Cannot get floodlight to work with switch

I installed a Wyze Floodlight in place of an old dumb floodlight which happens to be in a location where I wanted a cam. So perfect solution. However, the floodlight was originally a switched porch light. Now the switch remains in the "on* position all the time and there is no physical control of the only light in the front of the house.

Queue the smart switch, but I can’t get it to work. I read a recent thread where a the recommendation was to set the single press to classic mode and keep it set to on so the camera remains powered. Then use other controls (double press, etc) to turn the floodlight on or off. However I can’t even get the flood to light. When it has power, it makes a weird clicking sound, seemingly through the speaker. No status light, cannot connect to it. To be sure the unit wasn’t hosed, I reconnected it to the regular switch and it works as expected.

In the electrical box it’s a single white wire and a single black wire. Any insights?

The Wyze Switch requires a Neutral wire to operate. This means it needs 3 wires from the box. Line, Load, and Neutral.

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Ok, thank you for that clarification. I knew it needed a neutral wire, but thought I could get away with just hot+neutral.

Half of this house’s electrical was updated before I purchased it - mostly the receptacles - so I guess I’ll have to see how easy it is to update the lighting. Not sure it’s worth it for a smart switch. That’s kind of a bummer.

Thanks again.

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If you only have 2 wires at the switch, neither is a neutral. One is the “Line” which is the hot from the breaker, most likely the black one; the other is the “Load” to the light fixture which is hot only when the switch circuit is closed, most likely the white one. If the house was wired with a neutral circuit, required for new construction in the early 80s, there would be a third wire, usually tagged, but commonly white.

The Wyze Switch requires a Neutral wire because it requires power thru the switch at all times to keep the WiFi and chipset board alive 24\7. It does this by routing a small amount of current from the Hot Line to the Neutral to keep its brain alive. Only when the switch is on and the Fixture Load Circuit is closed does it send full power to the fixture.

If you hooked the Wyze Switch up with the white in the Neutral, it was only sending a very small amount of power to the Floodlight, just enough to keep the switch alive. Full power has to come out of the Load hookup on the switch.

Very good explanation! I’ve worked in newer houses but this one was originally built in the 50s so I’m showing my inexperience when it comes to old wiring.

Thanks again for your help. I’ll have to ponder this a bit more.

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There are other options to be able to manually switch on the Floodlight.

The Floodlight is accessible as an Action in both Wyze Rules and Alexa. Any Wyze or Alexa compatible device with On\Off capability can be used as a trigger. A Wyze Plug or other Smart Plug, for example, can be used as a Smart Switch for the Floodlight. Press the button on the side for On\Off and a Rule\Routine can turn the Floodlight On \ Off. The same can be done using a Sense V2 Contact Sensor. Open = On, Closed = Off. Any Alexa compatible Smart Switch can do the same, even the simple battery operated versions.