RGB Bulbs with Smart switches

I currently have GE Z wave switches and outlets all through the my house. probably 20-30 in total and would like to add in some RGB bulbs and LED strips in certain places for different things. im wondering if there’s anyway to continue to use these switches for control like a normal light.

for example I can still turn the physical switch on and receive basic white light and if I want to do colors I can use the Smartthings app to adjust colors or run scenes.


Yup. The smart switches can control RGB(W) bulbs the same as just white bulbs. You could control colors as well by using Smart Lighting or webCoRE (or any other rule manager) from the switches as well. For instance, with SL, you can trigger your RGBW bulb to turn on and switch to Red when Switch #1 is turned on. The same goes for scenes (trigger on/off from switches).

what bulbs then would I use? everything im reading saying using physical switches with smart bulbs is bad for them and doesn’t work?

Are you referring to “dumb” physical switches? You said GE Z-Wave switches and outlets. Those switches can be overridden to not cut power to the bulb via most rule managers. If you are referring to actual dumb switches, then the answer is no as those physically cut power and yeah, that’s bad for smart bulbs.

I currently have the G Z wave switches everywhere.
What rule managers are we speaking about? im not familiar with anything that can do this.

Im assuming your talking about powering the switch however hard wiring the light in the wall so the switch has power but when triggered goes no where essentially then using some sort of IFTTT command setup to when switch is powered on - turn light 1 to bright white 100% when switch is powered off - turn light 1 to off.

Ahhh, ok. So, smart switches.

After a quick test, what you want to do won’t work using the switches themselves using the idea I provided. In previous versions of the firmware, you could catch the poweroff event and override it. I just tested it from Smart Lighting and the bulb gets shutoff BEFORE the event gets trapped. Whatever genius changed that needs to be smacked. :slight_smile:

However, what you suggested (hard wiring the light and bypassing the load on the switch itself to the light) WOULD work. So long as the bulb has power, then you can control it.

As for rule managers, you can do something like Smart Lighting (which is actually a good rule manager/smartapp in and of itself) or go with something more complex like webCoRE or SharpTools. webCoRE is my personal preference, but it has a learning curve.

alright, I currently use webcore for all my other home automation and lighting needs so im about 20% familiar with using it lol.

Maybe I just need to get a Phillips hue starter set and see if I can get it to do what I want. I only plan to use a few Phillips hue lights for accent lighting mainly so might just swap out my Z Wave outlets for regular ones and repurpose my Z Wave ones elsewhere…

can you clarify where this smart lighting app is located? is it a native app or something ill have to add?

Oh yeah, you’re halfway there then!

Automations > SmartApps > Add a SmartApp > SmartThings Recommends > Smart Lights. It’s good for quick, basic routines that don’t require the power of something like webCoRE.

Ok I figured that was the app you were referring to but wanted to make sure.

Yeah, I use it for dead simple stuff like simple motion routines or switches that control one or two bulbs. Anything more complex than that I go with WC.

I have my flood Lights in the backyard setup the way you describe. The GE switch has power, but doesn’t physically control the light bulbs. Through Smart Lighting I turn the light bulbs on and off when the switch is turned on or off. I also trigger the bulbs to do a color loop if the switches are double pressed.

One thing to keep in mind is that I don’t think you can run the dimmers without a load, just the on/off switches. I’ve not tried it myself, but I’ve read as such.

Technically speaking, you can run the dimmers without a load (essentially bypassing the dimmer and going directly to the light/outlet itself), but you need to handle all the events, exactly as you are doing now. So long as the dimmer has line and neutral, it should work fine.