Connect a switch without wiring to bulb?


#1

Tell me what I’m missing with this theory:

I have a 3 way dimmer (Z-wave), it controls 4 overhead fixtures, each having a zigbee bulb. This is so I can control each fixture as I want. Problem: When the switch is turned off and cuts power to the bulbs, they forget what they are. I’m going through writing an app that when the switch is turned off, the switch is turned back on and the bulbs are turned off. That split second of off might be OK?

OR (here’s the theory)

I could just take the white and black wires off the switch load, connect them directly to the line, keeping the bulbs always on. Then write an app that says when this switch is turned off, turn off all those bulbs.

Why not?


(Ray) #2

I have tons of smart bulbs and smart switches working together. I use the stock Smart lights app to sync them together.
When switch off. Turn bulb off and also when on.


(Someday my dog will be automated) #3

I know of someone who did something similar using a Wink hub, smart bulbs and a Quirky Tapt, which allows for automation with that hub. That way he made some rules depending on which time of the day the buttons of the switch were pressed. So far, his house hasn’t burned down, but I am no electrician.


#4

Some people do exactly that. It’s covered in the “best switches for Hues” FAQ.

There are two main problems. Whether or not they’re problem for you just depends on your specific use case.

One) if your home automation system isn’t working, you won’t be able to turn the lights on and off.

  1. in a few places in the US, although not many, it’s not to code to do this. You have to have a switch that controls the fixture. So you need to check your local codes to see if it’s OK. It probably will be, but you will want to know.

Change 3 way switch to 4 way with smart dimmers
#5

BTW, @Navat604 or one of the other electrical experts can correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding was that you should not have a dimmer switch (smart or dumb) controlling the circuit for a dimmable smart bulb. You can burn out either the bulb or the switch. It’s fine to have a smart toggle switch on the same circuit as a smart dimmable bulbs. It’s also fine to have a smart dimmer switch on a different circuit which sends its request to the hub which then sends a request to the bulb.

But if you have a dimmer switch varying the amount of current sent to a smart bulb, you can have problems.

So from this perspective your suggested setup of having power always on to the bulbs and the switch just talking to the hub is probably safer than what you have now. But again someone can correct me if I’m wrong.


(Someday my dog will be automated) #6

I can confirm that smart bulbs and dimmers don’t play nice at all. I’ve tried OSRAM, Hue and GE Links. Never a good result.


(Ray) #7

Oh wow, my bad. I totally missed about the smart dimmer the OP mentioned. Definitely no direct load connection between dimmer and smart bulbs. @JDRoberts pretty much covered all angles above.


#8

Well, thanks, all. Sounds like I asked the question backwards. Should have been “why not the way I have it now”

Guess i’m doing a little wiring this weekend!