Fibaro Dimmer & Retractive Switch


Unfortunately, the manufacturer of our switches dont currently produce a 3 way momentary switch (e.g. sits in centre position and then push up and or push down and release). So I’m stuck with a standard retractive switch. Our switches are a decorative copper style.

How do people use these sorts of retractive switches as a dimmer via a fibaro dimmer ? E.g. how do you alternate between dim and brighten? Is there a press and hold vs a single press configuration?


According to the manual, holding a momentary switch in one position will cause the device to dim up/down for as long as the button is held.

For a toggle switch, it looks like you can single-flip the switch to go to the last brightness setting, or double-flip to go to max brightness. But no dimming up/down at the switch I guess.

I believe @anon36505037 uses a bunch of Fibaro dimmers. Maybe he can confirm.

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Thanks Mark.

Does this mean you hold and it gets to full brightness and then returns back to fully dimmed, stepping back up to full brightness if you continue to hold ?

Perhaps this is just my ignorance of light switches in the UK, but you seem to distinguish between a retractive and momentary switch?

I thought they’re pretty much the same thing? i.e. you “push-to-make” and the circuit remains closed as long as you hold the switch (like a doorbell).

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They are the same, i.e. they sit in an off position and you have to press and hold for them to stay ‘on’.

The differentiation was that you can get 1-way and 2-way retractive switches - i.e. one will have a default position by being ‘off’ (disconnected) and can be pressed on the bottom only (to trigger the switch), while the 2-way switch has a default position in the centre (disconnected) and can be pressed on the top or bottom to trigger two separate outputs.

This is the nicest (budget friendly) 2-way switch I have found for metallic faceplates.


Varilight also do some decent momentary switches on a on a standard switch plate.

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Thanks for all the info!


@Daniel_Edge Did you ever find any 3 way retractive switches?

Plenty of 3 gang on-off switches, but ive never seen a 3 gang retractive switch unless it was a grid faceplate, and they are always double width for a 3 gang one. If that helps!

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I ended up using a grid system. Unrelated, I also moved to Hubitat for full local processing. There were just too many outages and performance issues with SmartThings. Samsung have the resource and certainly the finances to resolve the issues in my opinion - the fact I keep seeing the outage and service degradation emails just demonstrates a lack of investment and that it’s sadly and simply not an area of focus for Samsung but rather an “on the side venture” or “hobby” project. Home automation just has to be reliable, it can’t be “glitchy”, it just needs to work. Otherwise it’s nothing more than a gimmick. Anyway, off topic but the response to an old SmartThings post and today’s incident notification bought things back…

Hubitat for me gives me everything I liked about smartthings, the flexibility, the custom device handlers, custom apps, the great community, without the “glitchy ness” and the inevitable other half complaints / low WAF. Somewhat ironic, but it’s so reliable that through no fault but my own, I had broken a lighting rule, I got a phone call at work from my gf that none of the lights were working, I had to remind her we had light switches - a true testimonial to high WAF :sunglasses::joy:

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Yeah, all I can find is grid systems, too much hassle to change to them. Although just found this mentioning the Scolmore Click Minigrid range, looks like they’ll fit standard back boxes for 1-3 switches.

I’m currently moving from Hue with dimmer light covers, which is acceptable for single lights but gets messy for double/triple, and too costly for GU10’s. I recently bought some LightwaveRF switches which are okay but they’re really slow to dim. My next step was to maybe try Fibaro or Shelly dimmers, I know the Fibaro supports 3 way, I really thought there would be more options on the market for switches though so might have to try standard retractive first.

I’ll take a look at the Hubitat, not bought a hub yet, are they only available from the US?

So did you use a 3 position retractive switch with a Fibaro Dimmer? I’ve just ordered this one to try out, I was hoping it would work with the Shelly Dimmer but their support guy said no (well not tested), so may have to use Fibaro.

To be honest whilst I have some grid two way retractive switches in one room, most are done with regular switches and dining is done by Google home or website automations… I would probably no longer recommend adding retractive switches until a later date, after you’ve had a play with the fibaro using regular switches

I need them to be dimmable from the wall as they are now (Hue/Lightwave), so anyone can use them easily and I don’t want to be screaming ‘set the light to 10%’ when going into the baby’s room :slight_smile: .

I do see some issues with using a 3 position retractive switch though; as all 3 connectors need attaching to the fibaro I don’t know if it will work in a 2-way circuit, eg hallway. I’m guessing they’re made for blinds rather than lighting circuits. I may have to use a standard retractive switch there, which will be fine for the hallway

I was hoping the new Shelly Dimmer would work with the 3 pos switch but they’ve not tested it yet, so i’ve ordered the Hubitat Elevation and will try out a Fibaro 2 Dimmer to see if it works for me.

If you have the 3 position retractive switches then typically you need to have the fibaro right next to the switch, and the outputs of the fibaro then go back towards the light. However it is theoretically possible to do it with ceiling installation if you re-purpose the wire between light and switch (though not allowed by regulations).

Dont forget dimming is still possible using the wall switch and a simple 2-position non-retractive switch, I would suggest using Nightmode on the Fibaro to ensure the brightness is always 1% between 6pm and 6am, and then if you do a double click of the switch it goes to full brightness. It sounds complicated but its far easier to work with than retractive switches in my experience given they need pressing and holding (which takes longer than a couple of clicks). If you add on some more automation rules with Webcore I think you’ll get pretty damn close to your objectives with far less faff and easier setup/use.

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Cheers, so if I was to use a standard retractive switch or normal switch I can put fibaro in the ceiling? Might be easier to do that for bathroom lights.

I didn’t know that, I need to read up a bit more!

Depending on your approach to DIY wiring you can probably put it in both places in both cases, just a bit less regulated in terms of recommended/regulated wiring.

A standard wall switch can be configured to turn on dim brightness during certain hours, unless you double click it (i.e. off then on quickly) in which case it is full brightness. You can then add rules around which hours this happens on and what other variables are important. Retractive switches don’t really add much compared to normal switches, except if you get three position ones in which case they normally need to be retractive.

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I assume to put the Fibaro the ceiling i’d need to get a new permanent live feed though, I think i’ll leave that one for my electrician if all goes to plan

Depends where your live and neutral wires are, every house is different. It’s totally DIYable though

Ah, I get it now, this video (14:10) shows how you can use a standard toggle switch as a dimmer in momentary mode. At 36:55 it also shows a 3 position momentary switch setup.

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