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 compatible brands for light control?
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cjric
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2021 :  10:50:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ive got two lights in my kitchen, both controlled with one switch. Old house so wiring is knob/tube. Don't want to run new wire. Looking at wireless switch/controller setup with a single gang dual switch and a controller for each fixture.
I can find a solution online (Illumra dual rocker, 2 controller). But, that's more than I want to spend. Im trying to find a cheaper solution and want to know what brands are compatible with each other. Example = will a GoConex controller work with a Lutron Pico switch?
Can anyone suggest a solution that will work? I'd like both switches to fit in a single gang box for a traditional look.

oberkc
Moderator

USA
4154 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2021 :  3:45:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Based upon my limited experience with knob-and-tube wiring, the likelihood of having neutral conductors in the switch box is low. If true, this will limit your options. It is worth confirming at your two switch locations.

Edited by - oberkc on 03/19/2021 3:51:57 PM
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cjric
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2021 :  05:07:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I’ve got that part figured out. You are correct. No neutral. I have one switch in a double gang box that feeds the two lights. I also have an outlet that is wired separately in that double gang box. If needed, I’ll pull power for the switch from the outlet side.

So back to my question. Does every brand have its own proprietary communication or can I mix/match brands to get this done cheaper?
I understand that I can’t mix (for example) wifi and RF. But can diff brands of RF be compatible?
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
4154 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2021 :  2:20:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
If needed, I’ll pull power for the switch from the outlet side.


Just be careful that you are not using neutral from one circuit with a hot from another.

I am most familiar with Insteon and, to a lesser degree, zwave devices. Insteon has a controller that you could put at each fixture. It is pretty small, but you would have to confirm there is room. Unfortunately, the only Insteon multi-switch device that would fit into a single box is a keypad (controls up to five devices). Insteon is proprietary but Z-wave is a more open standard. You could mix-and-match z-wave devices, but I believe you would need a controller/hub to program your switches, which is an added expense and I doubt you would be saving any money, even if you found the dual switch and light fixture module.

Be advised also that some of these smarter switched are relatively large and often don't fit into the smaller boxes that are common in homes from the knob-and-tube era.


The device you quoted looks ideal for your purposes. The only thing that I did not research was the use of a second switch, but it claims "three way" abilities, so I assume it is available. The price for smart switches is a lot higher. The price for the one you found does not sound out of line based upon my experience. You might find a little cheaper item, but I am guessing that you will be spending a couple hundred dollars on these types of devices.

Sorry I could not be more help.

Edited by - oberkc on 03/20/2021 2:21:52 PM
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bevhoward
Starting Member

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2021 :  2:18:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit bevhoward's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A single X10 wall switch with two wires should work since they do not require a third "neutral" line.

Assuming you have the space to mount two switches,

simply remove the original switch that has a "hot" connecting from the breaker box
connect that hot lead to one wire of both of the x10 wall switches
connect the remaining wire of each switch to the wire running to each light fixture.

obviously, if you only have a single wire running from the existing switch to both lamps, that won't work...

...however, you could also install a twin gang box in the attic (I assume) near the light connections with two x10 wall switches and control them from any controller in the house.

Beverly Howard
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BLH
Advanced Member

6288 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2021 :  3:24:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One thing to think about.
X10 two wire wall switches are designed for incandescent bulbs. As the switch steals power through the load. Some dimmable LED bulbs work fairy well also but testing compatibility is usually needed.
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