Wall Switches ... that do not require a Neutral wire?

So far I’m controlling many lights with smart plugs, and smart bulbs.

I want to install some smart wall switches in my house but many of them (those I know of) require a neutral wire for installation. While I understand the need for such neutral wire (to power the electronics), it is extremely difficult to re-wire an entire house and add neutral wires.

Are there smart switches out there that do NOT require a neutral wire? For example battery-powered? Though that poses a challenge in itself, but nonetheless, a ‘viable’ option.

That depends on the kind of switches you are looking for.
Switches that are connected to a lamp can be replaced by a smart dimmer. There are smart dimmers that do not need a neutral wire as they let a very small current run through the lamp even when it is off. Ans then you can still use that dimmer as a binary on and off.

Thank you. I just googled that same question and found a couple (Lutron Caseta and GE Enbrighten Z-Wave) … they’re based on exactly what you said i.e., dimmer at lowest setting, that lets a small current through to power the electronics.

I should re-phrase my question then: Of the No Neutral Wire Required switches, do we have a comparative review pros/cons supported/not by openHAB … etc ?

Xiaomi has a NO neutral wire wall switch, but as I have seen in the test, it works not to good.

I use xiaomi with and without a neutral wire.
I have no comments on the work of both. They all work flawlessly!
I read somewhere on the forums that without a neutral line they can work poorly with a very small load, but if you put a shunt, everything works.

This question comes up regularly, and the industry is getting better at offering no neutral options.

If you are in North America, the best zwave switches right now (neutral or non neutral) might be the new inovelli binary and dimmer switches just released. They pack tons of features, are very affordable, and the company is very responsive. openHAB support for these two devices was just added in recent snapshots of the zwave binding.

I just started testing them myself and they’ve proven reliable (granted, it’s only been a few days)

1 Like

Lightwaverf don’t require a neutral wire. I use the gen1 version around the house and they, for the most part, works well.


  • They’re expensive
  • No feedback
  • They struggle with some led lights.

I’d like to change them to something else but lack of neutral is a problem :frowning:

Two that I know of are the Fibaro dimmers, which work via Z-Wave, and I read that Shelly is working on a dimmer that doesn’t require an neutral line, which works via WiFi.

Thanks Roy! We’re glad you’re enjoying your switches! It’s true, our switches don’t require a neutral wire! Note on that: If you’re running anything less than 25W on a non-neutral setting, you will need to purchase an extra bypass switch that powers the Z-Wave chip. Anything above 25W or neutral setting will not require a bypass! I hope this helps :slight_smile:
-Brianna | Marketing Manager

These Inovelli switches sound promising. What’s the consumption (volts/currents) of these ‘non-neutral required’ switches. When you put two loads in series, they see the ‘same’ current, but the voltage drops across the light/fixture. So, the question is: with such switch, do the light/fixture still see the same max voltage? Obviously not, but how much drop?

1 Like