Red Dimmer reboot loop

I have an Inovelli Red Dimmer switch on an LED light just like in the right image below but with an Aeotec Bypass.

Additionally, in parallel to the light, I have a wall outlet which is also controlled by the switch. The switch, light, and outlet all work as expected except…

If I plug my battery charger (Ryobi model P118B) into the outlet when the switch is on then the light starts flickering. Moments later, the Inovelli switch reboots, showing the cycle of colors I’d normally see when it first gets power. When it finishes booting, the lights flicker again and it reboots again, forever rebooting. Unplugging the charger ends the reboot loop.

Same behavior whether there’s a battery in the charger or not. The charger works fine in a different switched outlet using a Leviton smart switch so it looks more like an Inovelli problem than a Ryobi problem. Removing the light bulb from its socket doesn’t change the bad behavior.

Is it possible an Inovelli Red Dimmer is incompatible with a Ryobi charger? What else might an Inovelli switch be incompatible with?

Anyone else own a basic Ryobi charger they could try plugging into a switched outlet? I’d like to know if it’s just a defect in my Inovelli switch or if everyone sees this.

The root of your issue is that you’ve wired a receptacle to a dimmer switch. I know it controls a light as well, but it’s still wired to a receptacle.

Wiring a dimmer to a receptacle violates the NEC (in the US) and presents a safety issue. That prohibition is in place because there are many loads that are NOT compatible with dimmer switches. For example, anything with a motor.

If the receptacle is wired in parallel to the light as you’ve described, you ought to be able to wire it so it’s not connected to the dimmer.

To answer your specific question, I think the Inovelli is rebooting because it’s not rated for a motor load, just like any other dimmer. I’m guessing that the Ryobi has a fan inside of it. Even if it doesn’t, the transformer that it does contain wasn’t designed to be powered behind a dimmer.

If you want a dimmer on the light, then taking the receptacle out of the equation is the proper solution.

1 Like

Thanks Bryan, that makes sense.

If I bought an Inovelli Red On/Off Switch, not the dimmer, should I expect that to work? This seems like a way to avoid wiring the outlet to a dimmer.

Unfortunately, the switches won’t work in a non-neutral configuration.

ah, gotcha. Thanks again, Bryan, very helpful.

1 Like