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Old 02-04-2019, 09:58 PM   #1
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"smart" solution for controlling lights on separate circuits


Greetings:

I ran into a problem when working with some knob and tube wiring with a three-way switch--two lights at the top and bottom of a stairway--and decided to run new wiring to the top light. They had the previous wiring spliced into other knob and tube in the attic and I have been at a loss trying to make heads or tails of it (nothing is color coded, of course and just spliced in with old tape and not in electrical boxes)--I've tried every combination when rewiring the three-way and nothing is working.

I cannot easily run new wiring to the bottom light and switch because it's plaster and lathe and the electrical run goes through the floor joists, so plan B is just to separate them into two, two-way circuits--the upper light being on a new circuit I wired in the attic, and the bottom light would be on the old circuit.

While this will work, it is inconvenient that the lights would no longer be linked. That said, I'm curious if anyone knows of a "smart" lighting system that would wirelessly trigger one switch when another is toggled? In other words, a virtual three-way switch.

I took a look at TP-Link's switches, but it does not appear that they can be "coupled" together. They do support IFTTT, but can not be used as a trigger action--in other words, turning on a switch cannot trigger an IFTTT action.

I found this on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015E7DTW4/

But would like something that would fit in the existing box and look more like a traditional switch.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this?

Plan C, of course, is to break into the plaster and lath and just run new wiring, but I'd like to avoid that, if possible.

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: "smart" solution for controlling lights on separate circuits


I think it would work. The receiver is small (2" diameter and 1" thick) and should fit in the existing junction box.



If you've run new wiring to the light fixture box, you can leave the wiring to the old switches alone.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: "smart" solution for controlling lights on separate circuits


put a photo sensor on the light then when the other is turned on it follows.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: "smart" solution for controlling lights on separate circuits


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
put a photo sensor on the light then when the other is turned on it follows.
They are separated by the second floor, so this would not work.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:03 PM   #5
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Re: "smart" solution for controlling lights on separate circuits


Do you have a neutral in both switch boxes? I kind of doubt it if the old wiring was knob and tube. But if you do have neutrals, you could use Insteon, UPB or Z-wave switches, which allow you to control multiple independent switches by creating "scenes".
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:42 AM   #6
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Re: "smart" solution for controlling lights on separate circuits


Lutron Caseta is available at Home Depot. It is a wired switch with wireless companion switch. The wireless locations can be battery powered.
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