Smart Switches That Work Without A Neutral Wire

iDISRUPTED Lighting & Power Smart Switches That Work Without A Neutral Wire

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Thankfully, they do exist.

And in the case that your home does not have neutral wires, hope is not lost!

Although you are limited to only a handful of smart switches that work in a 2-wire circuit and most are dimming devices.

A big caveat however.

Most of the available smart switches for no-neutral installs only work with incandescent or halogen lamps.

So make sure your shortlisted devices will work with the type of light bulbs you plan to use before you make your purchase.

No-Neutral Smart Switch Comparison Table 2020

Smart Switches That Work Without A Neutral Wire

Lutron PD-5WS-DV-WH, Wireless In-Wall Switch, White
Lutron Caseta Smart Home Dimmer Switch, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and the Google Assistant | for LED Light Bulbs, Incandescent Bulbs and Halogen Bulbs | PD-6WCL-WH | White
Insteon Smart 2-Wire Dimmer Wall Switch, Incandescent/Halogen Bulbs Only, No Neutral Required, 2474DWH (White) - Insteon Hub required for voice control with Alexa & Google Assistant
Eaton RF9536WS Aspire Z-Wave Smart Master Dimmer, 1000W, White Satin
Jasco Z-Wave Dimmer Wall Toggle Switch, No Neutral Required, White (45716)
BRAND
Lutron Caseta
Lutron Caseta
Insteon
Eaton-Cooper Aspire
Jasco
TYPE / FUNCTION
On-Off Switch
Dimmer Switch
Dimmer Switch
Dimmer Switch
On-Off Switch (Dimmable Through Controller)
MODEL
PD-5WS-DV
PD-6WCL
2474DWH
RF9536WS / RF9534AW
45716
LAMP COMPATIBILITY
LED, CFL, Incandescent & Halogen
LED, CFL (Fluorescent ), Incandescent & Halogen
Incandescent & Halogen
Incandescent & CFL
Incandescent Only
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL
Lutron Clear Connect
Lutron Clear Connect
Insteon RF Mesh
Z-Wave
Z-Wave
CONTROLLER REQUIRED
Lutron Bridge or Bridge Pro
Lutron Bridge or Bridge Pro
Insteon Hub
Any ZWave Hub Or Controller
Any ZWave Hub Or Controller
VOICE CONTROL
Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Apple Homekit & Apple Watch
Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Apple Homekit & Apple Watch
Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Microsoft Cortana
Dependent On Your Z Wave Hub
Dependent On Your Z Wave Hub
Lutron PD-5WS-DV-WH, Wireless In-Wall Switch, White
BRAND
Lutron Caseta
TYPE / FUNCTION
On-Off Switch
MODEL
PD-5WS-DV
LAMP COMPATIBILITY
LED, CFL, Incandescent & Halogen
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL
Lutron Clear Connect
CONTROLLER REQUIRED
Lutron Bridge or Bridge Pro
VOICE CONTROL
Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Apple Homekit & Apple Watch
Lutron Caseta Smart Home Dimmer Switch, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and the Google Assistant | for LED Light Bulbs, Incandescent Bulbs and Halogen Bulbs | PD-6WCL-WH | White
BRAND
Lutron Caseta
TYPE / FUNCTION
Dimmer Switch
MODEL
PD-6WCL
LAMP COMPATIBILITY
LED, CFL (Fluorescent ), Incandescent & Halogen
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL
Lutron Clear Connect
CONTROLLER REQUIRED
Lutron Bridge or Bridge Pro
VOICE CONTROL
Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Apple Homekit & Apple Watch
Insteon Smart 2-Wire Dimmer Wall Switch, Incandescent/Halogen Bulbs Only, No Neutral Required, 2474DWH (White) - Insteon Hub required for voice control with Alexa & Google Assistant
BRAND
Insteon
TYPE / FUNCTION
Dimmer Switch
MODEL
2474DWH
LAMP COMPATIBILITY
Incandescent & Halogen
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL
Insteon RF Mesh
CONTROLLER REQUIRED
Insteon Hub
VOICE CONTROL
Amazon Alexa | Google Assistant | Microsoft Cortana
Eaton RF9536WS Aspire Z-Wave Smart Master Dimmer, 1000W, White Satin
BRAND
Eaton-Cooper Aspire
TYPE / FUNCTION
Dimmer Switch
MODEL
RF9536WS / RF9534AW
LAMP COMPATIBILITY
Incandescent & CFL
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL
Z-Wave
CONTROLLER REQUIRED
Any ZWave Hub Or Controller
VOICE CONTROL
Dependent On Your Z Wave Hub
Jasco Z-Wave Dimmer Wall Toggle Switch, No Neutral Required, White (45716)
BRAND
Jasco
TYPE / FUNCTION
On-Off Switch (Dimmable Through Controller)
MODEL
45716
LAMP COMPATIBILITY
Incandescent Only
COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL
Z-Wave
CONTROLLER REQUIRED
Any ZWave Hub Or Controller
VOICE CONTROL
Dependent On Your Z Wave Hub

Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. iDISRUPTED May Get A Commission. Last updated on 2020-06-06 at 06:38

Of course you can always bite the bullet and hire an electrical contractor to run neutral wires to each switch.

Just don’t forget to factor in the disruption (and mess) to walls and ceilings and making good at the end of the job.

And lets not forget you can always opt to go with smart bulbs like Lifx or Hue instead of switches.

One drawback is cost, depending on the size of your home and number of bulbs required.  

The other drawback is a family member or guest could inadvertently turn off a switch rendering your smart bulbs useless.

And cutting power to smart bulb also seriously impacts their lifespan and should be avoided.

The other thing to be aware of is only people with access to the app are going to be able to control them.

Other Options If You Don’t Have A Neutral Wire

In-wall Nano Dimmers That Work With Existing Switches

If you don’t want to use in-wall switches or dimmers, recently launched are a handful of in-wall micro controller devices that do not require a neutral wire and work with any switch you choose.

Aeotec Nano Dimmer & Bypass

Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. iDISRUPTED May Get A Commission. Last updated on 2020-06-06 at 06:48

Fibaro Dimmer & Bypass

FIBARO Dimmer 2 Z-Wave Plus Light Controller, Smart Rheostat, FGD-212, doesn't Work with HomeKit
Installation possible in buildings with either 2 or 3 wire systems; Number of security features protect the device from overheating, overload or Voltage drop
FIBARO Bypass 2 for Dimmer, FGB-002, doesn't work with HomeKit
Figaro bypass 2 (fgb-002) is a device designed to work with Figaro dimmer 2 (fgd- 212); Reduces the minimum load required by Figaro dimmer 2

Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. iDISRUPTED May Get A Commission. Last updated on 2020-06-06 at 06:48

They are generally installed directly behind the switch in the existing gang box.  

As always check the fine print first, as you may need a bypass device added to make them work with certain lamps like LEDs.

It's also important to note that both the Aeotec & Fibaro devices communicate using the Z-Wave protocol.

This means you'll need a Z-Wave hub or controller, like Samsung SmartThings, to use these devices in your home.

The pick of the bunch that work with both LED and incandescent bulbs is undoubtedly the Lutron Caseta range.

While not the cheapest solution, they have arguably the most reliable and robust professional-grade smart lighting technology on the market here in the States.  

Certainly for a vanilla installation project, where you are taking your first steps in upgrading from traditional dumb switches, Lutron gets our recommendation.

And their starter kits keep things affordable.

C by GE: Coming Soon In 2020

An exciting development announced at the start of the year for the C by GE range is a suite of smart switches and dimmers that don't require a neutral wire for install.

Manufactured in different 3 designs to match you existing home decor, the switches will be available as a toggle, paddle or button and the dimmer model will come in two flavors, a standard dimmer and a motion sensor dimmer switch.

With no hub required, these switches communicate with each other via bluetooth and connect directly to your home wifi for you to program and control the devices.

Amazon Alexa & Google Home work straight out of the box via wifi, with Apple HomeKit integration possible through an additional hub you can purchase separately.

To complete the new lineup, C by GE are also launching a range of complementary "controller" switches and sensors.  These will be battery powered and require zero wiring, communicating with each other via the bluetooth network.

The switches are expected to start shipping in Q1, with the dimmers to follow shortly after in Q2 and we'll be publishing an article on the new range when they are released.

It's worth noting that the C by GE range is completely separate to the GE Enbrighten smart switches, which communicate using either Z-Wave or Zigbee protocols, are manufactured by Jasco and don't offer a no-neutral option at time of updating this article.

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Which no-neutral switch option did you choose?  

Or perhaps you decided to use bulbs instead of switches.

Leave a comment below and share your experiences!