I have two light switches which control the same light (is this known as a 3way connection?). I would like to replace one of the switches with a Z-wave light switch so I can incorporate the light in some home automation scenes.

Can I do this by just replacing one of the existing light switches with a Z-wave enabled one? Do I need to look for a special 3-way Z-Wave light switch? Do such things exist?

I am handy, but definitely not an electrician.

Here is a picture of how the switch is currently wired:

enter image description here

  • Can you post photos of the insides of the switch boxes please? Jan 30, 2016 at 17:38
  • Yeah, I think you will need a switch that can work in a 3-way circuit for the other light switch to continue working.
    – ArchonOSX
    Jan 30, 2016 at 17:59
  • @ArchonOSX -- if he can get us photos of the boxes, I can likely tell if he has a neutral at the switch or not. If he has a neutral at the switch, then he could use a single-pole Z-wave light switch to control a SPDT relay ;) Jan 30, 2016 at 20:55
  • I will post photos next weekend. Sorry about the delay on the photos, but I get home after 6pm on weekdays and it is too dark with the breaker off to take pictures.
    – codechurn
    Jan 30, 2016 at 22:10
  • @ThreePhaseEel as requested a photo has been added. Looking forward to what you guys have to say.
    – codechurn
    Feb 6, 2016 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, your 3-way switch install isn't compatible with Z-wave switches -- even if a 3-way Z-wave switch existed, all the Z-wave devices I know of require a neutral to function, and you don't have that. Instead, you have an old-style switch loop where the white wire is retagged to be a traveler, hot, or switched hot instead of a neutral.

  • Unfortunately, not the answer I was looking for, but I appreciate the input.
    – codechurn
    Feb 7, 2016 at 15:45
  • Can you explain what you see that shows it's a switched hot?
    – Sam Rueby
    Sep 14, 2021 at 21:56
  • 1
    @SamRueby -- what I know for sure is that that white wire can't be a neutral (since it's connected to an old-school lightswitch) Sep 14, 2021 at 23:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.