I am looking to see if there exists a controller for low voltage (12v) outdoor LED landscape lights. Preferably something that is somewhat weather resistant. Is there anything with Z Wave or Zigbee protocols that would allow me to dim, turn on and off and control zones via ST? I have searched the interweb but can’t seem to find anything other than wall type switches and dimmers.
I’ve just started a landscape lighting project, so I’ve been looking into things as well. Landscape lighting uses 12v AC, so you are going to have to have a transformer somewhere. Even though the LED’s themselves are DC devices, for the outdoor lighting they put a little rectifier in afaik… For dimming and a master on/off, you just put a dimmer on the supply side (120v) to the transformer. Make sure you get a magnetic transformer and a magnetic low-voltage z-wave dimmer. Also make sure the LED’s support dimming. Things get a little more complex if you want to have zones. Multiple transformers is one way, using a relay like the Enerwave ZWN-RSM2 Z-Wave Smart Dual Relay Switch Module Control on the low voltage side is another option.
For the z-wave dimmer, do you have an example of a model? All I seem to find are physical switches, when really I just need something that connects in to the system that I would control from my phone. It will also be located outside, so a switch is pretty useless in that case.
You could put the Aeon Labs DSC19103-ZWUS Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Smart Energy Dimmer, 2nd Edition into a waterproof gang box and either hardwire the transformer (what I plan on doing), or wire an outlet to the dimmer and plug the transformer in there. I think it supports magnetic low voltage, but I would look at the specs. It all has to do with how the dimmer “re-shapes” the sine wave of the AC power.
This is exactly what I was looking for. On/Off and dimmer, I figured I would need to put it in a weatherproof box regardless. I just hope it puts out enough power to control a series of led lights.
Let me know what you go with re the LED lights. And how they look. I have some other action items, so your project may be moving faster than mine. I am looking at this company for a transformer, probably higher quality than the HD/Lowes Malibu:
Still haven’t decided on what brand lighting to go with. I don’t want to get total crap, but don’t plan on breaking the bank either.
Just remember the weatherproof box still has to let the zwave signal through. This can get tricky, since you also have to keep the electrical part to code.
Another advantage to the aeon micro is that if the lights are on a dedicated circuit, you can put the micro elsewhere on the line, usually (again check local codes) in a junction box or the circuit box as well.
Still another alternative that many people use for outdoors is not to go for dimming but rather for “tier” lighting, where different lights come on. You can either use dimmer or brighter bulbs or simply more lights, 2 vs 4 vs 8, etc.
GE makes an outdoor zwave switch that could be used for this. It doesn’t dim, of course, but with a tier configuration it doesn’t need to.
So just another possibility.
I am having a lighting guy doing the install, he is using Vista lights. Vista has a smartphone app controlled transformer/controller that does dimming and on/off but only over Bluetooth and I doubt it would talk to ST, otherwise I would just use that. But I would like to not yet another App for home automation.
Here is the link to the Vista:
For my guy the lights run about $100 each including install/wiring/setup/digging.
Yeah one of the reasons I want dimming is for that specific functionality. We have surprisingly very little light pollution where we are and I want to be able to actively turn down the lights if we are just sitting out by the fire.
As for the weather proof box, I think something like this with a clear door should work:
All plastic usually works, it won’t likely matter if the door is clear or not.
OK, so I actually decided to buy a dimming relay for my pool automation system instead. It already has a smartphone app and I will be using it for the pool functions anyway. Now if there was just a way to get it to talk to ST. Thanks everyone for the advice.
I use the GE Outdoor Module connected inline to a wall mounted LV transformer; seems to do the trick nicely. You can keep the wattage down by using LED lighting (mine are .6W each; so little power use). This allows me to do practically whatever I want…
Just wanted to know if there have been any updates to the original question - I too want to setup a 12VAC landscape lighting with LED lights and 3 zones that I can independently control on/off dim. Getting a magnetic 150W-300W transformer with multi-tap and wanted to take 3 feeds from secondary side for the 3 zones. Are there a z wave dimmer/controllers on the secondary 12VAC side (3 of them) that I can hook up to control each of the 3 zones - should be LED capable (magnetic?)? All the ones I have seen are on the primary side which means that I will need 3 transformers.
I haven’t seen any. Best you could do is 3x smaller transformers paired to 3x dimmers on the line side for full control. You could of course use a z-wave or zigbee relay on the low voltage side to “switch” each zone, and then also have a master dimmer, but I don’t think that is what you are going for…
Side question… What dimmable LV LED lights are you looking at?
I’m also still looking for a zwave switch (not dimmer) to put on certain branches of my outdoor lighting. I’m also having a challenge finding LED lights with very narrow spotlight (under 25 degrees) and temperature above 4000k so more white than yellow.
Anyone with a pool tried any interesting effects by using the water as a focal point from a distance? Using my flashlight to test position I can see interesting water patterns reflecting around the yard and feel like it might get be interesting to try focusing one or two lights at the water.
I have Vista Lighting transformers and just plug them into GE zwave plugs within waterproof enclosures that I can switch on and off. However, I can’t dim the lights.
Anyone tried these yet? I’m wondering if my 12v existing lines can power these instead of the plug in transformer that comes with the set. A hub unit is also required with Lightify.
FYI: Those aren’t waterproof…I’m not sure that I would trust that controller to survive in a damp location. You may want to keep an eye out for their outdoor version that should be available in the next few months.
They also have the garden lights which ARE intended for outdoor use: http://amzn.com/B00R1PB2ZY
Yes- I posted link to Garden lights but the vendor has them all grouped together. I’m also playing with http://www.amazon.com/Lemonbest-resistant-Underwater-Landscape-Fountain/dp/B00E0IYESW/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1456851709&sr=1-3&keywords=transparent+cover+for+underwater+light no to just figure out a smartthings IR device to replace the handheld RGB ir transmitter that came with the $14 light. It’s a beautiful light and I plan t use it as wall wash or spotlight as the beam is focused.
Does the micro switch allow you to control both outlets in a duplex, or is it just one?