Trying to figure out lighting control for Hue bulbs

I’ve been trying to integrate a set of Hue bulbs w/ local control via some type of switch for a few months now. Originally, I removed the existing switch from the wall-plate, spliced the connection and then installed another “hidden” switch down-circuit in an area covered by a picture frame. In any event, being that I spliced the connection, I need to keep the original junction box accessible. I purchased one of Philips’ Tap Switches and placed that over the original junction box on a blank wall-plate, since functionally, it is the best location for the switch and additionally still allows easy access to the box itself. However, I’m not really a fan of the style, so I wanted to look into options that look more “integrated”, which could be used w/ a standard wall-plate.

First, I purchased a Lutron connected bulb remotes which has a bracket for mounting in a standard electrical box. It definitely looks nice, but functionally is a bit hard to use in the dark since all 4 buttons are flush (and the entire “switch” is also flush w/ the wall-plate). Also, I’m not a huge fan of the way it controls the bulbs, since it doesn’t integrate w/ ST and just acts as a secondary controller via a direct Zigbee link (same as the Hue Tap). Eventually ST syncs up w/ the bulbs, but it’s not instantaneous. That combo for the Lutron (difficulty using in the dark and no direct ST integration) made me want to try something else, so I then bought a Cooper Aspire RF9500, thinking that it would fit in the wall-plate the same way as the Lutron remote, but it doesn’t since the batteries are in the space where you would mount it to the junction box. Functionally, it’s definitely easier to use than the Lutron (since the entire button is clickable), but the wall-plate itself isn’t large enough for me to secure it to the wall around the existing junction box, and it looks very ghetto if I try to affix it w/ adhesive over the existing blank wall-plate.

Long story short, I’m sort of lost now as to how to control these bulbs and I feel that w/ the money spent trying to get a nice solution, I could have just purchased a regular smart switch w/ non-smart bulbs to use w/ ST (that is if there is an available neutral wire…) . Otherwise, I’m just looking for any ideas on how to get the aesthetic I want while using smart bulbs. Thanks in advance for any advice/help!

(I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own requirements, including your aesthetic preferences.)

Since you’re tying off the load anyway, why not just use a regular zwave switch, any one you prefer, and use that? Of course at that point, yes, you could’ve just used a smart switch that did control the load and use dumb bulbs. So people would normally pick that solution only if they wanted the color changing abilities of the bulbs.

You’ve probably already seen the following FAQ, but I’m just going to include this for those who find this thread later:

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Ah yes, that was the thread I was referring to originally, and I believe you actually helped me out w/ some questions about the RF9500 (although I guess I didn’t ask the all-important question of whether it would fit in a standard wall-plate :wink: ). Anyways, so you’re saying that I could buy a regular z-wave switch and just not have it connected to anything? For wiring I believe that means I would connect the hot wire and common (fingers crossed that I have one in the box or nearby) and just cap off the switched wire so it doesn’t actually do anything? At that point, I would then use the z-wave switch’s status to control the Hue group in ST?

Yes to all of the above, although if you are in the US or Canada a lot of people would buy an auxiliary switch that is designed to not control the load, if that makes sense. These are usually a few dollars cheaper than the master switches. :sunglasses:

You just need to make sure that the auxiliary switch does have A zwave radio in it. The ones for gocontrol and Cooper do. The ones for GE don’t, they use physical traveler wires to communicate to their master switch.

I also wanted to mention, though, that this method may introduce a little more lag than you’ve been getting with the Lutron or tap switch. Because the message will have to go from the switch to the hub and then back to the bulb.

Perfect, I’ll try picking up one of the auxiliary switches from Cooper, esp. since I already like their style. Also, the lag shouldn’t be a concern, as I’m fine w/ the latency of the RF9500 that I have right now, which I imagine would work in the same manner as the aux switch. Thanks again for all the info!

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