What do you do about wall switches when you have smart lightbulbs?

I'm wondering what people are doing about their wall switches when they have smart lightbulbs. It seems like overkill to have a smart switch as well as smart lightbulbs, and in any case the bulbs would be more responsive if they were kept powered.

So far I'm thinking along the lines of having a zigbee in-wall switch behind my existing momentary button (so that it matches rest of the house), and having it paired directly to zigbee bulbs, so that it will still work if/when the hub dies.

But, this would require bridging the circuit where the old switch used to be. Is this even legal in Australia? It seems very dangerous if someone unknowingly tried to change a light bulb, thinking that the power is cut. (Sure, if you are aware, you could switch off all lights at the switchboard).

I'm specifically not interested in dumb lights with smart switches, as I would like to control colour temp at different times of day, and would like to dim the lights very low.


Here is a recent thread where someone asked a similar question, and you will probably find the replies (mine is the first one, but there are many other good ideas later on) helpful:

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If you have smart light bulbs, they need to be powered on at all times. Then they can be controlled by a smart app, voice assistant or your Hubitat. By using smart light bulbs, you give up the option of controlling the bulb by a switch or dimmer.

Because smart bulbs are less expensive than most dimmers, there are situations where they are ideal. If you want the ability to change the hue of the bulb, then that is the only option. When I first set up my home automation system, I used a number of Phillips Hue bulbs to reduce costs. Over time I have replaced these bulbs with Lutron Caseta dimmers. Unlike Hue, they will function with or without a hub. I still have five Hue bulbs in service being controlled either by Hubitat or Alexa. In each of those cases, the bulbs are in lamps that are plugged into a wall outlet rather than being controlled by a wall switch. My wall switches have been converted to Lutron. I even have some plug in lamps with multiple bulbs that use Lutron plug in dimmers. Of all my home automation devices, Lutron Caseta has proven itself to be the least problematic. However, I do not know if Lutron Caseta devices are available in Australia.

Thanks. I was aware of switches that could separate the button from the relay, but I imagine the extra delay in going through rules on the hub would be annoying, and won't work if the hub goes down.

Which is what led me to the Zigbee direct association idea. I already have momentary push button mechanisms that I'd like to keep to match the rest of the house, so would need to find something to be wired in-wall. But changing batteries behind a switch or getting it powered by 240V would be a real pain.

Seems like Tuya and Aqara are the only companies that have complete solutions, and neither are certified for Australia in Zigbee form.

LOL. My wife would kill me!

Lutron makes a dimmer which covers the existing switch, locking it in the “on” position, and gives you a Zigbee dimmer that you can use to control that bulb (or anything else)

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Yeah, don't seem to be available here. They're also quite expensive if doing the whole house. I'm trying to stick to Zigbee as much as possible to keep costs down.

Oops, missed that. :man_facepalming:

I used the equivalent for the locations where I used smart bulbs with dumb switches (to prevent the switch from being thrown). The ones I got matched the color of the switches and since the lighting automation works reliably, my wife hasn't cared one bit about them.

I used ones like at this link, because those are the old dumb switches (non-Decora).

Most the the rest of the house I replaced the old switches with Inovelli Red dimmers.


Yes, they are expensive. They are about $60 USD each here in the States. I have 16 dimmers and switches. By the time you add the Pro2 bridge you are looking at over $1000. That is why I started with a few of them and added a couple at a time. I do consider them to be worth every penny I spent. They work every time. I wish I could say that about Zigbee and Z-wave devices.

WAF... My wife still uses wall switches to operate lights.

And another major reason of using small light bulbs without a smart switch is I can dim the light (or even change white/color) without installing and additional cost of a wall dimmer switch (which most don't work well with LED anyway. I can install wall switch myself but for those can't do that, additional handyman cost) and just one good wall dimmer costs more than a few of my Ecosmart and Lightify bulbs.

I was in the same situation.

I had one wall switch that turned all the outdoor lights on and off.

I wanted the lights by the garage controlled by time of day. I wanted the porch lights controlled by porch motion. I wanted outdoor floods to be on at night and controlled by motion individually.

So, I used my LIFX bulbs for the porch and the garage. They are not rated for outdoor but seem to be safe in their fixtures.

I used Singled floods with light and motion sensing.

To address your question specifically, I used an Inovelli Red for the main switch and turned off local control.

Works for me.

Zooz 700 series switches can also seperate the relay from the physical switch action. They also seperate the on off attribute from it as well. I have a zooz 700 series dimmer toggle switch cobtrolling a wifi enable philips wiz connected bulb. It works really well aside from a 1-2 second delay. It works reliably enough she doesn't wait for the action to actually execute. I also managed with some creative stuff in RM to get dimmer control and some of the Wiz scenes activates with the switch.

As others have indicated it was to maintain WAF for a switch she uses to control the bulb. In my house a simple rule has become the requirement for any automation i inplement. Simply put regurdless of what it does automatically there has to be a manual control option for those that need something different.

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Thank you everyone for your replies. Confirms that everyone is using a relay with switch configured to send messages to hub without controlling the relay.

I mentioned above that I was thinking of doing the same with Zigbee switches, but also do a direct association between the switch and the lights, so that it would still work if/when the hub goes offline. It requires the switch to support ZLL, but sadly I wasn't able to find any of those in-wall switch modules that support it. Oh well, not a big deal. I currently have Z-Wave switches that do allow button to be disconnect from relay, so I'll stick to those for now.

I use Zooz ZEN32 Scene Controller. The switch has physical control disabled, so the bulbs are always powered, i.e. 6 Sylvania Color Recessed Lights.

Main button for on/off all recessed lights.
2 buttons for on/off some of those lights for specific areas.
The last 2 buttons act as override switches to control outdoor motion sensing porch lights and flood lights (regular motion sensing light fixture converted into "smart" motion light using 2-gang zigbee or z-wave switch module)

Other smart bulbs, mainly for dimming and color control, in house are still using dumb switch because of WAF.

Side notes, Zooz has ZEN32 in US on sale again for labor day sale.

Zooz switches have “smart bulb mode” that essentially keeps power to them. Toggling the button will send it via zwave instead of cutting the power.

It doesn't have to be a zwave device though. I use mine to control a wifi bulb. You just have to use button controller or RM if you are pre 2.2.8 To trigger the actions based on the device state going fron on to off or vice versa in hubitat.

This image shows the settings in the driver i used to set the configuration. The big thing was to diable control of the relay whis is #15. Then to set the optiob to maintain the power state based on the button presses which is #21 to report the changes. That ensures the switch tells Hubitat about the switch change so it is aware you tried to turn it on or off.