Leviton Decora Smart Dimmer won't turn on light

I just installed a decora smart dimmer to control 4 lights in an atrium. The lights are part of a 3-way switch where one side is a simple switch and the side I rewired was a dimmer. I can get the dimmer switch installed to the point that the locator LED will turn on and the LEDs representing the dimmer work, but the lights they are supposed to control will no longer turn on from either side. The weird thing about my setup is that neither switch has 14-3 wiring to them, only 14-2. I’m not sure if I’m just out of luck on being able to put in a smart switch, or if there might be a simpler fix that I’m missing.

Note that the red wire was just the only color of extra wire I had laying around to connect the neutral wires to the switch.

You can’t use the Leviton smart dimmer in conjunction with a regular switch. You have to buy their remote add-on switch.

Will it work if there isn’t a traveler wire to connect the dimmer and the remote (there aren’t any traveler wires as far as I can tell since the original switches were only wired with 14-2)?

If not, do you think I could just remove the other switch and cap the wiring that went to it so there isn’t a 3-way setup? The reason I want this smart switch is because the current switches are at very inconvenient locations for me and I’d rather it just be controlled via app or voice anyway, so I don’t need the 3-way setup by any means.

No…and neither would two normal switches. LOL If you remove the traveler from a normal 3 way setup, you have to have both switches on in order for the lights to go on, don’t you? Why would you think it would be any different with a smart switch in the mix? You have to wire it according to the instructions and with the proper equipment.

I’m just working with what was already in place. Prior to adding the smart switch, I was able to turn the lights on and off from either side without respect to the other switch’s position (unless I was just really lucky and never tried to turn it on from one side while the other side was in the off position over the course of 3 months). It doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m pretty sure it was working that way before, but now the smart switch LEDs are definitely tied to the other switch being on.

Shouldn’t the new smart switch turn on the lights anyway if the other switch is on and the smart switch clearly has power to it?

I get that the wiring wasn’t installed correctly in the first place, but I’m not capable of rewiring this whole setup, so putting in 14-3 wire for a traveler isn’t going to happen.

If you had a 3 way switch in there you had to have a traveler. That’s just how wiring works. If you aren’t sure what you’re doing you should contact a licensed electrician. You can really hurt yourself if you wire it wrong. #1…take whatever you did out. Because it is not hooked up correctly. #2…read your instructions. You cannot use a normal 3 way switch and your smart dimmer and get 3 way control. It doesn’t work that way. I don’t know how to be any clearer. It just doesn’t.

Ok. So assuming I’m not going to get 3-way control (I don’t care if I have it), do you have any other suggestions as to why I would have power to the dimmer switch, but can’t get power to the lights? I have already installed 2 of these smart dimmers without issues on switches that don’t have a secondary switch, so I am at least capable of that.

I appreciate the help you’re giving me, but I don’t feel like you are fully understanding my issue. Let’s just leave everything else off the table and go with the idea that I just want to install a dimmer for smart controls that only work when the other switch is in the on position. Is that possible?

Yes, that is possible. And i’m almost positive that’s what you have now, if you have it wired correctly. Were you able to pair the switch with your hub? Did you wire it to the neutral? If not, then the switch would only have power when the other switch was on and that would be the only time it would pair also. You aren’t giving me more information to go on.

Here is a diagram of what is happening in the picture of the original post. Is this helpful?

Are you sure that the white wire coming out next to your load wire isn’t your traveler? Where was the white wire hooked up before? See, you are assuming that both whites are neutral but one could have been uses a traveler. How was the 3 way switch hooked up before you unhooked it? Or better yet, how is the dumb switch you left in the circuit wired? Can you take a pic of that?

Also, please answer this question…does the switch pair to your hub???

Sorry, yes it pairs with the hub.

Maybe you’re right and one of the white wires is the traveler, one was disconnected and capped when I removed the old one. I If I try to connect it to the traveler connector now, it shouldn’t work because of the other dumb switch in the circuit, correct?

Here is the other switch

I guess maybe there was no neutral wire in the old circuit.

The old circuit has to have a neutral because all circuits do. The distinction is that the old SWITCH didn’t have a neutral connection. It’s a dumb switch, it doesn’t need one.

Okay, one of the white wires is your traveler. But it’s not the one that was capped. That is probably your neutral. Because in order for your old switch to work, it HAD to have a traveler. Take a look at the pic your just posted…one black wire is the hot, the other the load. And the white is your traveler. Because dumb switches don’t need neutral to work correctly. take a look at the back of the dumb switch. it should say hot, load and traveler or 3-way (something like that).

Awersome, thanks so much for your help! I assume that I still need the remote dimmer that you posted earlier to make this all work though, correct?

If you are trying to find out if it’s a neutral or not, turn off your breaker and label all the wires so you can get them all back where they came from. Disconnect everything you think is neutral. Use a multimeter to check resistance between that and ground. If you get 100% resistance, it’s not your neutral. Because your neutral is tied to ground at the breaker box. Just please make sure your breaker is off when you do this. Otherwise you could get killed and i don’t want that on my hands.

I am definitely careful about keeping the breaker off when I’m playing with the wires. Don’t worry about that.

Ok. I got the dimmer remote and tried installing it on the other end of this setup and the locator LEDs light up on the remote, but now they won’t light on the main dimmer and the lights still won’t turn on. The brightness indicator LEDs on the remote also will not change when I try to increase the brightness using the paddle. I rewired the dimmer to match the diagram on the instructions better and I have made a diagram of what I’ve done. Is there something that you see that has been done incorrectly that would be the cause of my issues or is this just a lost cause at this point?

and here are the instructions for reference if it matters to you

Did you ever try and figure out which was your traveler or not? LOL… Okay, if you’re just going to keep trying things till they work, I’m not going to bother responding. Good luck.