Advice needed on setting up smart switches for outdoor lighting


#1

Hi everyone, I’m very glad I found this community. I’m starting a project where I want to set up THREE separate zones for low-voltage outdoor lighting (front yard, back yard, driveway), and I’d like to be able to control each separately using a smart switch.

From a purely technical perspective I think I know what needs to be done. I’ll need three separate transformers (one for each zone) and three smart switches like the GE 45604 Z-Wave Technology Outdoor Module for Lighting Control that seems popular.

My problem is that I’m not sure how to practically install all of this on the side of the house and the installation be reasonably clean and weather-proof. First of all, since I need to plug in three transformers, and I only have a normal two-outlet outdoor GFI outlet, I’ll need to get some kind of splitter. Second, I know the GE Z-wave is rated for outdoor use, but having all of those connections just sitting on the side of my house makes me nervous.

Is there an optimal way to do this? Should I maybe attach some kind of waterproof container on the side of the house to install all these things (the transformers, the wiring plugs, the smart switches, inside? Would there be a potential problem with the smarthome hub (or Wink hub I haven’t decided yet) being able to see the switches inside a container?

Thanks for your advice!

Sam


#2

( I’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own set up.)

Sounds like an interesting project! There are many different ways to do this, and if you go with smartthings you will have a much wider choice of devices then if you go with Wink. Including some controllers specifically for low-voltage lighting.

I’m sure other community members will chime in, but in the meantime you might want to take a look at the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki. If you look at the project report section, there’s a list there under rooms for “outdoor lighting” that should give you some ideas. :sunglasses:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section#Quick_Browse_Links_for_Project_Reports.2FQuestions


#3

As far as signal inside a container, absolutely, containers can block signal. Wood or plastic usually isn’t too much of a problem. Metal or some ceramics can absolutely kill signal. So it is something you have to take into account.

Take a look at some of the project reports, and you’ll see that there are some low-voltage options that might be handled a little differently than you were thinking at first.


(Robin) #4

What ‘low’ voltage are you planning for each zone and how many watts?

Depending on your answers to the above, a single Fibaro RGBW module may work for you:

May seem weird but you can use each of the 4 channels separately (RGB&W) and will only need one transformer! So potential for 4 individually dimmable, low voltage (12v or 24v) zones.

Definitely needs to be housed in a suitable waterproof box but that can be done fairly neatly and doesn’t need to be huge.