Appropriate smart light switches for a 1500W space heater?

Hi everyone! New to Hubitat and just getting started! I have a 1500W space heater that I'd like to automate. From searching, I see others have successfully used different smart plugs for this. I was interested in Hubitat-compatible options for light switches.

I have a few rooms that have a switch that controls a nearby (dumb) outlet. I figured if I can swap that out with a smart switch, I can plug in a space heater to that outlet and automate it.

But looking through some devices on Amazon and the Hubitat compatibility list, it seems like many of them are rated for smalller devices, e.g. a 600W capacity.

Are there any safe for a larger load like a 1500W space heater?

Thank you! Very excited to join this community!

I have not seen any switches that will handle that kind of power.

You will need to get a smart plug rated for 15amps resistive instead. There are a few options out there, personally I have used the Ikea smart plug that is rated 1800W (15 amps) and as a bonus, they are dirt cheap. I can't talk about other smart plugs, since I have not used them.

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1500 watts is equivalent to '15 amps' .

You can swap the Outlet and then the bottom plug of the two is controlled. You can swap the switch, but that controls both plugs as one. I like outlets that have a logo to remind me it's switched.

You can get an Aeon Smart Switch 6 that also handles the 15 amps.

I have two of those.. one for my Washer and one for my (gas) Dryer. I don't use them as a switch, but as a power meter to determine start/end of cycle.

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BTW, stay tuned, I will be releasing by the end of the week an "Advanced vThermostat" app/device exactly for this kind of situation.

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If both receptacles on that outlet are switched, you can split it so that 1 is switched and the other has constant power. This way you can still use the plug for a small bed side table lamp and the unswitched portion with a smart plug for the heater.

Split Receptacles - Electrical 101.

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@nclark, I'm excited! I saw this post and enjoyed it for some preliminary tips, but look forward to more details:
"space-heaters-and-air-conditioners/66"

(sorry, I'm not allowed to include links yet, probably because I'm new)

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@csteele I love that idea regarding the washer/dryer. I may add that to my TODO. Though, with the smart outlets being ~$50/ea, I need to think more about where to stick these as I scale up. That all can add up. :slight_smile:

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I use them in conjunction with:

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whoaaa, the whole Ikea TRÅDFRI line is pretty cheap! Thanks for the tip. I have one Hubitat compatible smart outlet I'll try out later this week. But I'm going to scale up, I may buy a bunch of these.

I naively assumed Ikea would put out cheap wifi solutions that weren't compatible, but was wrong.

Interesting that the TRÅDFRI outlet, bulb, and repeater are all on the compatibility list, but the others are not: dimmer, motion sensor.

Those are almost the only ones compatible, don't buy the sensors from ikea nor the button controllers, they will not work. The zigbee lights are ok using generic Zigbee drivers if you don't mind having your lights act as repeaters. I have a few of them and work ok for the price without no issues as of now.

But the plugs are just relays, they will not report consumption like the pricier ones.

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I like the ZEN15, and it handles up to 1800W/15A. But it also is said to use much more rugged internal parts than other smart plugs, even if the rating is the same. It does have energy monitoring which is fairly reliable except for once in a great while when it reports values that are not even possible (rare, but I've see it many times).

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@csteele Be carefull the Enbrighten 55256 is 1000W on the zigbee side, 1800W total. This would not work and most likely would catch on fire!

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Maximum Load for Z-Wave Controlled Outlet:
960W Incandescent
1/2 HP Motor
1800W (15A) Resistive

Yes, the load is deterministic Thanks for the reminder. :slight_smile:
Space heater... with or without fan?

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I use two of these for two 1500watt heaters. I will say though, I've used a bunch of switches and they all handle the 1500w heaters fine.

Which ones? I did t see a link

The zooz zen15. I have also used the sylvania plugs, the ikea plugs, zooz plugs, zooz powerstrip, and iris plugs. All handle my heaters fine. I think handling electric motors is a bigger issue for light duty switches.

Pretty sure that electric motors of any notable size create quite a surge at start up and stop. That can cause an arc across the contacts of the relay/switch, etc. if it's not specifically designed for an inductive load like that.

There are also issues with LED lighting--what I'm seeing indicates they get as much as 6 times more initial current draw than an incandescent bulb (or, about 100 times the normal operating current) for about a millisecond or so.

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Most switches and plugs are rated for some sort of HP, usually a 15A (1800W) plug will be rated for a 1/2 HP motor, switches will usually be more around 1/3 HP. Usually you will find this info on the back side of the switch and/or documentation that came with it.

Yes this is true, but is nothing like a motor, and some LED lights have circuitry to reduce this effect but not all and certainly not based on price either from what I have seen.

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Isn’t this already in 2.2.4?

There are a few threads left here that arent referencing anything about a hubitat firmware version.. This is just discussing hardware (irrespective of version or driver).

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