Can I use the Blue series in on/off mode to control an outlet? SOLVED (no)

I know that I can’t use a dimmer on an outlet, but can I use the blue series in on/off mode to control an outlet? It’s a single pole set up with a neutral wire.

My question to you what will you be controlling?

If want to be electrical code compliant, you cannot use an Inovelli or any smart switch on an outlet. In the US, the NEC provides that the switch must be rated for the capacity of the branch circuit. By design, smart switches have much lower power capacity than the typical 15A or 20A circuits.

The reasoning for that is that the switch must be able to handle whatever is plugged into the receptacle, such as a vacuum, space heater, blow dryer, etc. There is one exception where you provision the outlet with this weird receptacle that only allows a particular plug to go into it. The idea is that if you want to use a lamp with the receptacle, you’d change out the plug on the lamp so only the lamp could be plugged into it. I’ve never see that used IRL.


It’s fairly simple to “rejigger” the wiring so the outlet is always powered, and the switch receives power but has no load. Then you can bind the switch to a Zigbee plug to control a lamp or whatever. I’ve done that on a couple of places in my house.

It accomplishes basically the same thing, but in a safe and compliant manner.


It controls two outlets that have LED strips plugged into them.

Interesting. That’s a good (and safe/compliant) idea that I’ll look into.


Exactly! And if the receptacle is a split receptacle where one outlet is always hot, just replace the receptacles and don’t break the tabs.

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You could also buy a zigbee outlet and bind directly. Then wire the outlet directly to line.

Technically speaking, Blue 2-1 is not strictly an on/off switch because the dimmer module cannot be bypassed and it doesn’t output 100% sine-wave power. [^1] Given it’s inappropriate to wire a dimmer to wall outlet, I think it’s also inappropriate to wire blue 2-1 to an outlet.

Anyway, even for real on/off switches (e.g caseta on/off switches), they typically don’t allow connecting to outlets.

[^1]: According to Blue Series Dimming Tech - #9 by dahanc and Blue Series Dimming Tech - #21 by dahanc

Hi @Bry, Curiosity (for the moment anyway!), the restriction is simply that the switch must be able to handle the full 15A of the breaker - so if we could find a smart switch that could handle 15A (presumably of all possible load types) it would be legal?

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Very clear, thanks! I definitely won’t be wiring it up to the outlet directly.

Most just use a relay if they need true 15A load. I installed a red on/off switch to an outlet that was wired next to the bed for a lamp. Figured no one would unplug the lamp to plug in a vacuum.

It’s honestly what you feel safe doing and preventing overloading the switch.

As I understand it, yes, keeping in mind that local codes may vary.

In essence, the section I’m referring to says that where a switch is used to control a receptacle, the switch has to be rated at not less than the breaker’s rating. It only says switch, without any further definition. 404.14(F)

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In addition to what people are saying (wrt load etc): It is also not allowed because the switches are not designed to switch inductive loads. That’s the reason why you shouldn’t control a bathroom fan. If you control an outlet, there is no guarantee that someone wouldn’t put in a large inductive load.

One small add to this discussion, there are Zigbee wall wart dimmers. So using such a dimmer in combination with making the outlet always on might be an interesting way to go.

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SONOFF S31 Lite 15A Zigbee Smart Plug

Or this 43096 Enbrighten Zigbee Plug-In Dual Outlet Smart Dimmer - Aartech Canada