On a recent Internet of Things Podcast, we took a voicemail from our podcast hotline asking about replacing an old X10 switch. The caller said the X10 switch isn’t working with new LED bulbs due to the lower voltage and he needs a replacement switch. However, he doesn’t have a neutral wire to the switch and doesn’t want to run one, which is understandable.
Just a few years ago, the pickings for smart switches without a neutral wire were slim. These days, however, there is a much wider range of choices that will work in this scenario. We’re assuming that the switch isn’t going to be replaced by another X10 unit, mainly because fewer device makers support X10 these days.
Lutron is one of the brands that offers a smart switch that doesn’t require a neutral wire. In fact, Lutron has had this product available for several years. So it’s a well-proven solution.
The downside is the price because it costs a bit more than most other options. And it requires a Lutron Bridge. Still, it’s a good option if you’re willing to spend $74 for a Lutron Diva Smart Switch.
Enbrighten makes a switch without a neutral wire as well, and it is a little less expensive at $60.50. Unlike the Lutron, which uses a proprietary radio protocol, this one works over a Z-Wave network. Since we don’t know what platform and radios are installed in every smart home, we though it’s worth mentioning this option.
Then there’s the GE Cync switch, although we’re not fans of the design. It definitely has a unique look so I get that GE was going for something different but… Maybe you like the look.
And if you do, you can grab the GE Sync switch that doesn’t need a neutral wire for $49.98. GE chose Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity options here, so you have support for main smart home standards. Well, except for Matter, that is.
And just to round out this list to four options, the Leviton DN6HD can be had for $49.99. This is nice looking smart switch like the Lutron. And it also shares the need for a bridge, so keep that in mind if you go the Leviton route. The bridge accepts commands over Wi-Fi and translates them to the protocol that Leviton uses.
The nice thing about all of these switches, aside from not needing that neutral wire, is that they should all work well with lower voltage LED lighting. That’s the main challenge our caller faces with his X10 switch. And if these aren’t enough options to choose from, we found a list of 12 smart switches at The Smart Cave that could work.
To hear the voicemail question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the Internet of Things podcast below: