Basement Theatre Setup Questions

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing a lot of research into smart things and connected homes, but there is still a lot I’m trying to understand. This community seems very active and knowledgable and I was hoping you all could help make sure I’m moving in the right direction.

Here’s my set-up now:

  • I have a basement that is half a movie theater (with a projector) and half bar.
  • The room has 12 canister lights, six on the theater side six on the bar side & one ceiling fixture at the top of the stair case.
  • there are two dumb switches (3-way), one is a dimmer.
  • I have a harmony remote & hub
  • I don’t currently have a smart things hub, but am considering getting one

What I originally wanted to do:

  • Set a scene on the remote that will turn off the lights on the theater side and dim the bar side.
  • I was considering using hue or other color changing bulbs to create atmosphere

It seems to do all this, the only solution would be to change all 12 bulbs with smart bulbs and change the switch to a non dimmable smart switches (wife needs to be able to turn on the lights without her phone or harmony remote). To do all of this it seems as though it would cost over $500 and right now i’m not willing to spend that kind of money.

Alternatively, I am considering:

  • Getting a GE smart switch dimmer and add on switch & smarthings hub and just leaving dumb bulbs throughout as this would be much more cost effective.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how I can achieve my original goal without breaking the bank? Or any new ideas I should consider?

Thank you for your help!

Get the smart switches and use a 3rd party app to integrate with smartThings. You can check out

Since you already have the harmony hub, you’re looking at $100 for the ST hub, $70 X 2 for GE z-wave switches (2 master dimmers and 2 auxiliary). This is assuming you have the two banks of 6 lights on separate circuits already. So $250, or $320 if you want to go ahead and do the stair light, too. I highly recommend using smart switches vs smart bulbs.

I should have clarified. Everything is on one circuit.

Pick dumb bulbs that put the light where you want it and how bright you want it (mix lumens) One dimmer, one slave, one hub. I despise bulbs, but others like them.

Don’t use smart bulbs if you (or your wife) cares about reliability. They will cause nothing but frustration.

If you want to add some accent lighting with Hue bulbs or strips, that’s a different story. I would replace your existing switches with the GE zwave switches, and then add some accents around the basement (perhaps behind your liquor bottles, etc) with Hue strips.

Oh no! Yeah, that sucks. I think I’d rewire it haha. I don’t like smart bulbs for anything other than lamps. Without adding other light sources you’re only choice is smart bulbs to do what you want. :tired_face: