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GE 45606 Z-Wave Technology 2-Way Dimmer Switch

by GE
3.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
| 8 answered questions

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  • Decorator style direct replacement for a standard light switch
  • LED light shows switch location in a dark room
  • Easy, 2-wire installation, no neutral needed
  • For use with incandescent lighting only
  • Easily create your own lighting control system
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Product Description

Product Description

With GE's Z-Wave Dimmer Switch you can replace any standard light switch and control it's on/off with one of GE's Z-Wave remote controls. Turn off the lights at night with a push of a button, anywhere in your home. Z-Wave is a radio frequency, mesh network technology specifically designed for use in residential lighting control. Every Z-Wave enabled wall switch is capable of relaying commands and utilizes two-way communications to ensure reliable operation throughout the entire home.

From the Manufacturer

With GE's Z-Wave Dimmer Switch you can replace any standard light switch and control it's on/off with one of GE's Z-Wave remote controls. Turn off the lights at night with a push of a button, anywhere in your home. Z-Wave is a radio frequency, mesh network technology specifically designed for use in residential lighting control. Every Z-Wave enabled wall switch is capable of relaying commands and utilizes two-way communications to ensure reliable operation throughout the entire home. The open-air, line-of-sight transmission distance is up to 100-Feet between devices. Actual performance in a home will depend on the number of walls between the remote controller and the destination device, the type of construction and the number of devices installed in the system. The device's ability to relay commands and acknowledge receipt od commands makes Z-Wave an ideal solution for automating and controlling lighting systems.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. V. Caruana on November 30, 2008
I've had this product installed for a few days now and figure I'll share some of the good and bad

Pros:
-Dimmer switch that looks great (doesn't have a slider, just hold in the switch up or down position to dim)
-Easy to install and use Z-Wave feature
-Works flawlessly with z-waves remote, on/off, dimming, it's great!
-a little switch on the bottom pulls out killing all power, great for replacing bulbs or doing any work on the circuit

Cons:
-the unit's mounting plate is wide making it hard to mount next to another switch
-makes a slight buzz only when dimming (can only be heard only from about 2 feet away) the last person exaggerated a little bit, or possibly had it under a higher load than it is rated for
-Blue LED is bright and might be annoying as it is always on when the units circuit is off

I haven't tried to use it in any scenes but paired with the logitech harmony 890 pro it works flawlessly, on/off and dimming is so easy and impresses everyone! It is a decent piece of equipment that will be sure to impress others. I highly recommend this product to anyone using Z-Waves in their home.
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I have about 4 of these units in my home and have been using them for about 3 weeks now.

The unit is pretty sturdy and has a clean look with a large rocker switch and no separate dimmer slider. To raise or lower the light level, you just hold the top or bottom of the rocker until you get the brightness you want, as opposed to tapping the top or bottom of the rocker to turn it on and off. When turning lights on or off, the lights don't come instantly on or off. Instead, they slowly fade on/off over a period of about 2 seconds. Personally, I found this to add a touch of class to the unit and like this feature, but I can see how some people might become annoyed with it.

There's a blue LED light located below and to the right of the rocker switch that allows you to easily find the switch in a dark room, but like other reviewers, it was too bright for my taste. Another well-meaning feature that could be better executed is the air-gap tab just to the left of the blue LED. This tab can be pulled out to cut power to the light when changing a bulb, which saves you a trip to your circuit breaker panel. However, the tab is really small and nearly impossible (for me at least) to pull out with my fingers. Instead, I have to use a small flathead screwdriver for the job.

Installation of the dimmer was simple, much more so than the non-dimming Z-Wave switches from GE. There are really just two wires to connect -- line and load -- and you're done. There's an optional ground wire, but I just left it disconnected. Like someone else mentioned, the unit itself is pretty wide because of a metal frame around it that apparently acts as a heat sink. You can, however, remove the tabs on the sides of the frame to narrow it a bit.
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I have installed these and others in 4 homes so far and they are very reliable. HOWERVER, they are not very forgiving if you make a mistake while installing that a normal switch would shrug off. This fact is especially true for the 3-way switches due to the additional variables so... (besides the obvious reasons) please shut off your power. Some have mentioned that they are "too wide", to this i say read the manual and break off the side fins but only if necessary as they help dissipate heat, just stay under 300 watts. These are not passive switches and do draw current so think more computer and less toggle switch. Among the other wires they NEED a proper ground to be secured, preferably first. This can cause an issue for some older or even newer homes when it comes to the required and supplied wires within the box. I would strongly suggest downloading the PDF before you buy. Added note: Neutral is NOT a ground and visa versa. Off the top of my head I can think of 3 reasons why that is a bad idea and they mostly involve the death of sensitive electronics.

In regards to LEDs... Unfortunately LEDs typically do not reach the 40 watt (3-way dimming switch kit) minimum indicated in the PDF manual. Unless your planning on using many LEDs, this will not work as a bright LED bulb is about 7~ watts. I was able to get 4 of the LEDs linked below to dim PERFECTLY when i added a single recessed 40 watt incandescent bulb to the load. You MIGHT get away with using a quartz resistor rated for more than wall current in parallel with the LED bulbs as i did with the recessed incandescent. ~500v rating to be safe (surges etc), ~1k ohm, and as low of wattage as you can get away with. You would need at least 4+ bulbs under the same switch to use NO more than a small ?
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I have several of these installed (as well as the 45609 switch) running dimmable CFL's. They work like a charm. Very sturdy and I love the fact you can remove the tabs on the sides if you put them in a multi gang box. I have a 3 gang with two of these and a 45609. As these tabs are used for cooling, the rated wattage the unit can handle will be reduced if doing so.

Another big plus, which is why I swapped some of my CFL's for the more expensive dimmable ones, is that the 45609 only needs load, line and ground. My house is older and most switch boxes only have those 3 available. With a neutral sadly absent. (The 45609 on/off switch also requires a neutral lead to function)

Pro's
Only requires line,load, ground, making it easy to do a switch upgrade even in older homes.
Blue LED is pretty unobtrusive and can be switched off or function flipped. Easy to find switch in the dark.
Side tabs can be removed for multi gang applications. (Note rated wattage of dimmer is reduced if doing so)
Air gap switch to remove power from socket when changing bulbs.
Supports the 'beam' command so it can be used as a relay for z-wave locks that work on encrypted z-wave. Such as the Schlage locks.

Con's
Air gap switch requires nails or a small pair of pliers to pull out if you have big fingers.
Will only do incandescent and dimmable LED/CFL. Does not handle Halogen lights it appears.

I'll definitely be buying more of these as they hold up well.
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