Wiz Smart bulb breaks Inovelli Switch

Got some Inovelli Blue 2-1 switches and got them setup in HA, but when I switch them over to smart bulb mode and try to plug in some Phillips WiZ smart bulbs the switch flashes through its startup sequence, then goes dark. The bulb never turns on. I’m thinking the startup of both devices is messing with the current/voltage and they interfere with each other - but I’m not sure how to test or resolve.

Anyone had any similar issues? If so how did you solve?

My best idea at this point is to split the socket receptacle, install a dumb old style bulb, allow the switch to initialize and send power properly, then plug in the smart bulb in the other socket, wait for that to initialize, then unplug the initial bulb. I don’t know if it’ll work, and if it does I REALLY don’t want to go through that every time I have lose power to the system for some reason.

Do you have the neutral (white) cable connected to the switch? I think it is required for a smart bulb setup, otherwise I don’t think enough power goes through to feed the switch, hence why it is resetting.

I do not have a neutral wire, my impression was it should work in smart bulb mode without on since the downstream bulb should see full power once the switch is operational. Functionally a closed circuit.

So if I’m reading your post correctly, you have a Blue 2-1 controlling a receptacle. I’m going to guess that the switch is on a switch loop, meaning that power is originating at the receptacle and there is only a 2-wire between the receptacle and the switch, resulting in a non-neutral situation at the switch box.

You solution should be to convert the receptacle to not be switched, and in that process, send a hot and neutral back to the switch box to power the switch.

Receptacles should NOT be controlled by smart switches. Electrical codes typically require that a switch be capable of the full load of the device it’s controlling, which a smart switch can’t do. So if a high power device gets plugged into that receptacle, the switch won’t be able to carry that load.

Re-wire at the receptacle so that it is powered full time and not switched. Then send a hot and a neutral over the two conductors going to the switch box. Your bulbs will power up properly, as will your switch.


I don’t believe you are understanding me correctly. The switch is not controlling an outlet, there will be no high power or inductive loads. It’s controlling single bulb in the ceiling. Hot comes in at the switch, traveler goes to the light receptacle/box/terminal/socket whatever the proper name is, neutral goes from the light to the breaker. No high power devices, and as far as I’m aware perfectly allowed under electrical code (though frustratingly outdated).

Even if it were the original case, the problem remains. The switch in line with the bulb does not function as expected. And I’m really hoping its a setting I can change, or the bulbs themselves being incompatible. But I need to nail it down before dropping more money into this project.

Yeah, probably not. You were talking about splitting a receptacle and plugging and unplugging things. That sounds like a receptacle i.e. outlet where plugs go into.

So you have a switch that is controlling a single bulb light fixture?

Do you have a hot and a neutral at the switch box? I’m a bit confused because you said the neutral goes from the light to the breaker, which is strange . . . unless this is a non-neutral at the switch. But you said power “comes in at the switch”. That really sounds like a switch loop.

Also, how many conductors (exclusive of the ground) are there between the switch and the light fixture?

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Hot/Neutral pair comes from the breaker to the attic, splits and sends hot down to my switch and neutral to the light fixture, a conductor (not sure if it should be called neutral or load or traveler at this point) goes from the switch to the light fixture, which has the neutral mentioned earlier. Very simple circuit; one big loop essentially.

Ok, that’s what I was thinking. That’s called a switch loop. The hot and neutral originate at the light fixture. The neutral is wired to the fixture. The hot is sent on one conductor to the switch where it is returned switched as a switched hot to the fixture.

In this configuration, you have a non-neutral at the switch. A lot of people here have been having issues with a non-neutral switch installation with a smart bulb in the fixture. This configuration is just problematic. You’d probably find that if you used a dumb bulb with sufficient wattage, you wouldn’t have an issue. Worst case, you’d need a bypass at the fixture.

One solution that has been proposed would be to re-wire at the light to make it hot full time and then send a hot and neutral to the switch. Pretty much the same as I explained before. However, this may pose a problem for some as you need to throw the breaker to make the fixture safe (or add a “maintenance” switch in the attic). In that configuration with full time power at both locations, the bulb and switch will power up without issue.


So is there a bulb that’s known to work properly? What’s the reason why the circuit does not work? Should it work as we described? All the research I did said this would be a supported configuration.

How did you test the conductors at the switch box to make sure you knew which one was hot?

Explain how that would cause the problem. It works perfectly with a regular bulb.

1 - The Inovelli troubleshooting guide suggests a reversed line and load as a problem

2 - Other users that have failed to properly test before installation and wound up with a reversed line and load have had issues similar to yours

3 - This is your first mention it working correctly with a regular bulb, except for my suggestion about how that might resolve the issue.

4 - The proper practice is to test using a meter or at least a non-contact voltage tester to ensure you understand which conductor is which. Winging it with electricity is never good. So that’s a logical question the others and I typically ask given the symptoms you presented, particularly when limited electrical knowledge is suspected. You didn’t answer my question about how you tested, so I’ll draw my own conclusion.

Good luck

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This entire thread has been me trying to course correct from your misunderstanding my description of the circuit. I’ve done my best to explain as much as I can, so that we can get back to the actual problem – which if anyone is still interested is switch failing with the smart bulb.

Forgive me if I express frustration asking for some sort of reasoning behind the question, since it plows this thread further down that fruitless line.

To answer your question: I know how to use a multimeter. Its correct.

I would just rewire your overhead light to be on full time; then rewire the switch loop as a line and neutral being sent down to the switch. No load is needed and should keep power available to your Wiz bulbs all the time.

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That would break one of the primary features I was looking for when selecting my switches:

  1. Home Assistant Compatible
  2. Non-Cloud
  3. No-Neutral
  4. Smart Bulb Mode
  5. Can turn off light during network failure

Inovelli ticked all these boxes (or so I thought), it’s why I forked over so much on the switches and its why I assume so many others are willing to as well. I’m going to keep trying to make it work.

I’m not familiar with Wiz. For network failure, you talking ISP failure, cloud failure or zigbee/wifi failure?

If Wiz still works locally then I don’t see how this would interfere with your request outside of rewiring for a neutral at the switch. Maybe if you wanted to turn off the bulb via the air gap, but that’s a minor thing to me but may be bigger issue for you.

You could try doubling up bypass. Some folks have had better luck with two for non neutral smart bulb mode.

WiFi/Zigbee. And yes, the air gap is a big issue. When its late, you’re tired, and the network went down for some reason the last thing I want to do is screw around with a non-cooperative light bulb.

Biggest thing I’m trying to figure out right now is should my setup be working. Am I doing something wrong, or is it equipment failure of some kind.

Honestly, I think it’s a a couple of factors. Non neutral switches need enough current to prevent the switches from rebooting due to the drop in current flowing through. A couple smart bulbs don’t draw as much as a single incandescent.

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  1. Line and load matter with a smart switch, but not with a dumb switch. That’s why it’s important.

  2. This configuration needs at least one bypass installed in the light fixture, possibly more than one.

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