How to Control Smart Bulb On/Off/Dimmer with a Normal looking non-battery powered wall switch?

I just connected my first smart bulbs to my new Hubitat and I have full control over them.

What I didn't realize is that the smart bulbs need to have power on them for the automation to work.

We were planning on using a bunch of smart bulbs, but we have a lot of existing three way switches and dimmers that we would have to replace. I want to be able to turn the new smart bulbs on/off/dim from the existing locations, so I think I need a smart controller? I do not want to deal with batteries or remotes. I just want control over the smart bulbs from existing locations. seems to have exactly what I'm looking for, but they don't expect stock until September.

Zooz might have what I'm looking for, but I can't tell for sure if the dimmer function is only applied to the connected lights, or whether the dimmer controls are sent to the z-wave. Also everything I have so far is zigbee, so I'd like to stay with that platform if I can.

I bought some Leviton DG15S-1BW Decora Smart Switches before I fully understood the problem and am now wondering of the controls are only one way from the hub to the switch.

This seems like a no-brainer product for home automation and I can't believe that it's so hard to find.

Any help would be appreciated.

Zooz will do everything you want... Inovelli will be coming out with their Blue series (zigbee) soon..

Both, or either one, or neither depending upon how parameters are set. By default the dimmer does both (physical and digital dimming), but you can (on some of the Zooz dimmers) prevent the physical voltage from changing when you press the dimmer "bulb mode" and just send the digital signal to the hub.

I might not understand what you are asking here, but the switch and hub always have to have two-way communication, otherwise either the button on the wall couldn't tell the hub what to do, or your dashboards and automations couldn't tell the dimmer what to do.

Those appear to be switches, not dimmers. (Dimmers are DG6HD as their part number) Switches don't have the capability to send dimming signals. So maybe that is part of the problem you are having? The other part is I don't believe these to have smart bulb mode where you can decouple the physical and digital actions of the switch.

The problem I'm having is that I don't have a switch to try and the switch descriptions seem to focus on the hub to switch communication and ignore the switch to hub communication. They all tell me that I can control the lights hardwired to the switch, but I don't care about that because I won't have any hardwired bulbs connected to it. There is usually no mention of what signals I can use in the hub.

Ideally, it seems all I need to do to setup smart bulbs for automation and local control is: remove the existing dumb switch, connect the light wire to hot permanently, connect a smart switch to hot and neutral that will send the on/off/dim commands to the hub, synch the new smart switch to the hub, then program what to do with the commands.

Most of the smart switches that look like the old switches explicitly tell me that the hub can control the smart switch output voltage to dim hardwired lights, which I do not care about because the smart bulbs need to be controlled by the hub and are not hardwired to the switch at all. They do not mention anything about on/off/dim commands being sent to the hub. Sure they can tell the hub their current status, but can I use that to turn on/off/dim a smart bulb that is not connected to it. Example description: "The DG15S provides On and Off of connected lighting via the manual Decora rocker switch or can be controlled wirelessly
as part of a Zigbee network"

The Inovelli descriptions give me a high confidence that on/off/dim presses on the switch are sent to the hub so the hub can send commands to the smart bulbs. 'Smart Bulb Mode allows power to remain at the smart bulb and the switch sends a digital signal to the hub to turn on/off and/or dim the light bulb"

The Zooz switches descriptions seem like on/off/dim presses they will be sent to the hub so I can do something with them, but I'm not 100% sure. "Adjust brightness from the smart dimmer directly, from your Z-Wave interface, or through voice if your smart speaker is integrated with your hub. The on/off switches connected to the ZEN77 will turn the light off and back on to the last brightness level with a status update sent back to the controller every time"

The rest of the ones that know will work are battery operated remotes that do or don't cover my existing switches and I don't want/need to deal with batteries when there is 120V right there.

You can do this but be aware this is against code and if there is a problem with the bulb breaking down in some fashion it can cause an electrical fire. With a switch in place at least there is a cut off readily available. Not saying it will happen, but it can happen. I would not risk that with my family in the house.

Yes but the bulbs also need to be compatible. The hub sends commands to the switch which then sends the command to the bulb. In the case of zooz/inovelli smart bulb mode, power is maintained at 120v to the bulb and the switch itself basically becomes a scene controller that sends commands to the bulb (this is done usually seperately from hub commands though you can run then together or in any combination) but voltage remains constant. So you can also program the switch as a standard button controller to even control other stuff.

1 Like

The safety cutoff is a good point, but if the inovelli/zooz smart bulb mode keeps the voltage on the plug and only acts a scene controller, how would be any different than hardwiring with a scene controller?

Pull the disconnect tab on the switch.... That cuts power to the switch.

1 Like

I see there is something called an air gap on the switch that has some comments in the help forum that indicate it might not actually disconnect the power, but can find no indication of something like that in the zooz switch instruction manual.

Are you talking about the air gap?

Yes... It actually does kill power to the entire switch on zooz, inovelli, and Lutron

Download the Hubitat app