Z-Wave Smart Switch Setup With SmartThings Hub

`A Z-Wave Smart Switch is often a useful addition to a smart home. It can replace a typical switch and can be operated remotely once it has been paired with a smart hub. It can also be triggered based on an event or a schedule. In this tutorial, we will have an overview of a typical Z-Wave Smart Switch, the GE Z-Wave Switch installation and how to integrate it with the SmartThings Hub. Most of the points covered here also apply to a Z-Wave smart dimmer.

Z-Wave Smart Switch Overview

A Smart Switch offers the following capabilities when used with a smart hub.

  • Turn on/off remotely.
  • Turn on/off on an event, such as a sunset.
  • Turn on/off on a schedule, such as every day at 9 PM.
  • It could be used in combination with other smart devices to make more useful scenarios, such as in the morning turn off the porch light and turn on the coffee maker.
  • It can also be used as a regular switch. Yes, I do get this question asked from time to time. It means that you can turn it on/off manually.

In this tutorial, we will be looking at the GE Z-Wave Switch along with the SmartThings Hub. It provides the following additional capabilities.

  • It comes with an LED indicator that can be useful to locate the switch in dark. You would typically configure it to be turned on when the switch is off. This LED behavior can be configured via the SmartThings app easily.

Equipment and Budget

Note: The prices shown are based on data at the time of writing this article. Taxes and shipping are not included in these and actual cost may vary.

ItemUnit PriceQtyTotal
GE Z-Wave Switch$39.991$39.99
Total$39.99

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Project: Z-Wave Smart Switch Setup
Template: Smart Home – Smart Hub – Switch Setup

Item TypeItemKeywordsQuantity
Recommendedsmart switchGE Z-Wave Switch1

GE Z-Wave Switch Installation

CAUTION: Always follow appropriate safety procedures when performing the installation.

In addition to following the vendor installation instructions, consider the following key installation steps.

  • The Smart Switches are typically available in both forms – the regular toggle switch and the decorator switch. Choose an appropriate one for your installation. At times, you may not want to replace all the switches in the gang box to a smart switch. So, you can get a combo switch plate like the one shown below.
  • If the switch is too big to fit in the gang box, look for the side tabs that can be wiggled off.
  • Connect the wires as advised in the vendor manual. Here’s what a typical finished installation would look like.
    Note: At times the colors of the wires may not be the same. So, go by the purpose outlined below and as per the switch wiring instructions.

    At a minimum, the following 4 wires need to be connected (starting from the top and going clockwise).

    • Ground wire
    • Neutral wire
    • Line wire: This is the wire coming from your panel.
    • Load wire: This is the wire coming from the device controlled by the switch.
  • Following is another view of a typical finished installation.

Integrating Z-Wave Smart Switch With SmartThings Hub

The following are the steps to integrate the outlet with the SmartThings hub.

  • Ensure the device is in pairing mode.
  • Go to the Things section of the SmartThings app and select Add a Thing.
    SmartThings App - Devices List
  • SmartThings will now search for new devices. Be patient! This may take some time. If the device still does not show up select choose Add Device Manually and follow the steps.
    SmartThings App - Add Device

Once the switch has been discovered, give it a logical name. In general, I recommend giving a name based on the purpose, such as Driveway Light.

That’s it! You should now be able to turn the switch on/off using the SmartThings app.

Additional Reading

 

Happy switching!
– Nitin

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