LED and CFL Bulbs and ZWAVE

I have been messing around with zwave switches and low wattage bulbs (CFL and LEDs). I currently have GE/Jasco switches and they dont’ seem to work well with the CFL and LED bulbs. I’ve researched this issue a bit and it look like these switches have issues with these high efficiency bulbs because the way the switches don’t have a neutral wire.

From what I’e read, the Evolve switches work much better on Vera; but I don’t know if they work well if at all with 2GIG.

What is your experience with dimmer zwaves and these high efficiency bulbs.



I haven’t personally experienced that flickering problem (just read about it myself) but we haven’t used GE/Jasco switches in several years. We’ve used a lot of Evolve and I don’t recall having that problem with them. Now we use Aeotec so we don’t have to change the way the customer’s light switches look. Also, Aeotec switches have a built in z-wave energy meter that works with 2GIG & Alarm.com’s energy management feature.

If you’re using dimmer switches you would obviously need to get the more expensive CFL bulbs that specifically say they are dimmable, not just any CFL bulb can be dimmed.

Evolve switches do work well with 2GIG. In fact, Evolve switches are manufactured by Linear and OEMed for Evolve. Since Linear bought 2GIG last year they cut out the middle man and started selling what is essentially the same thing as an Evolve switch directly under the Linear/2GIG brand at a lower price.


The problem isn’t the bulbs, it is the switch. I have tried 3-4 different brands of dimmable LED and CFL bulbs and all have problems. It isn’t that the bulb so much flicker as they just don’t work. For example, you may turn the switch on 100% and only one light out of 4 will come on. This is because the GE/Jasco switch is an electronic switch, not mechanical, and it isn’t getting enough current through the switch to work properly, so it just doesn’t work. If you look at the design of the Jasco/GE dimmable switch, it has 2 hot wires and one traveler. No neutral wire. This means the only way that switch is getting power is if current flows though the switch. CFL and LED bulbs have such a low draw on the switch, it just doesn’t work.

I have heard, but don’t’ know for sure, that the Evolve switches dont’ have this problem because they have a neutral wire in the switch wiring. THis means the switch gets power regardless of load.

This Aerotec switches are interesting… I don’t know that “look” would be much of an issue in my case because all my switches are paddle switches anyway. Most paddle switches look almost identical regardless of brand. I would be worried that the aerotec switch wouldn’t fit in my gang boxes behind my regular switches. Couple questions about these:

  1. Have you had experience with dimmable aerotec switches and LED/CLF bulbs?
  2. Let’s say you have a regular dimmer, then you use one of these to add zwave. How does the aerotec switch deal with the mechanical dimmer being at say 50%? Unless you were using just the on/off switch, it seem a wall dimmer combined with aerotec dimmer would conflict with each other.

Evolve switches do have a neutral wire and that I haven’t seen or heard of that issue with them.

You’re right about getting the Aeotec switches to fit in gang boxes, that can be difficult. As I recall we have had problems with dimmable Aeotec switches although I’m not sure if it was that specific problem. I’ll ask around.

Aeotec switches do not work in line with other dimmer switches. They go at the end of the line and require 120VAC at all times to keep them powered. So you can have an Aeotec dimmer switch in line with regular on/off switches and the dimming only occurs via z-wave, not with the wall switches.

Yep makes sense about the aeotech switches being inline with a mechanical dimmer.

I can see the utility of these switches for on/off lights, but they have the downside of not knowing the the state of the mechanical switch. The switch could be in the off position but the lights could by on because of zwave.

I may order an evolve dimmer and auxiliary switch and see how they perform with high efficiency bulbs. Ive got a thread going over on 2gigforum where Ive tested several bands of bulbs. Maybe the answer is the switch and all the bulbs Ive tried will in fact work.


Yeah, the Aeotec switches behave as an additional switch in the circuit so the mechanical switch can be off when the light is on and vice-versa, it kind of makes a 1-way switch behave like a 3-way.

Do you guys sell the Linear/Evolve switches Ryan? I only see the Aeotec switches on your site. I actually may try a aeotec switch for my garage overhead lights, as the current 3-way is wired REALLY funky. It would be a pain in the butt to figure out the Zwave wall switches, which are a real brain teaser even when things are done right. I can get to the junction box for the lights up in attic, so I could put the Aeotec switch inline with the first light on the circuit.



We don’t currently sell Linear/Evolve wall switches. We used to sell Evolve but when we started using Aeotec we didn’t think we’d use enough Evolve to make it worth while. Now that we can get them from Linear it might not be a bad idea, we buy a lot of 2GIG from Linear already, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to sell the Linear wall switches as well.

Ryan - thanks for the Evolve/Linear comments. I was going to buy an Evolve switch but will now save a few bucks and get the Linear based on your info.

I just wanted to circle around on this topic.

I bought the Linear switches that Ryan recommended: Main Dimmer switch: Linear WD500Z and Auxiliary (for 3-way): WT00Z

The switch works perfectly for dimming, even with dimmable LEDs. I can take the lights clear down to 15% power and they dim right down just like incandescent bulbs.

The only thing down to these switches is that the 2GIG GO Panel can’t associate the auxiliary switch with the main switch, so I don’t yet have 3-way working. The design of these switches is that they communicate via zwave for 3-way functionality instead of over a traveler wire like the GE/Jasco switches. According to this Linear technical bulletin released last month, you need the Aeon Labs Minimote to associate the 2 switches: http://www.linearcorp.com/bulletins/TB2014-001.pdf

Perhaps given that this technical memo was just released, Linear will include the z-wave “associate” function into the next 2GIG GO Panel firmware update.

I did order a Minimote so I can associate my switches. I’ll report back if it works or not. Keeping fingers crossed…

Bottom line is that these Linear Z-Wave switches are MUCH better than the GE/Jasco Z-wave switches you buy at Lowes.


That’s a good point. When we were using Evolve switches we had to carry a minimote to associate the 3-way transmitters. It does work but it’s not the most straight forward installation. Let me know what kind of delay you experience when you control the lights with the WT00Z. That was one of our criticisms with the Evolve switches. There was a delay when you flip the 3-way transmitter switch as you wait for it to send the z-wave message to the main switch. It worked reliably but since people are used to an immediate response from wired 3-way switches, the wireless 3-way Evolve switches frustrated some customers with that delay. I’m curious whether Linear found a way to improve that.

Got my minimote and I successfully associated the Linear switches I installed so that I have 5 working 3-way switch sets.

These switches do have a VERY slight delay at the auxiliary switch, but it really is VERY slight. I only know about it because I was looking for it. I didn’t tell my wife about it and she hasn’t said a word. Trust me, if there was a problem with a funky delay she would be complaining. My 2GIG panel is pretty centally located in my house (not next to the front door), so maybe that helps. However, I did read that these Linear switches act as z-wave repeaters, so who knows.

I am very happy with these switches. The only negative part is that I had to pay 40 bucks for the minimote to install them. Linear really needs to build the associate function into the 2GIG panel. It is stupid that you need to by a special remote to install these switches. It would make sense if someone else made the switches, but Linear makes both the panel and the switches.


That’s good news about the delay, or I guess lack of delay. I wonder if Linear made some improvement over the past year on that or if it was just a problem that only occurred on particular systems. I don’t know whether we had that problem every time we use Evolve transmitters or if it was just in a few installations. I just remember it being reported and discussed. As far as I know those 3-way transmitters send messages directly to the light switch itself, they don’t need to go through the 2GIG panel, so I don’t think the 2GIG panel location caused the delays. Congrats on getting your lights working smoothly!

Yes, that’s right Ryan. The Linear switches talk directly to each other once they are associated. You can actually shut the 2GIG panel off (which I tried) and they still work fine.

My guess is that Linear heard about the delay and fixed something. One nice side effects of the Linear switches is that they act as repeaters, so the more of them you put in, the better your zwave network.

Overall; these are the best zwave switches I’ve used, both quality and function. I’ve not tried the Aeotec zwaves you like yet, but I plan to order one for my garage.


Good info in this forum. I tried the Aeotech (I like the fact that you can choose your switch) with some low-voltage cable lights from IKEA and LED bulbs (CREE) but I had some major flickering. Is it a problem with the transformer or the bulb? do you have any recommendation for Aeotech compatible cable lights or bulbs?

Low voltage lighting is unlikely to work with the Aeotec Micro Smart Energy Switches. The switches themselves are meant to be powered via a 120VAC circuit and require a connection to neutral. I have never personally tested any other power source, but the documentation I have suggests it would not support low voltage.

Jason, the switch is on 110V with neutral controlling a IKEA cable light that has a transformer to feed the cable at low voltage 12V.

I see. Are you using a receptacle and a plug in transformer?

This is not the intended load, and the device instructions on the micro switch state that it is not for use with receptacles.

You can see manufacturer recommendations and compatibility here: http://aeotec.com/support/163-z-wave-lighting-compatible.html