98F is normal based on what? Might there be some documentation supporting that?
Do all these 3 in 1’s generate that much heat in switch mode? This switch is at 98 on the screw while hanging out of the box. I am concerned about that when stuffed into a 3 gang switch box with other 3 in 1 switches. Seems like a lot of heat for a non-dimmer. Especially when I am significantly below the max 300 watts the thing is rated for. In comparison my GE switch is at approx. room temp with about 350 watts of load.
Perhaps someone from Inovelli could comment on this being normal? If it is I will move on. Just seems hot to me.
I’m asking an engineer about your specific scenario, but operating temperature is the “allowable temperature range of the local ambient environment”. There is an internal temperature sensor on the zigbee chip that will shut down the switch if it gets too hot (on firmware 2.15+).
I’m guessing that is the firmware version you have?
I appreciate you looking into this for me. I am on 2.15 firmware.
I get its in the operating temperature range. I really just want confirmation that this is the “norm” . While its not in the “problem” range it seems like a lot of heat from something in switch mode. This particular switch is only going to have one of these in the box but I have another 3 gang box I want to do all three with and I am worried about that much heat all crammed in a small space like that.
At my old house I had dozens of the previous red switches and I dont recall this ever being a problem with them.
Trying to dig into this more as the engineers are on holiday. It seems like these lights are outlet based so there may be some kind of tranformer that does not play nice with the switch. We don’t recommend that you hook the switch up to an outlet, but I am also wondering if there is anything else using the outlet? Or did you splice the harbor freight cord directly into the Inovelli (which also isn’t recommended)? If you could get a neutral connection you could use it in full-sine wave mode, but again, definitely don’t recommend that you hook it up to an outlet.
This isn’t an emergency so if it waits for an engineer to return no worries.
These are shop lights so they are using receptacles to plug in the lights. That’s pretty standard especially in a garage/basement. There is nothing else other than the lights plugged into those outlets. Electrically the receptacles should make zero difference but perhaps there is something about the fixtures themselves. They are Harbor Freight so I would not put that out of the realm of possibility.
When I first noticed the heat I put an amp meter on the circuit at the switch and unplugged all the lights to confirm there was nothing else I didn’t know about on the line. There isn’t. The total current being drawn also matches the total expected from the fixtures.
Perhaps this is a side effect of being non-neutral but it almost seems to me like the thing is in dimmer mode but at 100% (don’t know how else to describe that). I wish I could get a neutral to this switch but unfortunately that is a major undertaking.
Either way when you can some confirmation would be great. Without at least an understanding of why there is so much heat I am not comfortable using this long term.
Actually, converting is is a simple process. TBH, wiring a smart switch to a receptacle likely isn’t code complaint, so it’s in your best interest to wire it properly.
As I understand it, you have the switch wired as a switched receptacle. There is a 2-wire running between the receptacle and the switch box. This causes a non-neutral at the switch box and is commonly known as a switch loop.
At the receptacle, you presently have an incoming constant hot and neutral. The solution here is to wire the receptacle to be hot full time using that incoming constant hot and neutral. (If only have of the receptacle is switched, then just replace the receptacle with one that doesn’t have the tab broken.) Then connect the 2-wire going to the switch to the other terminals on the receptacle. Now you have a hot and neutral at the switch.
With a hot a neutral at the switch, you can power the Inovelli as a scene controller. You won’t be physically switching anything via the switch, but you will operate remote devices using scenes or by binding. In your situation, I’d just get a pocket plug to plug the shop light into and then turn it on and off via a command from the Inovelli.
I am aware I could wire this up as a smart switch and then use plugs to control the actual loads but that would require finding the wire in the ceiling where the hot comes down to the switch. Unfortunately I have been unable to locate its source and suspect that someone who owned the house before me tied this all together in a junction box that has since been drywalled over. That is definitely not “code compliant” but it is what it is. I have plans next spring to gut that side of the workshop anyway so I will probably find it then. That’s exactly why I put a meter on it to make sure there was zero draw when the fixtures were unplugged because I was not 100% positive where the wire went off to.
At this point I am really just interested in getting to the bottom of why this is running so hot before I purchase any more of these 2 in 1 blue switches. This particular situation isn’t that bad. I am more worried about sticking three of these in a 3 gang box if they normally heat up this high.
No, I wish it was at the receptacle and in many cases it would be but, in my case there are actually three receptacles for three fixtures spread across the room. None of which have the switch leg going into them. I suspect someone put a junction box in the middle of the room somewhere and branched all the receptacles out of it. That switch leg is tied together in there. That is the box I cannot find and suspect is under drywall. Its a silly configuration but I am the third owner of this house and the number of silly things like this are in the double digits at this point.
Again, I am really just interested in determining if it is normal for these things to run at this temperature before I get more. It is hotter than I am comfortable with. I am also happy to wait for the Engineer to give me a reply on the reason for the heat.
If its “unexplainable” then I will take it out, wire it up on the table with a similar load in the same configuration and see if the heat is still there.
I suspect there’s an incompatibility with the load… those are big LEDs and I wouldn’t be surprised to find a ballast or choke tucked up in the little black power conditioning unit on the end of the fixture. The online manual says nothing about this, unfortunately… you’d have to disassemble it to see if there’s an inductor inside. I do note that they use a 3-prong plug and make statements about needing a ground wire for safety. Your setup doesn’t offer separate ground and neutral connections, but I can’t imagine how that could cause an issue (beyond the safety issues Braun calls out).
As a test: do you have a floor lamp and a selection of bulbs available? It might help to plug in just the floor lamp and see how the switch temperature behaves with an incandescent bulb and/or a smaller LED bulb.
You’re at 216W of LED on a switch that is rated for a maximum of 300W of LED. It will run warm to the touch with that much load. 98*F is not hot for power electronics.
Since you seem to have missed my last post, it never works as a switch aka relay or contact. It’s always a dimmer, just locked to either it’s internal 100% brightness or off when in “switch” mode which isn’t full-on 120V but rather about 80% of that.
The amount of heat in a 3-gang box will depend on the loads on all 3 switches. If they all have much lower loads then the box won’t get very hot. If they are all loaded to 200-300W and all on at the same time then expect it to run quite warm.
If you are correct and the internal workings on this thing are really just a dimmer locked into full on then I would expect some heat and this would all feel normal to me. I was under the impression that these switches actually had different ways to handle switch vs dimmer mode and were not just pegging the dimmer to full on.
I’m not sure where that belief came from (thin air I imagine - ).
If someone from Inovelli can confirm that it would be great?
That would make me feel like this thing is behaving normal. It would also mean I would expect a similar amount of heat from an incandescent load of similar size (which I intend to test later today).