Jasco / GE Dimmer Switch 45612


(Casey) #1

I recently purchased a GE Jasco Dimmer Switch model 45612.  I wired it up fine, i got it connected to smart things fine, and I can control it fine.  Here is where i have run into a problem.  When the switch is off I get light flicker (LED Bulbs) I thought it was weird for so much current to be running through the circuit to allow for the bulbs to be partially lit so i decided to check out the information from from My Devices.

From the current States report i get a correct feedback of ON or OFF.  But the level report when off reads 38% I thought this was really high as i interpreted that as running at 38% load while OFF! This seems like an incredible waste of electricty to me.  However when the switch is in the ON state i get a Level reading of 38-40% Which makes me think it isn’t registering this correctly at all.  I emailed Jasco and they gave me a boiler plate response that the switch won’t work with  LED bulbs only incandescent, which is absolutely ridiculous and my lengthy response to them sited how this is the case which doesn’t need to be rehashed here.

I thought about adding a resistor or trying a single incandescent bulb on the same circuit to see if that removes the flicker.  My main concern for this thread topic is the reporting of the smart things platform of a level of 38% which doesn’t seem to change even when the switch state changes to ON or OFF.

I will attempt to add screen shots of my IDE Screen.


(Mj) #2

Just a quick comment about dimmer switches and LED bulbs.  The majority of dimmer switches do not work right with LED and/or CFL bulbs from what I have researched.

There are on/off home automation light switches which kill all power, but require a neutral cable to operate. My home does not have a neutral cable at the light switch - so I’m somewhat limited with what I can do.

Home Depot is selling a new Cree LED bulb which is supposed to dim and work properly with dimmers. I haven’t tried it yet, but it may be worth a shot. These bulbs are priced at an affordable $13 each.

Otherwise, I’ve heard some folks add an incandescent light bulb along with other LED bulbs to absorb the additional power and prevent the LED’s from flickering in a light fixture.

Hope this helps!


(Michael) #3

Hey Casey,

Wondering if you ended up finding a similar solution to this problem? I’m having a similar issue with the same dimmer from GE/Jasco and LED bulbs.

-Michael


(Casey) #4

Michael,

The Problem is with the dimmer itself, they don’t use a neutral and are designed for Incandescent (stupidly I might add) because of this. Basically this is the issue. Switch = ground hot neutral load Dimmer = ground hot load so we are missing the neutral right? Here is what the neutral does. It allows for a current to be active that passes through the switch and back out the neutral to the breaker and that is the circuit that powers the radio… Now the dimmer doesn’t have a neutral but still needs a constant power for the radio. So… what happens is it uses the light circuit to complete that sending bursts of lower power through the circuit the lower watt LED driver absorbs that power and tries to power up loses its power source and goes out. This happens over and over again causing the LED to flicker.

You have a couple options.
#1 Use a GE Jasco Switch with a neutral http://www.amazon.com/Jasco-Z-Wave-Wireless-Lighting-Control/dp/B0035YRCR2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1370048241&sr=8-2&keywords=zwave+ge+jasco+switch
#2 Use a dimmer that has a neutral (I ordered Luminodes for that) http://blog.thinkautomatic.com/
#3 Use a single incandescent in the circuit as a sort of capacitor / buffer (sorry not sure proper term here) that will absorb that excess energy and stop flickering I have tested this and it works but kind of a sigh solution.
#4 Add a capacitor inline to absorb that energy directly eliminating flicker http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=9262.120

I hope that helps.

Casey


(Michael) #5

Thanks for the response Casey! Very informative…

Unfortunately it sounds like there’s not really an ideal solution here if LED/dimming are going to be in the mix. The GE Jasco switch you linked to on Amazon is the regular on/off switch (no dimming) but uses the neutral wire. The Luminode looks good but is pretty expensive for someone looking to outfit their entire place with ($130 for a pair of switches) and not available yet. Putting an incandescent in the mix defeats the purpose of going with LEDs (and likely won’t match the look or color-wise) and using the capacitor inline looks like it will use the same amount of power than an incandescent would (again, defeating the purpose of going all LED).

Appreciate your help with the explanation though! Perhaps you could post your experience with the Luminodes once they arrive?


(Casey) #6

Michael,

Keep in mind the luminodes are much cheaper I ordered the 5 pack for $300 so $60 per. Singles are $65 and once they have production fully ironed out i could see that dropping a little bit. Considering the difference between luminode and the GE Jasco is about as much as a regular dimmer to the GE Jasco im willing to fork over an extra ~$16 for the luminode. I have had pretty good dialogue with the luminode team and I think that is going to be winner. I should be getting mine in June I believe. They tried to have them out by April but have had some QC issues and a UL Testing hangup but they look to be rolling forward. Personally I rather them take the time to fully flesh out any issues and provide a stellar product than get it a month or two early. I will definitely keep you updated on this thread or a new one specifically about luminodes as I will have a mixed environment of GE Jasco SWITCHs and Luminode DIMMERS. But i won’t be using any GE Jasco Dimmers for anything but… I don’t know Artwork Lamps (halogen) or Chandelier lights or something, basically not at all. If you can find a dimmer that uses a neutral you should be good with LED I didn’t find any that were cheap enough that i would just use them instead of Luminodes.

Casey


(Michael) #7

Thanks for the update Casey! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Luminodes when they arrive.

Are you planning on using Think Automatic’s app for controlling the Luminodes or keeping it within the SmartThings world?


(Casey) #8

I plan to use both, for the quick actual physical control i plan to use the Luminode learning of modes/scenes via tap sequence and using Smartapps to control it via the Tablet, Phone, Desktop. If both can be used together in harmony pretty seamlessly that would be great. Its really an extension of a controller. Either 1x Tap for Full lights, 2x Tap for Movie Mode, or use smart app to set lighting scene 1 or 2 to similar configs.

Casey