[Question] Requesting clarification on replacing dumb switch that controls both lights and ceiling fan

I’ve researched this about as much as I could I think, so I wanted to pose this question here to hopefully get clarification once and for all as to whether or not any Inovelli switch (that’s not the incoming Hurricane switch) could be used right now as a stop gap in my set up. I have one dumb switch that controls the entire overhead light/fan set up. I will not use the dimmer switch as even if dimmer functionality is disabled, I could only see bad things happening…

I saw THIS thread asking about a switch powering only a fan, and it was confirmed by Eric that the switch can handle up to a 400W Inductive load. Is this still the case for both lights and fans though?

To be entirely honest, I don’t want this switch controlling the light/fan at all. It’d be nice if the circuit could be always on even. I have a Hampton Bay Wink Enabled controller (linked to my hassio server) installed to control lights/fan within my current set up. I really want the switch purely for scene support. And via scenes I’d like to control the overhead lights/lamps in the room, I don’t want to turn it off by toggling the wall switch. As this is the case, would it be safe to install if I simply disable the internal relay? And if I disable the internal relay, hypothetically could the dimmer switch be used if it’s set to instant on?

Probably a dumb question, but wanted to get clarification before I go further down the rabbit hole on this one…

I definitely think this is possible if you just want it to act as a scene enabler. I’m not familiar with Wink or the Hampton Bay product, but your scenario doesn’t seem out of the norm.

I would not use the dimmer switch for this; even at 100% and with instant on, you’ll run into two issues: notably, the dimmer still isn’t rated to power an inductive load, but second, even if it were, the fan (and possibly lights if they are not dimmable) would likely not take kindly to being run from a dimmer, where a dimmer at 100% in my experience does not match the output you’d get from a “real” switch. You could probably get around this by hardwiring line to load at the switch/dimmer (so power to the load isn’t going through the dimmer at all, but keep in mind this also prevents the air gap from working, and I can’t speak to code requirements in your area). The switch would avoid this issue; not sure if you have a reason to prefer the dimmer, since without local control they’d function the same aside from the physical LED bar appearance.

As for the switch, I’ve only see then incandescent/CFL/LED and inductive loads listed separately, so I’m not sure they have specs as to how they could be combined. That being said, if neither your lights nor fan alone are close to the limits, you’ll probably be fine (the HomeSeer HS-FC200+ fan switch is also rated for 300 W fans, so I’d assume this would cover most residential uses). I am not an electrician or an engineer, so don’t hold me to that. :slight_smile:

With local control disabled, you could certainly use the Red Series Switch (and maybe dimmer if you hardwire as above) as a scene-only alternative. You should be able to create an automation that listens for the scene events from the switch and uses them to send the desired command to the Hampton Bay controller (e.g., single tap up? turn on lights. double tap up? turn on fan.). I’m not using Home Assistant for this purpose but used to have something similar set up on Hubitat (not sure if you need to do anything special on HASS to “see” scenes from the switch, if that was just the dimmer, or if the changes made their way to the OZW library HASS uses yet).

That being said, if you can wait a bit, the Hurrican fan/light switch combo would do exactly what you want. The ceiling module would replace the Hampton Bay, and it would communicate to your wall-switch that doesn’t even directly control your load (both are separately powered and communicate via RF, so no separate fan/light wiring is needed, like the HBFC; the Z-Wave smarts live in the switch compoonent, not the ceiling module where the HBFC Zigbee radio lives, though unlike the HBFC, you’d need a neutral in both locations—something you’d already need for the Red Switch, anyway or the Dimmer if hardwired, the only way I’d even consider trying this).

That being said, an LZW30-SN or LZW31-SN seems like an expensive stopgap to me, though I’m sure they’d love it if you bought one, and maybe you’d have a use for it somewhere else afterwards. :slight_smile: If you can make any button device work in the meantime, that could effectively replace a wall switch temporarily if you want Hurricane in the end. (On Hubitat, I’m using Lutron Picos with a Smart Bridge Pro, but that’s a high entry price if you don’t already have a Caséta or RA2 system. I’m not sure if HASS has better Zigbee support than the last time I tried, but if so, the Hue Dimmer or Eria Remote might also work. Inovelli announced paddle remote that would be perfect here, but it’s likely a ways off still.)

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I guess I read this as using the dimmer to provide scene taps and not actually control the fan/light itself?

Thank you for your extremely detailed reply! After some more thought / sleeping on the matter, I decided to take a leap of faith after determining that the total wattage for my ceiling fan (fan + lights) = 238W. Went ahead and wired everything directly to an on/off red series gen 2 switch (NOT the dimmer) and it appears to be working perfectly! No denying that the set up is indeed overkill, however it appears to be meeting my needs very well.

The only thing I’m still monitoring is a slight sound from the switch itself. It sounds similar to the dimmer switches I’ve installed up to this point, but an octave higher. Almost like a whine of sorts. There are a lot of differences in this install though compared to my others, for starters this just so happens to be the only switch that has a neutral wire in my house (lucky me there) as the fan was installed at a later point in time. Between that and the fact this switch is powering a fan and lights I’m not giving it too much mind. I’ve left the switch out for the time being however, just to monitor how it does for a bit. Just out of an abundance of caution.