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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I'm new to the forums, but have been coming back for sometime because of your knowledge regarding the shaw direct lemon pvrs. Anyways I have a question regarding insteon wire in switches. My home has your typical wiring scheme. Black(hot) white(neutral) and ground. Would their switches be a direct wire in option, or would I need to go with inline modules for neutral as well? For what it's worth, I just finished switching out all of my older lightswitches for newer decora ones. Is it as easy as that. Obviously besides the networking part which I understand fairly well. Thanks for any help you can help me with.

Ryan
 

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The main requirement is to have neutrals in your switch locations. If they are already there then installing an Insteon switch isn't much more complicated than installing a regular light switch. If you have switches that don't have neutral wires available then there is a special switch kit that you need that consists of a switch and an inline module that goes in the light fixture. The inline modules can be tricky though because they are rather large and if you have a shallow box where your light fixture is installed it may not fit.
 

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Thats kinda what I figured. Actually I have a piggy back question for this as well. I'm sure my dimmer switches have the red lead as well. Now from what I've read, all insteon dimmers and switches require the red wire which I think is another power lead. Can this cause a problem with the switches that don't have this run to them? Thanks again for any help you guys can provide.

Ryan
 

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The red wire on Insteon switches is not used for the same thing as the red wire that you may find in some existing switches or dimmers. The latter is used when you have 3-way or 4-way switches. Do you have lights that are controlled by 2 or more switches?
 

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Only one on my staircase. I'm sorry if I ask some questions that may sound trivial, but one more if I may. What is the insteon red wire for, and then theoretically does this mean that I may put insteon dimmer switches on any lights besides cfls that I would like to set up as dimmers? Thank you so much for your help this is all starting to make a lot more sense to me than it did.

Ryan
 

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Insteon switches are basically simple computers in light switch form factors. Therefore the switch itself needs to have continuous power so you can query it, send it commands, etc. That's why you need neutrals in the switch location - the hot and neutral supplies power to the switch itself. The red wire is what you use to connect to the load (i.e. the light). That one is controlled by the switch and can be toggled on, off, dimmed, etc.

As for your staircase switches, those would be a 3-way switch configuration. In that configuration the wiring with red wire is used to connect the two switches together. See here for some diagrams that show you how these work: http://www.ezdiyelectricity.com/?page_id=381

With an Insteon setup you no longer need the wire connecting the two switches. What you do is wire one switch to the location that connects to the light as you would a regular single switch. In the other switch location you install another Insteon switch but you only connect the black and white wires and cap off the red (load) wire. Then you link the two switches together so the second switch controls the first and vice versa. That way they are always in sync. e.g. When you turn the light on the one switch the other switch comes "on" automatically too.

BTW, you can use Insteon switches for CFLs as well but you need a different type of switch. They call it the "On/Off" switch (I guess the marketing folks weren't feeling particularly creative that day).
 

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Okay now I understand the red wires. Thank you. Upon further inspection, one of the switches in my media room which I wanted to control only has a white and black wire on it no red.:confused: Is it possible that there is no neutral. Or maybe I just couldn't see it. The switch in question is a decora style that controls an overhead light. Now if there is no lead to this light, does that mean it is not controllable by an insteon device, or will I need a 2 wire setup. I hope I'm not taking advantage of your kindness with continuing to ask these questions. Feel free to tell me where to go.;)
 

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Most switches won't have red wires. Only 3-way, 4-way, etc. switches will. Basically if it's only a single switch controlling a particular light then it won't have red wires.

The thing to look for to determine if you have neutrals in the switch location is two or more white wires connected together and capped. Those are your neutral wires.

The switch you're talking about in your media room - are you saying it has a single wire coming into the box and both the black and white wires are connected to the switch? If that's the case and there are no other wires coming into that box then it sounds like that box does not have neutral wires.
 

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I opened the box again, and it appears that the black and white wires come into the box, and are connected to the on/off switch, and the dimmer beside it in the double box. The dimmer is then grounded to the box itself. Now I was probably wrong when I said that the white was the neutral. I apologize for that. I hope this can clear up any confusion I may have caused. Thank you for takingthe time out to help me with this. I wanted to get my head wrapped around this, because I was going to ask for a starter kit for Christmas.
 
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