3-Way Red Dimmer with Aux to control Hue Lights (Smart Bulb Mode)

I just received Red dimmers (Firmware 1.57) and and am getting them hooked up in my home using SmartThings.

I installed the device handler, and local control is disabled. I have several 2-way switches working well with “Smart Bulb Mode” to control Philips Hue can lights. I have automations to turn on or off the Hue lights with one button press (up or down, respectively), and to dim with the switch while holding buttons.

Now I have tried hooking up a 3-way switch using a GE Aux switch (ZW2004). The switches are hooked up correctly, and both have a neutral.
param 21 = 1
param 22 = 2
param 52 = 1

Paramaters 21 and 22 have been set at the switch, as I have read others have had issue with them not being saved when set from the hub.

The Red dimmer works fine, it maintains power to the lights, and will run the automations to turn the lights on, off, or dim.

When the lights are on, and the down button is pushed on the Aux switch, the lights properly turn off, and the LED on the dimmer turns off as well. Full power remains to the Hue lights, as it should be.

However, when I try to use the Aux switch to turn the lights on, the Hue lights give a brief flash of light (100ms), and then turn off. The LED on the Red dimmer turns on, and the can lights have power (I can manipulate them independently using ST or Hue apps), but they remain unlit until I light them with the app, or turn the Red dimmer off and then on again.

I have read about some issues with others using Aux in the past, but did was unsure about the current state, from what I have read, it sounds like the new firmware (1.57) which my switches came with, had updates specifically to address Aux switches.

Is there a known issue with Aux switches and “Smart Bulb Mode”?

Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.


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Set the max dim level to 80 and see if you have the same results.

I tried this today at lunch with no luck. I set the max dim level to 80, 50, 25, and all still have the same issue.

I also tried setting params 1-4, dim speed and ramp rate to 50 and 0, with no luck.

I am wondering if I just have a bad switch.

I will try swapping it out for another Red Dimmer tonight and report back.

I swapped out the switch with no luck.- So it is not a problem with the switch.

I checked voltage, and the switch continues to output 120V.

When I use the Aux switch, it does control the Red dimmer. I can see the LED bar on the Dimmer turn on, off, and dim up and down as I push on the Aux switch from across the room.

However, the Aux switch will not trigger an automation, which is disappointing. I confirmed this by deleting the automation and making a new one incase that version was corrupt. I also added other Hue lights, bulbs and light strips incase it was a device type that was having issues. No dice.

Does anyone have this working with SmartThings? (3-way Red Dimmer + Aux to control SmartThings Automation)


I don’t use Hue bulbs, but here is the issue I think you are facing. As you have noted, the Hue bulbs need to be controlled via scenes. You’ve done that and they are working correctly from the dimmer.

The problem is that AFAIK, the Aux switch is not capable of instructing the dimmer to run a scene. This was discussed a little over a year ago. At that point, @eric_inovelli advised that Inovelli was trying to get an alternate firmware version that would support that capability from the Aux. I haven’t seen the issue discussed since.

Tagging @datavortex since he was trying to do essentially the same thing with Hue bulbs.

Eric’s response . . . also read @datavortex’s description the post above:

Pretty much. In order to get scene control from an “aux” you will need to put another red series in the aux position.

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Yep, easy enough to do. Just route a hot and neutral to the other box. No traveler needed. You are just powering the switch/dimmer as a scene controller.

I wouldn’t wait for a firmware upgrade. I don’t believe the manufacturer was able to come up with a solution.

A second Red Dimmer switch for every 3-way I have is an expensive solution, especially when I have GE Aux switches already.

After, reading your comments, and thinking about the switches and automations, I remembered that the down button does turn off the Hue lights. This means that one press of the down button will initiate an automation. I confirmed this by changing up the automation, and confirmed that the down button on an Aux switch will initiated an automation, but not the up button.

However, this still doesn’t really help, since I need both.

I have found a Smartthings app called ‘Dim With Me’. Which I am able to use this instead of an automation. The Hue lights are supposed to follow the Dim status of the “Master” (Red switch), so it should work regardless of whether the slave or dimmer is used.

The slave works to turn the Hue lights on or off, but ironically, the dim status is not working when the Aux is used.

Some of what I have read says the Dim with me app, works best when using a virtual dimmer, so maybe I can try playing around with that in the future to see if I can get the Aux dimming to work.

For now, I am fine being able to turn my Hue lights on and off from both swithes, and dim from the Red dimmer.