Physical switch for hue bulbs, not hue tap

Alright so I have a countertop that I am looking to put phillips hue br30 leds in. The cuntertop lights have a dumb dimmer switch that control them. I love the idea of hue tap, but want the same integration that my linear zwave switches has with ST as well as a physical switch that will turn off the hue lights without closing the circuit, so hue lights can be turned on with app still even if I turn the physical switch off. Here is my idea please let me know if this is possible guys.

Basically, I am going to replace my dumb dimmer switch for either a linear dimmer or on/off switch(most likely an on/off and prob a accessory switch not master switch) and wire up the linear switch’s neutral and ground. Now I was thinking that if I tie the load for the light with the power for light I can keep the the circuit “always on” and pair the linear switch with a smartapp to turn on and off the hue.(no load if use accessory switch) I am thinking I might need to also tie in the load and power for light to the linear switch line in to power the switch. Please let me know what you all think and any problems I could face, changes I should make or dangers cause I am by no means an expert with this. Heck I may even be way off, and this might not even work just thinking things through. Thank you all.

@brianlees i found your thread here Zwave switch that always supplies power for devices like Hue lights?

and also saw your response and solution here Wiring three and four way switches - any diagrams out there?.

@brianlees is there a way you can explain your setup with hue bulb and physical switch? it seems like you have done what i would like to do. Thank you.

Also @bradsileo i found that you were able to bypass the load for an always on zwave switch that u used with a smartapp to control hues. would you be able to describe your setup in more detail please. thank you.

I use the linear 3 way accessory switch. It’s very simple.

@codytruscott ok i have a linear 3 way accesory switch right in front of me at the moment. how do i go about wiring it if you don’t mind explaining it please. Im thinking that the neutral, ground, and line i wire to the linear switch and i tie in the load(going to the light) to the power for constant power. Also what app are you using to control them and where can i find it please. Thank you :smile:

i am using the Logitech Harmony Hub Home Control remote to turn on Hue lights among other things such as ZWave switches. I highly recommend it for $150 as it serves multiple purposes.

@tenzingsherpa - I did not end up going with Hues. After I looked at our house, how we use it, and “approval factors”, I decided to go with Linear zwave switches instead and I just use regular LED bulbs. For us, replacing so many lights with Hues was too expensive and was really not worth it in the end.

I’m now looking to put in some accent lighting (bloom, strips) around the house instead. Our particular problem in that instance is we don’t have any white walls, so colored lights will mix with the colored walls.

@brianlees Ok i see, I love the linear zwave switches+dumb led bulbs and in most places I use this setup. Nothing beats being able to manual hit the lights on/off if i want to. I have a linear accessory switch that I was going to use as a dummy switch and wire up the island lights to “always hot” so hue bulbs, however i think i am going to use a master linear switch so in case down the road i want to hook the load back to a physical switch i can.

I have heard great things about the bloom and about the led strips. I have 3 hue led strips that I have surrounding my entertainment center and I love them. You make a great point though about needing white walls, i was looking to put more led strips but not all my walls are white.

I have another question though. Does anyone have any experience with Hue bulbs hooked to physical incandescent dimmers without neutral? Do the hue bulbs make a hum and do they play nice with dimmers or should i stick with on/off?

Hues have electronics in them (Zigbee radios) that will misbehave if connected to a dimmer.

You need to use the accessory switch.

The relay switches or dimmers will not function correctly without a load — you can’t even add them to a zwave network.

@scottinpollock Thank you man for giving me the heads up. I kinda figured they woundnt behave with a dimmer.

@codytruscott That is very helpful. I have a linear accessory switch so i can use that. So am i correct in saying that with the linear accessory switch I wire up power, neutral, ground to linear switch like usual, and tie the load and power for the lights together for “always on” circuit? Thank you :smile:

Thank you guys for all the advice. I appreciate the help :smile:

Correct. Yes. Indeed.

@codytruscott I am pretty much sold on using the accessory switch. My only question is in regards to how @bradsileo in this thread Wall Mount Virtual Dimmer for Hue was able to power and link his evolve dimmer without using load wire on the switch. I mean i am fine with using accessory switch but if i can use on/off linear switch and just not use the load i have options later on down the road if i replace the hue bulbs with dumb led bulbs. Thank man.

You can technically pair the switch when it has a load and then remove the load.

I’m unsure about dimmers. I only tried with the switches.

Evolve is just a rebadged linear.

@codytruscott Ahh i see so i can pair the master linear switches, and then remove the load so as to utilize it as a virtual switch for hue bulbs. I am also thinking i may just remove the dumb dimmer there and put a linear on/off master and wire the load through it versus “always on”. Im still not sure which way to go. I mean because the island lights are “party lights” only on when we are entertaining so could theoretically keep the physical switch on(however if anyone flicks the light switch off then the mobile app won’t be able to turn on/off hue bulbs). Wiring the switch as always on has benefits in that even if i turn off the switch with physical control i can turn it on with mobile app and visa versa.

regardless i think it is gonna have to be linear on/off or linear accessory because hues don’t play well with wall dimmers.

The accessory switch works fine with the hues. In fact, I’m working on a device type that will allow me to cycle thru several preset colors using the switch dim level.

Ie 0 - off
10 - 2000k white
20 - 4000k
30 - 6500k
40 - red
50 - sky blue


@codytruscott I would love to beta test that code when you get working my friend. That sounds pretty awesome. Now correct me if i am wrong that using the accessory switch with smart app to control the hue bulbs will work as long as the ST server stays up , and the switch will no longer function if server is down, unless i use a secondary zwave controller like aeon minimote?

I assume you’re referring to something like the Evolve LTM-5, Linear WD500Z-1, Cooper RF9542-Z, or Leviton VRCZ1-1LZ.

Will these accessory switches work with SmartThings by default, or do I need a custom device type? If the latter, can you post it?


I am stuck with a few taps and the Minimote for the hues for now…I use the push and held buttons on Minimote to trigger hello home actions for every room… Push - on, held - off. Button controller app.