GE Link bulb integration with Cooper manual dimmer


(Joshua Bast) #1

First off, I realize my problems would be solved by installing a z-wave dimmer, but I’m a renter and moving in a few months. I have a 4-light ceiling fan controlled by a non-RF Cooper Aspire dimmer and switch. I inserted 4 functional GE Link lights used previously in other parts of the house and found that they functioned in the fan until replacing the final incandescent bulb. When pulling out the final bulb, the remaining 3 GE lights die. All three smart lights operate as expected when at least 1 incandescent light is installed. Since the switch must remain in the on position, this is obviously not the ideal situation. I notice when turning the switch on at the wall, even when set to 100% on the wall, the lights start dim and then slowly get brighter until reaching 100%. This is the way the switch is designed to work. I also notice that the incandescent light always starts lighting first before the GEs start brightening. I am wondering if the incandescent bulb is somehow firing up the others??? Any help would be appreciated.


(Joshua Bast) #2

FYI, my Cooper model number is 9534DS-K.


#3

The Cooper is a zwave device and the GE links are zigbee, but that’s not the issue.

The Cooper 9534 is only designed to control incandescents, not LEDs. LEDs confuse it.

See the manual:

RF MASTER SMART DIMMER — RF9534, RF9536 • For Incandescent Fixtures Only

You may be able to put an LED bulb into a socket intended for incandescents, but the dim controls will not work as designed.

More and more dumb LEDs are being sold as dimmer-compatible these days, which is good. But a separate rule of thumb from CNET often applies for smart bulbs:

One caveat: if you’re going to use a bulb with built-in dimming smarts, be sure that you don’t use it with an existing, in-wall dimmer switch. The two separate dimming mechanisms won’t play well together, causing your bulbs to flicker and buzz, or worse, not turn on at all. That’s the last thing you want to see after spending the money to upgrade the lighting

You may get lucky with a particular bulb/fixture/switch combination, but I just follow manufacturer recommendations for all 3. I know that takes a lot more work when you’re a renter dealing with existing stuff.

From PC Magazine:

Link bulbs can’t be installed in a 3-way lamp, and they don’t work well with a dimmer. Although the Link functions better on a dimmer than the Cree bulbs do, they tend to flicker in and out at anything other than maximum brightness.

So I don’t think there’s any trick to it, the bulbs are just incompatible with that
fixture/switch combination.