Dimmers and LED Bulbs

As I continue to go All LED, there are some spots that just aren’t practical for Hue lights. Which means a Z-Wave switch. From everything I have read, these things have the tendency to “spaz out” with loads less than 40 or so watts. That’s actually much worse than x10 lamp modules (which are fine with about 16 watts or so).

Unfortunately, most of the info on this seems a bit dated. Is there something new (or on the horizon) in the way of Z-Wave/Zigbee dimmers for light loads? Or should I just forget about dimming and go with an on/off switch?

BTW, I have an old Leviton 6633 hardwired dimmer that can dim a single 8W LED to a faint glow with no flicker or hum, so is it just that electronic dimmers are ill-designed for these kinds of loads? Seems like they are all using the same technology (whatever it is).

I’m not aware of anything new. However, wanted to let you know my experience. I first purchased a GE z-wave dimmer to control the 4 Cree BR30 can lights in my living room. That dimmer would cause the bulbs to flicker a lot. I returned that to Amazon and then purchased an Evolve dimmer. This one isn’t perfect, but WAY better than the GE one. Only problem that I have now is the “add-on” switch for Evolve doesn’t currently work with SmartThings because SmartThings doesn’t support the associate command. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll answer what I can!



Thanks. Boy… am I glad I decided to go with Hues everywhere I could. I would have been steamed to replace all my old x10 switches with Z-Waves, only to find out they were worse than the x10’s at dimming LEDs.

Would of been my gaff of course (clearly I did not do my homework well enough)! Most of what’s left is the outdoor lighting, and I don’t really need dimmers for that. I am assuming the on/off Z-Waves are not affected by load… right?

Yeah, what Jeff said. The Evolve uses a Neutral where as the standard GE dimmer does not, so it’s less likely to go crazy with LEDs, especially small loads when the lights are supposed to be off.

Just an FYI… there is a GE dimmer that uses a neutral… I’ve seen it listed as both 45606 and 45607, not sure which it is for sure. It’s discontinued but once in a while they still pop up on eBay. The easiest way to be sure you’re getting one of these units is that they have wires out the back end vs. the screw plates.



Please clear something up for me if you can. I thought they all used neutrals… how else could they power the signal repeating. Am I right in my assumption that only some devices actually use that neutral for something other than supplying power for signal amplification; something on the load side of the neutral? What might that be?

This is just for the sake of curiosity; I think I will be steering clear of these dimmers.

on rant
   wouldnt you think they would have gotten it right by now
   this stuff is pretty darn spankin new by x10 comparisons
   yet not designed to be used with green lighting
   is it just some old SCR fitted with a radio
   sad to discover HA is in the same boat its always been
   one with too many leaks
end rant


Switches don’t need neutral at the switch. They only have incoming hot and outgoing hot the neutrals are tied together. In new construction or recent construction this isn’t an issue as by code the need to have the tied neutrals in the switch box. In old construction this isn’t always the case, depending on how your wiring I’m that room was some. As an example in my dinning room the box has no neutral in it, I assume it’s down bellow in the outlet.

Switches only need the black (hot ) wire tied to one post and the other black to the other. When switch is on it comments and sends hot signal to light. It gets neutral through wiring from other location.

To make long short before you buy cut power to switch by the breaker box. Open switch plate’ pull plug out and see of there is a nut cap on the box with 2 (or more) white wires are there. If so you’ll be all set, the dimmer will have a run off to tie in there.

To answer your initial. I have two of these

	Linear Z-Wave Wall Dimmer Switch, 500W 


From amazon. Work great with both sets of dimmable LEDs I have. One set of 3 x 6w track light LEDs. The other are the recessed lighting with trim bezel built in controlling all 8 with ease. As my one complaint it takes a couple seconds to let lights completely shut off on my track light.

[quote=“scottinpollock, post:5, topic:2668, full:true”]
Please clear something up for me if you can. I thought they all used neutrals… how else could they power the signal repeating. Am I right in my assumption that only some devices actually use that neutral for something other than supplying power for signal amplification; something on the load side of the neutral? What might that be?[/quote]

Common question really. Here’s the scoop: Obviously because these switches are electronic devices themselves they need current to flow through them. You need a complete circuit. Many (most) z-wave switches do this be requiring a neutral line to the switch.

But some switches (notably the GE/Jasco 45612) doesn’t require a neutral. You’re right to question: How do they power the radio then? They do it by letting a small trickle of power run through the circuit. Even when the power is “off” there still some small amount of juice flowing through. This isn’t an issue with incandescent bulbs which require a high (relatively speaking) amount of juice pushing through before they light up. No issues!

But if you use LEDs, and relatively few LEDs at that, you risk that the small amount of juice flowing through the circuit will be enough to ‘light up’ the LEDs.

On a side note re: your rant… I think it works better with green lighting than you might think. The dimmer without neutral has issues, but isn’t impossible. I have one that is hooked up to a three LED fixture and it works fine. And if you go with the switch with a neutral you have even more compatibility.

Jasco’s new line is apparently LED compatible. (45712)


This makes me happy and sad. I have installed quite a bit of these in my house. Does this ultimately mean the new model supports all types of bulbs? If so, seems ill be putting my current 45609’s into my upstairs bedrooms, and the new 45712 models in the main house.

Perhaps we could find a vendor to let us do a big group buy to get cost down. Id be in for 10.

Yes…is it possible for SmartThings to be a vendor and could offer a one time group buy? I would be in for some too, especially to replace the ones that are controlling led bulbs.

I’d even be more interested in the Leviton Vizia models. Honestly I cant stand holding down the button to set the dim level on the GE/Jasco units… I liked my old dimmers with the little slider next to the switch.

I’m just happy to see a company trying to improve these things. The current options all suck…

Before I began the process of automating my home, I replaced almost every lightbulb with Philips or GE LEDs. Now I’m running into a bug I’ve validated on a few forums where the Zwave GE Dimmer switch has serious issues with dimmable LEDs, creating a flicker (more like a flashing) effect.

I then ordered I have 4 dimmers installed and had to replace the light bulbs to get them to work, but am now sacrificing efficiency to get rid of the flicker. Let me know if anyone has a fix that does not include me replacing my 4 $50 switches and allows me to use my dimmable LED lightbulbs.

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I have not heard of any “fix” for the GE dimmers. I have Linear (re-breanded Evolve) dimmers and three-way accessory switches and they all work perfectly. Amazon has them around $35 each.



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One more thing - there was a post that talked about the associate command and they are right - not available in ST right now. So, if you install the three-way accessory switches, you also need to get an Aeon Minimote to do the association. The process is very simple…and in the end you end up with a remote that you can use other places! I use mine in our bedroom to change house modes and to lock all locks anytime I want without changing modes.


There’s also a black one. But I figured I would lose that easier than the white one!

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I’m having the same problem. I’ve got a 3-way switch with a string of Hue lights connected. I installed a Zwave GE switch (not the dimmer) - but as soon as the power comes on the lights are strobing. Hesitating to continue on and install the add on switch in the other location. Or just give up on this…

I know this is an old post, but I have the above mentioned ‘old’ GE dimmer that has the neutral, and it still flickers my dimmable LEDs. The problem is it does it at random…

I have the 12724 and have found that the leds will flicker while turning on or off when they where set to less than 100% brightness. At 100% brightness, the on/off action does not result in flickering.