Lighting automation advice - wall switches combined with GE Link bulbs?


I wanted to get advice on ways to control lighting (dimming/on/off) and get ideas from the community.

In the living room, I have a fan/light combination, with 4 bulbs. The unit itself has two pull cord for light and pull cord for fan, just on/off. There’s also a wall switch (on/off) that controls power to the entire fan/light unit. The fan/light unit only gets a single hot - so if the wall switch is OFF, neither fan nor lights can be on. Because of this, I don’t think I can use a wall dimmer switch, since that would also mess with the 120VAC going to the fan.

I’d like to use GE Link bulbs in each of the 4 light sockets. That way, I can dim them individually, and turn the bulbs on/off individually via app. I’m tempted connect the hot incoming wire to the light/fan unit permanently. Then install a $34 Linear z-wave wall dimmer in the current wall switch. The trick is that the wall dimmer won’t actually be controlling the power to the light/fan unit - the light/fan unit is always on. I’d use the “dim with me” app to make the z-wave wall switch control the zigbee GE Link bulbs. And I can get finer control (individual bulb control) with the app if I desire. I’m hoping the control would be which ever device made the most recent change (z-wave dimmer switch or app).

If things break down (ST goes down, I’m testing stuff, etc…), I can always turn the GE Link bulbs on/off with the pull cord, just no dimmer control.

But I’m open to other ideas to achieve the same effect. I like having wall mounted switches, but is it overkill to be using $34 Linear z-wave dimmer to “virtually” control $15 GE link bulbs? It’s the cheapest option I’ve found.

I’m also new to this. Perhaps I’m being too optimistic on how well this scheme would work in real life. Perhaps the lag/reliability of the “Dim with me” function would make this unworkable? Would like some feedback before investing lots of time/money into this route.

i would leave it on all the time and get a tablet to use as a dashboard unit to control all the other lights too.

It’s taking me forever to get around to it myself, but the Aeon Micro Illuminator DSC27103-ZWUS should fit inside the fan light housing to do the lights, and you can wire the pull switch to it for on/off.

And a seperate Aeon Labs DSC26103-ZWUS - Z-Wave In-Wall Micro Controller may be squeezed behind the existing wall switch. Usually pretty tight and you require a neutral. You might have to retrofit a deep oldwork switch box.

The GE Links seem troubled - at least they are cheap and easy to try. In-room manual dimming is appealing, but then I don’t think you can turn the fan off at the wall. Doesn’t dimming also depend on the hub talking from wall dimmer to GE Links - so much interaction just to dim lights only.