SmartThings Community

Blanking off a light switch (UK)

project_lighting

(Steven Burton) #1

Hi, I’ve decided to go with phillips hue as my lighting solution at least for now. I’m therefore ending up with tap switches and the new dimmer switch and a load of wall light switches which are just left on.

Ideally I’d like to put blank face plates on these wall switches. However I’m not sure how to do this. I can find lots of guides on replacing light switches but not with blank face plates. I’m mainly concerned as when I replace it I need to ensure the light is still always on.

Does anyone else have the same issue or some advice on what to do?


Light Switches - where to start? (UK)
ZigBee White Color Temperature Bulb offline help
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

I have bought one of these and time to order more:


http://www.shabboscover.com/


(Matt) #3

So Not an qualified electrician but doing the same set up as you… use this info at your own risk or get someone qulified in to do it for you :slight_smile: (disclaimer over :P)

so
I have used http://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-1-gang-blank-plate-brushed-stainless-steel/63495
or similar to remove the switch and mount the Tap onto, looks quite good to be honest :slight_smile:

and then just used a connector block to join the wire that would have gone to the swtich, im very happy with the outcome and the look :slight_smile:


(James Cadman) #4

Guys I’m staring down this exact same problem - my plan is to make a cover for the switches. I’m in the process of designing a part to fit over a standard UK switch and be held in place using the existing screws to stop accidental switching (we have guests stay often and this will be a problem really quickly!)

My plan is to have some small holes in the front so the switch underneath can be poked with something if absolutely necessary (might also design a small “key” which is slotted in.) I’ll be 3D printing these for myself but will share the files on Thingiverse when they’re ready so you can download the files and either make them yourself (if you have a 3D printer) or just find someone on 3dhubs.com to print it for you.

Hoping to have at least version 1 up and ready this week… I’ll let you know.

James.


(Steven Burton) #5

Thanks for the advice, that’s exactly a kind of method I was looking for. Putting the tap switch on top of the black face plate.

When you say using a connector block to join the wire, I’m not sure what you mean? Can you give an example of the connector block you would use? Sorry, this may be a dumb question…totally not an electrician either!


(Matt) #6

No probs :slight_smile:

http://www.screwfix.com/p/15a-terminal-strips-pack-of-10/91532?cm_sp=Search--SearchRec--Area3&requestid=8675#=p

Something like that, again, if your not sure, get some one in to sort it, and before you do anything make sure the power is off…

i use something like this to double check, you don’t need to touch the wires just hold it near them and it will light up if there is power there


(Mike Turner) #7

I have just over 40 hue bulbs and was going to do exactly the same; blank off the switches; although for now the cost of the Taps to put in every room will quickly add up but this may not be the same in your case.

Currently all my lights are all automated based on combinations of motion detection and sunrise/sunset so not even sure I’ll add some switches back on. The only downside with completely blanking off the switches is that they will no longer be able to be used in an emergency (i.e. your Hue Bridge fails)… so I’m still looking out for the best option.


(Paul) #8

how about a key switch http://www.screwfix.com/p/mk-2-way-20a-sp-secret-key-switch-white/63994 means you can switch it off/on but would stop someone doing it by accident

Paul


(James Cadman) #9

@steveburton4 Sorry for the delay, but I finally found the time to design and print some UK specific switch covers. Depending on if you have access to a 3D printer or not, this may work out cheaper, but its most definitely easier than most other options.

You can find all the details on my blog: http://blog.jamescadman.com/2015/11/19/switch-covers/ let me know if you need any help finding a way to get them made or if you need any advice.

Cheers,

James.


(danny) #10

You could keep the existing switch and just wire the live in and out into the same terminal, therefore bypassing the switch.


(Mike Whitaker) #11

Reading through this thread, and others, I think I’ve figured out what I want to do.

With the exception of several rooms which have LED ‘fluorescent’ strips. for which I’m going to have to go with the in wall Z-Wave or Zigbee relay + switch to control them, most of the rooms will have Lightify RGBW bulbs, and I’m suspecting the best approach would be to blank off the switch, ‘chocolate block’ the wires permanently on inside the wall box and find a Zigbee or Z-Wave battery powered switch or dimmer that’ll mount on the front of the wall box.

However, it does occur to me that this isn’t perfect, since in the event that I want to change the bulb, in the interests of safety I need a switch that will really really turn the power off to the light fitting in a way that doesn’t rely on external software to do so, and doesn’t require someone to unscrew the faceplate and disconnect live wires :smiley: :smiley:

So… how? :smiley:


(Stuart Buchanan) #12

this is what i have. I have blanked off the switches with a blanking plate and as they were just two way switches in the rooms i wanted them in, i just put the two ends of the wire into a 10A connector block inside the back box and stuck the hue tap onto the blanking plate. I’ve been running with Hues and Taps around my house but i am planning to change now i have smart things to 7" galaxy tabs mounted on the walls instead. getting the first two tomorrow to start setting them up. the main issue with the taps is we cant use them to turn on and off devices on smart things because the Philips API doesn’t expose the button presses to use it as a trigger :frowning:


(Stuart Buchanan) #13

oh and as for changing bulbs, i just do it with the lamp holder live, no issues at all, they aren’t Incandescent bulbs so no chance of a bulb shattering or going pop, so its pretty safe to do.


(danny) #14

If you want it dead for changing a lamp then there is always the fuse box. turn the circuit off…


(Cathal Rooney) #15

Hi All,

New to this as well, has anyone any suggestions for a smart switch that will work physically as well as well as through the app?

thanks


#16

There are a number of options, but the first question is whether you have a neutral wire at the light switch. That will make a big difference in the available devices. But there are options even if you only have two wires.

There’s more information in the UK lighting FAQ:


(Cathal Rooney) #17

Cheers ! I got my smart hub as its on offer, dont move into the new home for 4 weeks… so as Arnie said…ill be back! :slight_smile:


(Steve Hodges) #18

Back to the subject of blanking off, I am also at this stage and have looked at a number of options. I wonder if something like this would do the trick?

I don’t want a permanent removal, as a backup I would like to just prevent others from switching off the light, whilst at the same time looking ok. I might try one of these with my Philips Hue plate and dimmer switch.

Also look at the “Frequently bought together” section, maybe it is a sign that this is a good solution.


(Frazer Webb) #19

I’m lucky I have a neutral at my switch locations I’ve been looking at a hardwired switch that isn’t too expensive.


(Steve Hodges) #20

Currently I am on the verge of getting these, they cover the switch to prevent accidental presses, but also have an override slot. Would much prefer a white version but these might have to do.