Three way with Dimmer, (smart?)

I’m looking for a little community help on how to solve this problem. I simply can’t find a [technology] answer.

My wife really likes these dimmer switches.

I really want to make them smart. The switches are up on the third floor where she and the kids frequently go. They never turn out the lights, and so I’m always trucking up two flights of stairs to turn off the lights every night.

I want her to be able to use the dimmer switches that she loves, AND, I want to be able to have the lights be smart [On/Off].

I have searched high and low for something that would works like a traditional 3 way switch, such that the dimmer in this Lutron dimmer would work. I don’t care about smart dimming, I just want a smart 3 way on/off switch that works like a traditional 3 way switch?

Any suggestions?


In software engineering, we call these kind of conflicting requirements “an impedance mismatch”.

I would try to sell her on a smart Lutron like this dimmer

Pricey yes
Exact match no
ease of integration with OH, medium. (Leap protocol for non-pro hub)

For an easier integration, buy the Dimmer and a Lutron “Caseta Pro” hub separately, as the OH settings are a little bit easier.

If you REALLY do not care about OH integration, all you need is the dimmer and a Pico remote.
Pair the Pico remote and the Diva dimmer and put the Pico somewhere convenient.
Maybe even put the Pico on the wall with a wall mount kit

My experience with Lutron products fit and finish, performance, and reliability was EXCELLENT.

My motivation to start moving away from them was their prices and the closed nature of their products, although the OH Lutron binding is excellent.

Perhaps add a Shelly relay behind it?

That would disable the dimmer when the Shelly was off.
Not an option for seamless non-smart operation

There are Lutron traditional 3 or multi way dimmers, but they would be a rather major wiring job as I understand the requirements

Without changing the dimmer/switch:

  • Add a shelly in front of it to cut off power
  • Add a motion sensor to automatically restore power
  • Optionally, set that on a timer when motion was detected. Otherwise, just turn it off manually (via shelly so you don’t have to go upstairs).

this isn’t ideal because if the switch/dimmer is in the off state, shelly turning on won’t turn on the light, thus it’s still a dumb switch.

But it solves your requirement of not having to go upstairs to turn it off :smiley:

you could have a 2 gang shelly, connected in series. One of them parallels against the dimmer switch. Problem solved.

Just install one smart dimmer, then at least it can be controlled remotely, albeit not traditionally/physically.

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There are many options and what I would do is wake the wife to turn the light off.

or Put an old fasion motion sensor in the room with a relay that will turn it off. No smarts

In velbus terms, this is one of the easiest things we do.

But… If you don’t want a full system, it’s probably not worth the effort.

If all you want is three (or more) way dimming, the cheapest and most easiest option is a Quinetic setup.

Paired to the power Free (no wiring or batteries) switches.

(Plenty of other resellers)

Apparently, they have a gateway, but that’s really not something I know anything about, as it suddenly steps into what we do very well with tech.


As with velbus or any other centrally wired solution, unless someone is fully rewiring their property, it’s just not a viable option for one or two circuits.

My other line of thought is to find a SPDT relay and an energy meter. There are lots of SPDT dry contact relays I could use with a small MCU board, but I need the energy meter to determine if the light is on or off. Anyone know if any cheap electronics that I could put inline and provide a sensor energy reading to the MCU?