Non neutral required switches?

I bought 3 Zooz switches and all of them are neutral required, I'm finding out that nearly every switch on my first floor is a style without a neutral I think it's called a switch loop.

Can someone recommend some switches and dimmers that can work without a neutral? Why do they even require it?

Lutron’s Caseta product line has switches and dimmers that are powered by leaking power to load.

To complete the AC circuit, so the switch or dimmer itself can be powered.

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A mechanical switch doesn’t need any power itself in order to function for its intended purpose. It physically interrupts/completes an electrical circuit when toggled.

A smart switch, on the other hand, needs to remain constantly powered, even when the light itself is off. Specifically the radio and other electronics inside it that make it smart.

As @aaiyar said, there are some ways around that, which some devices can take advantage of.

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Here's a couple to start:

Aqara makes a ZigBee switch.
Or Jasco has a Z-Wave dimmer.

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Note that the "leaking to load" approach does cause a small amount of power to run through the bulbs even when the switch is "off." That's not enough to make incandescent bulbs illuminate, but LEDs can glow dimly or flicker. Don't rule out the possibility that you'll want an electrician to rewire those switches.

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I have used ZBMINI-L in several places. So far they have worked fine. Just need to squeeze them in the switch box.

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:moneybag: :moneybag: :moneybag: :moneybag: :moneybag:

Lutron Caseta all the way. They have a couple of styles and many models that do not require a neutral. They are super reliable and the integration with HE is local and rock solid. Two drawbacks: they are not cheap and they require the Lutron PRO hub for integration. I have about 30 of them and use nothing else.

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FWIW:

  1. Lutron publishes a tool to find LED bulbs compatible with any of their dimmers. While I didn't use this tool, I've never encountered this issue with the LED bulbs I have (all Philips).
  2. Akin to other manufacturers, they sell a minimum load capacitor that can be wired with the load to prevent this from happening, if it is indeed an issue.
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I've got probably a hundred LEDs all on Caseta switches. I have one really funky shop light in my workshop that glows dimly when off. It's the only bulb in the circuit. All the rest work perfectly. The load capacitor would fix the issue, but I just haven't bothered.

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I agree that they are somewhat more expensive. On the other hand, in ~9 years, I've never had a Caseta dimmer/switch fail. Been through multiple power surges, lightning storms, and other sorts of electrical supply insults.

Lutron's quality is simply legendary!

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And their tech support is really, really good.

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Another vote for Caseta here. They always work. They don't require a neutral. They don't look or feel cheap. Once you get into the Caseta world, this opens up the best thing about them.... PICOS. Probably the cheapest and most reliable remote I've ever used. Also, they look great beside the switches.

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Maybe. I have this as well with a Lutron, but even with a load capacitor (I tried Lutron's and Aeotech's) I still get some of the ghosting. I imagine I need to replace the LEDs to something else.

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Inovelli has their blue switches/dimmers available soon.

whichever non-neutral switch you go with, you may need a bypass -- if lights flicker or if there's just a low load.

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Found this old thread you might also want to have a look at:

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Its been my experience that "switches" will always require a Neutral but some dimmers can function without the neutral (depending on the load).

Some power is always required to power the radio (Z-Wave or Zigbee). In "non neutral" dimmers as @aaiyar stated the power from the radio is developed by running a small current through the load. In most cases the load (if a bulb) will still look to be off. However some LEDs require such low power to generate some light that they will be dim.

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I have personally used the Zwave Plus Enbrighten (Jasco) no neutral dimmer with just 1 (one) BR30 LED bulb . So, the chances of you needing a bypass with that type of dimmer are minimal.
The following is this type of device:
https://www.amazon.ca/Enbrighten-52252-Smart-Dimmer-Almond/dp/B08WJLCY3K/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2Y1Z0ID2FHD4R&keywords=jasco+enbrighten+no+neutral&qid=1670613420&sprefix=jasco+enbighten+no+neutral+%2Caps%2C85&sr=8-1

Agreed, I've used the zigbee version and worked great in general without a neutral. It did not however work any "better" than the caseta and still had the ghosting effect for specific LEDs I have (even with a bypass).

These are fantastic. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0842BDN9R

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