One of my favorite things about “dumb” dimmer switches is the preset feature, where you can physically move the slider to the level you want, quickly, before turning the light on, and then it’s on right away at that level. I haven’t found any smart light switch products that can replicate that. (There was one that used a capacitance sensor to track your finger, but it was really inconsistent.)
The basic problem, of course, is that if the dimming level is controlled by a physical slider, you need a way to move that slider electronically, or you can’t control the dimming level electronically (e.g. by z-wave). But what if you don’t need to?
It seems like it should be possible, perhaps even easy, to make a module that goes in the wall behind a normal, 3-way capable “dumb” dimmer switch, that would allow you use automation to:
- Determine if the light is on or off
- Switch the light on or off
- (bonus) Measure the power usage of the light
While the physical dumb dimmer switch would allow you to:
- Flip the switch and it would always change the state of the light (just like how it works in a normal dumb 3-way configuration)
- Use the dimmer slider to dim/brighten the light
- If the light is off, use the dimmer slider to set the level you want it to turn on to.
Does anyone know of something that does this?