Fibaro switches - confused which: Dimmer vs Switch vs Relay


(Rob Moore) #1

Quick question to start with. What’s the difference between Fibaro Double Switch (FIBEFGS-223) and Fibaro Relay 2 (FIBEFGS-222). They both have exactly the same description on Vesternet… I figure Dimmer 2 is the only one that dims and that the ‘s’ doesn’t mean it supports 2 circuits as the ‘2’ seems to on the Relay…

The real question: In a 3-storey townhouse I have a double light switch on the 1st floor landing where one switch is in a 3-way with the ground floor light and the other switch is in a 3-way with the 2nd floor light. Can I use either a Fibaro Double Switch (FIBEFGS-223) or a Fibaro Relay 2 (FIBEFGS-222) behind that one socket to turn both switches smart? The complication I realise is that the on/off toggles according to the position of the other switches and there is a third ‘live’ wire.

Any thoughts appreciated to see if this is worth exploring.


Wireless Switch for New Light in UK - Best Solution?
#2

Relays are Switch are same thing.

I would suggest reading this which has lots of information…

http://www.vesternet.com/resources/scenarios/modules

Also, watch this video.


#3

It can definitely get confusing! :sunglasses:

General Terms

A dimmer module controls the light by varying the current level sent to the fitting. It can only be used with fittings that have nonnetworked dimmable lamps.

A relay controls the light with a simple on/off of the current. It is compatible with a wider range of lamps and Devices.

A “dual” Version of a relay is a single box which can be wired to two separate devices. For example, if you had a bathroom switch that had an on/off button for the lights and an on/off for an extractor fan, you might be able to use a dual relay behind the switch to give you automated control of both.

IMG_3477

IMG_3476

Fibaro’s Terminology

Different manufacturers do use slightly different terms for their own models. Sometimes this is a matter of translation if a manufacturer is headquartered in a different country and the English name is a translation of the original name. Sometimes it’s just a style choice.

Fibaro uses the term “Switch” for their relays, whilst most manufacturers use “switch” for both dimmers and relays, they just put “dimming” in the name of the model which can do dimming.

Fibaro uses the term “double” where most manufacturers use the term “dual” but they mean the same thing-- a single box which can control two devices.

Fibaro added a “2” at the end of a device name when they added their own second generation of a device. So a “dimmer 2” (FGD212) is the newer version of the original “dimmer” (FGD211), but not, as you noted, a dual device – – the dimmer can only control one fitting.

Fibaro 222 vs Fibaro 223

The 223 is a newer model of the 222. There are a few differences, but you have to dig down into the fineprint technical specifications to find them. In terms of basic functions they do the same thing: each is a relay (on/off switch) which can control two different devices.

Z-Wave Fibaro Double Switch 2 GEN5:

“GEN5” on a Z wave device usually refers to the technical specifications of the Z wave chip inside the device. The newest version is “Z wave plus” which was the fifth generation of Z wave, so it is also referred to as “GEN5” and “Series 500.” When compared to the previous versions of zwave, zwave plus Devices have better range, easier pairing in place, better battery life for battery powered devices, and typically a smaller form factor. All of these together were important enough that this generation even got its own logo.

IMG_3478

As far as for Fibaro – specific changes, when compared to the 222, the 223 has an indicator diode for diagnostics, allows connection with a larger size of wire which lets it be installed in more places, added some more safety features and notifications, but dropped the dry contacts (potential free) feature which you won’t need just for lighting but was used for some other types of applications.

At this point (August 2017) many retailers have sold out of the older generation, so it is becoming more difficult to find. The newer generation, the 223, is widely available.

http://www.vesternet.com/z-wave-fibaro-double-switch-2-gen5

@RobinWinbourne has done his whole house with Fibaro micros, so hopefully he will chime in.

But the short answer is that the manufacturer intends the 223 to replace the 222. The 223 is a newer version and is zwave plus. But there are some features on the older 222 which are desirable for some kinds of projects, so you will still see posts about people using the 222 as well.


(cjcharles) #4

Ive also done my whole house with Fibaro’s but sadly only a few sockets are close enough together to use a 222/223 device on, mostly they are Dimmer 2’s.

You’re, completely right @JDRoberts, the main differences are that the 223:

  • Has a Zwave+, hence gets ~10m extra range indoors (40m vs 30m), plus auto extends the mesh
  • Measures current/power usage of the device (the 222 just does on/off and that is it).
  • Uses some form of silicon switch rather than a relay, e.g. triac - hence is actually not a relay device! You can tell this since the 223 doesnt list a max number of operations - 222 has 200,000 operations which means a relay is used. This means that the 222 can switch low voltage (e.g. 12V) and high voltage (e.g. 120V/240V) since it is a relay, while the 223 can only do mains/ac only

#5

@cjcharles Can I ask for your feedback on something.

I live in UK and my house does not have a neutral wire. So I could possible only use a Fibaro Dimmer module. However, this means I would need to replace my current Verilight Vpro dimmer with momentary switches. Downside is that I cannot use the wall switch to dim anymore and have to rely on app/alexa/etc…

Hence I was leaning towards LightwaveRF.

What is your experience?


(cjcharles) #6

I have installed quite a few of my Fibaros in the ceiling, rather than by the light switch, since I was the same as you (1880 house in the UK) with no neutral at the switch. This was a good solution for me, and actually in some cases it allowed me to reuse the wire which goes to the switch to do momentary dual pole switches (i.e. press and hold in up or down position to dim). In one situation I actually installed a neutral cable since it was a better solution for me, but is much more involved!

You can still dim with a single pole switch, just configure single press/push to toggle and hold to dim (either up or down based on whether the light is on or off to start with). I do this for quite a lot of my lights and it works well, though I agree it is slower than having a nice dial to turn in 0.5seconds. The benefit comes from the auto lighting that you create to ensure you need to do this less.

As for Lightwave, its a good technology, and I think if you did a whole house with it, then it would be worthwhile but otherwise probably not for the following reasons:

  1. You need a bridge to work with LWRF devices and they cant directly talk to ST. I already have tons of different tech devices and was keen to avoid one extra if possible.
  2. The signals are one directional to the devices, hence if you turn something on/off at the socket you cant detect that switch press in ST. This limits some of the integration you can do (e.g. when X is turned off then auto turn Y on - or similar) - unless of course it is ST which has turned a device off (in which case of course ST will know the device is off). This may not be a problem, but you need to bear in mind that some options will be limited.
  3. The cost savings are significant, and it is nice to have smart sockets without an extra plug, though on small scale the time cost will be higher during setup since the devices can require a bit more care to setup in ST.

Overall Im not sure there is a right solution and I know people happy with LWRF, though it wasnt right for me.


#7

Thanks @cjcharles

Would you mind sharing the link/details of these momentary dual pole switches that you have used? The lack of wall dimming(so as I thought) was putting me off.

This is the only point where LWRF was winning for me.

@Rob_Moore sorry for hijacking your thread. Give it few hours of reading and you will be clear :wink:


(cjcharles) #8

@vikas I used these ones along with a grid faceplate (since I like stainless stell screwless switches) http://www.screwfix.com/p/varilight-z2dg102srs-10a-2-way-off-retractive-switch-brushed-steel/38220

They arent perfect since the button press is quite firm, but its good enough for me, and I value the functionality for now.


#9

@cjcharles I think I will wait for another month :slight_smile:

Check this out…
https://www.lightwaverf.com/generation-2/


(cjcharles) #10

Seems sensible, though it may take some time for the new product to be stable and well integrated… I look forwards to seeing more about it!!