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Bypass required if relay disabled?

I want to install Red Series dimmers to control smart bulbs. This would be a no neutral installation. I want to disable the relays and control everything through scenes/automations (with home assistant). This was the setup I had at my previous house, but there I had neutral and used other dimmers.

Do I still need a bypass if I’m going to disable the relay?

I don’t think you’ll need the bypass since the smart bulb will be always energized and the illumination is controlled by the bulb via z wave or other protocols.

That’s what I thought, just wanted to make sure in case I’ve missed something. Thanks!

I don’t know for sure, but it seems to me that even if the bulb is energized 100% of the time, if it doesn’t draw enough the switch won’t be powered properly. Just my WAG.

Only if you keep “disable local” remote off and accidentally shut off the switch. otherwise the line should be putting out full power (especially smart bulb mode firmware).

I am not following that at all so I’m just going to grab some popcorn and watch. It seems to me that even if dimmer has the relay disabled, since this is a non-neutral installation, the switch won’t get powered properly if the bulbs don’t draw enough.

I know that disabling the relay is one of @Eric_Inovelli’s favorite topics, so maybe he can commment here regarding bypass requirements for non-neutrals with the relay disabled.

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I tried connecting a Red Series dimmer to a single Inovelli LZW42 RGB bulb without a neutral and it didnt work for me. The switch would constantly reboot itself, causing the bulb to flash like a strobe light.

I agree with @Bry in that it might or might not work. I think its going to depend on if the switch is able to draw enough current to remain powered up when the bulbs are off.

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Lol - yeah @Bry put it in quotes!

@harjms, I’ve never tried this, but I would think it would have tbe same effect as a dumb bulb in that even though it’s at full dim, it’s still only 7W, which is below the 25W needed, but I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn Express lately, so I could be wrong.

@Eric_Inovelli - Sounds like a good work bench project to tackle.

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Awesome, let me know when you’re done - I’m curious on the results!

Lol…I thought you or @Bry could do it as you all make the big bucks. Or we can wait until @reven reports if it works or not.

I can only guess about your wiring … but if the bulb being switched is being replaced with a smart bulb, and the wiring to the switch is a line/load round trip from the fixture that’s robbing your switch box of a neutral; in this case, there’s no need to leave the fixture itself switched.
The single Romex line from the fixture could be moved in parallel with the fixture, and the switch would just be loadless with the incoming hot and neutral - so no bypass concerns would exist for the switch side, and the bulb would have constant power.

May not apply if that’s not the situation you’re in though.

@kitt001 - That is an option and I would trust myself with that option; however, if any type of maintenance ever needs to be performed on the bulb holder, then it would always be hot. The person would need to know that in order to secure power, he or she needs to open the circuit breaker to safely isolate themselves from 120 volts. Others would forget and would be something to disclose to the next homeowners.

@harjms, That’s a good point, but turning off local control of the switch to keep the circuit hot for the smart bulb, effectively creates the same situation.

Personally, I don’t play with wires until I’ve shut the circuit off, but I realize that there are those that do, which makes your comment plenty valid. But in the case of selling the property, I think the original configuration would need to be restored anyway (some wiring in my house certainly will) because unless the hub is sold with the property, the lights won’t work anymore.

Also, IF it is a line/load run from the fixture, that means the wiring at the fixture is already always hot anyway … flipping the switch off wouldn’t make the bulb holder any safer to open.

The junction box would be “hot”, not the fixture. Also, the wires within the junction box are usually protected (sheath, wire nuts, sometimes electrical tape on top, etc…) and is acceptable to break the plane for testing.

Your first reply is definitely valid though. Again I’d be okay with your approach for sure. My other half is not the one replacing bulbs so if I shock myself, I’m at fault. “Disabling local relay” would keep the load fully powered, but could be turn off by enabling it with the config button and then turning off the load (however there’ll be bleed over still in non neutral setup).

I definitely don’t like being shocked. I’ve only got myself twice in my adulthood. First time was a lose connector on an UPS chassis. 48vdc didn’t feel good. The other time was installing an Inovelli switch that was fed from another breaker that I didn’t know about. My fault on that one. I’m typically more careful because at work I work with 440 3-Ph loads and really prefer not to be grabbed by that.

I’ve recently thought about this and how I would go about it. I plan on leaving my hub and deregistered from my account. I’ll let the next home owner worry about it if they chose to. The switches will work without a hub so thankfully there’s that. Otherwise I’m avoiding the hours of re-work putting in dumb switches. I rather give away a $100 hub than remove and install new switches.

I’ve been bitten a few times (ironically enough, twice by shorted UPS chassis in my data centers), and twice by 120v where neutral lines were crossed and acted hot with the breaker off … talk about a surprise. lol

I do agree with the distinction between the junction box and the fixture, and perhaps I under assess the risk of changing bulbs. I tend to assume that most people are of the mind that if ‘you’re not sure, don’t touch it’ … even though my wife has a habit of touching things that might be hot to see if they’re actually hot :roll_eyes:

In typical installations where the switch is actually switching, or where it’s using z-wave associations this is true. If, however, the usage is via bindings, groups, automations, etc as described by Reven, the setup is going to be at the mercy of the hub.

$100 hub plus $1000 in switches? No thanks :D.

I look at it as the cost of doing business. If the buyer is totally a nerd, probably got him roped in. Older folks, eh they’ll like the largely seen LED at night to walk to the bathroom. Our area for home sales are insane right now. I’ve only own for two years and up 100k in equity with minimum work.

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