How do I make a 3-way light switch Z-Wave compatible?

A 3-way lighting circuit involves two switches controlling a single load. A load can be a single light bulb or several bulbs wired in series back to the master switch. The total wattage of the load is a sum of the watts required to power each bulb. For example, if you have 2 x 100 watt light bulbs the load is 200 watts. When replacing your traditional light switches it is important to note that each 3-way has a master and a slave. The master is wired with a line (110VAC with neutral and ground) and load (light bulbs). The slave is wired with a line and a traveler (wire run to the master).

In order to choose the proper master switch you will need to do a wattage calculation. You can do this looking at the bulbs and adding the sum of the wattage. If you are under 600 watts, we recommend using the Leviton VRS05-1LZ 5 amp z-wave switch. If the total wattage is between 600 and 1800 watts, you will need the Leviton VRS15-1LZ 15 amp z-wave switch. Only the VRS15 supports compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, regardless of wattage. Furthermore, these switches are designed for incandescent bulbs. They will control bulbs that replaced a standard incandescent bulb on a high voltage load including LEDs, but will not work with Low Voltage LED bulbs.

Choosing a 3-way slave is much easier. The slave does not hinge on wattage so you can choose between a slave with a status LED or without it. The Leviton VP0SR-10Z 3-way switch does not have a status LED on it. On the other hand, the Leviton VP0SR-1LZ 3-way switch has a blue LED on the rocker switch.

** Please note: It is required to swap out both the master and slave in order to control the load via any z-wave controller. Each of these leviton options come with a white, ivory and light almond decora face plate so they can match your existing switch plates. Also, check out our 3-way dimmer FAQ if you have dim-able bulbs. **

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