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This is going to sound confusing so I apologize. I am very close to hiring an electrician, but I’d love to share here and see if anyone knowsthe heck is going on!

I recently bought Philips Hues light bulbs (color changing 2100 lumen) and installed the bulbs into my sconces. The sconces are double bulb so one on top and one at bottom. 7 of the 8 sockets work with the Philips Hue bulbs, but one has issues. And it’s the last one of the 8 that I screwed in. As soon as I put this this last bulb in, the entire dimmer switch (Lutron) goes to the lowest light and none of the bulbs works. But when I put the original (non-Philips) bulb into that socket, all the other bulbs somehow turn on. It’s so bizarre.

Finally, I tried to switch the non-Philips in the problem socket while the lights are on with the Philips bulb and this indeed worked. All 8 hues are working. But I can’t touch the dimmer switch. If I turn it off nonee of the lights will turn on. I can only exclusively turn the lights on and off via the app.

Sorry for the long and confusing info, but does anyone know what could be going on here?

Thanks! AM

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  • 1
    why are you using smart bulbs in a dimmer circuit?
    – jsotola
    Nov 26, 2022 at 7:36
  • Good answer from Tetsujin below. But whenever you have trouble controlling any smart bulb with a switch, you should try the app on your phone to control the bulb.
    – SteveSh
    Nov 26, 2022 at 12:45

2 Answers 2

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You cannot use Hue bulbs with dimmers, not even special LED-friendly dimmers. Don't even try it; bypass that dimmer if you can or turn it up to full until you can replace it. You will fry the Hue's circuitry with an LED dimmer.

[I'm simplifying a lot here.]
A Hue bulb is like a tiny computer, not at all like any other bulb. It needs full mains voltage to power it up & keep it running. This computer then controls the light; on, off, colour, brightness. It takes a few seconds to start up this computer & connect to WiFi. You are meant to always keep the circuit switched on when a Hue is fitted; the 'on/off switch' is your Hue controller not your old wall switch.
Regular 'tungsten' dimmers work by turning the voltage down - this will prevent the Hue's computer from starting properly.
LED dimmers work by switching the entire voltage on & off many times a second. This is fine for LEDs, that's how they control brightness. However, a Hue does not want you to switch it on & off many times a second. This will eventually just blow the little computer.

Phillips themselves don't clearly state in their advertising [they probably do in their detailed installer instructions but I didn't look that far] that dimmers don't work with Hue bulbs, but this article makes it more plain why they cannot be dimmed in the regular way - https://myintelligenthouse.com/do-philips-hue-bulbs-work-with-dimmer-switches-things-to-know/

Phillips' own 'Dimmer Switch' does not work like any regular dimmer, it works like a WiFi, Bluetooth or phone app controller, telling the bulbs what to do.

-4

LED bulbs have problems with many dimmers. Sorry to tell you but you need to purchase a dimmer that will work with the bulbs you have or use different bulbs. Putting a tungsten lamp in the circuit tends to smooth out the problems but not always.

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    Actually, as far as I can tell from Google, Hue lights don’t work at all with conventional dimmer switches. You must use the app or a Hue wireless dimmer switch to dim the bulbs. In general, smart bulbs don’t work with conventional dimmers due to the electronics in the bulb.
    – DoxyLover
    Nov 26, 2022 at 11:22

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