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Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire

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Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« on: July 26, 2018, 04:25:03 pm »
Are there any light switches on the market that can be Echo + controlled, no additional hub, and do NOT require a neutral wire?
I know there are lighbulbs, etc, just trying to determine if there is Any switches out there.

Offline jwlv

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Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2018, 07:08:21 pm »
A smart light switch must have a neutral wire. It is because the switch needs to be powered so that it can be connected to WiFi. There is a way to wire it without having a neutral wire, but it is in fact dangerous. It basically energizes the ground wire so that the switch can receive power. The problem with that is if you or someone else is working on a different circuit, the ground wire is energized and could possibly cause a shock or a fire. If you do end up doing this, whenever you work on any circuit in the house, you need to switch off the entire house from the main breaker. Kind of a hassle if you ask me since sometimes you may need light or power tools as you work on a circuit. You don't necessarily want to turn off the entire house rather than just the one circuit you're working on.

Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 08:44:12 pm »
This is what I keep hearing and why I am confused. I currently have z-wave switches installed that do not require a neutral and it is not due to a energized ground as there are no grounds in my switchboxes. I know cause I had a bunch of new wiring run when I moved in because there was only one grounded outlet in the house (the old fridge). I had a bunch of outlets updated, but the lights are not grounded. No ground wire, no BX, Copper-Clad, etc.

So if these z-wave switches can run without a neutral...  why can't I find any Echo+ controlled switches that can do the same thing?

Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2018, 07:42:54 am »
Many confuse a neutral wire as a ground, they are not the same, I'm not saying this is the case with you AngusB.
There are several Home Automation light switches which don't require a nutral wire however these are not dimable.
these are controlable with the echo but require an additional hub or computer interface and extra work.
Usualy in newer homes the neutral (white) wire is in the back of the junction box and capped with other white wires.
The Black wire is the Hot wire, the bare wire (no covering) is the ground.
I recently had our home rewired (old nob and tube wiring) as I had no ground in anything other then the furnace.
However there were a few light switch junction boxes that had a neutral wire in them. These were usually double or triple switch junction boxes.
jwlv explained why you can't find smart(wi-fi) switches these type need to have that white wire to supply continous power to the Wi-fi radio, also most smart switches are dimmable.

I don't know how your Zwave switches or any are wired I only have zwave modules. If these have two wires in and one running out then one of the input wires is the neutral it should be a white wire.

Offline kevb

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Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2018, 10:24:42 am »
The echo plus controls some zigbee devices, but not z-wave. I don't know of any zigbee switches which don't require a neutral. I also have some zwave dimmers which do not require a neutral, but they are older and do not work correctly with LEDs (the lights do not go completely out). With LEDs becoming more mainstream, and modern electrical having neutrals in every box, I don't think the market is big enough for a company to make this type of switch.

Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2018, 04:18:09 pm »
There are several Home Automation light switches which don't require a nutral wire however these are not dimable.
...
jwlv explained why you can't find smart(wi-fi) switches these type need to have that white wire to supply continous power to the Wi-fi radio, also most smart switches are dimmable.

My z-wave switches have No neutral, and they Are dimmable. Still available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077VCKFKW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Yes they do require a z-wave hub to work, but z-wave units are wireless and thus require continuous power to receive the z-wave signal.

So I just don't understand why if they can make Wireless z-wave dimmable switches with no neutral required, there are not other (zigbee, wifi, etc) switches with no neutral required (dimmable or not). There definitely seems to be a market for them based on the number of people asking the question around the web.

I just wanted to get my parents set up without a hub. They have no neutrals and several different light fixtures with multiple odd size bulbs so remote bulbs really isn't a good option.

Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2018, 05:08:03 pm »
I didn't realise you were using incandescent bulbs
With out a neutral wire there is some leakage coming through the light bulb.
 This is not enough to light an incandescent  bulb but usually an LED bulb will slightly glow when off in this type of setup.
Amazon states these are for incandescent lights.
This small current maybe enough for the Zwave switches and some other protocols but not enough for wi-fi or other smart switch protocols.
Since incandescent bulbs are slowly becoming obsolete it doesn't make sense for anyone to develop switches for something that could be obsolete in a few years.

Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2018, 12:57:43 pm »
 Just to add. I don't know what the regulations are in other countries, but in the UK you wouldn't be able to energise the ground wire (although it has a different name over here) as our regulations require RCD circuit protection which would detect the imbalance between Live & Neutral and cut the power to the circuit.

 May be worth removing the old switch to check properly in case a 3-core & earth wire is used where one of the cores can be connected to Neutral. Also worth asking if the switch is on a 2-way or Intermediate circuit which may also have a Neutral.

Re: Echo + controlled light switch, no hub, no neutral wire
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 12:25:11 pm »
Hey guys
Sorry for posting on an old topic but the solution has not been around until now Please check out http://www.wifi-smart-home.co.uk/smart-wi-fi-light-switches.html as here are the switches designed for the UK with no neutral wire needed. no hub and work fine with Amazon echo voice control.