Here in the UK we don’t normally have a neutral wire in the wall boxes behind light switches so that rules out replacing light switches with “smart” switches directly without extra costs. However, you can get battery powered switches, but if you’re like me you don’t want to have two sets of switches and have someone accidentally turn the lights off at the wall using the original switch…
This way you can put a z-wave relay up in the ceiling connected to live, Earth and neutral and then toggle the lights on and off w from the battery switch or your phone via ST app.
So I’ve designed a cover (the central item in the render below) that fits over the manual light switch, is held in place with magnets and provides a mount for a z-wave battery operated switch:
The grey squares are 15mm x 15mm x 1mm neodymium magnets with self-adhesive tape on them from this supplier. and you’d need to use 4 of them per cover - two with the non-adhesive side being N and two with it being S.
The cover would be 3D Printed and is sized to fit over the switch with about 1mm each side, and it provides a flat surface to stick the battery Z-Wave switch onto.
Here’s a view from the back so you can see where the magnets would be recessed into the cover plate body so that the cover sits flat against the faceplate of the switch.
The magnets keep the cover attached, but the cover with the Z-Wave switch can still be removed with a good pull (the magnets are each a 1.2Kg pull) to allow the switch to be turned off at the wall for bulb changes.
I’m going to get one of these covers printed at some point as I’m currently still tweaking it to try and bring the print cost with Shapeways down (the version shown in the renders above would cost £42 to print in polished white plastic!).
Once I’ve got the cost to print down I’ll make it available on Shapeways as a “Beta” product if anyone wants to try it? Unless anyone can suggest a UK 3D printing company who could do it cheaper?
What do folks think?
P.S. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!