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Companion Switches - Question

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  • Companion Switches - Question

    I currently have outdoor landscaping lighting with the toggle switch outdoors and plan on replacing this with a normal Z-wave switch.

    Can I add a companion switch indoors (power it independently + a neutral) and make it act like a 3-way switch even though they won't be connected in anyway, ie traveler wire?

  • #2
    The companion switches work by linking them internally. You can have them on different circuits as long as you recognize hat the companion controls the main and the main controls the power. So if the circuit is off for the Main, the light is off.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Big View Post
      I currently have outdoor landscaping lighting with the toggle switch outdoors and plan on replacing this with a normal Z-wave switch.

      Can I add a companion switch indoors (power it independently + a neutral) and make it act like a 3-way switch even though they won't be connected in anyway, ie traveler wire?
      I would think that you could add the z-wave switch outside like you said and add another z-wave switch inside instead of adding a companion switch.
      Then create an event that when you turn on the inside switch it turns on the outside switch. Add a second event to turn it off.

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      • #4
        Using the companion switch means not needing to run an event. You Associate the Companion with the master and it all happens between the switches themselves. The companion controls nothing, it just tells the other switch to do something.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ksum View Post
          Using the companion switch means not needing to run an event. You Associate the Companion with the master and it all happens between the switches themselves. The companion controls nothing, it just tells the other switch to do something.
          Correct, except if you had color bulbs outside you cannot change their colors with association. If you had a HS switch that has multiple taps you could essentially have 3 events and 3 different colors or shades of white.
          I saw the companion name and I saw that as a switch used at the end of a 3-way.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ksum View Post
            The companion switches work by linking them internally. You can have them on different circuits as long as you recognize hat the companion controls the main and the main controls the power. So if the circuit is off for the Main, the light is off.
            Does the companion switch need to be in range of its main switch (independently) or can it use the mesh network to get to its main switch?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Big View Post
              Does the companion switch need to be in range of its main switch (independently) or can it use the mesh network to get to its main switch?
              It will use the mesh network to talk to the controller. The controller will then talk to the outside switch.

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              • #8
                I do not know if it works over the mesh network or not. All of mine have been in range.

                Note also that you need to have a companion switch which is compatible with the master switch.

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                • #9
                  Can I associate 1 Zwave switch to two other ZWave switch circuits?

                  Put 1 zwave switch on each of 2 circuits (they obviously control their lights)
                  Add 1 zwave switch inside, where If I hit power on/off they both power on/off simultaneously?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ksum View Post
                    I do not know if it works over the mesh network or not. All of mine have been in range.

                    Note also that you need to have a companion switch which is compatible with the master switch.
                    Z-wave is a mesh network. Any z-wave switch will work for either of the switches. The control is done through the events. HS doesn't care what brand they are.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Big View Post
                      Can I associate 1 Zwave switch to two other ZWave switch circuits?

                      Put 1 zwave switch on each of 2 circuits (they obviously control their lights)
                      Add 1 zwave switch inside, where If I hit power on/off they both power on/off simultaneously?
                      If you have both outside switches listed in the event under the THEN statement they will go on or off depending on the event at the same time. If you have the inside one under the IF statement it will be the controller for the outside switches.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cowinger View Post
                        Z-wave is a mesh network. Any z-wave switch will work for either of the switches. The control is done through the events. HS doesn't care what brand they are.
                        True when done via an event. But if using the Slave/Master Companion or whatever the company calls their secondary switch, no event is used, but the unit is Associated with the master and there can be compatibility issues with these. Also note that with these companion switches, HomeSeer can be down and you sti

                        If done via an event, then true, it can be any switch as long as said switch can tell HomeSeer that it has been changed.

                        Note that the OP has not mentioned a brand so we do not know if the units in question will provide a status update. And now that I have looked around a bit, it may require a hard-wire connection to the other switch. Since the OP is saying Companion we could guess that it is the HomeSeer Companion which, from the Manual, requires a direct wire back to the Primary switch, which is different from the Slave/Companion switches I have used. But Lutron also calls theirs a Companion, so we cannot be sure and cannot assume the term is defining the manufacturer. Cooper calls theirs an Accessory switch and this one can control up to 5 other switches which are not hard wired together, but they must be one of 2 Copper units.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ksum View Post
                          True when done via an event. But if using the Slave/Master Companion or whatever the company calls their secondary switch, no event is used, but the unit is Associated with the master and there can be compatibility issues with these. Also note that with these companion switches, HomeSeer can be down and you sti

                          If done via an event, then true, it can be any switch as long as said switch can tell HomeSeer that it has been changed.

                          Note that the OP has not mentioned a brand so we do not know if the units in question will provide a status update. And now that I have looked around a bit, it may require a hard-wire connection to the other switch. Since the OP is saying Companion we could guess that it is the HomeSeer Companion which, from the Manual, requires a direct wire back to the Primary switch, which is different from the Slave/Companion switches I have used. But Lutron also calls theirs a Companion, so we cannot be sure and cannot assume the term is defining the manufacturer. Cooper calls theirs an Accessory switch and this one can control up to 5 other switches which are not hard wired together, but they must be one of 2 Copper units.
                          I guess we could be talking about two different situations. But I think we have covered both for Big. If it is hardwired then I agree there are many things to consider. If it is by z-wave it becomes a lot simpler.

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                          • #14
                            I haven't mentioned brands because I have not purchased anything yet. I recently moved into a new home and I am trying to formulate a plan for my landscape lighting. Currently 2 switches controls all my landscape lighting and those 2 switches are far away from my house, I was wondering if I install 2 seperate zwave switches there can I put a Zwave switch inside so I can turn them on/off manually. Those 2 switches are on separate circuits.

                            I should have presented all the facts first rather than ask piecemeal questions (sorry) and thanks for your help!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cowinger View Post
                              If you have both outside switches listed in the event under the THEN statement they will go on or off depending on the event at the same time. If you have the inside one under the IF statement it will be the controller for the outside switches.

                              This sounds like the solution I need! Thanks

                              If I go this route, it doesn't matter which brands I use, as long as my controller see's all 3 devices?

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