Major Install Project Guidance: Inovelli Blue - Dimmers & Fans + 4-Way + Smart Bulb Mode + Other questions

Hi guys,

I’m planning a major lighting / light switch / fan switch overhaul in our existing house (yes, we have neutral wires)

In short, the project consists of:

  • Install Philips Hue Recessed Bulbs
  • Install Inovelli Blue switches to control Hue bulbs (smart bulb mode)
  • Install Inovelli Blue switches to control Ring Flood Camera → Always powered, but controlling lights on Flood Light cameras through Home assistant (?) (smart bulb mode?)
  • Install Inovelli Blue Fan switches for ceiling fans and exhaust fans
  • Install Inovelli switches for 3-Way and 4-Way switches
  • Integrate with Home Assistant
  • Integrate with Hue bridge (maybe?)

I’ve never used Zigee before. (typically Z-wave. I love Inovelli Red) so I want to make sure I have this planned out and thought through before I place this huge order (about 125 switches + 100 hue bulbs)

Here are some of the questions I have:

  • Does the integration work with home assistant AND the hue bridge?
  • If it’s one or the other, what am I gaining / losing by choosing to connect to HA vs Hue Bridge?
  • Do I bind the lights and switches?
  • If so, what functionality do I gain / lose?
  • Do I need multiple hubs since it’s so many products?
  • Can Inovelli Blue 2-1 work a 4-way when every switch is an Inovelli blue?
  • Do I use Aux switches for the others in a 4-way?
  • If so, what do I gain / lose by choosing Aux switches instead of additional Blues?
  • We have a lot of different color switches (brown / white / black / light almond) What brand of plates do I buy to match the colors of Inovelli switches?

I’m sure I haven’t thought of something in this, so would love feedback on this.

If you are planning to (directly) bind any Hues and Blues, be aware they need to be paired on the same controller - unfortunately, the Hue bridge can’t do it (Blues cannot be added to the Hue bridge).

Binding isn’t necessary, but it does provide “normal” use if your controller is ever down for any reason - that’s the biggest benefit of direct-binding It may be faster response time too, but if you have a good/healthy mesh, I’d contend any response differences aren’t going to be human-noticeable either way.

ETA - I have most of my Hue stuff paired to my Hue Bridge (since most of it is not switch-controlled), but I do have a couple bathroom bulbs paired on my Hubitat instead - those are the 2 I have directly-bound to that Blue switch - the binding works great.

Thanks, @hydro311!

Are there any pros / cons to going hue hub vs binding beyond the “normal use” / speed?

Like, I assume since these lights aren’t connected to the hub, there’s no way to use these binded lights to sync to Music or ambient TV lighting / etc. since they won’t show up in the Hue app?

If the lights aren’t paired to the Hue bridge, then you can’t use any Hue app-related goodies - that is true.

It comes down to weighing all the +/-'s in your own case - e.g. are the Hue app-exclusive effects more important to you than knowing the lights will still work (from the wall switch) if your controller borks? Things like that.

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Do not underestimate the speed difference. While we’re usually talking less than a second, I guarantee that somebody will comment about your lights being slow. The few areas I have this kind of setup now, I find myself pressing the switch and then pausing to confirm that the lights are turning off. That half second is enough for the brain to recognize it’s not normal speed.

EDIT: If you’ve got a few reds in place now, throw up a smart bulb somewhere and use the red to control it and see if the delay is tolerable to you. In theory the blue should be faster because zigbee vs zwave. But we’re splitting hairs here.

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Not quite as many as you will have but I’ve got 57 blues in total and 85 hue bulbs most of which are recessed. Two different zigbee meshes on each floor using a TubeZB on each on zigbee2mqtt using home assistant. I do not use hue bridges, everything is through zigbee2mqtt and uses direct binding. Love being able to use adaptive lighting on all bulbs throughout the day to change brightness and warmth.

  1. Either or. I chose home assistant and no bridge.
  2. Lose some of the presets and such that hue provides. More direct integration. Hue has also suggested they are going to go cloud based so this is a way to avoid that
  3. I chose to. Instant on/off and in the instance my zigbee2mqtt goes down or my home assisant server goes down I’m still good to go (though can’t say i’ve had either happen to me)
  4. Don’t see much downside but need to have everything go through zigbee2mqtt or zha to make it happen and not hue
  5. Yes, have this set up in a couple of places with 3 way
  6. Don’t need to but can
  7. Lose the LED bar and if for some reason you wanted to have different scenes/button presses on each switch
  8. Not sure about the plates
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I definitely realize the speed benefit.

I left the Reds in our previous house. BUT… I’ve got a test run of recessed lights and Blues on the way. The shipping label was made for them yesterday, but USPS says they still haven’t received them.

@bgreet thanks for the lengthy response!

Good to hear I’m not blazing a new trail here. lol.

I can’t wait to have the adaptive lighting throughout the day.

the loss off LED bar on the AUX lights is a deal breaker. That’s one of the things I llve about the Leviton AUX switches. They maintain their litle LED lights even on the AUX switches. A user can’t visually tell the difference between a SAMRT switch or a dummy switch tied to a smart switch.

Is there a reason that you went with zigbee2mqtt vs ZHA? I’m just now looking into all of this and learning the terminology, but there was a similar debate with Z-wave JS vs Zwave2mqtt

In my opinion works better and more compatibility. I also run it in docker so that if there is an issue with home assistant it’ll keep on working

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This had me thinking so I went digging a bit.
I came accross these:
Spotify Mood Lighting
Media Player Light Sync

But then I also stumbled on this:
Ambilight with Yeelights
This one is using the hue emulator addon which allows interactions with devices that use the hue api, which is what controls music mode. So it may be possible to add support through the natue hue bridge emulator.

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@MRobi Thanks!

I wondered about Hue Emulator. To be honest, I don’t fully understand what it can / can’t do.

But I know a lot of people use it to for Alexa control of certain device with Home Assistant without using Nabu Casa / Home Assistant Cloud.

Once I get my test room setup next week, I’ll play around with this.

If I can get everything setup correctly in Home Assistant with Binding to the Blue switches… and then get Home Assistant to talk to Hue through the Hue Emulator, maybe that will work.

I’ll report back.

Right now, I’m just waiting on the switches to get here. They’re shipping slower than molasses.

If the website had an estimated arrival date, I would have chosen expedited shipping.

I had no idea it was going to 9 days to go from Michigan to Texas. That’s crazy. But it looks like they’re already in Dallas so maybe USPS tracking is just off and they’ll be here sooner.


Can you explain a little about how this tubeZB thing works?

How many of these TubeZB devices do I need? Which one?

How many zigbee devices can I put on one TubeZB devices before I need another?

How are these multiple TubeZB with multiple Zigbee setup with home assistant (just the high level points)?



Each zigbee mesh is made up of a coordinator, routing devices (dedicated repeaters, plugs, bulbs, mains powered devices) and end points (sensors battery powered devices, etc)

I make and sell coordinators that work over the network with a tcp serial connection. Zigbee2mqtt or ZHA connect to it directly and treat it as a serial device.
Coordinators are available with efr32 or ti cc2652 radios. Recommend cc2652 for zigbee2mqtt and either for zha.

The routers I make and sell are dedicated routers powered by microUSB with a TI CC2652P2 radio flashed with a slight variant of the fw made by Koenkk’s z-stack firmware project.

Hope that helps


Thanks, @tube!

Is there a limit to the number of routing / endpoint devices each Coordinator can manage?

I’m trying to figure out how many of these I should get.

The device can handle more but I have 135 devices one on network and 84 on the other. At one point I was having network instability but it was due to cheaper zigbee devices that were not working as good routers and this is why I have two networks (with two TubeZB coordinators) as a previous attempt to increase stability. Network now super stable after getting rid of the osram and eaton recessed lights I had (replacing those with hue). Good luck!

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The limit of the cc2652p is 200 devices and I believe the EFR32 is around 150

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9 posts were split to a new topic: Fan Switch Issues

Just added more stock.

@tube Any chance I can preorder 2x CC2652 P7 white / white?

The website says they’re out of stock.