How can I link two physical switches to each other?

I have two hallway lights that I would like to link to each other. Each is controlled by its own physical z-wave switch, but I’d like either one turning on/off to trigger the other to do the same. I tried using Rule Machine, but I couldn’t get it to work reliably.

What brand and model of light switches are they? Some z-wave switches do not reliably report physical switch events.

They are new GE Smart Switches (Z-Wave Plus). I was under the impression that these newer z-wave plus ones reported state changes quickly.

Just checked via the web interface, and it does appear that the on/off status isn’t being refreshed right away. It’s weird because it was working perfectly when I initially installed them this afternoon. It wasn’t until this evening that I noticed the rule machine rule seemed to stop working and they weren’t linked anymore.

What driver are you using for these?

Do you have any older non z-wave plus GE switches and dimmers? If the older ones are acting as repeaters for the new ones, they may not be passing the physical events through to the hub properly.

I do still have a few older “non-plus” switches. I hadn’t thought about them being a limiting factor. I’ve never heard of that being the case, but I can’t claim to fully understand the intricacies of how a z-wave mesh works.

I am not certain, either. It’s just a hypothesis. Perhaps someone with a better understanding of z-wave will chime in?

There's a couple of things to think of.

  • Z-Wave Plus does NOT equal "Instant Status". That is still not implemented in a lot of switches and some that claim it don't have the full implementation of it. The only switches that I know of and someone can correct me if I'm wrong that DO have instant status for 100% certainty are the homeseer switches

[EDIT] I did a quick search and these also have Instant Status and in fact they are the OEM version of the standard switch and dimmer that homeseer also re-labels

  • Z-Wave Plus is limited by the lowest common denominator in your mesh

[EDIT]

  • I stole this from the ISY forum BTW....

There are roughly two kinds of zwave status reporting: "real", i.e. a zwave device sends a network frame describing its status to the controller, and emulated where a device NIF (a brodcast frame) is heard by the controller and the controller subsequently polls the device to get the actual status. The first one is fully routable and is implemented by associating a controller with the device. The second method is not routable by design and can be used only if the device is in the controller RF signal range. That's how a GE device that do not have "real" instant status reporting can sometimes pretend it has.

1 Like

This conversation has caused me to rethink a few things regarding my setup as a whole. Up until now I was under the impression that the more z-wave devices in the mesh network, the better it would be overall. Because of that, I currently have quite a few older plug-in modules that I purchased years ago on clearance from Radio Shack. I’m not actually using them to control any devices, but I have them spread throughout my house to work as repeaters. Now that I’m hearing that my mesh network is only as good as the slowest/weakest node, I’m wondering if I wouldn’t be better off getting rid of these unused modules. I think I have enough switches/plugs in actual use that it won’t destabilize the network too much. I just always assumed there was no downside to having them in the network. Anyone have any thoughts on this? On a side note, I’m sure my wife would like to hear we can get rid of some of the “ugly boxes” I have plugged into our outlets throughout the house.

I'm not sure if this is much help but every Z-Wave device has its capability listed on the Z-Wave alliance website. You might find more about the capabilities of older units there.

https://products.z-wavealliance.org/regions/2/categories

John

Could you link where you found this? These switches look promising, but I can’t find much in terms of reviews or other info.

The link to the switches are in the post. They are available on Amazon. The part numbers are the same as the Homeseer switch part numbers.

You can/should double validate with the seller of course to be sure. Or you can try a product lookup in the z-wave DB from the z-wave alliance.

These are the 2 Rule Machine rules that I use to glue two physical separated switches together.
Either one can be turned on (physically or digitally) and the other turns on.
Either one can be turned off (physically or digitally) and the other turns off.

This works reliably for me.

Rule 1:

Rule 2:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.