Fibaro 212 with direct power connection and LED non-dimmable lamps

(Rob Moore) #1


Hopefully someone can give me a quick answer on this. I have a ceiling lamp in my lounge where the power actually comes from it being plugged-into a 13A power socket with a plug in the garage. I currently use a timer socket to switch it on and off; it’s powered like a desk lamp I guess.

I want to set this up instead like a smart lamp so I bought a Fibaro Dimmer 2 (212). Having reviewed the diagram and realising I don’t have a switch at all, I believe the wiring of the Dimmer 2 can be done in the ceiling and should be as simple as this:

Firstly, can I have someone else agree it’s that simple please?

Next, my lamps are non-dimmable (LED). I read on the forums that it may be used as a switch with non-dimmable light sources but when I look on the details on Vesternet they state this must be in a 3-wire connection… So if this is the case, then my connections need to look like this I think:

So secondly, can I please have an OK on that?

But then I realised that because I’m using LED bulbs, the total draw is only about 10W [BTW, how infuriating it is that - despite all the LED lights now - switching and dimming manufacturers are STILL making devices with minimum wattage of 50W!] so I thought I needed a Dimmer Bypass 2. But again on Vesternet I see they have stated this on the Dimmer 2 page: "The Fibaro Dimmer 2 and Dimmer Bypass can only be used with lamps that are ‘dimmable’. So, it seems like I cannot use these devices at all because even though my LEDs could be used by the Dimmer 2 itself, the addition of the Bypass 2 means it won’t work as they are not dimmable.

Thirdly, could I please ask for confirmation of this incompatibility?

The final question is that actually my bulbs are 12V so the 230V power feeds I am talking about in teh diagrams are actually going to/from the transformer (which is non-dimmable) so in these connections I treat the transformer as the lamp.

Fourthly then, will the set-up programme of the Fibaro Dimmer 2 mess my transformer with it’s test cycle or will that either be ok or can I tell it to go straight to an on/off configuration?

So to summarise, my current perception is I have a binary answer on the transformer/12V question and then I can only get around the other limitations by either:

  1. upgrading my (7) LEDs in that fitting to use a combined draw of over 50W (and no need for the Bypass 2) or

  2. upgrading all 7 LEDs in that fitting to be dimmable if I want it all under 50W (and use the Bypass 2)

I’d really love to know what to do now and thanks in advance for your help for this rookie.


(Robin) #2

First of all, if the lighting plugs into a wall socket and you don’t need / want the ability to dim, why not just use a plug in smart socket?

I haven’t got any examples in my own system, but On / Off mode works just fine in a 2-wire setup… I helped @Rogerdunnaker with a similar setup a while back.

In your first diagram, you need to add a small loop between N & Sx to make it work in a 2-wire setup.

As you are powered off a socket though, you have a neutral available and therefore you should use it… reduces the chances of needing the bypass module. This can be done next to the plug or behind the light, your second diagram is correct.

I’ve never combined a bypass module with an LED driver so can’t comment on that. What I can say is that I have a dimmer 2, in a 3-wire setup, without a bypass, running an LED driver less than 50W without any adverse effects.

The 50W thing only applies to a 2-wire setup.

(cjcharles) #3

Agree about using a smart socket being easier, however forsome of your questions:

The Dimmer 2 does work with 2 wire installation but the way it works is passing a small current through the bulb (by having a high internal resistance in the Fibaro) to keep itself powered. To do this the bulb or load should be dimmable,though in many cases this will still work if not dimmable. If you have a very low wattage load then you need a bypass in order to ensure that the low current passing through the bulb does not turn it on (since for a 5W LED, even a few milliamps will make it glow lightly).

A 3 wire installation is better in most circumstances given you can do it fairly easily.

For the transformers, then it is the transformer that must be dimmable as the lights are just 12V ac and will be fine to dim. The setup process on the Fibaro should not damage them as the Fibaro should quickly workout that the transformers are not dimmable. If you have 7 individual transformers and you want to be able to dim them then I would suggest removing them and just replacing with a dimmable LED (the energy savings do add up if they are currently halogens), but if you have a single transformer for all lights then it is easier to just replace the transformer.

(Rob Moore) #4

Hi Robin. Your statement that “I have a dimmer 2, in a 3-wire setup, without a bypass, running an LED driver less than 50W without any adverse effects” is good enough for me to move forward and try it, thank you.

The comment about the smart socket is a good one. The main reason is that the socket is in the garage where there is no Wifi signal from my router. As my Smartthings hub is adjacent to the router I assumed the ZWave or ZigBee signals would also not reach that far. There was also something about ‘trying another bit of kit’ that intrigued me. along with it seeming such a waste to by a £50 socket for the garage :slight_smile:

(Rob Moore) #5

Your point here, alongside Robin’s comments above mean I will give this a try.

I’ll go for the 3-wire set-up - so the Neutral can act as bypass - and with my current bulbs and the (single) transformer for the light fitting. I’ll see what happens.

(Robin) #6

Not having Wi-Fi in the garage does not necessarily mean there is no Zwave or Zigbee. It’s quite possible that your existing Zwave or Zigbee already extends that far, as both protocols automatically use other mains powered devices as repeaters in a mesh.

The signals won’t necessarily come direct from the hub like it does with most wifi setups.

You’ll probably find a Zwave plus socket connects nicely and will help strengthen the mesh for other devices on that side of the house.

You can’t go wrong with the Fibaro though, and it will also strengthen your mesh… it’s just more work on the install side.

Good luck and let me know if you need help with parameter settings etc.

(Rob Moore) #7

At last I got around to setting-up my dimmer! It works with wiring configuration diagram 2 above.

I used the recommended code provided on the other thread: Fibaro 2 Dimmer (212 not 211)

I have one problem which is that the Smartthings app does not appear to correctly register/maintain the status of the lamp. For example, if I tap to switch it off, the status goes to “TURNINGOFF” but never goes to “OFF”. If I leave the app and come back to it, the button shows as “ON” but the light is off; and it then takes two taps to turn it on again: the first turns it from “ON” to “TURNINGOFF” and the second turns it to “TURNINGON”.

Is this a problem with the code I have installed? Anyone else have this problem?

(Robin) #8

That’s a very old handler… try this one:

(Rob Moore) #9

Yes thanks, Robin. Actually, on checking I am using the one you recommend. The issue appeared to be that it has a few config options that are not filled-in after discovery and once I had found the config area and entered values for them it worked. Something about protection status and max and min values. Anyway, entered values that looked sensible and the app now shows the On and Off statuses as hoped for. I have a working Fibaro Dimmer 2 module (doing just on-off as I’ve got LED on a non-dommable transformer). Disappointingly, Google Home doesn’t recognise this device.

(Robin) #10

The protection status is just an added feature that disables the physical switch to ‘protect’ from little fingers / public etc.

The min / max values are set by autocalubration but then overwritten by this handler :frowning:

Best thing to do is force an auto calibration using parameter 13, whilst watching the live logging in the IDE… you’ll see the values found by calibration and can then enter them manually… this will ensure you get max brightness out of your bulb, even in on/off mode.

btw… if you’re just using it for on/off then I suggest you change parameter 32 to 2, this will disable dimming altogether.