Bulbs won't shut off

I’m starting to replace all of my dimming light switches with WD500Z-1, and all my bulbs with LED’s. So far so good… Except three…

I have two special sockets (ceiling pot lights) that requires a shorter bulb with a normal Edison base, so I have to use this style: http://www.amazon.com/Utilitech-4-5-Watt-199326-White-Decorative/dp/B00DQ3HNAS

One switch operates two bulbs, the other switch operates one.

The problem I’m having is when I press the switches to turn them off: the bulbs dim down… but don’t shut off. They otherwise work as they should - dim, bright. They just don’t dim all the way to off. The WD500Z-1 indicates they are off as the little green LED comes on, and Vera shows them as off, but the bulbs are still on. Very dim… but on. I have to pull out the air gap to get them to turn off.

Is it the type of bulb? Did I (somehow?) wire something incorrectly? If it’s the bulb, can someone recommend a bulb that’s the same type (dimming, Edison base, around 3" - 3.24" long)?

Thanks!

The WD500Z-1 uses a neutral and works well with many, but not all, LED bulbs. The behavior you describe does not occur with the WD500Z-1 no matter what bulb you use.

It may be that you have bad switches, but it is more likely that you have them improperly wired. My suspicion is that you have the line and load swapped.

Check your wiring.

I’ll check it out - thanks for the reply!

Heh, well, what a wirey mess THAT all is.

My living room has six switches - 5 are the WD500Z-1, and one VRF01-1LZ (ceiling fan).
Two switches control four lights (two over a couch, two over a desk)
One controls two lights, the special kind mentioned above (over my TV).
One controls one light, the special kind mentioned above (over the fireplace).
One controls my ceiling fan light (center of room)
One controls my ceiling fan(center of room).

All use one power/neutral/ground. Three gangs of two switches, each gang a few inches over the other.

I added the gang and switches for the ceiling fan.

I checked both of my suspect switches. No voltage at the wires (blue) to the load (black) when the air gap is pulled.

With the air gap in, switch off, LED indicator ON, I have 107.7 volts.
With the air gap in, switch on, LED indicator OFF, I have 119.2 volts.

I then opened my ceiling fan light switch - same situation, same voltages, but my ceiling fan light (an LED light) DOES turn all the way off.

What is my next step, please?

I suppose my LAST step will be removing ALL the switches and checking/redoing all the wiring - I’m trying to avoid that.

If you think it could be the bulbs, have you tried just temporarily install a bigger or different bulb just to see if all works fine?

LOL STOP MAKING SENSE!! ;D

So I did - and it’s the bulbs. They’re weird! When a regular bulb is placed in the socket - it works fine. Oddly, in the circuit with two bulbs, if I pair a regular bulb with one of the “weird” bulbs - the weird bulb shut off when the switch is shut off. So - regular bulbs - bulbs turn off. One weird bulb, one regular bulb - bulbs turn off. One weird alone, or two weird - bulbs don’t shut off.

LOL Now, to put all my wiring and switches back together!

SOOOoooo… Can anyone recommend a good LED bulb that’s only 3" - 3.25" long?

Try disconnecting the load wire from the switch and test again.

When a properly wired and working WD500Z-1 is turned off, there is zero volts on the load side. If you have anything else you either have a wiring problem or you have a bad switch.

The bulb has nothing to do with this.

Follow-up: Bought new bulbs, everything works as it is supposed to.

[quote=“Z-Waver, post:7, topic:188935”]Try disconnecting the load wire from the switch and test again.

When a properly wired and working WD500Z-1 is turned off, there is zero volts on the load side. If you have anything else you either have a wiring problem or you have a bad switch.

The bulb has nothing to do with this.[/quote]
Z-Waver is correct. I had this exact same problem. Installed WD500Z-1 in location 1 of a 4 way switch (3 locations). I just unhooked the previous switch at location 1 and replaced this one. black to black, white to white, blue to red. This was wrong of course since the red was a traveler but the unit powered on, I was able to include it and it would turn on, dim all the way up and down but off never worked. Off just took the lights down to its lowest dim setting. I then hooked up a WT00Z in location 2 and used a minimote to associate it with the WD500Z. Worked great but then the same problem. The lights would never turn off.

Read Z-Waver’s post and decided to get my meter out, watch a few youtube videos to brush up on neutral/common vs line vs load and discovered that Line was at location 2. So I swapped the two and put the WD500Z in location two, properly connected blue to black (load), black to black (line), white to white, green to ground and now everything works perfectly. I just capped off the reds (travelers) since you don’t use them with Linear’s modules.

I notice the “weird bulbs” are LED and documentation for the dimmer only refers to incandescent loads. Also notice that the bulbs are pretty low wattage and dimmers can have minimum loads.

Of course I’'m not familiar with US wiring or the dimmer but the UK HA dimmer products I’ve bought in relatively recent times outline the different types of load they can handle (or light type eg, LED, CFL, incandescent) and acceptable wattages for each type.

[quote=“jonbanjo, post:10, topic:188935”]I notice the “weird bulbs” are LED and documentation for the dimmer only refers to incandescent loads. Also notice that the bulbs are pretty low wattage and dimmers can have minimum loads.

Of course I’'m not familiar with US wiring or the dimmer but the UK HA dimmer products I’ve bought in relatively recent times outline the different types of load they can handle (or light type eg, LED, CFL, incandescent) and acceptable wattages for each type.[/quote]

This is because most dimmers work without a neutral and send a trickle of current through the lamps even when off.
Led’s being low power only need a small amount to stay on.

The dimmer in question should be wired with a neutral so doesn’t need to keep the load on.

Thanks for the explanation. It mostly makes sense but (if only for my education), take something like this device with a neutral:

http://lightwaverf.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/LW831.pdf

Why do the specs at the bottom vary like this?

Maximum Load:
20 -250w incandescent
3-60w LED
20-250w electronic transformer
40-250w inductive transformer

Two reasons.

  1. The Chinese manufacturer’s manual doesn’t properly understand the meaning of the word Maximum.

  2. At under three watts for LEDs, the dimmer will not be able to dim effectively. For instance a 1 watt load might remain at 100% brightness even with the dimmer set to 1%. Nonetheless, when the device is turned off, there will be no current flow to the LED bulb and it will turn off completely.

“2-wire” dimmers, that don’t utilize a dedicated Neutral, must pass current through the load(LED) at all times, even when switched “Off”. The WD500Z-1 and the dimmer you linked to are not “2-wire” dimmers. In the UK, they would be referred to as 3-wire as the require a Line, Load, and Neutral.

Hmm I’m a bit puzzed here. I had got what the other poster had said about 2 wire and deliberately chose a 3-wire one that shows different specs for different load types.

Of course some like the Fibaro Dimmer 2 can be wired 2 and 3 wire ways. I might have missed something here didn’t notice a difference in their recommended min max loads for 2 ad 3 wire setups;

Resistive loads
Conventional incandescent
and halogen light sources
50-250W

Resistive-capacitive loads
Fluorescent tube lamp (com-pact / with electronic ballast),
electronic transformer, LED
50-200VA

Resistive-inductive loads
Ferromagnetic transformers
50-220VA

You’re now talking about something else entirely. My post and this thread is about LED bulbs not turning off and this lead into an explanation that some dimmers(2-wire) pass current through the load at all times, even when turned off.

You’re now talking about different rating limits for different types of loads, for instance resistive and inductive. I’ll skip the complicated description of real and reactive power in inductive loads. I struggle to fully understand it and even more so struggle to clearly explain it. Suffice it to say, there are different limits for different load types because of things like the much higher “inrush” current of an inductive load than a resistive load of the same nominal wattage.

This video nicely visualizes the different load types. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAtq1qqhAA4

And just in case anyone missed what I had typed in an earlier post: It WAS the LED light bulbs I was using. I switched to a different LED light bulb and they worked as they were supposed to, and have worked for, oh, a year and two months. I did not have my wiring wrong. I did not use incorrect switches. I’m not saying AT ALL that someone else might wire something improperly and have the problem of their bulbs not shutting off completely - but that was not the solution of my problem.

I wish you all a happy and safe new year!