Idea in place of a switch for lights

The aeotec requires a neutral, so that doesn’t help in this particular situation.

I think the aeon requires 3 wires - hot/load/neutral. I have 2 used and they are running on that, never tried with 2 wires - i’m far from an electrician but… @swindmiller - did you look deeper in the box? You may have a neutral wire capped off in the back which if that’s the case you are good to go with most switches…

Oops, I read the OP’s post as two wires, black and white…meaning a hot and a neutral were present. I guess I just assumed two black wires were on the switch and the neutral was, well, neutral. My bad!

As I read the aeotec ppwk, I thought the micro switch basically took the place of the mechanical switch (meaning it’s always available) and the mechanical switch basically became a secondary, allowing local control but never cutting the aeotec out of the system. No?

Basically, yes. The mechanical switch becomes a momentary switch. But the Aeotech still needs a neutral so the radio is on and it can hear the next networked command.

The neutral I understand. But thanks for confirming the micro switch usage…

Back to the original question, and assuming that you want to go with a smart bulb…

You’re right that a smart bulb needs to always have current or it can’t hear the next on command.

The easiest way to address that is to put an inexpensive switch lock over the existing switch (the one I use cost about two dollars) and then put a battery operated smart switch on the wall next to it. That way there are no wiring requirements, but you still have a switch that looks like a switch and feels like a switch and can be used whenever you want to. You could also get a second one to put right next to your daughter’s bed. Or she could use her phone, whatever you think is better.

Once the Bulb is up with current on you can then dim it from either the phone or automation set up through smart things.

Now it’s just a question of selecting a switch to go on the wall. Which one you pick will depend in part on how often you think it’s going to be used. Here are some ideas:

1 Like

Thanks…I had not thought about the switch lock.
Also there is definitely only the 2 wires. It’s an old metal box with only those 2 wires coming out.

@JDRoberts likes to make life easy and simple for us here but if you are still thinking of going the hard road then you can have a peek inside your light fixture box for an Aeon micro switch. High chance you will have load, neutral and line there.


I am going to take a look as I hit another snag. I just remembered that her light (ceiling fan) has 3 bulbs but not normal size bulbs…the socket is a lot smaller. Do they make smaller socket hue or tcp bulbs?
When I get a chance I will pull the ceiling fan down and see what all is in there, it that where you meant for me to look @Navat604?

If it’s a ceiling fan, we’re in a whole other world. Don’t even start taking it down unless you’re really comfortable with electrical work. And photograph everything, including all screw attachments, before you disconnect anything.

My suggestion instead would just be to put a lamp with a smart bulb near her bed, and then set up controls for that however you want. You could still add one of the battery powered switches on the wall for it. She could still control it from her phone. You could give her a little Aeon Minimote for it. Just don’t fool with the fan.

Hue light strips are really popular with kids, you can get a lot of nice effects with that and probably get the alarm clock affect you wanted.

Or you can get a striim light bulb, which changes color and can play music. That’s a fun effect for a kid’s room too. :sunglasses:

Look at the Wi-Fi striimlight, not the Bluetooth model. @obycode wrote a device type for it.

1 Like

Thanks @JDRoberts, I was not looking forward to taking the fan down. I have replaced them before and they are not fun.
I like the idea of the light strips. She has a Murphy bed with a cove of shelves inside of it. It would be nice to add a strip or two in that and have it gradually increase the light to wake her up. This would also make a nice light at night for her while she is reading or laying in bed.
Thanks for all your advise!

1 Like

Is hue the only light strip that will work? I just briefly looked and it looks like the hue is around $90. I was hoping to not spend that much and that one is colored which I am sure she would like but does not necessarily need.

I’ve never used it but st announced support for the Osram lightify not that long ago


Good point! The Osram light strip is on the official “works with smartthings” list and is noticeably cheaper. :sunglasses:

Reworking on ceiling fans doesn’t have to be terrible. If you have a third hand person for 5 minutes, that’s all it takes to get the fan off the ceiling base, and hang it 6 inches lower on temporary hooks. You make hooks from coathanger wire, 6" long with 0.25" loop ends, to hang from the screwholes in the ceiling base, to the screwholes in the fan base. Then you can wire at leisure without your third hand holding up 10# of fan motor.

If you do put something like Aeon microdimmer in the fan housing, then you probably could wire the fan builtin lightswitch to the input of the microdimmer for local on/off control. That’s a guess. The wallswitch has to stay on.

Wires to the fan are switched_load(from your wallswitch) and neutral (unfortunately not from wallswitch).

The Osram is a lot cheaper and I get 3 2ft strips, one for each shelf :smile:
I may have to try those out, and they are colored too :smile:


Be careful about the 3- 2 foot strips, they are for different length adjustments, it will not come with the necessary equipment to have 3 independent strips connected out of 1 box. To do that you would need 3 power supplys. But if the cabinets on the Murphey bed are next to each other you could drill a small hole to string this through.

Again I don’t own this product so someone who does correct me if i’m wrong. =)

Oh so they are meant to be connected together? Thanks!
One other question as I was reading another thread on them: do I need the controller for them?
@JDRoberts, I was on a thread you were on about these (still reading). Can these be paired directly to the ST hub or the hue hub? I saw on BB’s they have an expansion kit which is only $29, I would love to try that one.

So after researching a bit I think I now understand how they work, I was confusing the Controller with the Gateway. The Gateway is not needed as the devices will connect directly to the ST hub, but the controller, which is the Zigbee connection, connects to the power. The expansion pack I mentioned just extends the pack mentioned above and does not include the power connector or controller.
It also looks like you can connect up to 30’ to one controller, each strip looks to be 2’ in length.
Do I have that right?
This looks like a really cool product and I am already looking at the GardenSpot for outside around my deck :smile: It figures I come here to find a simple solution to adding controllable lights to one room and now I have many more plans for more $$$ :blush:

The only thing I dont like is it looks like then do not sell the controller and power adapter separately so you could just connect separate 2’ sections.

I may pick up the kit after work from BB and will let you know how it works out.

Thanks everyone for your help.