POLL: Aux vs Dumb Switch in a Multi-Way

I have a mixture of both. For new installs, I try to use aux/add-on switches. But if swapping out an existing 3-way dumb set-up I sometimes just leave the existing dumb switch.

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Anything inside the house gets an aux/smart switch. Garage switches are dumb.


I’ve gone with the Aux switches for several reasons. First, I like that I can dim from any switch. Quite frequently, the switch that needs to be the smart switch (incoming power) is not in a convenient location. Having the aux switches means that the switch viewed as the primary switch can dim.

Second, I’ve had guests and relatives get confused when I had dumb switches. Turning the switch on could leave the light dimmed, and then there would be confusion as to how to brighten the light. When my mother-in-law lived with us, she would still get confused after several years.

And while this discussion isn’t about the smart/smart configuration, if the Zigbee network is down, I know that the Aux switches will work as expected.


Aux only.
Consistent appearance, consistent behavior with the smart switches, aside from lighting.

Also, this:

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Aux only.

Similar to what has been stated, consistent look and feel but also I think it is easier to wire, I have a couple of 4 way switches and that wiring used to give me a headache but the Aux switches made it simple to hookup because they only use the red and white/common.

PS: Wish list, having the LED bar as an option for Aux switches that replicates what the primary is showing. Would make it perfect for certain areas.


Yeah I’d like to re-explore this one. We had it on our wishlist too, but ultimately had to abandon it because it was about the same cost as another smart switch bc it required a Zigbee chip.

Here’s a long read if you’re bored lol: Auxiliary Switch | Project Golden Rule (LED Version)


I’m using a combo of aux switches and also doubling up on inovelli blues bound together. I prefer the look of having the two Blues in certain areas and then in others, it doesn’t really matter. Either setup, is so that I have control of the dimming level from both locations.

I am using dumb switches in 2 of my current 3ways because nothing else was available at the time as there is no nutral there. But they are going to be changed over to all blue smart switches. I still have several i need to install. Just been pocratinating. Otherwise i am using all blue in 4 of my 3ways so far and also in a 4way dimmer configuration. Why? Because i want them to be uniform. I like that they all look the same.

Now i did have to rewire every box as i did not have a neutral in them except for one location in each setup. So i reused the 3way wire and rewired them to all have power and neutral. And linked them together. All are in dimmer mode but instant on and off so i do not hear the clicking on and off. Bothered my wife.

I love the blues and cant wait to remodle our bathroom when the blue fan switches come out.


I for just using another smart switch and link them together. It works great.

All of the above, or I will, when my pre-orders come in.

  • unfortunately I only had a couple red series before everything went to hell, so no multi’s yet

  • white aux switches with nowhere to put them

  • both red and blue on order

So I expect to use aux for the most common multi-switches, keep the dumb ones for rarely used like basement, and two smart switches for one place without wiring (if possible)

Typically I use GE aux switches. I started with GE switches originally and I have plenty of the aux switches. I had a number of the GE zwave switches fail over the years.

Aux here. I like the ability to dim from both ends and the consistent feel.

I have a combo and have found the aux to be more reliable for automations.

The dumb switches literally dumb down the intelligence of home automation.

So, I’ll be swapping out my dumb switches at some point in the future….that is once I figure out the zwave vs zigbee conundrum.

I have a single smart switch in my house. It is part of a multi-way circuit with other dumb switches that controls the lights in the hallway at the top of the stairs. It drives me crazy right now that if the light is dim, I can’t make it brighter without going up the stairs to where the smart switch is installed. I assume with the aux I could do a “hold up to increase brightness” or something that could address this?


Yes, an Aux switch will allow you to dim, brighten, turn on and turn off the load on the dimmer.

I voted for “Dumb” because that’s what I have, but my intent is to eventually have aux switches. They are low priority for me compared to adding more smart switches.

Only aux switches ever to have the same functionality at every switch position.

I have only 3 x 3-way circuits in my home. Top/bottom of main stairs has two LZW-30SN, but this does not work as expected (*), and I will probably replace one with an Aux switch one day. The other two have dumb switches because that secondary switch is not used often, and required no scene control or dimming, and functions just fine with the dumb switch.

    • I’ve set association (works), associate behaviour =11 and local relay off on the non-load. Both relays still click, and if the non-load switch is used to turn off the light, HA still shows the light to be on. It’s functional as far as my family sees, but I know it’s not working as expected.

I initially had the electrician install generic aux’s for 11 3-way configurations in my home. After moving in, though, I had him replace all but 2 of those with ‘dumbed’ Inovelli Blues so that I could use Zigbee bindings for the 3-way connection rather than wired electricity. (I wanted a consistent look throughout the home.) Unfortunately, 2 of the 11 couldn’t be replaced without opening the walls again because the aux boxes were too tight to fit the Inovelli Blues. It’s fine, but I do wish I’d just had him install 11 ‘dumbed’ Inovelli Blues from the get-go.

I’m having major issues with SmartThings right now, but the Zigbee Bindings I setup prior to the app becoming unresponsive are still working and my 3-ways are working great with 1 switch on a single pole and the other switch serving as a Zigbee relay only. I just wish I could get Smartthings to pick up the Edge Driver signal again so that I could finish the setup for the other 3-ways in my home. (And I’m sort of nervous that the # of 3-ways I was setting up may have been a factor in ST’s failure to work for me anymore because the failure coincided with me setting up another seven Zigbee bindings to create this type of dumb 3-way switching.

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