HomeKit Leviton HomeKit wallplate switches

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by ehrens, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. ehrens macrumors member

    ehrens

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Location:
    the 651
    #1
    So I bit hard on Prime Day and bought a dimmer with matching switch for a 3-way fixture and an on/off paddle switch for our front porch light. I finally got around to opening one to check out the install requirements, and to be quite frank it looks like a total pain in the ass. Anyone put these things in before (or models like it) and have tips for a total n00b like myself?
     
  2. wesley96 macrumors 6502

    wesley96

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    #2
    I had Leviton HomeKit switches installed before, and I now have Koogeek switches (also HomeKit enabled) in their place.

    You need to elaborate on what part of the install requirements was "a total pain in the ass" because HomeKit switch installation is actually quite similar to normal switch installation for most part.

    The 3-way switch installation method is basically the same whether the switch is HomeKit enabled or not. So if you have an existing 3-way fixture wiring, it's a simple matter of connecting the right wires.

    The simple on/off switch might be a bit more complicated if the switch box doesn't have a neutral wire coming in. You have to put the wire in there somehow, or otherwise most of the smart switches won't work. Perhaps this is what you referred to as being a total PITA?
     
  3. Denisg3577 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    #3
    Why the change from Leviton to Koogeek switches?
     
  4. wesley96 macrumors 6502

    wesley96

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    #4
    It's not that Leviton ones were faulty (quite reliable, in fact) but I originally needed 2-gang version and Koogeek happened to offer such switches.
     
  5. ehrens thread starter macrumors member

    ehrens

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Location:
    the 651
    #5
    The neutral wire is pretty much it. I shut down breakers and looked at my box. but as someone with no high-voltage experience it's a tiny bit daunting. The house is super old but the electrical was completely redone in 2015 so I am about 98% sure it's there, I just have no idea how to go about it.

    (this is a guy who felt super-duper accomplished when I hooked the unterminated C wire to my HVAC for my HomeKit thermostat.)
     
  6. bluespark macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #6
    It's not clear from your post whether your house has a neutral wire, but if not, then you probably went with the wrong brand. Try a Lutron Caseta. Lutron has patented the hell out of the best neutral-free setup anyone has ever designed. I have installed many of these in a hundred-year old house and they are fantastic.
     
  7. wesley96 macrumors 6502

    wesley96

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    #7
    The wires are generally differentiated by colour, so it's not difficult to keep track of.

    In the case of a switch for a single light, the existing switch should have two wires connected. One is the "live" wire and the other is the "load" wire. If you look at the corresponding light fixture, it should also have two wires. In this case, one is the "load" wire of the same colour as the one found in the switch box, and the other is the "neutral" wire. If the switch box contains another wire of this colour, then that's the "neutral" wire as well.
     
  8. vondo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    #8
    Does Leviton have a hotline you can call? Lutron does and I was seriously impressed.

    Chicago area has a different wiring code than the rest of the country and the color of the travelers in 3-way installations are different. I called up on a weekend, got an electrician on the line immediately who knew all about this and spent 30-45 minutes walking me through the installation and making sure everything was hooked up correctly. If Leviton has anything like this, you should take advantage of it.
     
  9. ehrens thread starter macrumors member

    ehrens

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Location:
    the 651
    #9
    Good note! Will have to look into that.

    Per the written documentation Leviton the neutral wire is either white in color or bare copper. I definitely have this, but it looks like at least in the 3 way scenario, that wire is captured for another use.
     
  10. vondo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    #10
    Bare copper should be ground.

    My house has no ground wires, so with the Lutron stuff I used the box as a ground and ran a bare copper pigtail off of each box. Works fine.
     
  11. wesley96 macrumors 6502

    wesley96

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
  12. StarShot macrumors 6502a

    StarShot

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    #12
    You might consider the Woods 59744 flip switch. I've been using one for my porch lights for over a year. If you google "woods 59744" you will find them for around $12 and up.

     
  13. reygza macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #13
    The Leviton needs the corresponding remote switch to work in a 3-way application. Follow the wiring in the included manual carefully as wiring the Decora in a 3-way system is different than when wiring as a standalone.
     
  14. ehrens thread starter macrumors member

    ehrens

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Location:
    the 651
    #14
    SUPER BUMP!

    After many months of inaction, I FINALLY got my switches installed. Once I took both of the switches out of the 2 gang box, I was able to find the capped neutral wires that were the bane of my existence. This whetted my appetite and I have gotten 3 other non-dimming switches installed without issue. Definitely a lot nicer and more convenient than relying on Hue bulbs!
     

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13 August 28, 2017