Aeotec MicroController Switch to create Smart Light Fixture

(Michael and Jessica) #1

Greetings all. I have a light fixture that is wired without a neutral in the box, meaning I cannot add a ZWave controller into the box (power through fixture install). I’ve already spent a bunch of money to pull neutrals into my other switch boxes and just don’t want to go through it again. I have been contemplating adding an Aeotec MicroController relay into the fixture instead; re-creating the power loop conditions that an install with this device would employ but in the fixture instead of the switch box. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of install? What are the dangers of employing this method as opposed to installing in the switch box? Thanks!

(Mike Maxwell) #2

I can’t think of any issues putting the micro in the fixture box rather than the switch box.


Assuming everything fits and can be wired correctly, the main issue is that there will be live current in the Aeotec even when the switch is turned off on the wall. That’s not a hazard if you know it’s happening, but if you want to switch out the fixture you have to be sure to turn off power at the circuit box. Which is best practice anyway, but just something to be aware of.

The other issue is just access to the device itself, but that’s obvious.

(Michael and Jessica) #4

I appreciate the feedback. I wanted to be sure there were no heat issues or potential radio interference problems, but I guess tha’ts not the kind of thing you learn until you do it. Thanks!


As far as signal loss, yeah, that can happen, just depends on the exact set up.

When you put the device in a regular light switch box, for example, you lose about 25% of signal strength just because of the metal box. And if you use a metal switch plate instead of a plastic one, you might lose the signal altogether.

So the fixture presents the same kinds of issues. Just another things to be aware of.