I purchased and installed a dimmer switch from TOPGREENER in a similar application (ASIN: B07DTX28ZJ) previously and while those do work splendidly, I was a little miffed when it came to the price tag as well as the added necessity there to replace both my 3-way rocker...
I purchased and installed a dimmer switch from TOPGREENER in a similar application (ASIN: B07DTX28ZJ) previously and while those do work splendidly, I was a little miffed when it came to the price tag as well as the added necessity there to replace both my 3-way rocker switches. Since I found myself on the hunt once again for a smart dimmer switch that worked in 3-way circuit, this Feit brand switch with its unabashedly low price tag caught my eye, and I thought for sure I would give it a shot.
I’ve looked into smart switches for multi-location applications before and my question has recently been one of: “Do I really need to replace ALL the existing switches in such a circuit?”
Enter the Feit 3-Way Smart Dimmer Switch which manages to address this problem quite adroitly — and quite articulately as well, thanks to the superb wiring instructions that are included in the product. As an added bonus, the price is merely half that of competing switches for use in similar applications (I purchased this product when it went on a small promotion for a little under $15), owing to the fact that you only need to replace ONE of your existing 3-way switches. What a great deal, and one that should undoubtedly appeal to anyone financially-minded or those on a shoestring budget.
I used this in a 3-way application and was able to keep my existing mechanical rocker switch albeit with a slight alteration in the wiring.
My existing 3-way switch on the LINE side is part of a 2-Gang with another switch that I was replacing with a “smart” version, so I needed to pull both switches out at this location in order to retrieve the neutral wires bundled at the back of the box. This switch was expected to arrive at the same time, but it got delayed by 1-2 days and though I searched this product page and saw an instructional video on YouTube for the Feit switch, I saw nothing that mentioned I would need to change the wiring for the 3-way switch on the LINE side so unfortunately I sealed it up and installed a screw-less wall plate.
By the time the Feit switch arrived and I realized after reading the instructions that came with the product that I would need to change the wiring on the LINE side after all, it was kinda too late and I ultimately ended up taking the wall plate apart and pulling the switch out for the 2nd time. I considered knocking off a star for this minor inconvenience and also since I couldn’t find any instructions that applied to this product online, which would have saved me some time effort and peace of mind truth be told, however I have decided against it as I think such an action would perhaps be petulant. Besides, the common-sense logic of the instructions kind of made me feel embarrassed that I hadn’t figured it out yet. I’ll still go ahead and briefly explain this in a sentence or two below, just so others are aware and aren’t as misinformed as I was:
On the LINE side, you simply need to wire-nut the black cable that comes from your LINE/HOT with the black traveler wire and a jumper wire, and then connect the other end of the jumper wire to the LINE terminal (black screw where the LINE wire was previously connected) on your existing mechanical switch. The logic for this is impeccable: the installation location for the dimmer switch is the LOAD side, so that needs to have a constant line to the power via the black traveler wire, regardless of the ON/OFF position of the mechanical switch on the LINE side. If you wire it up this way, your Feit switch will behave essentially as a single-pole switch and won’t be reliant on the other 3-way switch (in fact I believe the opposite could be said to be true).
How to differentiate between the LINE and LOAD side is relatively easy: first, pull the switch out of the box and turn the power on in the breaker, being sure to stand clear. Next, confirm that the light (load) that the switches control is OFF. Then, carefully take a non-contact voltage tester and check the wires connected to the existing switch. If you have 2 wires conducting current regardless of the position on your switch, that is your LINE side; the LOAD side will have only a single black wire capable of conducting current when the light is off, and if you follow this wire closely it should come from the same bundle as the other traveler wire (usually a RED wire to convey the load connection), this is how you can identify that it’s the right location to install your new Feit dimmer switch. The other black wire not bundled with your traveler wires — or, put another way, the black wire coming from the same bundle as your copper ground wire — is your LOAD wire. From here simply follow the instructions that came with the product and it should be very easy to wire the switch up and test that it’s working correctly.
This is where the note about the “eccentric” quality comes into play. The design on the switch is certainly novel, and I’ve yet to see other smart switches designed quite like it. You can take a gander at the pictures that I’ve included below, and the only strange aspect of it that you’ll notice is that it’s shaped kind of like a thunderbolt, with a bevel on the bottom half of the switch arching out. I certainly don’t find it unappealing, hence me calling the design “eccentric” as I haven’t yet figured out what to make of it. It’s certainly a unique design, I think that definitely goes without saying.
The switch has an "always on" circular indicator led that is perhaps a touch too bright, and which glows a constant white at all times of the day. On the top are a row of green led''s that light up whenever the light is turned ON (via the app, voice control, or either of the 3-way switches that control the fixture), which indicate the current brightness level that the dimmer is set to.
In other typical smart switches that I''ve purchased, I have noticed that the indicator lights on the switch generally fade away when the switch is turned ON. One of the things I would have liked to see is that the circular indicator led in this case would not be visible if the light (load) were on. The only other thing I would note is sometimes the green led''s are a bit too bright, so being able to dim them or change them to a softer "blue" color for example could have perhaps been a nice addition.
Pressing down on the switch gives a deep but satisfying “click” sound that I liked better than other brand smart switches that I have purchased, such as Kasa and TreatLife. This one certainly is unique in more ways than one, and the deep but pronounced “click” sound is certainly one of them.
The lights turn on blazingly fast when I press down on the switch, and the dimming capability is smooth and results in no flickering (using these with non-Feit brand bulbs currently). There is also an option under the app where you can fine-tune the minimum brightness level (low-end trim) to allow for personal preference or to help solve any "flickering" issue on bulbs which could possibly happen when the brightness is turned all the way down.
When using the Feit Electric companion app, the light turn on incredibly fast as soon as my finger presses down
on the button — I would estimate any delay to be mostly negligible, and on the scale of tens or hundreds of milliseconds which was not easily noticeable to me. In contrast, other companion apps for dimmer switches (such as TOPGREENER and KASA) usually had a delay of about 1 second before the lights would fully fade in to ON. Perhaps it could be the brand or type of bulbs that I paired with the Feit dimmer switch, but either way I noticed that they responded nearly instantaneously when they were switched ON/OFF both manually and via the app.
I have just installed these switches earlier today, and so far they are working perfectly fine. Only time will tell if they are reliable or not, but in any case I will be sure to update this review if anything stops functioning or doesn’t behave as expected. The integration with Alexa was flawless, but had some issues initially with setting it up in the app.
I would urge others to dismiss some of the poorer reviews for this product, and while you ought not to ignore them completely, just be mindful that most brand switches have their fair share of 1-star reviews that seem to show up occasionally. I’m not sure exactly what their experience was, as I have never received a single defective switch product so far — I might just be one of the lucky ones I suppose, but then again maybe not.
My advice would be to take it slow and wire it correctly; when it comes to the push-in terminals, make sure your wires are the correct length and you don''t have any bare copper protruding from the switch (make sure about an inch or so are exposed at the ends), use pliers to twist and straighten wires — especially the neutral wires that are typically wire-nutted together, and be sure to push them into the terminals properly and tighten the clamping screws hard to make sure they don’t fall out. Do this and hopefully you won’t experience any issues with faulty wiring or general functionality with your new Feit smart dimmer switch.
Thank you and hope this switch ends up works reliably and well for myself and for others, for many years to come.