SmartThings Community

Challenge: Wall Switch + Dimmer Outlets + Remote Dimmer Control

(Brian Peterson) #1

Ok, I dont have anything for home Automation yet.

What I would like:

I have 3 lamps controlled by a standard wall switch. With 3 seperate dimmer modules that have a slide switch next to the lamp. All analog and not smart, today. But I want to make them smart!

I want to be able to say Alexa lamps on at 50% or flip the wall switch on/off. It’s important the wall switch functions. I don’t want to have to give visitors a magic spell book for them to figure out my house. Not a fan of smart bulbs because it breaks wall switches.

I also want to be able to individually dim each lamp via alexa and also have a remote control next to each lamp.

This is what I have today. Just no Alexa control or ability to have lights on a schedule / scene / routine I can invoke.

One other thing is when I flip the wall switch on I want the 3 dimmmers to go back to their prior dim level. I do not want them to blast on full brightness.

The remotes should also dim each lamp smoothly. No lag.

I have tried to search the forum and the web. This must be impossible? What hardware do you suggest?

Seems like I need:
Smartthings hub
3x smart dimmer outlets
1x smart wall switch
3x smart dimmer remote.

But which ones and what custom things do I need to grab to install on smartthings as I assume what I want is a challenge?


If you’re planning to do dimmer modules downstream from a wall switch, then you have the same issue. Ideally, you shouldn’t be cutting power to a smart anything, whether it’s a bulb, outlet, or pocket socket.

You need to wire the lamps so that the switch doesn’t cut power to them. If the switch currently only controls half of the wall outlet, then that might be as simple as moving the plug.

I think the thread below will point you in the right direction for replacing the wall switch. Even if you’re not using Hue bulbs, the concept is the same - you want a control on your wall that doesn’t actually cut power. The wall control should turn on/off each lamp by sending a command to the smart device attached to each lamp.

You could use either a dimmer module or a smart bulb at each lamp. There are plenty of options, and I’m sure there’s a FAQ around here somewhere.

I already have Hue devices, so my solution would be a Hue bulb and a Hue remote at each lamp. The Hue remote/bulb linkage doesn’t involve the ST cloud, so I wouldn’t think you’d have any lag there. If this is all you’re planning to do with home automation, then you could actually accomplish this completely within the Hue ecosystem (no ST hub) if you use a Hue wall switch. However, there are some good options for wall switches/buttons that you’d need ST for, or you could even replace your wall switch with a tablet running ActionTiles.

(Brian Peterson) #3

Thank you. I got thinking about those remotes and hue. I would want to replace the wall switch. I found this great option.

I think thats what i will do and then have remotes by each lamp.

Question can I have one master hue dimmer wall switch that turns on all and controls / dims all of them equally? Then if someone wanted to override could they use a dimmer paired just to one lamp?

These are not my only plans. With Smarthings I assume the hue hub has a great integration?

So things like turning on a scene / routine / autiomation should work fine (that would turn on and dim other smart switches beyond just hue) and then if someone want to read a book they could just override one lamp with a hue dimmer…

Scenes would typically triggered by voice. But also I would probably have a few smart buttons to trigger all lights on with a certain dim level. Again the idea is visitors don’t need a manual to navigate my lighting.

Thanks for re-steering me towards a smart bulb that I quickly dismissed. I think you are right that’s the simpliest solution that will just work.

I am also pretty sensitive to buying things that are 100% cloud driven. I don’t want to invest in thousands in things that some day will stop working when they shut their cloud down. I am ok replacing a hub. I am not ok replacing dozens of smart switches, etc. It should still work for 30+ years. That’s why I shy away from wifi anything. Direct connection to hub. I get smartthings has alot of cloud to it. But I am banking on the fact that I could get another hub if Samsung killed off smartthings. Sounds like even if hue shuttered at least I could turn on my lights with the remotes?

(Ernie) #4

If you want the wall switch to look a little more traditional, you could try this switch. If you scroll down the thread you will see that it has an option to look like a regular decora switch.

(Brian Peterson) #5

Even better! Thank you! This makes having all hue for everything more interesting for lighting. Just wire hot and load and bingo with this switch. No need for a neutral wire! Makes for a really clean setup. Pricey if you consider thr price of the hue bulb + switch vs regular bulb + another smart dimmer switch.