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Author Topic: Creating a 3-way switch  (Read 4400 times)

ChrisGTE

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Creating a 3-way switch
« on: June 12, 2014, 02:25:56 PM »

I am looking for some suggestions on setting up a couple x10 switches.  My primary goal is to link a 2-way switch/exterior light at my front door with a 2-way switch/exterior light at my detached garage (both on the same electrical panel). 

What I am going for is a setup where turning the light on or off from either location will turn both lights on or off (i.e. act like a normal 3-way switch that has two lights).  Ideally I would like to keep this as simple as possible and it would be great if the “controller” could be installed in place of one of the wall outlets but the controller could be located somewhere else in the house if need be.  I would like to have wall switches in boxes instead of wireless remote controls.

My secondary goal is to add an appliance module that would allow a string of low voltage lights to turn on and off with the two exterior lights.

Just to check out x10 I picked up an WS13A switch, an WS14A switch and a AM466 appliance model so if these can be incorporated into the solution, great, if not I can go another direction and return these.

I am sure I am not providing all the information that will be needed to comment on my proposed setup so let me know what I am missing and I will try to provide any additional information.

Thanks
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Brian H

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 06:22:45 PM »

The two lights you want to control are not wired together now? Like in a three way setup.
The WS14A can control the WS13A but it is a physically wired connection. Like in a three way setup.
No present X10 wall switch can transmit an X10 signal to control another one.
So having one control the other one if not physically wired to each other is not possible.
There are other protocol switches that can be both a controller and responder.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/WS13A
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/WS14A
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Knightrider

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 06:50:20 PM »

Togglelinc
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bkenobi

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 10:55:35 AM »

Agreed.  ToggleLinc will do this.  Any of the other style Smarthome will do the same.  If you want to use X10, these can do that (purportedly, the X10 capability may be removed in some revisions so check carefully).  If you want to use Insteon, they do that too.

ChrisGTE

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 03:42:13 PM »

Thanks for the replies!

No, the two switches are not connected so X10 doesn't sound like the best solution for me but I am open to other solutions. 

I have heard of the Smarthome and Insteon but have never heard of ToggleLinc. A quick look at some of the Smarthome stuff looks like it might work but I really don’t know what I am looking for. 

Can anyone suggest specific models for the two switches I will need and a model number for an “appliance module/outlet”?  I don’t mind buying new hardware but would like to get the right stuff this time.

Thanks again for the help

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Brian H

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 04:12:26 PM »

Toggleinc is an Insteon Wall switch with a toggle style paddle. Comes in both a dimmer and On/Off relay types.

The SwitchLinc is an Insteon Wall Switch with a decorator style paddle. Comes in both a dimmer and On/Off relay type.

The KeypadLinc Dimmer or On/Off relay. Has one set of Buttons that can control a Load and four or six additional buttons that can be linked to other modules to control them.

All need a real Line, Neutral and Load wire in the switch box to work.

The SwitchLincs are now Dual Band. Meaning they communicate on the power line and with an RF signal.
The ToggleLincs are strictly power line.
The KaypadLincs are Dual Band also.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 06:54:48 PM by Brian H »
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ChrisGTE

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2014, 02:20:10 PM »

With the price difference not being much it seems like going with dual band makes more since.  If I have this correct, getting two of the Insteon Wall Switches and an appliance module should be all I need to link my two wall switches and a string of low voltage lights. The end result being turning two 2-way switches into a non-connected 3-way switch.

Let me know if there is any additional hardware I would need or if there is something else I should look at.

Thanks again for the help

Hardware I am looking at:

Wall Switches (times 2)
INSTEON 2477S SwitchLinc On/Off Dual-Band Remote Control Switch

Appliance Module
Insteon 2457D2 LampLinc INSTEON Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module Dual-Band
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Brian H

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 07:17:20 PM »

The 2475D2 LampLinc is a dimmer type module and may not drive a low voltage lighting power supply correctly. Unless the power supply is rated to be used with a dimmer type control. Then still test for any strange things happening.
The 2635-222 is an Appliance Type module and does On and Off only.

I want to verify that the two manual switches you want to control each other. They are not in a three way circuit with two manual switches now controlling a load.

Also verify you have a Line, Load and Neutral power connection in the switch boxes where you want to change out the switches.
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ChrisGTE

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 09:32:38 PM »

Thanks Brian,

You are correct, I didn’t want a dimmable module, thanks for pointing that out.  After my last post I actual found the 2634-222 which seems to be aimed at outdoor use which seems like the best option for low voltage lighting.

And again you are correct I have two separate manual switches and I want them to control each other (i.e. turn either on and both go on, turn either off and they both go off).  The two manual switches are not 3 ways switches.

And finally, I have verified that both boxes have line, load and neutral.

Thanks again for the help and the patience as I figure this stuff out.
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Brian H

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2014, 06:43:13 AM »

Glad to help.

One point I did miss. If the 2477D switches are not controlling an incandescent or 120 volt Halogen Load. A dimmer may not be the best choice. The 2477S is an On/Off relay type. If the loads are dimmable LEDs some brands are fine other maybe touchy. The rarer dimmable CFLs are very touchy on a dimmer.

You may want to look at the Smarthome Forums in their Insteon Section for information and assistance.
http://forum.smarthome.com/default.asp

Smartlabs {manufacturer of the Insteon product line} recently started an Insteon Forum on their web site.
http://forum.insteon.com/

The modules sales pages. Have links to their full users manuals. You may want to download them. They are much better than the quick guides in the box.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 11:47:42 AM by Brian H »
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bkenobi

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2014, 10:24:01 AM »

One other thing to note that is important with all SmartHome switches.  I've found them to be very large compared to X10.  You will need to verify that you have a lot of room in the box so you can physically fit these in the wall.  I had a similar issue with an X10 XPT that was such a tight fit I had to actually grind the inside of the box down a bit.  If you have shallow boxes, that kind of fix won't work.

Brian H

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2014, 12:37:59 PM »

The newer Dual Band models are even larger than the original power line only ones.

Also some of the new models. Quietly dropped all X10 support. The 2635-222 On Off Dual Band Module. Replacement for the 2456S3 ApplianceLinc. Has no X10 support at all.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 12:40:31 PM by Brian H »
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bkenobi

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2014, 03:41:12 PM »

At least you know what you are getting since the spec on SmartHome.com doesn't list X10 support.  The ToggleLinc and SwitchLinc still claim X10 support, so I'd be pretty upset if they didn't include the spec'd capability.

JeffVolp

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2014, 10:20:38 AM »

Sorry that I'm late to the party, but we have been out of town.

This can be done strictly with X10 devices too.  You can use an ordinary X10 wall switch at the first location, and the XPT transmitter with a single button keypad at the second location.

We have 4 exterior lights controlled this way through 4 button Leviton 16400 keypads at several locations in the home.  (The 16400 is their version of the X10 XPT.)

Jeff
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bkenobi

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Re: Creating a 3-way switch
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2014, 10:39:35 AM »

That works if you have a light at one location and want to control it from a second (I do that for a couple lights with the XPT, too).  I think the OP wants to essentially link 2 lights into a 3-way configuration.  So, light A and light B are not wired together but he wants to press a button at light A to control both A and B and vice versa.  In that case, the only solution I'm aware of is a switch that is also a transmitter.  I've used ToggleLinc and know that will work with X10 in that way (unless they removed X10 support).  I don't know of any other modules than SmartHome ToggleLinc and SwitchLinc that will (or at least used to) work in that way.
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