Also, under U.K. safety codes the primary switch must be usable even if the home automation system fails or is off-line. So you have to keep take that into account as well, which makes things much trickier.
How would you do dimming? It’s not momentary so you can’t detect it like that.
Yes, I’m aware of what a corded light is JD. I’m not an idiot. I had just never heard of the pull-chain being separate from the fixture. Because, I think you can agree, that if the pullchain were part of the fixture, then wiring in anything to function the way he described would be next to impossible unless you totally disassembled the fixture.
Me? I don’t have to take anything into account. I wasn’t the one asking this question.
And safety codes only apply to commercial spaces or when you are selling your home. it’s not like the building inspector is just going to show up at your house and say that you have to change a light because you can’t control it when smartthings is down.
As was mentioned, it’s the standard method for U.K. bathrooms.
The wiring is just like a regular wall switch, except that it is typically hanging down from the ceiling.
The corded fittings are typically on the wall rather than the ceiling, just a different style.
Again, this is the UK section of the forum, and things are done quite differently than in the US. It is not true that inspections take place only at the time of sale.
There are some differences in different jurisdictions, but typically insurance companies (or leases) will require electrical inspections by a licensed electrician every 10 years for an owner occupied home, Every five years for a rental, and every three years for a caravan.
There is a specific form which is issued, the EICR (electrical installation condition report).
In addition, under current law it is a criminal offense not to notify the local building council when making electrical alterations in a bathroom. And that can void homeowners insurance as well.
There is variation in this, but this is the UK section of the forum, and DIY is just a different kind of project in the UK than in the US.
I don’t want to hijack the thread, and certainly we want to encourage participation, but as a courtesy to other community members when posting in the UK section of the forum there should be at least some attempt to suggest solutions which would be legal and practical in that region.
Submitted with respect.
And I would assume that it would be up to the person who asked for the advice to determine if the solution would work in their jurisdiction. Or unless your suggestion has the JDRoberts seal of approval is anyone allowed to post. Respectfully? Nothing respectful about it. Bye.
As I said…you even quoted me…I didn’t know that. How many times are you going to hit me over the head with it? I admitted I didn’t know about it before. You told me about it 3 times now. Can you just drop it?
UK safety legislation requires light switches in a bathroom (or toilet) to be light pulls so as to avoid the possibility of a wet hand encountering electricity.
This is not a requirement in the US where electricity is ‘only’ 110v and hence less lethal, here in the UK and Europe electricity is 220v so this is more of a concern.
Similarly you are not allowed normal power sockets in a bathroom/toilet. The only exception is a shaver socket which has different connectors, is only for shavers or similar devices e.g. rechargeable toothbrushes and has additional safety features.
It is now a requirement to get electrical work in UK homes either fitted by or signed off by a qualified electrician. That is work involving fitting the wiring and switches/outlets. This applies to new builds and renovations. If/when you sell your house and the work falls within the time period this applies you need to be able to provide this certification to the purchaser. It can also affect things like insurance and renting out your property. Similarly new electrical installations have to use RCD circuit breakers whereas existing now ancient fuse based distribution boards can be kept although these are now rare and a sensible home owner would have got them replaced long ago.
Due to these different requirements most US companies are unaware of this and do not design their products to support the possibility of needing to use a pull cord light switch. It is however possible in some cases to implement a wired smart pull cord light switch.
This requires a suitable micro module like the Fibaro, Aeotec, Insteon, etc. and a momentary pull cord light switch like the following.
These momentary pull cord light switches are mainly intended for use in disabled toilets but can and are also used for this purpose. You can swap the (included) red cord for a standard white cord or even a chain. The red colour is there again for disabled toilets to indicate it has a different special purpose e.g. calling for help.
For the benefit of our friends in the colonies WC derives from the old English term ‘Water Closet’. It is often incorrectly assumed that the Englishman ‘Thomas Crapper’ invented the flushing toilet however it is more accurate to assign this to Sir John Harrington - also an Englishman. However Thomas Crapper did have many related inventions including the floating ball cock used in ‘modern’ toilets to control the filling of the cistern. So associated is Thomas Crapper with sanitary ware that the now regarded as somewhat uncouth term ‘to take a crap’ obviously is linked to his name.
You cannot use a Fibaro Dimmer with a Hue bulb. The bulb is designed to accept a fixed voltage and do the dimming internally. You could use a Fibaro Relay which would simply turn the power off (or on) completely. Thanks to a more recent firmware update Hue bulbs would return to their last setting when the power is restored.
There would be some logic to using a Zigbee micro module rather than a Fibaro Z-Wave micro module as a Zigbee module could be linked via Zigbee to the same Philips Hue hub. However overall if you want to use wired smart light switches you should not use smart bulbs but rather standard (dumb) bulbs which could be dimmable. Yes this does sadly mean you cannot use multi colour cable bulbs.
Note: whilst normal Zigbee micro modules can indeed be linked to a Philips Hue hub they do not get advertised via the Philips Hue hub as HomeKit devices. Only genuine Philips Hue products or certified ‘Friends of Hue’ products get this benefit. So far the only Zigbee micro modules I have found that appear to qualify for this are Stitchy porducts from M-Elec an Australian company. Unfortunately these currently are only being sold in Australia. (They are on a technical spec basis in theory suitable for UK/EU applications, it would merely be availability and safety certifications that are the obstacles.)
A possible exception to all this i.e. to allow wired switches with colour controllable bulbs is if you have one of the colossally expensive proprietary smart home systems installed, e.g. Creston, KNX, etc. these use proprietary digital wiring/signalling so their switches do not directly control the electrical supply to a light but instead send digital signals to a control box which in turns controls their lights.
Do you have a copy of that code. I thought that was not the case. As long as the circuit is able to be isolated.
I think the point is still missed to my original request!
My aim is to have the light wired on mains power separate from the switch (we can discuss safety another time for now)
I would swap for a momentary pull switch not connected to any light.
Using ST I will have the action control my light. Basically turning my pull switch in to a dumb switch like the battery powered options or xiaomi wired versions.
It means using the pull cord will never disconnect the power. But I hear many relays2dimmers need a load to be sensed to work.
My aim was to find out if it can be worked round or do any support no output load.
If legally it needs an override I would fit a override next to the pull switch rose or on the edge of it. But I’m not sure there is a legal requirement for this as long as it can be isolated. (Which it can by the consumer unit)
The only way I can see to have a Hue bulb separate to a wired power switch is to use a wireless smart switch. This could be one of the official Philips Hue switches or one of the ‘Friends of Hue’ wireless switches. As these are wireless they can be wall mounted and look like a traditional wall switch and be legal in the bathroom since they are wireless. Some even have no need for a battery as they use piezo electric power.
I am also like you unsure whether the requirement is to have an adjacent override (real) wired switch or as you mention whether the consumer unit is sufficient. You would need to ask a qualified electrician.
My own intention is to use a micro module with a momentary pull cord switch. I am currently still waiting for a UK HomeKit solution. As I mentioned the Stitchy is the nearest option so far.
The Friends of Hue options can look like wired switches as per the above link. Here is the equivalent US link.
For the US market there are also various wireless switches that look like wired switches. This includes Lutron’s Aurora switches.
The bleep bleep’s at Lutron still stubbornly refuse to make a European version of their Lutron Caseta product despite huge pent up demand for it. They did more recently release Lutron Radio RA2 Select but foolishly their inline modules cannot be used in conjunction with wired wall switches. (You would have to use purely Pico wireless remotes.)
Good point. I don’t know whether isolation makes a difference or whether it’s about operability. @anon36505037 would probably know, he’s done two complete houses (in the U.K.) with Fibaro kit.
But with a dumb bulb? I really dont want to loose the hue as I have an auto routines that need colour and are more than just fun playing.
Someone must do a relay at minimum that has no care about load. Dimming and scene control is only a bonus.
To the best of my knowledge, all of the dimmer modules have a minimum load requirement as otherwise the dimmer can’t tell between on and off draw and will leave a faint glow on the bulbs. As you noted, the relay versions don’t have a similar requirement as they are just a physical on/off of the circuit branch, but then that’s not good for the smart bulbs since killing power to the radios on a frequent basis (rather than just the occasional power outage) will tend to significantly shorten the working life of what are already quite expensive lamps.
If you think household members can be relied on to not use the manual switch most of the time, you could add something like the remotec zrc-90 eight button battery powered Device as a scene controller. It has press, long press, and double tap for each button, giving you 24 possible scenes. Available on either the US or UK zwave frequency.
It would mean using two devices instead of one, and the relay would have to be powered on or the scene controller won’t be able to communicate with the bulbs, but when you want colour control, it might be worth it to get the added functionality. (and if there is a code requirement for a manually functional switch, the relay device would meet that.)
This specific device is highly rated and has been very popular in the community in multiple regions.
As I mentioned if you want to continue to use Hue bulbs then your best option is to use wireless switches. These might not control colour but you can do that via the app and se the wireless switch for local wall mounted on/off control.
I have no need to control colour from the switch.
It’s a nice to have. If all I can get is on off. That’s fine. But the on off should be dumb. So it’s sending a request to ST to tell hue to turn it off.
OK, back to the very first post…
There is a way to do this with a fibaro dimmer 2 because the first input is intended to control the current and the second input only sends central scene information to the hub. Which means if you use the second input, you are not turning the current on and off. The switch talks to the hub, the hub talks to the bulbs. So far, so good. If there’s a minimum load requirement that you are not meeting on the first input, you can add a bypass there.
However, @anon36505037 has previously said in the U.K. that you can only use this on a secondary switch in the room because safety code requires a manually operational switch. Which you would not have if this were the only switch in the room.
This can work well if you have a two-way set up and you just want to replace the auxiliary switch. But most UK bathrooms are only going to have one switch in them for each light.
So… Technically, yes, it can be done. Legally, I just don’t know.
There is an alternative that some people which is to leave the original Pull switch in place Just as a manual back up and put a battery operated device on the wall that can do whatever you want to. Several people have brought that up in this thread already, so I assume if you want any more information about that you’ll ask.
I’m tired today, but I’ll try and dig up the previous threads where we discussed the fibaro 2 option. The first time it was in the context of a large kitchen which had a two-way set up, so it made sense to use it for the second auxiliary switch and then take advantage of the central scene options.
But then it came up again in the context of another room, and that’s when Robin brought up the code issue.
Here’s the second conversation, it includes Robin’s discussion of the code requirements:
This is not correct. If you are using the module to only detect that the pull-cord has been pulled and NOT to actually control the load going to the fixture, you most certainly could use smart bulbs.