Inovelli Dimmer Switches - A Cautionary Tale

Alright, I’m going to go through the following questions, please let me know if I’m missing something:

Question #1
On one switch, there are two simple wall sconces (that were just installed) that can handle any bulb type. When we turn the light(s) on, one works fine the other flickers for a number of minutes. I have tried a number of LED bulbs, including 2 Innoveli bulbs that can with a pack that I got from Amazon… nothing has changed this issue. Any suggestions?

This is interesting for sure – I’ve never seen it where one bulb works and the other doesn’t, but if you don’t mind, I do have some follow up questions to better understand your setup:

  • Setup: Is this a single-pole (ie: one switch controls one load), 3-Way (ie: two switches control one load), etc?
  • Bulbs: Which ones are you using? I know you mentioned you tried the Inovelli ones, but those are not meant to be dimmed via the switch itself via power (in other words, you can setup the switch to dim them via Z-Wave Association, but not cutting power to the bulbs) so I can see why those were acting up – but what other bulbs have you tried?

Let’s start there with this one as there’s no reported issue with the firmware causing this.

The other issue is we installed 4 LED recessed lights on one switch & 2 LED recessed lights on another switch. In the switch with 4, when the dimmer is dropped to roughly 27%, 1 light just turns off… the lower they go, I lose another, etc. (A similar thing occurs on the switch with 2 lights.)

  • Can you share a video or something? I’ve never heard of this before – I’m not saying it’s not happening, I just don’t know how to troubleshoot. Same questions apply as above if you get the chance.
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Look… I am not trying to pick fights here… I have better things to do with my time! I just want my stupid switches to be smart! I can play the screen shot game too…

So please stop taking unfounded pop-shots at my integrity.

In regards to what I want is the same thing I keep asking for… again and again and again… HELP ME MAKE MY DIMMERS WORK! I don’t know how many different ways I can say it. I don’t know what information you need from me! I know how to get you to communicate with me! I am exhausted of begging for help… not really my style… but good lord… If this this your definition of customer service, I am left to beg for help. HELP ME!

And for the record… your first screen shot (in your first response) conveniently left off additional messages that I continued to send your “amazing” customer service team after you stopped responding. So know that my integrity has been assassinated, I will share these messages that somehow didn’t make it onto the thread of messages Eric shared. Prior to this…

We can’t help you if you don’t respond to us:

Edit: Just for some background as well, when Smartthings decided to kill their “Classic” platform/app that was working perfectly for hundreds of users a few weeks ago via forcing migration, some of their older devices stopped working properly. This has reportedly caused an over 1000% volume in tickets, so they are quite literally inundated with them right now due to NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN.

Admittedly yours fell through the cracks, but at this point literally everyone is TRYING to help you but we can’t get the inputs from you to give you the outputs you need.

P.S. There are multiple people with your EXACT setup (neutral, LIFX lights) that have them working perfectly. This is NOT a switch defect issue, this is a programming/user error, I can almost guarantee it.

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Kevin…
I apologize… I didn’t realize you worked for Inovelli… That is great… maybe you can help me. I have NO DOUBT that the issue is user error… which makes it FAR infuriating that when I have been asking for help to fix it for as long as I have and had no response, it pushed me to the point of a public spectacle.

Thank you for being the only person that has taken ANY interest in offering any support for my issue.

Neutral Wire: Yes
Device Handler:

  • Inovelli Dimmer Red Series LZW31-SN
  • Author: Eric Maycock (erocm123)
  • Date: 2020-02-26

If you don’t work for Inovelli, Kevin, I would still LOVE your help (that is honestly the most important thing), but at some point, I would still love to experience that “award winning” support you had raved about from Inovelli.

Best-

Jon

Do you think I have time to play games too? No, I don’t want to have to keep fact-checking you. It’s exhausting. I’m offering to help, but instead every other post from you is an exaggeration of what’s actually happening.

Who are you sending that to and why did you send it to “noreply”? That’s not even Courtney’s email address lol.

Then you ask to take the convo offline when you put us on blast in two communities? C’mon.

I’m sticking up for the company – I admitted we made a mistake, offered to help you, but I’m not just going to let someone take shots at us either. My guess is you figured no one would respond to these posts as no one responded to your ticket, which again, I apologized for and offered to help. When we actually responded to these tickets and you found out both in our community and here that, “oh crap, they actually do have good customer service and they did make a mistake”, now you’re back-tracking.

I literally told you we would help, but you’re posting Maytag pics and then not responding anywhere. No, you were not blocked from our community (as my screenshots referenced) where 3-4 people offered to help. No, you did not send us anymore emails, and even still, when I asked you the follow up questions in my post above, you still did not answer them but rather went off about character assassination.

So, if you truly want help, please answer my questions above and we can take it a step further. As I said, I’m happy to help – this doesn’t need to be a pissing match between the two of us.

Can you let me know the email address you sent his from and what email address you’re sending this to? PM me if you don’t want to publicly share it.

I have no record of these emails. I’m not saying you didn’t send them, but I need to understand if there’s some sort of error in our system.

Hmmmm… pot-shot? Don’t dish it out if you can’t take them back.

Lol – you brought this on yourself.

Do you? Or do you want to keep this conversation going as to who’s right and who’d wrong?

I’d prefer to continue to admit we messed up and say I’m sorry for the 100th time and help you get these things to work. But if you’d rather keep trolling here, I’m going to just have to send you an RMA.

Thanks, can you answer my above questions which I’ll list out below again:

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Well dang it! It’s sounds like we are both on the same page and just want to solve the problem… so there! ; -)

One more more thing before we take this offline… how the heck do you PM… I am clearly not a digital community guy and have attempted, but cannot find how to private message.

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Click on the user’s name, and the click the MESSAGE button.

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@HalD

That doesn’t sound correct. When the dimmer has a neutral wire, which this dimmer does, off should be off. Some dimmers operator without a neutral, and these always have some current flowing because there is no neutral.

Maybe you have a partial short in the wiring, or a bad dimmer? A partial short in the actual dimmer switch?

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You would think, but I had the same issue with LED glow when off with my red series dimmer installed with neutral. Inovelli support had me install the Aeotec bypass that’s normally used for non-neutral and that fixed it. I’m not sure if any of the newer firmware versions fix this or if it’s a hardware issue.

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Like @prjct92eh2 , I have seen this occur with multiple brands that did use a neutral. Leviton were famous for this problem for several years. It has to do with how the device was designed to feed current to the radio even when the dimmer was “off.“

Leviton did a redesign about 3 years ago which specifically addressed that issue and which they felt was important enough to include in the press release on the new models:

Leviton releases 5 zwave plus devices--solves low load glow problem

So while it’s more common with no neutral models (other than Lutron, which have a different patented wiring scheme), it does occur with some neutral-required models as well.

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I had a Zooz ZEN26 on/off switch (with neutral) that left an LED bulb glowing when off. I replaced the bulb (it was a cheap one) and that fixed the issue.

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My issue was also with a Zooz ZEN26 on/off switch. It was powering a set of 4 Kodak Edison style bulbs in two wall sconces.

Zooz support confirmed that the issue was a current trickle used in that particular model. Presumably, as @JDRoberts mentioned, to power the radio.

They sent me a ZEN21 switch to replace the ZEN26. I had a GE/Jasco Z-wave Plus switch that I used instead.

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I am debating either letting this one go, or getting a volt meter and testing.

Seems like a big design fail if current is always flowing regardless of on/off status.

Does this mean if you use them with no load then they would not work at all?

I have several dimmers and on/off switches wired with no load, using them to control other zwave devices. They work with no load connected to power them. Both homeseer, Zooz; Ge

There has to be some current Through the switch or you can’t power the radio. (Except, of course, for kinetic energy switches, but they aren’t wired to the mains anyway.) But, yes, allowing even trickle current to go to the load is an old design that most manufacturers have now moved away from.

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What @JDRoberts says is actually the same what @professordave assumed.

Due to a design flow there is still a low level current on the load, what should not happen, and should make some of these devices in many states and countries, I believe, illegal to use, due to regulations.
And I am strictly talking about the ones with neutral wire, as the ones without neutral has to leak current to the load to be able to operate.

Unfortunately these issues tend to happen due to the small form factor as everything has to be placed into a tiny junction box, and physical isolation might not possible, especially with AC a wrong design can cause that circuits/wires operate as an inductor and without shorting load is transfered, or just by the small factor terminals not being far enough from each other and wrong insulation used could cause low level shorts.

The end result would be a glowing bulb. Of course it matters on the bulb as well, what is the minimum current what makes it work. But that should be marked on the specifications of the bulb.

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Hey, sounds like you and Eric got it taken care of, but please let me know if I can help in any way. I’ll continue to track this thread for any issues.

I don’t work for Inovelli, but I am passionate about their products and ensuring that users don’t get turned off because they have had to work around the limitations of ST.

Again, community.inovelli.com is the best place to get help, but I’m here and there and more than happy to help.

Kevin

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