I just came across some Feit Smart Dimmers (from Costco) at a very attractive price. Somehow very little information is available as these seem relatively new. Amazon/Alexa detects and controls them, but no bindings in OpenHAB yet. Anyone knows how to get those to work with openHAB?
I’ve been ‘playing’ with these over the past two days, and here is my experience so far:
- They can be used either as single pole (to control lamp from ONE location) or 3-way (to control lamp from multiple location).
- In single pole setting, they work fine
- In 3-way, when combined with a regular switch, they ‘struggle’ i.e., do not work too well
- Dimming goes from Max to a MINIMUM of ~30%, not below. I’ve seen others (made by TP-Link) that have an adjustment dial. These do not. The lowest brightness is not dim enough.
- They do require both a neutral wire and ground wire. I wired mine with neutral only
- I need to try the 3-way installation with 2 such smart switches at both locations, and see what happens.
I went back to get few more today but somehow Costco is totally sold-out. As such, I am not sure they are very popular, or somehow Costco stopped selling them for some ‘dubious’ reason.
I will add more comments based on what else I’ll learn from them, while using them in multiple configurations.
After another day playing with these switches, here is my ‘final’ verdict.
- They do work, but have to use some non-conventional wiring (one traveler always hot)
- Lowest dim level is not low enough … though I rarely dim my lights.
I approached these with my ‘conventional’ wiring know-how for lights with switches from multiple locations … I was wrong. The smart switches can be used in 3 configurations:
- Single pole, for controlling one single light
- 3-way (2 locations), with 1 smart Feit switch + 1 regular (single pole) switch - can adjust dimming from one location only
- 2 locations with 2 smart Feit switches (can adjust dimming from both locations)
My preferred is #4, there, the wiring is ‘non-conventional’ as one of the runners (wires between switches) is always hot. In a sense, the 2 runners are not used in a conventional way.
It was a head-scratching 2 days … but I learned 2 things:
- runners can be used in ‘novel’ ways (at least to me)
- always read and understand the schematics BEFORE anything else
My final verdict: These are phenomenal switches, WIFI+3-Way+Dimmer and barely $12.50 each … if only Costco still has them. The only place that sells them is Menards … and I’m heading there to get 2 more.
The next challenge is to get these to work with OpenHAB … any volunteers?
One more update. I have 4 lights in my home that are controlled from 3 locations each. For such setting, one needs two dimmers, one to replace each of the 2 three-switches. These switches cannot replace a 4-way switch. So, in conclusion:
- For lights controlled from 1 location, need only 1 smart switch
- For lights controlled from 2 locations, need either 1 or 2 smart switches
- For lights controlled from 3+ locations, need 2 smart switches.
Of course, all such options need a neutral wire (typically tucked in the back of your gang box).
Also, the limitation with the lowest possible dimming depends on the light bulb being used:
- For dimmable LEDs, the lowest setting is about 30% of max
- For incandescent bulbs, lowest setting is almost 0%