Blue 2-1 & Red Dimmer - Phillips Hue Retrofit downlights glowing when off in smartbulb mode

Hi there, just posting to see if anybody else has experienced this & fixed it before I send these back as defective. I purchased 2 of the newest version of RGBW hue retrofits and installed one and bound it to a blue series switch in smart bulb mode. It’s the only light on the switch. The original light it replaced required a bypass which is still installed, and the switch is in neutral mode. Everything works great, except there’s a very faint glow when the light is off - similar to a light that needs a bypass, but not as bright.

To see if maybe this was a problem with the particular light, I switched it with the other one - same problem. To check the switch (although I can’t see why this would be a problem, given smart bulb mode) I installed the light in another, similar location that is on a red dimmer - same problem.

Other tests that I haven’t run include installing a second bypass, and installing both lights on a circuit and seeing if that solves it, but I am not sure I see a point in doing either of these seeing as the problem is most likely in the light itself since we’re talking about smart bulb mode. I could try removing the zigbee binding and see if that has something to do with it, but that also doesn’t seem like it makes sense to me.

technical facts:

  1. The switch is in neutral mode
  2. The switch is in smart bulb mode
  3. I’m on hubitat, and I have no Hue bridge
  4. One of the tested switch loops includes a bypass, the other did not
  5. I have a few regular Hue bulbs that are working fine in a similar setup, but note that these are retrofit can lights and not regular hue bulbs
  6. I can’t think of a six, but I already typed the number.
  7. I thought of a six - the light turns off as expected when I take the switches out of smartbulb mode and unbind them, which to me suggests that the light itself is failing to properly cut power to the LED(s).

If anybody has any ideas, thanks in advance for your help, and thanks for reading this far!

So I had all these responses typed up, but then got thrown off by your #7 and could use some clarification here if you don’t mind.

Originally, I was going to say that the bypass is likely causing your issue if you have the switch in neutral mode (and you’re sure you have a neutral) as you shouldn’t need a bypass if you have a neutral wire installed.

But then #7 came along and threw me for a loop…

Are you saying that when you remove Smart Bulb Mode and put the switch in normal mode, your Hue light turns off completely? If that’s the case, then it seems like there’s nothing wrong with the switch from a hardware perspective (as it’s doing what it’s intended to do which is turn on/off your lights).

It’s only when your switch is in SBM that you can’t turn it off (it just glows)?

EDIT: If it’s any consolation, I have this exact same setup in 3 of my daughter’s bedrooms and have never had a glowing bulb, so there’s hope! We just need to figure out what’s going on :slight_smile:

While not helpful for you, I also have Blue and Red dimmers with similar Hue bulbs (the actual BR30s, not the all-in-one-ish downlights, which it sounds like you might have instead) and various others, and also haven’t seen this. However, I’m using a Hue Bridge and not Zigbee binding, so I probably won’t be much help with that part.

One thing that might be helpful to get more information: if you leave the Blue dimmer out of the picture, does the Hue light respond as expected if you manually control it — e.g., with the “On” and “Off” commands — from the device detail page in Hubitat? And does it accurately report things under “Current States” that are consistent with the actual state of the light, no matter where it may be controlled from? (If it says “switch: on” and “level: 1” or something when you see this, then at least you know it doesn’t think it’s off. Do keep in mind that switch and level are separate attributes and you will generally not see “level: 0” when it’s off, just “switch: off” with whatever the last-on level was, so “switch” is probably the most interesting one here.)

@Eric_Inovelli to your question - yup. A little more Background - this portion of the house is an addition added in 2018 so it’s very up to code and there are definitely neutrals. I’ve got the exact same kind of retrofit downlight in several places in the room - 1 on a single switch in the reading nook, 2 on a switch in the closet, 3 on a switch for the main lighting, and another one over the shower, also on a single switch. I’ve got the same light but in a smaller size (and wattage) directly over the bed for reading. In the two places where there are single lights to a switch the bypass is required for the original lights because it leaks through and they’re kinda crappy and will activate for anything, same for the 2 smaller reading lights. 2 lights and up no bypass is needed. This is true for both reds and blues.

I had originally thought the bypass might be the issue as well which is why I threw the light onto one of the switches that isn’t currently bypassed- then I removed the extra lights to make it match and observed the same issue.

So anyways, yep - when I control power at the switch (no smartbulb mode) it works as expected. When I control power at the light (smartbulb mode) it glows. I will point out that unlike the original lights I can only see the glow when the room is pitch black - the original light was excited enough that I could see it in daylight. And just to prove that the bypass is necessary - If I go remove one of the lights in the closet, the other immediately starts to glow. No glow with both. The original lights are from Lithonia, and they’re terrible and hummed even before I started installing inovellis. About 6 watts each.

@BertABCD1234 Yep, these are the recessed can lights. my A19 bulbs in the hallway have not had this issue. The hub reports the light is off, and it responds as expected to control both at the switch and from within Hubitat and Homekit, except that it has this little glow when off. Again, it’s so faint as to be undetectable in the daytime, but since they’re in a bedroom they’ve gotta be off off.

Following you here.

I just hooked 4 hue ambiance and bound them to a blue. . In smart mode they have a very faint glow when off.

Not noticeable during the day just at night. Happens to by my kids nursery so I’m hoping to find a fix.

Did you manage to resolve it or figure it out?

Edit- i correct my original comment. On/off mode on the switch leaves them glowing too. Looking more like the cans at this point.

I had what sounds like the same problem with one of three of my newly bought Hue recessed downlights. All on same circuit. Only one would glow (faintly) when off.

Replaced the glowing one with a fourth one I bought new. Fourth one didn’t glow! So I returned the one that did.

In my case the bulb was the culprit.

If connected to hue bridge does the bulb work as expected? Off meaning off?

I will try that later tonight and let you know. If you list out any other scenarios you’d like me to check i can run through them all

Edit- i correct my original comment. On/off mode on the switch leaves them glowing too. Looking more like the cans at this point.

@mt0321 thats good news. @Bfotmt I never did, but I saw other reports of this problem in the amazon reviews so i’m sending mine back tomorrow. Will probably reorder and try again, and if that doesn’t do it then I’ll just work out a different solution.

I’ve read this thread at least 10x and am just as perplexed as the first time as to why this might be happening.

Then I realized I was reading two different people’s comments and mixing them haha

@Bfotmt and @garrettlr you guys have the same initials and I wasn’t paying attention to the screen-name. Let me try to tackle this one at a time.


I’m curious to hear what happens too when you pair it to Hue, that’s the only thing I can think of in your scenario outside of swapping the Blue Series w/another one to rule out the switch.


Keep us posted on the replacement!

Put in 4 New Hue Cans- They’re still glowing after shutoff. They glowed with the Blue Switch in smart mode, and in on/off.

Next step is to pair back to hue app to see, however I did that in the previous set and it didn’t work.

After that I’ll put in a new switch.

After that I’ll have to test to see if there’s residual current issues in the lines at the can/socket itself.

I’ll update as we go.

This doesn’t make sense to me. The bulbs would be receiving the off message from the Hue hub and should not be glowing at all. The switch shouldn’t even me in the equation other than using smart bulb mode which provides full time voltage. If it’s glowing while being connected to the Hue hub, I don’t think it’s a switch problem.

Now if Binded to the switch and still glowing when turned off there may be a firmware issue that needs to be looked at as perhaps the message is issuing the wrong command or level.

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So I put in 4 new Hue Cans.

I pulled out the original blue, and put in a standard on/off dumb switch. Everything worked like it should and obviously when the dumb switch cuts power the bulbs are off with no glow.

I installed a new blue and installed everything as new. Smart switch mode etc. The new cans start to glow at night when off. It’s really faint but it’s in a nursery so I can only work on it for a short time while it’s dark and unoccupied.

I wanted to make sure there wasn’t too high a voltage to the cans possibly causing this, but it’s dead on at 120. So I’m left thinking that it’s likely the switch and how it’s communicating with the Hue bulbs and somehow not giving a full shutdown message.

If worse comes to worse I’ll just buy a lockout dumb switch and then get a paired Hue remote to stick on the wall. Obviously not ideal.

Welcome thoughts or recommendations!

Sorry if you already did this, but I read the thread a couple times and didn’t see a straight answer so I wasn’t sure (I’m also coming down with a cold, so I may have missed it), but have you tried the scenario where you have the Blue Series in Smart Bulb Mode and the Hue lights paired to the Hue bridge and you turned off the Hue’s via the Hue app?

In other words, let’s test to see if they actually turn off via the Hue bridge while leaving the Inovelli on Smart Bulb Mode.

This way we can at least rule out the Hue bulbs as being defective (I doubt they are as it sounds like you replaced all 4?)

Can you also let us know what Hub you’re using and, if applicable, what Driver you have installed?

I will do that scenario tonight. I’ll pull them off Hubitat and sync them to Hue and let you know what results.

I did replace with 4 new cans.

Using Hubitat

[Inovelli Dimmer 2-in-1 Blue Series VZM31-SN] return “2022-11-05”

Sorry to hear you’re sick, hope it passes quick!


Ok awesome, that will be helpful to see – maybe for some reason it’s a driver issue, I’m not sure. I don’t have Hubitat at my house so I can’t replicate fully with the cans, but I have Hubitat at the office and have my switch bound to a Hue A19 and it appears to be fully off.

Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this!

So I pulled the lights off and removed all bindings. Did a reset of the hue bulbs then added them to the hue app. Go figure all 4 start glowing.

So at this point it can only be the lights. Which means I got 8 bad ones in a row? Either way I’ll call Phillips tomorrow to see what they have to say. I know the glowing is a known issue for them, and frankly I probably wouldn’t care if it wasn’t in a nursery.

Do you have any smart lights that you recommend that you’ve had success with? The reason this all started was because the standard LED cans on a standard dimmer (and later the blue switch) all flickered when dimmed. I must’ve gone through 6 different dumb lights. In the end the hue dims and is the first light I’ve had without flicker, it just has the bulb glow.

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Man what are the odds? Hue has one of the best reputations so I would try to exchange the bulbs with another set if under warranty or under exchange terms.

Maybe there’s a bulb firmware update that helps resolve the issue?

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In your latest test, the Blue is still in the picture, but in smart bulb mode, right? I’m sorry if I missed it, but did you try:

Keep bulbs connected to Hue app. Remove the Blue switch, replace with a dumb switch. Keep dumb switch on. Use Hue app to turn off the lights. Do they glow still? And, after waiting like 30 seconds?


I havent tried that. But I’ll do that tomorrow when I can get in there and I’ll report back.

That is the ultimate test on if it’s the bulbs.


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