leaving the junction box (also with a black and white). the light fixture is basically spliced into that

As you see in the diagram that I provided, You need to mount the microswitch in the light where the wall switches and the mains poser comes in.

Thanks, i figured you would say that… now i have to go pull all the fixtures down to see which one is the first…