3-way Red Dimmer Clicking itself off

I have a setup where I have an inovelli red dimmer wired to line/load in a 3-way with a dumb 3-way switch with neutral all-around. The Red Dimmer is powering a single LZW42 RGBW Ilumin bulb. Simple setup, works great minus shutting off the bulb power when turned off (I’ll get an Aux switch eventually).

I have an issue where when the Ilumin is controlled from ~50% or higher to 1% brightness for bedtime (it’s in the kids’ upstairs hallway), the relay is clicking on the Red Dimmer and the switch is shutting off power to the bulb. It’s repeatable probably 90% of the time. When I click the switch back on it works perfectly and the bulb is at 1%, but I’d prefer it working as intended (working on/off and letting the bulb do the dimming).

I have it set as Neutral, 3-way Toggle, Disable delay Yes, and Smart Bulb Mode Yes.

Is this another one where I should set the max to 80% (like my other 4-way with dumb bulb)? Will that hurt the bulb?

This makes perfect sense.

Short answer- try a bypass module, even though you have a neutral wire, that may solve it. Or get a companion switch for the 3way instead of a dumb switch, which will definitely solve it. Or use a dumb bulb rather than a smart bulb.

Long answer- in a dumb switch 3way config, the Inovelli dimmer can send output power either to the Load or Traveler wire. The 3 way dumb switch connects the light’s Load wire to either of the two terminals coming from the Inovelli switch. So the Inovelli switch is constantly measuring the voltage on both Load and Traveler; one will always be connected to nothing, the other will always be connected through the load to neutral. When you toggle the dumb switch, the two switch- the terminal that was disconnected becomes connected to the load, and the one that had the load is disconnected. So when it detects the dumb switch has been toggled, it turns the dimmer output on/off and clicks the relay.

Problem is, you have only one bulb on the relay and it’s a dimmable smart bulb. What I think is happening is when you dim the bulb, the amount of power that can flow through the bulb is reduced, and the Inovelli interprets this as you toggling the dumb switch.

Thus my suggestion of a bypass module- you’d need two actually, one from load to neutral, one from traveler to neutral. They could go right behind the Inovelli switch, or you could use one bypass in the light fixture connecting load to neutral. What this would do is provide a constant baseline power load on the line, maybe enough that the switch would detect it and not just see wattage falling and assume the 3way was toggled.

The companion switch (GE / HomeSeer brand 3way aux switch) sidesteps this problem entirely, because the Inovelli is now sensing for the aux switch signal rather than trying to measure voltage or power flow.

I doubt any combination of Z-Wave parameters will help solve this because the issue is electrical not logical- dimming the bulb looks to the dimmer like the switch was toggled.

I would also bet money that if you replace the smart bulb with a dumb bulb (incandescent or LED) this behavior will stop and the switch will work correctly.

Hope that helps!

Hey @kreene1987 – are you using Association’s or scenes with this one?

No do not do this – all smart bulbs require the full 100% to work.

I think what the issue is here is that it’s wired to work in a 3-Way setting with a dumb switch. The relay clicking indicates this (if it was set to work with an aux switch, there is no clicking). If it’s wired to work with a dumb switch, I’m not sure smart bulb mode will work. Reason being is that smart bulb mode is activated when there’s an aux switch wired to it. I believe the reasoning was that no one would use smart bulbs in a 3-Way setting without an auxiliary switch as a dumb switch would just cut power to the circuit.

@EricM_Inovelli – is this correct?

@kreene1987 – can you set the switch to, “Single-Pole” or “3-Way Momentary” and see if that fixes it? Granted your dumb switch will no longer work, but I’m guessing that’s ok as you’re controlling a smart bulb.

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Yeah, you are correct. The dumb switch configuration will kill power to the smart bulb when toggled off. There really isn’t a way around this other than using an aux switch or a second Inovelli switch in place of the dumb switch.

With all these questions about how to prevent power from being cut to a smart bulb, wouldn’t it be easier to bypass the switch entirely?

I think some want to keep the air gap capability.

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Yeah, that’s helpful—otherwise you’re needing to throw the breaker to change a lightbulb… if that’s even a thing these days of embedded LED luminaries… :smile: