Smart switch with no load

I think I know the answer on this, but wanted to get some opinions. I have a need to hool up a smart switch to control a smart device. So basically the switch would be wired with a hot and neutral to run itself, but won't physically switch anything. Then I would have a rule to utilize the switch position to control a smart device. Any issues with this? I am running honeywell smart switches if it matters. And the smart device will be a Geldopto led controller.

I do this with my switches. I've actually got a few dummy switches with SmartThings v5 buttons soldered on their pads, so they act like buttons.

This is all assuming that your Gledopto controller is bypassing the load from the switch, and that will always be on. Perhaps it's on a different circuit, though.

The big issue with this is that you lose control of the load. So, if something goes down, you can't just use a switch to turn them on or off. I'm working on my setup to include air gaps to fix this issue, but it's something to be aware of. I'm unsure of code regulations in this area, perhaps someone could chime in on that.

If you can, the new Inovelli switches will let you use the switch in button mode, or switch mode---so you can still control load physically if something goes down, but then you can make the device act as a controller like you're looking to do.

Edit: I've also got some dummy dual/triple rocker switches in gang boxes that use contact sensors to detect when they're on/off (they're not wired to mains).

Some smart switches may work without a load wire, but I'd assume that depends on how the manufacturer designed them. (I'd guess they all would since from the switch's perspective this shouldn't be too different than if you're just, say, missing a light bulb, but some of these things are weird.) However, you don't necessarily need to take that chance: several smart switches/dimmers on the market let you hook up line, load, and (if needed) neutral but disable the relay, so it's effectively a way to control anything you want without affecting the attached load. I'm assuming your LED controller is downstream of this switch and that's why you're looking to not connect it directly to load.

Ones I'm aware of include most or all of the Zooz switches as of recent firmware updates, as well as any generation of Inovelli switch or dimmer. (I just got the new Inovelli switches and love them; the Zooz ones are great and I've bought a couple as well, but they don't have as many multi-taps and no LED to customize for notifications if you want those features.) GE and HomeSeer are two I know of that don't let you disable the relay--but you could effectively achieve the same result yourself by wiring what goes to the controller itself--what would be load from the switch--directly to line. (You'd obviously lose the ability to cut power without the breaker in that case, so this is not ideal in my opinion; the others retain this ability with either an air gap or software.)

Just some other ideas to consider!

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Thanks for the info, I ordered an Inovelli switch. I believe that means I can keep the wiring as is in the event I ever want to reset the upstream devices physically, otherwise keep the relay disabled and use it as a smart switch only?


Exactly :slight_smile: