How to create separate Deck lighting controls for 5-6 zones - with dimming, on/ off

Wondering how to best set up 5-6 zones of 12v lighting with separate dimming / switching without separate transformers/ dimmers for each zone?

For a wrap around deck, in the woods, I would like to create separate zones for the deck railing lighting that can be dimmed and turned on/off independently via ST. How to power and control each individual zone (maybe 5 zones of 5 W -12V each) via ST / zwave/zigbee at a “reasonable” cost.

It seems like it needs a separate transformer per zone, with a dimmer per transformer. Hoping there are new products since I looked into this last year for the front (and your help provided a relay and smart bulb option I haven’t installed yet).

Right now I just have the lights (1w dimmable). Needing the transformer / dimmer - whether that’s multi channel or one per zone.

First: wondering if I can use a smart outlet to dim the transformer to get switching and dimming for $30.

  1. Set up options
    Separate Dimmer - Transformer per channel
    Transformer >> controller (multi-channel) w/ Dimmer>>
    Transformer >> controller (multi-channel) >> Dimmer per channel>>

  2. Dimming
    1A - Dimming the transformer
    For the case where everything on the transformer dims together -
    Can I use the a simple Outdoor dimmer plug z wave to dim the transformer?

1B - Is there an line - 12V dimmer with zwave/zigbee control
I can put it in a box, but it would be outside

  1. Power - which transformer depends on the dimmer/switch set up

  2. Switch - I’d like to send the switch signal without hard wiring the location

  • Z-Wave Plus Scene Controller Switch ZEN32
  • elsewhere I’m planning to use a zigbee relay as a switch to the power

The Set up
The post lights are these 1w dimmable 12V (ac /dc) eyeball lights
Each zone would have 4-6 W total
There would be 5 zones (ideally)

  • dimmable
  • 1 watt
  • separate bulb (not integrated, not a normal bulb)
  • 12v AC or DC

thanks for suggestions!

The easiest way for this kind of project in general is to use smart bulbs. Then you can create the zones through the app without worrying about the wiring needed.

You can even have the same bulb in different zones for different use cases. This is a common way to approach lighting for a large kitchen or home theater room, for example. But the smart bulbs may add to the cost, it just depends on how complex the wiring would be without them. So just a thought. :sunglasses:

You may also be able to use a smart inline controller like Gledopto with dumb bulbs and get the same kind of device by device control.

Hue, INNR, Meross, and Gledopto all have some devices that work well outdoors and all work well with the new SmartThings platform. But specific models available do vary by region. So if you aren’t in North America, let us know.

I’m still working on plans for something similar, as you have, obviously.

I’ll just say this much, for now… For an existing group of lights, there are more “smart” options if the existing 12v source (transformer) is DC rather than AC.

1 Like

4 dimmable zones per controller

It’s RGBW controller, with option to be used as 4 dimmers, too.
@krlaframboise can you please confirm if this is possible with this device


There won’t be a custom Zooz driver available for that device by 9/30 and I’m not sure how functional the built-in driver its assigned will be.

I think someone created a custom driver for the Fibaro RGBW controller, which is almost the same device, and added Zooz’s fingerprint to it, but I’m not sure how functional that is either. I also don’t remember who did that so you’d need to search the forum.

1 Like

I agree with you on this, however I’m not aware of any exterior low voltage units available for his use case. As a contractor I have installed many of those kinds of systems.

1 Like

Lines of MR16 bulbs (which do both AC and DC), available in Zigbee or Wifi which have been available for a year or so.

Here’s a Zigbee example:

Also, relatively recently the addition of All-in-one landcape lighting such as these:

I still think with outdoor Smart Lighting, AC-only options are lacking, and DC-only options would take a lot of customization to have things just so.

But, personally I would probably start with a DC landscape lighting transformer and work in the dimming/smart components from that point, as there are multitudes of DC “smart” options.

Only recently have I started to see the DC landscape lighting transformers.

1 Like