Wiring two red dimmers in 3-way, one neutral


I’m having some issues wiring two red series dimmers in a 3-way. I have one box that has a line (tan), load (black), neutral (white), traveler (red) and ground to the red dimmer and then in the box where the old dumb switch is, there is only a load, line, traveler, and ground.

With only one red series dimmer installed (leaving the other dumb) the red dimmer works only when the dumb switch is on. If I try to wire in the second dimmer, the one with the neutral will not light up its LED and is unresponsive. Am I missing something or is this setup incompatible?

You’ll only want one switch to be a dimmer, and the second to be an aux/add-on switch like this one. Locate the dimmer in the box that has the real line wire (likely the black line). With both switch removed, does the tan still have voltage on it? It sounds like that is line switched at the dumb switch box.


There’s no way to have two Inovelli’s in this case? It would have to be an auxillary/add-on? Don’t those usually require neutral?

When I wanted to do something similar to what you’re doing, that was the conclusion I came to. The aux switch is a 90% solution with some minimal drawbacks.

You have enough wires to create a neutral potentially. I think I had to do something in one of my setups… It can be a bit of a science experiment.

It’s doable.

Read limitation too:

@harjms It seems like those all require a neutral in both boxes, I only have one box with a neutral. Could I splice the unused red traveler to the neutral and use the traveler as a neutral in the other box?

Absolutely. I would send neutral and line to the other boxes. No need for load. You can rewire the boxes to make it work. Just get some white electrical tape to mark neutral.

Um, or just send the neutral on the white . .

. . and the hot on the black.

Cap the red on both ends since it’s not used.

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That too @Bry :man_facepalming:

@Bry thanks for that reminder, but the limitations are not great and I think you end up with a master-slave situation rather than a true two-way control. The aux switch is the far cleaner way to integrate (and cheaper).

Multi-Smart Switch Limitations

All our smart switches were not designed to be directly wired to one another the same way normal 3-Way setups work. They were, instead, designed to work with either a dumb/existing on/off switch or an auxiliary switch (GE or HomeSeer).

Agree on cheaper. I got most of my Aux switches for less than $3. However, be a whole lot cooler if I had full size dimmers at each location.

ZWave association is relatively quick so I wouldn’t be that annoyed but YMMV.

@harjms Where can you get $3 auxiliary switches that work with red series? I was only aware of the ~$30 GEs.

I got mine at Lowe’s when they were getting rid of the GE Aux switches. Got really lucky and bought all I could from the 3 local stores.

I agree. I wouldn’t use two dimmers either. I think some like the LED bar so much that’s all they want. (I also noted the dimmer bars syncing mis-info still hasn’t been fixed.)