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swbouton
Starting Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2018 :  3:29:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a room with 4 dimmable LED ceiling lights, two on each bank (bank 1 and bank 2). Each bank of two bulbs is currently handled by a single manual dimmer switch. The problem I am trying to solve is both switches are in an awkward location, behind a large reclining chair in one box. Google Home and a Philips Hue bridge are available. I want to be able to control each bank by either Google Home or the Philips Hue bridge. Both switches are in the same electrical box. What do you recommend?

oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3630 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2018 :  7:10:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since you appear to favor the hue devices, have you considered removing the switches (leaving power to the fixtures) and adding phillips hue bulbs in each of the four lights? Do you still want manual control at the switch location? Have you considered a hue switch in place of the existing switches?
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swbouton
Starting Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  09:32:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your reply.

All I have is a Hue bridge and 4 Hue Ambiance Color bulbs, one TP-Link LB120 bulb, and a Google Home speaker. I am open to whatever will work but I consider compatibility with the Google Home and Google Assistant iOS app fairly high priorities.

I'd like to keep my two banks of everyday dumb but dimmable LED ceiling lights intact, if possible. They are currently controlled by dumb dimmer switches behind a large Lazyboy chair.

Is there a smart switch that will turn dumb bulbs on, off and in-between?

Thanks very much for your help.
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n2ocharged
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  4:07:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To answer your question, without a manual switch (with a slider) I don't know of a way to dim "dumb" bulbs. You could also look at a product called SONOFF for turning them on and off, that would require rewiring the box and controlling it from an app.

I don't know of a smart switch that will dim the bulbs tho, generally the older dimmer switches used a variable resistor to control the current getting through or chop voltage so it wasn't "on" during the entire electrical cycle making it dimmer.

If you are dead set on getting each bank to turn on, off, and dim I would recommend spending about $60 for the set of smart bulbs. I don't know how Google Home does it, but Amazon Echo allows you to group devices together (IE: Ceiling Fan Bank 1, Ceiling Fan Bank 2, etc..) so you could say something like "Alexa, turn on ceiling fan bank 1 to 35%"

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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3630 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2018 :  7:14:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Is there a smart switch that will turn dumb bulbs on, off and in-between?


Sure there is. My particular choice in such switches is either insteon or z-wave. Unfortunately, I am relatively indifferent about compatibility with google home or hue bridges.

I can tell you that, with a proper controller (many call them "hubs") one can use google home or or alexa or apple home to control these devices, but the compatibility with google home is via the hub, rather than directly with the between the devices and google home app via your network.

I found a list of light switches compatible with google home:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/everything-that-works-with-google-home/

Perhaps one of those would solve your problem.

I understand that the hue bridge uses ZigBee to communicate, but I could find little evidence that there is a light switch that directly controls a load and is compatible with the hue bridge.

Edited by - oberkc on 01/06/2018 7:15:39 PM
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swbouton
Starting Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2018 :  1:17:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am very new (less than 2 weeks) with Smart Home technology, so please pardon my ignorance. Something tells me to steer clear of having numerous different technologies, hubs, bridges, so my plan has evolved to installing Philips Hue White Ambiance BR30 bulbs in the ceiling. Now I need to resolve what I do with the existing Lutron (dumb) switches. Can I eliminate the wall switches entirely and hard wire the circuits or is there reason to install switches and, if so, what might work well in this configuration.

Thanks to all for your help with this.
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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3630 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2018 :  3:16:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Can I eliminate the wall switches entirely and hard wire the circuits


Certainly that is an option

quote:
is there reason to install switches


Only you can decide that. Do you want to maintain the option to turn on some lights from those locations without having to resort to a phone or tablet?

quote:
what might work well in this configuration


Your Hue bulbs require uninterrupted power to work reliably. Leaving the existing switch in place could result in power being removed from the hue bulbs if someone were to turn off the switch.

The only switch that I know of that directly controls a hue bulb is the hue wireless switch. I cannot think of a smart switch that could be used to control the hue bulbs without introducing a second hub of some type.

I think you are wise in your desire to avoid a bunch of different hubs. Find the one you want, and stick with it. Unfortunately, the hue system is rather limited, in my estimation.

I use several hue devices, but in limited applications, where I want color. I control them with the ISY-994 controller, via the hue bridge, along with insteon and z-wave devices. Unfortunately, this can get a little complicated and worth avoiding until you decide you want a bit more sophistication in a home automation system.

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n2ocharged
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2018 :  3:14:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by swbouton

I am very new (less than 2 weeks) with Smart Home technology, so please pardon my ignorance. Something tells me to steer clear of having numerous different technologies, hubs, bridges, so my plan has evolved to installing Philips Hue White Ambiance BR30 bulbs in the ceiling. Now I need to resolve what I do with the existing Lutron (dumb) switches. Can I eliminate the wall switches entirely and hard wire the circuits or is there reason to install switches and, if so, what might work well in this configuration.

Thanks to all for your help with this.



I would highly recommend against removing the wall switches completely. The National Electric Code states you must have a light fixture and a switch to control it in each "Habitable room"

Lighting outlets in dwelling units must be installed in accordance with 210.70(A)(1), (2) and (3). At least one wall-switch-controlled lighting outlet must be installed in every habitable room (and bathroom) of a dwelling [210.70(A)(1)]. This provision requires at least one lighting outlet in every habitable room and at least one wall switch to control it. The dictionary defines habitable as “fit to be lived in.” Habitable rooms include, but are not limited to: kitchens, breakfast areas, dining rooms, family rooms, great rooms, bonus rooms, sitting rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, sunrooms, bedrooms, recreational rooms, etc. Unless meeting one of the two exceptions, at least one lighting outlet controlled by a wall switch is required in every habitable room. (See Figure 1.)

What you could do is purchase a light switch protector like these: https://www.amazon.com/Westek-Amertac-Switch-Guard-White/dp/B000NCV1SK/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1515453146&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=light+switch+protector

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swbouton
Starting Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2018 :  4:36:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for this very important information. It looks like I need to install two simple toggle switches which I can protect with this product.

Edited by - swbouton on 01/08/2018 4:39:45 PM
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n2ocharged
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2018 :  10:09:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by swbouton

Thank you for this very important information. It looks like I need to install two simple toggle switches which I can protect with this product.



If you have the flat rocker switches, they make protectors for those as well. You don't need to change out the entire switch just to put a protector on it.
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swbouton
Starting Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2018 :  10:21:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Right now the switches I have are incompatible with the new lights. It seems I should have some kind of switch for compliance with electrical code. What do you suggest I buy?
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
15777 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2018 :  1:47:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A circuit breaker is a protector. Nothing special is required.

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n2ocharged
Starting Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2018 :  2:01:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by swbouton

Right now the switches I have are incompatible with the new lights. It seems I should have some kind of switch for compliance with electrical code. What do you suggest I buy?



What type of switches do you have currently? If it is a room, the light switch you have should be fine. If the new lights are "connected" lights, link them up. If they are just "dimmable" and you want to connect them to the hub, you cannot without getting an adapter like this... https://www.amazon.com/emberlight-Socket-Wi-Fi-Adapter-Amazon/dp/B01AGIHKAI or getting smart light bulbs. I don't know if that adapter will allow the use of dimmable bulbs, I just found it on amazon. If you want to turn them on/off by telling it to, you may lose functionality of the dimming.

quote:
Originally posted by stusviews

A circuit breaker is a protector. Nothing special is required.



What do you mean nothing special is required? A circuit breaker is made to protect the wiring/circuit from overcurrent and catching fire, not meant to protect people.

Edited by - n2ocharged on 01/09/2018 2:03:35 PM
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swbouton
Starting Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2018 :  5:44:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Today I have two Lutron switches. One is a manual dimmer slider. The other is Lutron dimmer Maestro with a remote.

I intend to replace the current lighting with Philips Hue BR30 bulbs.

I'm unsure what to do about physical wall switches.

Thanks for your help.
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