Jump to content

Insteon Switches - question.

Recommended Posts

So, I've kind of got a dumb question about switches....


So, in setting up a 3 way switch...

Essentially, the last switch before the light becomes the Main switch.

All switches before that essentially "short out" the switch by connecting the load wire to the traveler wire.

The last switch is installed as a physical switch - using both the red & black wires on the switch.


All other switches in this 3-way (or more) configuration are essentially leaching power from the power line (black) but not performing any other switching.

We then use software controls to get the main switch to turn on/off if the other switches are activated.


I have a setup where I have 3 switches controlling some lights.

I assume that it is possible to remove one of these switches from this configuration and use it control a different device (such as a wall outlet.)  Since essentially these additional switches are not performing any actual physical switching, it is simple to have them control something else (like the wall outlet.)


Okay, so now another scenario.

I have three hallway lights that are really close to each other (front door, entrance way, garage entrance.)

They each have a physical switch, and none of them are wired together (physically.)


I can easily put an insteon switch on each one, and use create a scene that turns all three physical lights on and off.

I can then create a rule on each switch that when they turn on, they activate the scene, and no matter which physical switch you touch, all three lights come on simultaneously.  Just like a 3-way switch.

The only difference here is that each physical switch is controlling a physical light circuit.


So, my question in this scenario...

Can I break out the middle switch, so that it can control that wall outlet, but all three physical lights are turn on/off by the 2 remaining switches.


Essentially in this scenario I would have a physical switch being logically used to control the light that it's wired to, but the switch on the front would control a wall outlet logically somewhere else.


Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but I have no need for a 3rd physical switch on the wall (it's not by an entrance) and controlling some lights connected to a wall outlet in another room would mean that I do not need to purchase an additional physical switch to control a wall outlet.


Thanks, Nick.

Link to comment

No. Your understanding about how to wire the Insteon devices is incorrect. That's not uncommon B)


You do, however, have the concept correct, that is, only one Insteon device connects to the load. Any other Insteon device that control the same load is referred to as  a virtual 3-way device.


First and foremost, disregard the meaning of the wire colors. In any multi-way configuration, at least one white wire is not a neutral wire. And red and black can be any of load, line or one of the two travelers.


Each Insteon device requires both line and neutral. Connecting a load is optional. That said, in a standard 3-way configuration each switch has one black and two brass screws (three connections). If there are more that two locations controlling the same load, then the 3-way switches are at each end and the switches in-between are 4-way switches (four connections).


How you wire each Insteon device depends on what wires are already in the switch box and what each wire is connected to. Although there is only one way to connect muti-way switches, there are a number of ways the cables can be run.


Describe the wires in each switch box and what each color is connected to, most especially the color of the wire connected to the black screw on each 3-way switch. Also describe how the wires are cabled, for example, one 2-wire cable and one 3-wire cable. You can disregard and ground wires.

Link to comment

So, my question in this scenario...

Can I break out the middle switch, so that it can control that wall outlet, but all three physical lights are turn on/off by the 2 remaining switches.


Yes. Be aware, however, that any load connected to the middle switch will come on and go off with the switch. If that is not what you want, perhaps there is the.possibility that you can move that load to one of the other two switches.

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

When re-wiring a multi-way circuit, you are basically rewiring it to one master insteon switch. The other insteon switches have power and neutral, but no load. They control nothing, UNLESS you program them to do so. Normally, you would group them all in a scene, and set them all to controller. This would give you something like you have before. But if you want to do something else, that is no problem. Just install an insteon outlet where you want the switch to control and group it with the switch in a scene. BTW, you can wire any switch in a multi-way scenario to be the master, you just need to get the load and the line to that box using the travelers.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...