Idea for a physical switch to control smart bulbs like LIFX or Hue

project_lighting

(Eric) #1

I’ve had this problem since I purchased LIFX bulbs for my kitchen and dining room. I can’t use the wall switch and it is killing me. I had an idea today, likely someone here already thought of it…

If I get a wemo light switch

Hardwire the kitchen lights on, but in parallel hook up the wemo switch to physically do nothing. So, hardware the lights on, but also wire the line to the wemo black wire, and the white wemo wire to the neutral. Using CoRE I can make a rule that if the switch “changes” to toggle the lights in the kitchen. I’ve already tested out the logic with two wemo plugs, it works great. Now I just need to try it out with real wemo wall switches. It isn’t cheap, but I think it is better than having switches on the wall you can’t use. I’ll admit it won’t solve my dimming issue, but I can use the app or echo for that if needed.

BTW - If you are wondering why I don’t try using the Aeon Labs wall switch, well I want it to look like a real switch. That’s why…

What do you guys thing?


(Daniel) #2

I have Philips hue light bulbs and I hardwired the power using wire nuts, then installed the Philips Wireless Dimming switch where the old switch was. It works very nice, and I have dimming capability.


(Eric) #3

Great. I don’t have Hue, I have LIFX bulbs. Man I wish that Philips made that dimmer fit in the standard size switch cover.


#4

Yes, this idea and multiple others are discussed in the smart bulbs switch FAQ. You should find it interesting. :sunglasses:

The biggest problem with hardwiring a bypass is then if your home automation system is not working you can’t turn your lights on and off.

Recently, a new type of device has come on the market which is intended to address exactly this problem. It is a smart switch cover which goes over the existing switch. The cover has its own buttons. So you leave the original switch powered on underneath the cover, and then use the buttons on the switch.

This gives you an intuitive wall switch, but the original wiring is still in play should you need it.

Also, because the smart switch cover talks to the hub and then the hub talks to the smart bulbs, as long as you are using SmartThings, they will work with any smart bulb which is controllable from SmartThings including LIFX.

But take a look at the FAQ: you’ll see many options. :bulb:


(Eric) #5

Thanks, I’ve seen this. However I am looking for something that looks just like a regular switch. If SmartThings is down, I can still turn the lights on / off with the echo or LIFX app on my phone. I bet over the next year someone make a SmartThings compatible dimmer that works like the Hue dimmer.


#6

I’m sure there will be a number of new devices for this use case, as many people want one. :sunglasses:

Both the echo and LIFX app require the Internet be working to access your lights. So it depends on the exact issue. If your power is on and your Internet is off and you have bypassed the switch, then you will not have control of your lights. With the switch cover, you could remove the cover and you would. So just depends what you want.

By the way, if you did read the FAQ, did you also see the Cooper 9500 battery-operated switch? It looks exactly like a regular switch. Again, the details are discussed in the FAQ. :sunglasses:


#7

I’m using flic button for my lifx, it connected to my iPad currently via Bluetooth, I’m waiting for ST to enable the Bluetooth in my hub so I don’t need to depend on another device…


(Eric) #8

Interesting, where is the FAQ?


#9

I linked to it in post 4 above, but here it is again. :sunglasses:


(Eric) #10

Thanks, somehow I missed that. I appreciate the help. I ordered two of the Cooper 9500’s. Do you know the git repository link with the device handler? Or should I just use the code in this post?

Will this run the 9500?


#11

I rely on text to speech, so I can’t read code anymore. Hopefully others will be able to help. The thread that you linked to does have code which works with the 9500. @Lgkahn did the newer DTH version for the Cooper 9500, so he should be able to say more. :sunglasses:


(John Crighton) #12

I’ll just add my solution here. If you’re in the position of needing to control a dumb main light, and a smart light in a lamp then the Fibaro Dimmer 2 might be your answer.

In my lounge, I have the following switch plate: https://goo.gl/photos/XoJyEzsT1z3L6gSz5

This is a momentary switch (both sides, single push) and the right side is rigged up as normal to the main light. It carries all of the normal dimmer functions including double click for max brightness, hold to dim/brighten, etc.

There is a connector for a second switch, S2, which I have connected to the switch on the left. With the help of @Hajar’s device handler, this is now controlling an Aeotech RGBW smart bulb in the lamp in the other corner of the room. It’s just on/off, but that’s all I need. It makes for a very clean solution. You can assign functions to double clicks of either switch too, or even triple clicks.

In a similar vein, in my hallway I had a manual 2 way (3 way) switch between the ground floor and first floor (upstairs) to control the light on the landing upstairs. This now has a fibaro behind it and an identical switch plate. Double tapping the switch from either downstairs or upstairs sets ‘Night Mode’ with the help of an app called ‘Switch Mania’, This is great for switching off all downstairs lights before going to bed, and works flawlessly.

In fact, thinking about it, if you can get power to the fibaro then you can get it to send Z-Wave frames which can be interpreted by the device handler. From my recollection, ‘triple click’ only works on one of the buttons, so you could potentially have 5 different commands sent from the module (single, double and triple click), with no lights directly attached. The only thing missing I guess, is click and hold to dim/brighten. I’m positive this would be possible with some changes to the device handler though.

Edit to add: hold/release frames are there, so it all looks very possible.


(Omri Amos) #13

Did you see this?

You can use the new Logitech POP Home Switch to control LIFX.


(Monte Montemayor) #14

So if I understand this correctly, the wires behind the wall where the old real switch was, is wired to ON 100% of the time. Where the old on/off switch was, now sits the Phillips switch which really control your smart bulbs. What do the other 2 switches do? Are they part of the equation?


(Daniel) #15

The other two switches control other lights. Not related.