Blue 2-1 Switches in Non Neutral Turned Off Overnight


Been having a hell of a time getting my switches setup and working reliably. I was hoping to replace the majority of switches in my home with either Blue 2-1 or Fan switches. After putting a few weekends into it I have two switches working reliably but one of those is half of a three way setup and I can’t get the Aux to work (or a second smart switch). Not where I expected to be but I’ll keep trying.

My house was build in 1995, however, single switch boxes do not have neutrals. I gave two in my kitchen a shot and installed the Inovelli switches. Wiring was probably as simple as it gets. Line, Load, Ground. The lights flickered and the switch rebooted constantly when the smart bulbs were off (Hue for one, IKEA for another) so I figured I needed a bypass or incandescent bulbs. My main goal is to use Zigbee bindings so incandescent bulbs are not an option.

Installed the bypass which was a breeze as each fixture also only had Line, Load, Ground wires and if fixed the rebooting issue on both fixtures and the flickering on one but the second, an over the table chandelier with 5x candelabra bulbs, still flickered like crazy. To troubleshoot I swapped the Ikea bulbs with Wiz (though the Wiz used less power something like 4.2W vs 4.5W) and they worked, but I can’t do the bindings with Wiz as they are WiFi bulbs.

Next I plan to move around some Hue candelabra bulbs to see if those were stable but I only have 4 so I ordered a 5th for the test before shelling out incase I have to use the Wiz.

I thought I was in pretty good shape until I can downstairs this morning. Normally the LEDs on the switch are a dim blue color when the lights are off. However, this morning, they were off. I clicked the switch a few times and nothing came on. I then used a remote I have programmed for the room and the bulbs came on so they were sill receiving power. After that the switch booted up, bulbs flashed on and off, and then everything stabilized. I can now turn things on and off and the switch stays powered however I fear that if they are off for too long the switch will die again.

Thanks’ for reading. If you have time here’s the post about the 3-way config I can’t get to work. 3 Way Two Smart w/ Smart Bulbs (Blue Switches) - Can Only Get One Switch Powered On - #12 by manofoz.

I’m a bit confused when you say each fixture only hd line load and ground. There should definitely be a neutral behind a fixture. The bypass has to be installed between the load (coming from switch) and to neutral.

Could have been deeper in the ceiling. When I unscrewed the fixture I could only see two wire nuts, black and white wires like the switches, and then the ground was just wrapped around a copper cable with no shielding. That is, all I could see was 14/2 Romex cable attached to the fixture I had unscrewed but I did not move it very far I only attached the bypass to the line and load of the fixture.

These are the only two switches in my house I’ve found so far like this, the rest of them have neutral wires tied together but not attached to anything else which I can use for the smart switches.

No idea if this could cause what I am seeing but I noticed that if I turn the bulbs off and leave the switch on, for the switch which is using Zigbee bindings to communicate with the bulbs, the LED strip stays solid blue and flickers a lot vs. how it dims when I turn it off from the binding. I re-mapped my HA light group to just point to the Zigbee group with the two bulbs and the switch in it and now no matter what I use to toggle it keeps everything in sync (unless I toggle the bulbs individually which we don’t do). I am going to leave everything off for a while and see if the dim blue LEDs stay on or if the switch still dies. Not sure how long it takes as it happened overnight.

The other switch is not in “smart bulb mode” so if I turn it off I lose connection to the bulbs. If I turn the bulbs off, however, it doesn’t flicker like the other one. I left this switch on but turned off the bulbs via home assistant to see how it does.

Don’t fall into the trap of fixating on wire colors. At a fixture, there aren’t ever 2 hots connected, there’s just one (the load hot from the switch). And a neutral - there will always be a neutral connected at the fixture (as well as a ground).

With respect, it doesn’t sound like you have a good understanding of electrical basics (which is no shade - most people don’t). Please consider hiring a professional to address any immediate needs and then take time to learn about basic residential electrical concepts before you attempt your own DIY again.

No shade taken. That makes sense, the bypass would then be plugged into the load and the neutral. There were only two wire nuts in the fixture.

I am not in a rush to get this fixed, the lights work fine when controlled via Z2M → HA. I am trying to add smart switches to the equation so I can use zigbee bindings to control the lights from the switch and not have to worry about the smart bulbs ever losing power. I have been watching YouTube videos and I thoroughly read the Inovelli manual and wiring diagrams, I have already learned a lot but don’t understand what is going on with the switch turning off after some time.

After my test to turn the switch and lights off together with the binding the switch eventually lost power. However, the switch not in smart bulb mode stayed on. I used my remote and the bulbs turned right back on so the switch isn’t cutting power to them even when it is off itself.

Did some more searching and this sounds exactly the same as what I am seeing with smart bulb mode.

They suggest to either:

  • Double up the bypass
  • Rewire light to maintain constant hot and send line/neutral to the switch (obviously I don’t know how to do this)
  • Abandon smart bulb mode for non-neutral switches

Abandoning smart bulb mode seems doable but I’d need to reconfigure a bunch of things so that the switch is toggled before a command is sent to the bulbs (not sure how the timing here works since they will be need some delay to boot before being turned to turn on) or just never toggle bulbs and always the switch in my automations.

Doubling the bypass seems like more physical work that may not even help.

Rewiring things is more appealing than the double bypass but would require some research.

I’d like to also stress call out that I’m moving in the near future and am doing this more to learn what products to purchase for my next house (looking for new construction) and I’d rather do any experimentation here than there. Now I know to ask for neutral wires included with each switch… There was a note in the manual about houses build after the 80s having them but that didn’t turn out to be the case for mine…

OK I took off smart bulb mode, will know tomorrow if that fixes the switch losing power, but it introduced some massive flickering when the hue bulbs powered on and off as the switch was toggled (I removed and bindings and it still happened).

I noticed this didn’t happen when I used my remote which turned the Zigbee group which the switch was previously bound to so I hacked up a workaround. I enabled local protection and used home assistant to turn the zb group on and off when the switch is toggled. This includes turning the switch on and off but works flawlessly. I don’t understand why the behavior was different, both used the switch to toggle the group, but it looks identical to being bound directly just without needing smart bulb mode. Only problem is it relies on my server which I was trying to avoid but I can always disable local protection manually if things go down for a while.

Me neighbor is an electrician. He knows how houses are wired and can provide solid advice but he doesn’t know about zigbee or the various configuration and quirks of this product. I don’t think I have a wiring issue here that an electrician could come in and do something about. This seems related to the amount of power the switch gets when the hue bulbs are off. Hopefully my workaround gets me past it and I find neutral wires in the rest of the boxes (they all have multiple switches but some are from multiple breakers).

Though a lot better my previous efforts were still not providing enough power to the switch when the Hue bulbs were off for it to be reliable. The hue bulbs say they use 10.5W on then (for a 70W equivalent bulb) but I’d imagine that’s the max. There are two bulbs in the fixture. I replaced the hue bulbs with my old Wiz ones which are less bright and say they only use 8.5W on them (think it’s a 60W equivalent) but they worked like a charm. Everything is stable when the lights are off and no flickers or anything when turning them back on. I’ll let it go overnight before reprogramming everything but this is a fine compromise for the two no-neutral switches I have. I’d much prefer to be able to Zigbee bind the switch to the bulbs in the fixture and I may try a second bypass down the road but I’ll move on to my next batch of switches before messing with the ones I’ve got working.

At first I thought it was strange that the WiFi Wiz bulbs worked while the Zigbee Hue bulbs caused all the issues people report when their switches don’t get enough power with the bulbs off. I expected the bypass to fix that but what do I know. My hunch is that WiFi uses more power than Zigbee and that is constant even when the bulbs are off. I have a multimeter so I could do some more experiments if anyone knows what amount of power the swtich needs in a non-neutral setting with the bulbs off to keep it from shutting off / restarting.

Sorry I mixed up the fixture wires with the switch wires. I understand why that doesn’t make sense, why would a fixture need a constant hot. I am still learning but I don’t think I need to hire a professional for something I can live without and am only doing to learn. I’m still curious what the other post was talking about when someone recommended “Rewire light to maintain constant hot and send line/neutral to the switch”. This doesn’t seem any easier than rewiring the switch so the neutral goes through it since there is only one wire going from the switch to the light you’d never be able to get a line and a neutral to the switch from there.


You can’t measure the switch power with a meter. It requires an oscilloscope.