Hue trigger from Fibaro micro module? (UK)


(Mark) #1

I am trying to work out whether it is possible to use a physical light switch (momentary or toggle) connected to a fibaro/aeotec/qubini micro module to trigger a Hue scene.

The use case is this: 2 overhead GU10 light sockets, each with a Hue bulb. I would like the switch to turn on and off those lights (and add some ‘smartness’ - if after sunset, turn on to 80% and specified colour, if after midnight turn on to 5% etc etc).

So what I need is for power always to be supplied to the light socket, and for the module, when triggered by the wallswitch, not to do anything to the power it supplies but instead just to trigger an action in ST. Could I hardwire the lights (would this meet electrical code here in the UK) and use S2 on the Fibaro module for this? But then how would the module receive power? Any other ideas?

I’m actually not bothered about going via the Hue ‘scene’ if I can just use ST to control the bulbs direct. This is really a question about the micro modules.


Tagging @RobinWinbourne

(Robin) #3

I’m yet to find reference to the actual U.K. code but I’ve been told by two seperate electricians that a lighting circuit needs to have a nearby means of isolation for when you need to change the lamps, be it a consumer unit in the same room or a physical wall switch… so hard wiring a light to be ‘always on’ is, in most cases, not advisable.

What I would do to achieve your goal is to change the existing light switch to one of the system switches (i.e. MK grid system) with two gangs.

The first gang would be an emergency key switch (I call them fish keys), connected to S1 on a Fibaro Dimmer 2. The Fibaro would be wired to the live and switched live as normal.

The second gang would be a momentary switch, connected to S2 on the Fibaro. This switch would be used to send scene ID’s to the hub which in turn can be used to trigger whatever you like.

You would be able to click 1x 2x 3x and hold, so that switch could be programmed (using webCoRE) to trigger 4 different things.

The only problem with the above is that the fish key is a toggle switch and the other switch is momentary. Really you should have the same on both S1 and S2… but, in the rare cases you need to isolate the circuit you would just need to remember to flip the key up and back to down to simulate a momentary press (or use the ST app)

End result will be a bit like this but flush with a nicer faceplate:


FAQ: Philips Hue and Other Smart Bulbs - What sort of light switches to use with them? (Long FAQ)
Smart light bulbs with Fibaro dimmer 2
(Mark) #4

Thanks, that’s very helpful (and fast!). And that sounds great re programmability - is that also possible for S1 (so e.g. for bedroom switch I could program it to switch off all downstairs lights on a double click)?

As it happens the existing faceplate is a Schneider Ultimate Grid faceplate with three gangs. The first gang controls the landing light; the second two gangs control two separate bulbs in the bathroom. Which isn’t necessary - could easily wire them both to both to achieve the layout you describe (I think? No harm in having the single module run both single-bulb fittings?). I suppose I could use a normal momentary switch for S1 also and always just leave it on and make appropriate threats to family members to ensure it’s never turned off… though history suggests my threatening powers aren’t particularly effective.

A couple of other questions, if you don’t mind:

1/ What’s the merit of using the Fibaro Dimmer 2 over the Fibaro Switch? On the basis I won’t be using it to do any dimming, and I’ve had real issues with Hue bulbs with conventional dimmer switches, even where it’s left set at 100%.

2/ Again, bearing in mind I don’t want to dim these ‘conventionally’, should I be thinking about the bypass? 2 LED bulbs, way under 35w… but not sure if that’s an issue with the Fibaro dimmer module if set in software always to 100% (i.e. ‘full on’) with dimming controlled ‘in-bulb’ by the Hue bulb itself.

3/ Quite specific, but any idea of likelihood of fitting the module in behind the grid faceplate? Could I achieve the same thing by wiring the module in one of the (aluminium) ceiling roses?

4/ I assume I won’t get the benefit of electricity monitoring from the Fibaro module (S1), since it will just see the bulbs as always-on?

5/ Will the Hue bulbs accurately report status to the ST hub? (I suppose this is a different question, so I should ask this in a separate thread.)

(Robin) #5
  1. Dimmer 2 can send scenes, switch 2 can’t.

  2. you shouldn’t need the bypass, you’ll need to set the Fibaro into non-dimmable mode anyway.

  3. normal place for the module is behind the switch faceplate. You can’t use S2 if wiring behind the light fitting as you only have 2 wires + earth between light and switch (you would need 3+earth.

  4. you will get power monitoring, There will be a tiny power draw when the Hue bulb is off and this will increase when Hue is on.

  5. I don’t have hue bulbs but as far as I’m aware, when running through the Hue Bridge (that’ll keep JD Happy), status is reported.

(Robin) #6

Switch 1 also sends scenes, except for a 3x press.

(Robin) #7

Should be ok as long as they are on the same lighting ring.


I would check with Fibaro with regard to the S1 feeding the current to the hue bulbs.

Most dimmer switches, whether they are smart or not, cannot be used to feed current to a smart bulb. The two devices confuse each other as the bulb changes the current draw even if you have the switch set to “100 percent.” This can burn out the switch, the bulb, or both.

There are some exceptions. In the US, the Lutron Caseta switches can be converted from dimmer switches to on/off switches with a parameter change, but when you do so it literally changes how the device processes current. That is, “on” is not just a dimmer set to 100 percent. But I have no idea if the fibaro dimmer does the same thing, or if it just jumps between 100 percent to zero percent, as many smart dimmers do.

But I’m sure this is a pretty common question these days, so I would just ask Fibaro tech support, they should know if it will be feasible. :sunglasses:

(Robin) #9

Fibaro can be toggled between leading edge and trailing edge dimming via the parameters, but it’s a good point and I’m not sure of the answer to that one…

The other option of course is to have the fish key toggle the power to the bulb directly and not connect that load to the Fibaro at all… if you have other circuits in the same face plate you could smartify a different load and power the Fibaro from that instead and still use S2 as desired.

(Mark) #10

Thanks both, very generous of you to take the time. Incredibly helpful.

@JDRoberts I will ask Fibaro that question and report back.

@RobinWinbourne In this particular instance (given my 3-gang situation) I might just do that - I could ‘smartify’ the landing light and use the S2 for the bathroom Hues. Although the landing light has two switches (top and bottom of stairs)… another problem for another day!

Similarly, though, could I just wire up a switch only to S2? Not use S1 at all? So the switch could be anywhere, and just used as a scene trigger. Or does the Fibaro dimmer need S1 to power the module?

(Robin) #11

If you have a neutral at the switch you can power the Fibaro without a load… otherwise, in a two wire arrangement, you’ll need to power the Fibaro through the load which is where the possible issue lies.

Two way switching isn’t an issue… but Fibaro has to go behind the primary switch… so it depends on your layout.

(James Scholes) #12

That sounds like Regulation 537.3.2.4 - Principal requirements for devices for switching off for mechanical maintenance - suitably located.

There is provision for remote location so long as everything is clearly labelled though. I’m conducting research as to if that means consumer board isolation could be okay in some circumstances where it’s clear the light switch isn’t going to isolate the circuit. My local electrician seems to think it may be okay in my case (consumer board is easy to access, not many lights involved in circuit, switch in question in adjacent room to consumer board)

NB: My use case is not your use case so I may get different results. I’m keeping the keyswitch in reserve as a backup option for now. Usual caveats apply, &c

(James Scholes) #13

Replying to my own post to add a bit more info.

According to the folks over at there’s no requirement for a switch for lights.
In fact:

  • ordinary switches fall under EN60699-1 and are “functional” not “isolating” so it’s expected you’d isolate from the consumer board
  • the same is true of key switches

However good practice is to make it clear if you’re doing something “unexpected,” also a couple of people pointed out that removing the switch altogether can make it more challenging to reset the bulb if it goes wrong.

@RobinWinbourne I’m not sure where that leaves you and your electricians, but I’m satisfied it’s not against code to wire a permanent feed to a light fitting.

(Once again, I’m not a lawyer, or an electrician. Do your own research and don’t take any risks with mains voltage.)

(Robin) #14

I’ll have to ask my chaps a few more questions… but I guess that it’s just a ‘good practice’ thing that has become so engraned that they quote it as law.

I can’t stand smart bulbs myself so it doesent effect me anyway… I get asked a lot on here though, hence why I asked my electricians.

May I ask why you want smart bulbs in the first place, when smart switches are easier to control? Guessing you like to adjust colour temperature?

(Mark) #15

Exactly - colour temperature. And dimmability, though I’m now wondering if I’ve been too hasty on that (bought the Hue bulbs before fully appreciating how annoying it would be not to have a wall switch, and how much more sophisticated things like self-calibrating modules and bypasses have become).

(James Scholes) #16

Reasons I went for smart bulbs in ES and BC sockets:

  • tunable white/colour
  • easy starting point
  • dimmable (see below)
  • no flickering at low power - an issue I’ve had with so-called dimmable dumb bulbs

NB: I’ve generally gone for LIFX. I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ve been reliable from day one for me, and have a better colour profile than most others. Also I didn’t want another hub in my life.

Reasons I’m sticking with dumb bulbs in GU10 sockets:

  • cost
  • (reasonably) failsafe
  • couldn’t find a decent wide angle smart option

At some point I’m going to be getting either some Fibaro or Aeotec dimmers for these. There are even a couple on my Christmas list!

There are a couple of edge cases: under counter lights in the kitchen just run off a smart plug, as do the Christmas lights. The only zigbee lights in the system are a set of Osram Lightify gardenspots (white) and they’re by far the least reliable lights in the house.

(Robin) #17

That’s not the bulbs fault… you need to select the dimmer switch carefully especially the minimum load specs :wink:

In the case of Fibaro, you often need the bypass module to solve the issue.

For regular (dumb) dimmer switches I’ve heard of people installing dummy load resistors but that kinda defeats the object of using LED’s

(Nick Palfrey) #18

I hope im not hyjacking this thread but have a dimmer 2 and trying to use S2 to trigger a hue bulb… I have put the network ID into the field on Association Group 4 - nothings happening.

HAve searched aroud but cant figure out what im missing.


(Robin) #19

Hue uses zigbee, so zwave association wont work.

You’ll need to use webcore instead.

Dimmer 2 scene IS 26
Hue is off
Turn on Hue
Turn off Hue

(Nick Palfrey) #20

That would explain that… I tried via webcore… no such luck with the IS on the scene ID

What have I missed