I was an early pre-order, got caught up in the bad switch fiasco, and then finally installed switches to replace every one in my house. I’ve been using them every day for the better part of a year. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not “bad” switches, and they provide convenience and control via home assistant, but if I had the opportunity to start over I don’t think I’d buy them again.
Here’s why, none (literally none) of my guests have figured out how to use them properly without being shown first. I can’t really explain how or why, but everyone just holds them down until they dim to 1% and thinks they’re off. Something feels odd about the user experience. Or maybe I just have dumb friends.
But the main reason is that the LED Dimming is inconsistent. Lots of flickering/pulsing in the lights when dimmed, feels very cheap when you’re sitting at your kitchen enjoying dinner while your lights brighten and dim randomly. Also my lights sometimes keep dimming after I’ve let go of the paddle - I think I’ve found a good setting and then it gets too bright or dark as it continues to dim without me touching it.
I know there are some settings I can play with to try and find a “sweet spot”, but I’ve never had to worry about that on other smart switches I’ve owned in the past. Usually they offer a nice friendly UI for adjusting your dimming and you don’t worry about it again. With these stitches I find myself throwing random values until I see what feels right.
Bells and whistles aside, these are light switches - and they don’t seem, to me, to be handling that job very well outside of standard on/off.
Would love to hear your thoughts, and personal experiences as well.
That’s good feedback, but our experiences have been better. We also replaced all our switches with Blue 2-1’s, including the new fan switches. All switches have a neutral wire. We are also in a SmartThings environment.
We definitely like the look and the ability to customize the LED, especially my wife. As far as dimming, we had mixed results initially, but found that some of our older LED bulbs needed to be replaced with better bulbs, and we needed to install a few Jasco bypass devices in fixtures. We did tweak some of the settings for ramp rate and dimming speed, but found that the defaults were ultimately acceptable. We did have to inform guests about how these worked, but we’ve not experienced what you have.
From a user interaction perspective, what we’ve noticed is that people tend to press the config button vs the paddle to turn on the switch because of its orientation at the top and next to the paddle. If I were to do it again, I’d rotate the switch 180 and invert the switch in the settings. That way the config button is on the bottom and not so easily pressed when feeling around for the paddle. For now I just have an automation in place that looks for a config button press to turn on the switch.
Overall I’d have to say that we’re pleased with the Blue switches, and have plans on using them at another location in the future.
What bulbs did you settle on? I’ve tried a few so far and haven’t quite found one that has anything close to a smooth turn on. I’m struggling to eliminate turn on lag. I’ve had to set ramp on times very quick, and set the minimum value super high to get them to come on quickly. If you have a bulb that behaves better, I’d love to know which.
Set the minimum illumination setting so that when dimmed down all the way, the bulb is still visibly illuminated. That way, you can hold the paddle down all day and the bulb won’t go off. So for your guests, it will be obvious they haven’t turned the light off and will hopefully quickly figure on it’s a tap down to do so.
We ended up removing old Ultilitech bulbs and used bulbs from Cree and GE (Refresh if I recall). All Daylight, and a mix of wattages, standard bulbs, and BR’s for the ceiling cans. We have some candelabra bulbs as well, but I don’t recall what brand. For a couple fixtures we also replaced halogens with LED’s (we don’t dim those), but I can’t recall those either (I’d have to go dig into my Amazon orders).
I’ll say that this is not exclusively an Inovelli switch issue. I had GE switches before ever installing an Inovelli switch, and people would still do this very thing. I believe it’s because they use a center rocker design instead of the paddle physically moving like on a dumb switch. My mother in law is the worst for this. To this day, after being shown over and over and over, she still just dims the lights down. I’ve set the minimum dim level on all switches, so she doesn’t even turn them off. Just dims it to minimum and walks away
Lots of flickering/pulsing in the lights when dimmed
This is typically solved with different bulbs.
Also my lights sometimes keep dimming after I’ve let go of the paddle - I think I’ve found a good setting and then it gets too bright or dark as it continues to dim without me touching it.
Are you dimmin directly connected bulbs? Or are you dimming smart bulbs via an automation? This is a common side-effect of automation based smart bulb dimming because the command travels from the switch to the hub, gets processed by the hub, then sent back out to the bulb so there’s usually a bit of a delay. And the more traffic happening like when dimming, the more delay you get.
Usually they offer a nice friendly UI for adjusting your dimming and you don’t worry about it again.
Curious which switches these are. I’ve been around the automation industry for quite a long time now, and I can’t picture any switches that offer their own UI for settings. I’ve seen switches using a hub (HA, ST, HE, etc…) for making adjustments. And I’ve seen switches using apps for making adjustments. (usually cheap Tuya switches using some variation of the SmartLife app). But never a switch with it’s own UI. I assume web-based, which would mean WiFi switches? Navigate to the IP of the switch and adjust? Possibly running Tasmota?
I have the exact same opinion, at least regarding dimming inconsistency (all neutral setup, tried many different bulbs/fixtures).
The switches are “good”, and I like inovelli’s community/developer focused approach, but yea, just feels a little too cheap / functionality brittle for what’s supposed to be a proper lutron competitor.
By dimming incomsistency are you referring to flickering while dimming? Or something like setting 1 light to 10% may be brighter than another light set to 10%? Both of these are typically caused by the bulb side. Some LED bulbs handle changes in power levels much better than others. Some bulbs will be brighter at 10% than other bulbs. Both of these are very common with any smart switch.
I’d be interested in a 3rd party analysis of the dimming performance and amplitude vs % on for these vs. competitors. I admit I haven’t tried anything EXCEPT Inovelli in the smart space, but if it could be quantified that these are “better” or “worse” in dimming performance using the same hardware, perhaps there is opportunity for improvement down the road with new hardware or new firmware for existing 3rd gen switches…
What would you buy today?
I checked a lot of switches, Z-wave and Zigbee, many are more stable from dimming and flickering perspective (possible because some are useing triac), but Inovelli are most esthetic. I loved Insteon (no problem with the dimmers whatsoever for 10 years with pretty much any lights, incandescent or LED, with transformer , like MR16, or not), before they pulled the plug…and integration with HA is not great
Lutron RA3 looks really good, but you will pay arm and leg for that and official Lutron installer (not like Caséta or RA2 SEL DYI)