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Thread: Some kits require a neutral wire, others don't?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Some kits require a neutral wire, others don't?

    Hi everyone. I'm a newbie here I don't own any of this equipment yet – I'm doing my research.In my initial reading and research about the system one of the benefits touted was that no neutral wire is required. However when I go to this page on the Lutron website...https://www.casetawireless.com/products/smart-kits Several of the kits listed on the page above are clearly marked as "Neutral required".* This confuses me. Why do some kits say that and others don't? To add to my confusion when I click on the "where to buy" link, the resulting page on Amazon says "no neutral required."What's the deal? I have neutral wires in my house. But still, I'm unsure which one to buy. Is there some advantage to using a neutral wire if you have one? Or is the information on the website wrong and none of them require a neutral wire?Thank you in advance for helping clear this up for me!BenReston, VA

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Switches in older homes commonly do not have a neutral in the box - requiring neutrals was a relatively recent code change.

    If you have a neutral available, always use it - long story short, it greatly increases the chances that everything will work as you intend. Caseta has options for both no-neutral and neutral-available switches. Again, if you have a neutral available, I highly encourage using a neutral-required switch.

  3. #3
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    Searching on Amazon I’m having a great deal of the of difficulty finding starter kits and light switches that require a neutral wire. In fact I can only find one dimmer switch that requires a neutral wire and it’s $120. That’s way too expensive considering how many lights which is I’m interested in. Should I be looking somewhere other than Amazon?

    I understand that you say things seem to work better with a neutral wire but could you elaborate on that? Are users who have light switches without a neutral wire experiencing problems? What sort of problems?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2019
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    Dimmers without a neutral wire often have a higher minimum load, thus more likely to encounter issues. Neutral dimmers are technologically superior for a variety of reasons, so they often avoid the issues of poor dimming range, pop-on/off, and ghosting (where the light never totally shuts off) among others. They will be more expensive but they are worth it, especially if you have to throw away non neutral dimmers due to incompatibility.
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by evankirkhart View Post
    Dimmers without a neutral wire often have a higher minimum load, thus more likely to encounter issues. Neutral dimmers are technologically superior for a variety of reasons, so they often avoid the issues of poor dimming range, pop-on/off, and ghosting (where the light never totally shuts off) among others. They will be more expensive but they are worth it, especially if you have to throw away non neutral dimmers due to incompatibility.
    Use regular dimmers for normal LED loads and buy LED bulbs that are known to be compatible with the Lutron dimmers (OR if you have some bulbs already see how they work with a normal (no neutral dimmer) first - buy a few. Do buy dimmers with neutrals for known problematic loads - e.g. magnetic ballasts, low voltage electronic loads etc. Absolutely no point wasting money on expensive dimmers when not needed. Buy incrementally and you won't have any major regrets. 90% of my dimmers are the normal kinds and I have neutrals everywhere. Alan

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