Looking for solution to 4-way switches with no common in the wall- are there wall switches that just send zwave state changes

I have a few Openhab things working but still a newb. I want to do theme lighting in the great room but have a kitchen with 3 switches wired as a 4way and there is no common at the boxes.

I’ve seen the Lutron switches but would like to keep the toggle user interface for consistency and asthetics.

I am thinking that I can do the same as Lutron with OpenHab via zwave. Basically I am thinking the switch sends a state change signal to Openhab via Zwave and then Openhab sends an update to the Zwave light controller. I can provide power to each switch separately and only use the switch to issue a state change to Openhab via zwave. I have power in the attic for the lights already and a junction there where I would add the zwave controller.

Please your help on if this can be a bullet proof solution or if I need to get an electrician to run commons to the boxes. We are getting ready to paint and do some remodeling so this it the right time to do it if I need to get them wiring done.

Also - if there are other forums that I should be checking I’d be happy to know that as well. I didn’t find much outside of Lutron recommendations.


what is “common” ? Sorry that may be a “common” term in the US but not in the rest of the world.
You mean a neutral wire ? Frankly I don’t understand what exactly you’re looking for. “Same as Lutron” does not mean anything to anyone that does not know Lutron.
There’s zwave actuators from Fibaro, Qubino, Aeotec that can be setup to replace 3-way and 4-way switching, but AFAIK they all need a neutral wire. Some of them such as the Fibaros have 2 inputs, one can be used as a scene controller, that is they don’t control the light but only send a (scene) message to the zwave controller/openHAB to then instruct whatever light to switch on. And then there’s also multi-button scene controllers with no light outputs.

Where are you located? I know Zooz has some switches for US and Canada that work with existing 3-way and, I believe, 4-way switches.

Z-Wave has different frequencies, depending on world region.

I should have clarifeid this better.
Yes - common is neutral.
Lutron makes a switch that connects wirelessly to other switches that control the same load and does not need a common. This will work but will the switches then will be different than the rest of the house. https://www.casetawireless.com/

My thought is If I do not need to control the lighting with the in wall wiring to the switched I can reconfigure the in wall wiring to provide power and nuetral to each switch. If they can speak zwave then I should be able to turn on / off the lights vie zwave signal via Openhab.

US The Zooz switches that I have looked at all require a common / neutral wire.

If you’re into renovation anyway, I’d take that opportunity and bring neutrals to all switch boxes.
Most actuators need a neutral. You won’t get happy without in the long run and will get stuck with niche solutions. You can repurpose one of the two wires of a 3-way setup.

This may not be the best solution, but if you can do what you say, then I think you could put Z Wave relays behind each switch, and a Z Wave relay at the light, and you could then sense the switches (using the original switch, relay is located behind the switch in the junction box), and control the relay at the light with another relay located in its junction box. There will be some delay as the controller senses the change and sends the command to the light’s relay - it won’t be as fast as the original switch, but maybe that is okay. Or maybe you could use associations to make this somewhat faster.

I have not tried any of this, but I’ve thought about it a bit. I know that they can work as sensors as people have used them in existing motion lights to get Z Wave notifications on motion.

Sample relay from Enerwave.

This is not easy or cheap as they are $40 each and you will need to get power and neutral to each box.

Just a thought.

Case closed.

Walk of shame done proudly. The reference to a nuetral wire and white wire were confusing to me. I enededup call GE support and they clarified that a nuetral need to be present in at least one switch box and there needs to be a power and nuetral wire available in each add-on switch box in addition to a carrier wire. The addon switches require the line (power) and nuetral to operate and the carrier returns a signal via the carrier wire to the primary switch. In my sitiatuon the line (main power) and load (overhead light) are also in the primary switch box.
To summarize trhee wires need to go from the primary to the seconadary switches. It does not matter what they are used for today only or the color as long as there is a -3way wire there.

I hope this helps others and thank the other posters for their assistance

PS - GE has indicated the light ivory toggle switches will ship Q1 2020