As much as I love my Lutron Caséta switches, I do use a Schlage FE599NX Z-wave lock that needs a repeater. In my ongoing efforts to “de-wallwartify” my home, I decided to install this GE Z-wave Plus smart switch (14291) and toss the old Aeon Labs DSD37 Range Extender. The switch costs twice as much as the range extender, but it fits our home’s decor better while at the same time eliminating an eyesore.
It ships with interchangeable paddles that come in two different colors- white and almond. Additionally, the decora-style switch gives you physical access to your lighting in case you have problems with your Z-wave controller.
An easy to install long range Z-wave Plus paddle switch that works with SmartThings and Alexa? The switch looks good, acts as a repeater for Z-wave and Z-wave Plus devices, and it's reliable. Though I still the prefer the Lutron Caséta switches, I do like the fact that these are cheaper. They can also do something Lutron switches can't- extend your Z-wave/Z-wave Plus network.
If you’ve ever installed a simple toggle switch, you probably won’t have any issues installing this GE Z-wave Plus smart switch. It does require a neutral, so if you’re not sure you definitely want to check your existing wiring. In the U.S., the neutral is typically a white wire tucked away at the back of the box, wire-nutted to other white wires. If you still can’t identify whether or not you have a neutral, then ask a handyman or hire an electrician.
First, you need to find the breaker for the switch you want to replace. If you don’t have a multimeter, the most foolproof way to make sure you’re on the right breaker is to turn the light on, then cycle breakers until you find the one that turns the light off. The safest way is to use a multimeter after you find the right breaker to verify there is no voltage.
Once you’re comfortable working on the switch, it might be a good idea to use your mobile phone to take a picture so you know how it’s wired up. If anything goes wrong or the switch don’t work when you install it, you should be able to wire the old one back up. Marking the black (power) wires might be a good idea too.
Adding the GE Z-wave Plus smart switch to SmartThings was a breeze. When I turned the breaker back on, all I had to do was tap “Add a Thing” in SmartThings and it found the switch. It was a very painless process.
If you’re looking for a long range Z-wave capable smart switch that also doubles as a repeater, it’s hard to go wrong with the GE Z-wave Plus smart switch. It’s easy to install. It easily integrates with SmartThings. It just works. This switch checks all the boxes of a quality product.
- Read more about the SmartThings ecosystem
- Read more about Lutron
- Read more about the Schlage FE599NX Level Door Lock
- Read more about Google Home
- Read more about Logitech Harmony