3-way end switched, with multiple bulbs in the middle.

So my current situation looks like this:

I bought some smart switches and only one box currently has a neutral, and it’s the one that is not currently the ‘hot’ switch. In looking at the diagram, it looks like I can undo the hot going to the left switch, run it along romex hot #1 and then have it go to the new “master” switch. Since it’s a smart switch, I no longer need two travelers, only a single communication wire. So I could use the now-retired white traveler and tie it into the lives of the loads. The rest should remain the same, no?

Unfortunately if you bought GE smart switches or any other requiring a neutral and traveler, you can’t wire them with your existing set of wires. The problem is that you would need 4 wires between one of your light boxes and a switch box (line, neutral, traveler, load). You have only 3 to both.

You can use Cooper or Linear switches which don’t require a traveler or you can keep your existing dumb switches and use a micro controller.

As a note, if you have other switches in those switch boxes you may be able to use them to make GE switches work. It just depends on the existing wiring.

your wiring diagram doesn’t have a neutral at either box. So when you say “one box currently has a neutral” how did you determine this?

You are going to have to get a neutral to one of those two switch locations in order to do that. There is no way around it. That will be the tough part.

Switch Location with additional wire for neutral (switch 1):

Black 1: Hot
Black 2: Load
Red: Remote switch
Ran neutral: Neutral

Light closest to additional neutral (Light 1):
Black from panel to Black 1 to switch 1 and 1st black to light location 2. This does not get connected to lights and just will feed hot to both switch locations.
Black 2 from switch 1 to hot for lights and 2nd black to light location 2.
Red from switch 1 to red to light location 2 (just straight splice–no connection to lights). This is just going to get spliced at each light location to carry it from one switch to the other. It does not get connected to anything in between short of making it a continuous wire between the two switches.
Neutral from panel to neutral ran to switch 1, neutral to light and white to light location 2.

Light location 2:
Black 1 from light location 1 that is connected to panel’s hot send directly to one of the black wires to switch 2. It does not get connected to any light.
Black 2 from light location 1 that is connected to the load on switch 1 and to the light at light 1 gets connected to the hot at this light and this is where this wire ends.
Red: Does not get connected to anything in this box but the red coming from switch 2.
Neutral from light 1 gets connected to this light’s neutral and then the remaining black wire to switch 2. If you can, put a piece of white tape on this wire to indicate that it is not a hot or switched leg.

Switch 2:

Black from light 2 that is not connected to any lights but the hot from the panel.
Red from light 2 connected to the remote terminal of the switch.
Other black that is now a neutral gets connected to the neutral on the switch (again put a piece of white electrical tape on it).

Grounds go to every device and every switch.