A Smart Switch is a type of light switch that looks like regular switches but has several advanced features that helps in home automation. Some of these features include Smartphone App Control, Scheduling, Dimming, Energy Monitoring, etc. You can even control them with Home Assistants (Google Home or Amazon Alexa). Smart Switches are a good solution if you are planning to upgrade your current switch situation. Do you know there are a couple of types of Smart Switches? One needs a Neutral wire while the other doesn’t. The second type are known as Smart Switch No Neutral. How does a Smart Switch with No Neutral wire work?
In this guide, we will see the basic working of a Smart Switch and also the importance of the Neutral Wire. After that, we will understand how a Smart Switch with No Neutral Required works.
Importance of Neutral Wire
If you are familiar with the basic electrical wiring, then you might know that electricity passes from the live or hot wire into the device or appliance and returns through the neutral wire.
In modern homes, a black wire represents the hot wire and a white wire is the neutral wire. Neutral wire is very important especially if you are wiring electrical outlets or any large appliances.
But for simple and traditional light switches, it is not that important. Don’t get me wrong. We need neutral wire for the light bulb to work but it is not essential for the light switch. Confused? The following section will clear any doubts you have.
Light Switch Wiring
The main purpose of a light switch is to make or break the circuit. In other words, it either connects the hot wire to the light bulb or doesn’t connect it. The light bulb at the end of the circuit has a neutral wire connected to one of its terminals.
You can get a clear idea on the wiring of a typical light switch and a light bulb from the following image.
As the light switch doesn’t need any neutral wire to function, many installers skip adding neutral wires to the boxes that have light switches.
Smart Switch No Neutral
Although this is fine as long as you are using regular switches. The problem comes if you want to upgrade your boring toggle switches with advanced smart switches.
If there is no neutral wire, then how to replace the old switch with a smart switch?
There are a couple of solutions for this problem. The first and obvious solution is to rewire you house with the help of an electrician so that he/she adds a neutral wire to all the light switch locations that you are planning to replace.
But this is an expensive solution. So, the next solution might be more suitable for those who are on a budget. Look for a Smart Switch that doesn’t need neutral wire. You can find them under the label “Smart Switch No Neutral Required”.
Best Smart Switch No Neutral Required
To help you out, we picked some of the best Smart Switch No Neutral Required listings from the internet. Take a look at these switches and choose the one you like.
The first in the list is from GE. It is known as the GE CYNC Smart Light Switch. This is a paddle style light switch that works with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
You can also pair this light switch with Alexa or Google Home to control it with voice commands.
The best feature of this Smart Switch is that it doesn’t need any hub or capacitor across the bulb. But make sure you have ground wire as it needs hot and ground wires to work.
Download the Cync app on your smartphone to control this smart switch.
- No need for any hub or capacitor
- No neutral required
- Works with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
- Requires minimum 15-watt load for the Smart switch to work properly.
Another popular “Smart Switch No Neutral Required” option is the MOES Wi-Fi Smart Light Switch. Just like the previous GE CYNC Switch, even this MOES Switch doesn’t need any hub or capacitor.
If you are looking to replace light switches in your old home where there is no neutral wire, then this can be a good choice.
Connect it to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, download the Tuya Smart Life app and start using the smart switch. You can also use Alexa and Google Home to control this switch.
Keep in mind that this smart switch needs a minimum of 7-watt load to work properly and avoid bulb flickers. Let the product charge for 5 to 7 minutes for the first time and then you can use either incandescent bulbs up to 1000 watts or LED bulbs up to 350 watts.
- No need for hub or capacitor
- No neutral required
- Up to 1000-watt incandescent bulbs or 350-watt LED Bulbs
- Works with Alexa and Google Home
- Supports only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
The next smart switch in the list is from Aqara. It is the Aqara Smart Light Switch. Unlike the previous two products, the Aqara Smart Switch needs a special hub known as Aqara Smart Hub to work.
Communication between the smart switch and the hub is over Zigbee but you need to connect the hub to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. Note that the hub doesn’t come with the switch and you need to purchase it separately.
The Aqara Smart Hub supports up to 128 Aqara Smart devices (provided you add additional Zigbee repeaters). So, if you plan to change all the light switches in your home, then this approach may suit you.
Coming back to the Aqara Smart Switch, you can use it for loads up to 600 watts. But there is a 3-watt minimum load requirement.
- Needs Aqara Smart Hub
- No Neutral Required
- Minimum load is 3-watt and maximum load is 600-watts
- Zigbee communication between the Smart Switch and the Hub
You must be familiar with Leviton as they are famous for light switches and electrical outlets. The next smart switch in the list is the Leviton Decora Smart Switch.
This smart switch doesn’t need neutral wire but sadly you need to purchase the Decora Smart Wi-Fi Bridge. But just like the Aqara option, if you are planning to install several smart switches, then you can invest in Leviton Smart Switch and corresponding Smart Wi-Fi Bridge.
You can connect up to 25 smart switches and dimmers (that doesn’t need neutral) with one Wi-Fi bridge.
As this is a 15A switch, you can connect a variety of devices such as up to 1500-watt incandescent bulb, up to 5A LED Bulb, or even a motor up to 3/4 HP.
- No Neutral Required
- Need Wi-Fi Smart Bridge
- Supports loads up to 15 Amp
- You can connect bulbs, ballasts, motors, etc.
The last product in the list is the MoesGo Touch Smart Switch. As the name suggests, it is a touch control switch.
Unlike like the previous products, the MoesGo Touch Smart Switch need a capacitor BroadLink Smart Switch needs a across the light bulb.
Apart from that, the remaining is the same. It doesn’t need neutral wire. Also, there is no need for any hub.
You can control this switch in a couple of ways. The first is using 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. The second method is using 433 MHz RF Remote.
- No Neutral Required
- Need a capacitor across the light bulb
- Works over 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and 433 MHz RF
- No need for any hub
If you are in an old house with old-style wiring, then chances are the light switches in your house doesn’t have a neutral wire. While this is not a problem if you continue to use traditional light switches, things get tricky if you want to install smart switches.
You can go the expensive route and add neutral wires to all the light switch modules in your home. But the better way is to look for smart switches that doesn’t need a neutral wire. You can find them listed as “Smart Switch No Neutral Required”.
In this guide, we saw how a light switch works without neutral wire. After that we saw the advantage of Smart Switch with No Neutral Required. Finally, we listed some of the best Smart Switch No Neutral Required products you can buy.