Deciding which switches are needed

Hi all,

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere but I could not find a matching article. I recently installed a Black Series dimmer switch and am enjoying the heck out of it, so am ready to plan for a few more for the rest of the house.

Wiring not withstanding, I’d like to make sure I’m getting the correct switches for my needs. I have a neutral available at each gang and will be considering bulbs afterwards.

My main goal is to allow people to use the switches at the wall but prevent them from killing communication by flipping the switch off, which has been a pain with our current setup using smart bulbs.

The switches in question would be:

If I wanted dimming for the Garage, could I do one dimmer switch (single gang) and keep the switch in the dual gang as on/off or dumb?

Any thoughts/help is much appreciated.

So Inovelli switches and dimmers will work well with smart bulbs. You can configure them so they provide constant power to the bulb and working the switch will not cut the power. When you do that, there are two ways to control the bulbs, via association or via scenes.

Association requires that the smart bulbs are Zwave, and joined with the same security as the switch. Your hub also has to support it. Some smart bulbs are Zigbee, so remember that you can’t use association with these. However, if you are able to use assocation with dimmers, then that will allow you to dim using the paddle replicating how the dimmer would typically work.

The other way to control smart bulbs is via scenes. For dimming, you would create scenes with different levels and then associate multitaps on the switch or dimmer.

For all of your 3-ways, the Inovelli placement may depend upon your wiring. You’ll mate with a dumb or an Aux accordinglyl Also, what is the lighting type in the garage? Fluorescent? A dimmer may not be the best choice.

All of the smart bulbs in place are Z-Wave and the controller which should allow for associations. The Garage lighting is two fixtures that take bulbs so the same are in place there right now.

So if I’m understanding correctly, associations would prevent someone from killing communication by using the dumb switch at the other end.

No, the associations allow the Inovelli to communicate directly with the bulb, instead of going through the hub. It allows for a slightly quicker response, and allows the dimmer to function like a dimmer typically does. Preventing the switch from physically cutting power to the bulb is a switch setting independent from association.

Got it, thank you!

@Bry if you know…but will setting the Inovelli switch to disable local control in order to accomplish this actually prevent someone from killing the bulb via a dumb switch in a 3way? I’d expect you’d still need to throw in an aux switch and do the same there to prevent that scenario? (or just put one of those switch blockers over the dumb switch to prevent someone from turning it off)

That’s a good point. I’m pretty sure you do need to use Aux’s for an Inovelli with SBM turned on. A dumb switch will override SBM but an Aux won’t. We discussed this in another thread somewhere. Good catch!

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@Bry jumping off chack’s comment, I think I may have asked the wrong question and am a bit lost still.

Using the existing Black Series Dimmer I have, the bulb it controls is not smart. I can physically hit the switch to on/off/dim and the status reflects back correctly to my controller. This is still true if I send the commands from the controller to the switch (rule to turn the light on at 8 A.M, for example).

Does this change in a 3way setup? I would be fine with swapping my remaining smart bulbs out with compatible standard bulbs. What I’m not sure of is if the same holds true if someone comes and hits the dumb switch on the other side. I presumed yes since the switch is always connected to power?

So end-state goal if I understand correctly would be smart switches and no smart bulbs? In that case, yes the Inovelli switches support 3/4 ways etc with dumb switches, though offhand I’d say you may be stuck having the smart switch in certain boxes as I’ve got a 4 way where I had to swap which spot I’d originally planned on due to wiring and the line being elsewhere.

You can also still use a smart bulb of course if you’re either only using a smart switch or able to block off the dumb switch so you don’t cut power to the bulb.

@chack Yes that’s correct and perfect, thank you. I suspect that will be case for me as well but not a huge deal with the way they’re laid out. I appreciate the input!

Glad to hear it and hope you enjoy! I’ve been very happy with Inovelli’s switches and their other products I’ve picked up :slight_smile:

One other thing that came to mind since you mentioned the dimmers…I don’t have any of those but I believe there’s a config option you may have to set via your hub for them to know they’re in a 3 way, etc. The on/off switches don’t require that change, but you’ll want to make sure your wiring is good after installing either of them (black series below, red series are gen 2 if you have any of those) -

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