I’m in the process of building a new home, which will have several 3-, 4-, and 5- way setups. I’m planning to use smart switches throughout the home (about 140 total switches). Since the smart switches are momentary/centering switches, I’d like to have every location function such that up is always “on” and down is always “off”. I saw mention in one of the Inovelli install videos that multiple smart switches on one circuit is currently not recommended; it appears that a companion switch is the preferred approach for this. Is that still the case, or is it an outdated video? I would prefer the ability to show notifications on all switches if possible. If not, does the companion switch still allow for scene control and primary load dimming at the companion locations?
To some, preferred is determined by cost and not necessarily functionality. Ease of configuration and limitations also figure in here, so preference can be driven by many factors.
From a design perspective, the smart dimmers were designed to be paired with aux switches. But you lose some functionality with aux’s. AFAIK, scenes aren’t supported on the aux’s. You can use multiple smart switches, but this requires Z-wave association and Z-wave scene control. A lot of hubs support those, but some don’t.
Take a look here:
While I’m on the subject, I’d recommend speaking with your electrician regarding how the 3, 4 and 5-way switch legs are run. You want to specify where that leg “starts”, in other words, in which box the power to the leg is located. If you do wind up going with an Inovelli + aux’s, there is probably a preferred place where you want the Inovelli. So that switch leg needs to start there.
For example, I have a 3-way the controls lights over a breakfast bar. One switch is in the kitchen close to the bar (that I always use) and the other is away from the bar at the bottom of a set of steps (necessary because of the code thing requiring switches at the entrance to a room). I never use the switch at the bottom of the steps. So in this example, the switch leg has to start in the kitchen for the Inovelli to go where you would use it the most. If you don’t specify, the electrician is going to start switch legs wherever is most convenient based on how the circuits are being run.
If you want to use all Inovelli switches, you should be able to set up a maximum of a 6-way using associations (as long as you have the ability to change config parameters and set up associations with your hub)
- Remote switches do not need to be on the same circuit
- Status LED is synchronized across all switches
- “On” is always on, and “Off” is always off
- Works even if your hub goes down, since the switches talk directly to each other
- Can control the notification LED for each switch independently
- notification LEDs are not synchronized across switches
- To control the lights with your hub, you should only control the switch that is connected to Load (the load switch will then forward the command to the remote switches). If you control the remote switches with your hub, it will not forward the command to the Load switch (this is to prevent infinite forwarding loops)
@jtronicus - Do you mean dimmer level not synchronized vs. notifications? I guess I wouldn’t expect the notifications to be in sync with one another, but I would just include the notifications as a group and assign all the switches within that group to get the notification (hub driven).
Edit: I see LED is synchronized across all switches…too bad it doesn’t happen with smart bulbs dimming levels.
@Eric_Inovelli -With situations like above, an Inovelli Aux Switch with LED would be awesome! Bonus if it could be synchronized across associations.
Does the dimmer level sync? I don’t have any configured like this so I’m just asking. The reference I posted above seems to say it doesn’t:
"The main drawback is probably that the "slave" (non-load) switch doesn't show the other switches level . . . "
I didn’t think it did. I know the Smart bulbs associated to my dimmer does NOT sync and thought that was always the case.
The dimmer level does sync (I am running a virtual 3-way with this setup in my living room with no issues). The relay needs to remain enabled though (so this would not work with smart bulbs unless the smart bulbs are not connected to the load output of the dimmer).
This does not work if you disable the relay (for typical smart bulb use). If you leave the relay enabled and wire the bulbs to be constant on, the dimmer will keep the bulb in sync (but you will need to use group 3 association instead of group 2, and if you want to turn the light on/off or change brightness, you need to send the command to the dimmer and let the dimmer forward it to the bulb.)
Hmmm… so I did “disable local relay” from the switch (8x config button) after turning it on and raising it all the way; however, my understanding is I have to wire the bulbs to be constant hot vs powered up through the load and set the Association group to 3 vice 2 correct?
correct. The LED strip shows the load output level. When the dimmer is set to 100% brightness with the “local relay” disabled, it is essentially being locked at 100%. The LED strip brightness cannot change because load output cannot change.
If you wire the bulb to be constant on, you can then enable the relay and use group 3 association to help keep everything in sync
@jtronicus - Thank you for the explanation. The other half hasn’t questioned the LED being on all the time (yet), so I may just move the Load wire to the extra Line hole to provide power full time. Just need to remember to swap it back when I take my bulbs out (if we move).
This is great information, thanks to everyone who replied here!
Yeah, I’d love an Inovelli aux switch – especially with an LED bar – that would be sweet. Question for you though, would you want a configuration button on it to match? It would be basically useless, but at least aesthetically it would match?
I would not care either way, but honestly strip the configuration button. It’ll help people recognize the “true” switch vs. the add-on switch. I don’t see the need for a config button unless you plan to make it Z-Wave/Zigbee capable, but there’s not need. The switch would still stand out as it would have the capability to indicate on/off/dim levels.
How is that even a question? Of course it needs to have a matching button!
Why couldn’t the button be functional? I feel like this is a prime opportunity to raise the bar yet again
LOL – well, maybe we can put our collective thinking caps on, but this switch won’t technically have any smarts in it – these switches are basically $3 switches being sold for $20. It’s insane the amount of margin I’m sure companies are making on aux switches.
So, not sure what we could add, but I’m open to suggestions!
This sounds fun! How about something like this:
Black Aux Switch - Target $10-15
- Status LED
Red Aux Switch - Target $15-25
- Controllable LED
- Scene Support
- Dedicated Button (ie: Config Button)
The Red Aux Switch would basically be a fancy powered button device… One could argue for it being a charging dock for a remote that might be in the works