RGBW Bulb with Lutron Caseta Dimmer

I had always heard that smart bulbs cannot be used with a dimmer. Makes sense to me since the electronics of the bulb need a certain voltage in order to operate. But then I read this post on your board that suggests that your smart bulbs can work with your smart dimmers.

So I’m curious if your bulbs will work with dimmer from other manufacturers, such as Lutron Caseta In-Wall dimmers? I have a spare one of these and would like to use your bulb as a Red Alert for when the refrigerator in the garage was left open. I have the sensor working, and even tinkered for the first time with WebCore.

The problem is that I want to install the bulb in a fixture in the small hallway between the garage and kitchen, which currently has a 3-way manual switch on either end. The current fixture is turned off an on throughout the day. And it can’t very well turn Red if it’s turned off.

Could I use the Lutron Dimmer in a WebCore script that basically does the following…

  • Turns on the dimmer to 100%
  • Pauses for the RGBW Bulb to connect to Zwave
  • Turns the Bulb On
  • Turns the Bulb Red

…without damaging the bulb?

Question 2: If someone happens to dim the bulb during the day, is there a chance of damaging the bulb?

Looking forward to learning more.

Thank you.


The smart dimmer (rather than the smart bulb) is what is special. The dimmer has the option of disabling the relay i.e. always passing through the same current to the bulb and that’s why it works with smart bulbs from any brand. The opposite isn’t true though. The Inovelli smart bulb is like any other smart bulb and is better not used with just any dimmer (smart or non smart). So to answer your 1st question, the Lutron Caseta In-Wall dimmers should probably not be used with any smart bulb including the Inovelli RGBW smart bulb.

Best not to use the Lutron dimmer with any smart bulb (including the Inovelli) as the change in voltage could damage the electronics of the bulb. You’re still turning the dimmer on and off which isn’t good for the bulb.

Dimming to 100 vs dimming to 50 I believe has similar impact and both are not great for the bulb. Not 100% sure though.

Ideally, you should get a smart dimmer where the relay can be disabled. Right now, that’s the Inovelli. I believe Zooz either already has/is coming out with a firmware update to disable the relay on some of their switches and dimmers.

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I agree with @gbenrus25 about it not being best practice to place a smart bulb on a dimmer. That said, can you configure the dimmer to be an on/off type device so there is no ramping and dimming? Either way, I have half of my house on Leviton/HAI Dimmers with all iLumin Bulbs and the other half with Inovelli Red Dimmers with the relay set to provide constant power. I can tell you that I left my Leviton/HAI dimmers with a ramp up and the iLumin’s have been fine at 100% power without issue for more than a month. They will turn on at lower levels of dimming but you can tell that this isn’t ideal so I would say that you can do as you proposed in your rule. Just make your dimming speed as fast as possible or eliminate the ramp if possible and you should be fine. For reference, I have about 25 of my bulbs on the old Leviton/HAI dimmers with 0 issues. Slowly as we remodel room-to-room, I am moving to my Inovelli Red Switches though.


Conventional wisdom says that powering smart bulbs on and off will shorten life span. I don’t personally know if that is true or not, but there are a number of authoritative sources that state that. So it’s not so much dimmer vs switch (i.e. partial voltage vs on-off), it’s the fact that power is being limited/cut to the lights at all.

If smart bulbs are controlled by a smart switch, then the control of the bulbs should be via scene or direct association in order to obtain maximum bulb life.