GE Add-on switch with disabled relay?

I’ve read a few different posts, but couldn’t really find an answer.
I have both new (Red) and older (Gen1) switches/dimmers that control Hue bulbs.
In 2 locations I have smart switches where I could swap in an add-on switch so I can re-use the smart ones in other locations.
That being said. Can an Add-On switch work with the relay disabled on either or both the Gen1 or Red? And will the Add-On trigger the scenes?

Great question!

The Gen1 switches unfortunately weren’t designed to work with an add-on switch. This was a huge request and the main driver to make it work with either a dumb or add-on with Gen2 (Red or Black).

Let me test out the scene theory a tad this morning. I know when we were messing around with the associations (Dimmer to Z-Wave bulb) the aux switches worked as well, but we weren’t using scenes there, so I’m not sure.

Be back in like 20 – I’ll test this right now.

EDIT: Just tested and unfortunately the aux switch will not trigger scenes. @EricM_Inovelli is this something that’s possible with a firmware upgrade?

Just wondering, if the add-on switches don’t (at least currently) support scenes, is there a significant advantage to using them over “dumb” switches to complement the smart switch (not dimmer, not that we have those yet to worry about) when you have local control disabled?

Why I’m asking: I have one in a three-way setup now (Red switch plus unchanged “dumb” three-way switch) and was surprised to see that even with local control disabled, a “dumb” three-way switch in another location was still able to switch the load on/off. Would an aux switch solve this problem? (And is this the expected behavior for a “dumb” switch?) Thanks!

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Thanks for testing! At least it saved me from buying a couple of Add-On’s.

I’ve got 2 locations with a 2 way that control Hue bulbs.
Since the Gen 2’s support the Long Press start/stop scene data, it’s much easier and more reliable to add a brighten/dim command.
I’ve currently got Gen 1’s on all 4. So I was hoping to get away with swapping the load side to Gen 2’s and then use Add-Ons on the other end to save a little.
Plus then I have 4 Gen 1’s that I can use to replace my last few dumb locations. Closets and Bathrooms still need to be done :crazy_face:

I’m trying to remember, but I believe that when a dumb switch is used, the dynamics of the circuit make it so that local protection (disable relay) cannot work with the dumb switch. If the Inovelli switch is on and the customer flips the dumb switch, the physical circuit is interrupted and the light turns off.

@Eric_Inovelli can confirm because I think he did some more advanced testing, but an aux switch will not toggle the Inovelli switch when local protection is enabled.

@platup as for the aux switch triggering scenes, it may be possible in a firmware upgrade, but we would have to run it by the engineering team. My guess is with the variability of wiring and the possible noise on the traveler line, it is going to be tough to detect multiple button presses accurately. It is a really good idea though.

Thanks for the follow up. That makes sense, I didn’t really think about it having to interpret signals on the traveler.

So new product idea… Smart Aux switch. No load, no relays, but powered so no batteries are needed. :smiley:

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I’m re-thinking this now that I saw the video controlling the RGB in the 3 way setup.
Was the bulb on the dimmer’s load and was the load set to always on?

In other words, with the relay disabled, will the dimmer still report a brightness level?
I’m kind of assuming the bulb’s brightness is paired to the dimmer’s brightness.

Any changes in the 2+ years since this was posted? Can an AUX switch be used to have the Inovelli switch send events? I thought I read somewhere this was fixed in a firmware update (can’t find that post now …), but I just tested with v1.20 and no joy.

AFAIK scenes are not possible via the aux switch

If you use zwave bulbs then you can use zwave association from the switch to control the smart bulb directly. This association then also works from the add on switch when the relay is disabled. Still doesn’t get your scenes from add on switch though.

If you really want scenes from the add on switch location and there is no neutral in that box then you could look at the remote zwave switch offered by zooz (zen34). Inovelli was planning to make a remote also but I don’t know what happened to that.

You can set a dimmer to smart bulb mode then dim and turn it on-off from either location and just capture the dimmed level and send that to the bulbs. No need for scenes.

I have Zigbee bulbs being controlled from the z-wave switch so z-wave association is not going to work. I was really hoping the aux switch could trigger the main switch to send an “on/off” update to the hub, and thus control the Zigbee bulbs but that seems to be a no (don’t need double/triple tap). Seems like my options at the moment are to add a second “smart” switch in the other location or wait for the Blue series switch and see if the aux switch works with Zigbee binding.

The zooz “remote” (zen34) looks interesting; relatively low cost and seemingly available. Thanks for the suggestion.

Hub will still see the on-off state and level of the dimmer, send it to the bulbs when it changes.

I agree with you that a switch/dimmer with the relay disabled will still send level and on/off state to the hub. My issue is using an AUX switch. Are you saying an AUX switch works with a dimmer to send state to the hub? Or are you saying having a smart switch/dimmer in both locations will work (which I agree with but means I can’t use my cheap AUX switch in the second location)?

The aux switch changes the level of the dimmer and the level of the dimmer is available to the hub.

Hmm interesting. AUX switch connected to a RED switch in “smart build mode” does nothing. No events sent to the hub. I guess I could try a dimmer to see if that works.

I think that’s a known bug in the switch. If you mean events as in scenes, no they don’t. But, the level gets changed and the hub should see that.