Start Here: VFAQ: Connected Light Bulbs vs Connected Light Switch

This is exactly the info I was looking for. I’d like to provide constant power so that the switch is acting like a remote and things never get out of sync. Is it possible to provide constant power to both the bulb and the switch without running independent power to the bulb?

Depending on your local codes, if they allow it, you can loop the single circuit so that there is always power to the bulb and always power to the switch. @Navat604 (Who is way more expert on wiring then I am) just did a drawing for somebody in the last couple days on a similar set up, I think that one was for serial receptacles, but the same idea. Maybe he’ll chime in before I get too far off in the weeds here. :wink:

I should also note that @SBDOBRESCU 's setup where he has any change to the switch send a message to the hub to make the same change on the bulbs should keep the hub status in sync with the physical bulb status even if the bulbs already turned off because the circuit power was cut. So that’s good. (using his follower logic, there is still a tiny possibility that if someone, typically a child, flicks the switch on and off a couple of times the bulb status and the hub status could still get out of sync, but it’s pretty rare. )

The main difference is that with the follower method you still have the power outage sync issue where the bulbs may come back on when the power comes on with a status that the hub is unaware of. If you read the manufacturer instructions, the manufacturers of smart Bulbs all say they’re intended to draw current all the time.

For a DIYer, anything is possible :smile: . It’s all depend on how your light was wired. If the line and load is at the switch box then it’s easy as pie. If the line hot is at the light fixture then you have to drop the light fixture and get the power to the switch from there.

Is it legal? Well it’s not so much with your city hall but with your home insurance company. To them anything is illegal.

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Okay I know this is going to sound crazy, but has anyone tried using Philips Hue lights on a zwave dimmer? I have hue lights and the dimmers on clearance at Lowe’s are actually cheaper than the battery Hue dimmers. I’m trying to figure out if such a setup would even work… :slight_smile:

I would think there may be some type of issue since you would not be supplying continuous full voltage to the radio equipment.

The dimmers that are on clearance at Lowes do not officially support CFL/LED dimming… Only the new version of the iris branded GE dimmers support LEDs officially.

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Yes — you can wire the lights to an always on state and then use SmartThings to control them. Do not actually wire the lights to the switch!

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Perfect for my foyer and hallways which use a ridiculous number of candelabra base bulbs which are still $5 each for cheap ones.

I don’t think anyone said it clear enough. You should never put a controllable bulb on a dimmer switch. It’s asking for problems, and could be a fire hazard.


Dimmers for dumb bulbs, switches for smart bulbs. Simple rule


So, GE Link Bulbs can be used in a light fixture where there is no smart dimmer switch, and the regular, non-smart on/off switch is left on, right (and by ‘can be’, I mean best practices, etc)?

Yep. In fact, at one store, their system even said that they had one in stock, but it was not on the shelf. Then, they called the guy over, and he looked upset and went over to the desk, and grabbed it from on the desktop, and handed it to me in a huff.

No idea what that was all about.

Anyway, I bought it. It wasn’t the great deal for 8-9-10 we’ve been hearing about, but it was lower than half price.

You will likely hear people advocate both ways. Personally every switch in my home will be smart(on/off not dimmers) most are already. And eventually every bulb will be smart, I’m just getting into bulbs I have 5 cree, 3 ge link and 3 hue, I also have some aeon bulbs on the way.

Doing it this way allows normal operation for visitors, family, and most importantly the wife.

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I went the other way I started off with GE/Cree smart bulbs. I still have them in l ceiling fans. Went with Leviton Dimmers for all/most of the permanent lights. As you said anybody can just use the smart wall switch/dimmer, whereas if a visitor or family member flips the switch on a lamp with a smart bulb, it can/will cause issues if you don’t notice it until after the bulb loses its association with the hub.
There is also the economic factor. 1 $50 dimmer switch and 6 $20 (at the time) Ecosmart dimmable LED can lights , verses $60 each for Lux BR30s and having to add trim rings to fit the ceiling cans.

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Like @RLDreams I’m going the other way, started out with GE Links/Cree Connected and I will be changing to dumb bulbs and GE Z-Wave switches/dimmers everywhere.

There are only so many times after a brief power dip/cut, where all your lights turn on at 100% in the bedroom, before you’ll want to put them in trash.


In my bedroom, I do have just an aspire zwave dimmer controlling dumb recessed leds, but I would like to replace these to an on/off switch and smart bulbs. for color control and better dimming capabilities.

First, if there is a good thread for this, would you point me there? I know we’re going outside the bounds of the scope of this thread by continuing to discuss this, but I’m really curious, and want some help thinking through this issue.

I have heard both ways, but I need to hear the good, succinct versions of reasons for and against each way of going about this (i.e. dumb switches with smart bulbs or smart switches with dumb bulbs).

I have both setups now, and probably just haven’t gotten into things enough to find the main differences myself.
So, smartness from other brains would be great.

Again, sorry for being off-topic.

At current prices if the switch is only operating 1 or 2 bulbs I run Smart bulbs. If it’s a switch that someone has a high likelihood of being used I use a Z switch.
If it’s more then 2 or 3 bulbs then a Z switch makes better sense for me.

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I have both and prefer Smart Switches. The main thing that bugs me about the bulbs is when the light switch is flipped off, there goes communication with the bulb. The other thing that bugs me is when power goes out and then back on, all the smart bulbs in the house go on. Not very fun when you are asleep and all of the sudden at 3AM, all the lights in the room come on.


Continuing the discussion from Current Device Deals & Best Prices:

So In a different thread we’ve been talking about the pros and cons of going Smart Bulb, Smart Switch, or Both. briefly looking I didn’t see a thread for it so here we go.

Personally In my home I have: 31 Z wave on/off switches(all GE), 4 Z wave Dimmers(3 aspire 1 GE), 3 Hue bulbs, 5 Cree, 3 GE Link bulbs.

I started with HA before there were many options for controllable bulbs, So I Started with switches.But when I started trying to Dim some “dimmable” recessed led cans in my bedroom and bathroom and kitchen, I quickly realized that controlling the bulbs dimming independently would be more reliable and Ideal for my situation.

Now that the options for Smart Color bulbs are increasing, I will likely be purchasing either recessed cans with color br30s or color controllable led can units(when they inevitably come out) to replace my pretty new led can solid units.

In my experience it is more convenient to press a switch sometimes than to be waving your hands in front of a sensor that for whatever reason isn’t working. Nothing is more frustrating than to be constantly nagged “why does all of this stuff that doesn’t work cost so much” by the wife.

Yes some automation’s can still break if you set your system up like this, but I want control over everything in my home.

How do you set up your lighting? and Why?