enter image description hereI have romex running from the breaker to junction box1 then junction box2. From junction box2 there is a switch and a light fixture. All of the romex is 2 wire (ground, black, white).

I want to replace my single pole switch with a wifi smart switch.

What are my options here? Is there a wifi switch that works with 2 wire cables? Is there a way to add a 3 wire cable without going all the way back to the breaker?

  • How much access do you have to add a new cable from junction 2 to the switch box? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 3 '19 at 14:28
  • If I'm reading box 2 correctly, supply black meets switch-loop white (always-hot, should be marked with black tape), and then switched-hot comes back off the switch loop cable as black and goes on to the lamp as black. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 3 '19 at 14:57
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    What type of lighting is in the lighting fixture? Incandescent, halogen, florescent, compact florescent or LED? Do you want smart on/off control or dimmable? Depending upon your answer there may be a switch to recommend that would work on your existing 2-wire switch loop. – Michael Karas Nov 3 '19 at 14:57
  • I can easily add new cable from box 2 to the switch box. – TJ Smith Nov 7 '19 at 12:17
  • I can put any type bulb in the fixture. I do not have a preference. Please let me know if there is a switch for the existing configuration. – TJ Smith Nov 7 '19 at 12:19

There are a number of possible solutions including replacing the switch loop and smart switches that use ground (allowed if designed and tested to do so). But I'll suggest another solution:

Two Smart Switches

Put the main smart switch - which would actually have the WiFi transceiver, etc. - in Junction Box 2. There is constant power there, so any smart switch will work just fine. Wire it up to incoming power and the light fixture.

Install a smart remote to replace the existing switch. Depending on how it works, it may be:

  • Battery power - Cap the wires on both ends.
  • Constant power - Change the switch loop in Junction Box 2 to have constant power instead of connecting to the light fixture. The remote will use this to get power and (depending on design) to communicate with the main smart switch. But it won't actually switch the fixture - the main smart switch will do this.

The only problem with this is if Junction Box 2 is in a really awkward place. If it is hidden behind furniture then it doesn't matter. If it is near other switches then it will look just fine. The only problem is if it is in a weird place where a blank cover plate blends in with the surroundings but an actual switch would look out of place.

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    Thank you. Box 2 is close to the switch. I had not heard of smart remotes. I will check into that. – TJ Smith Nov 7 '19 at 12:31

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