Is there a wall-powered button that looks like a light switch?


(junrau) #1

I have no neutral wires in my switch boxes, and I don’t want to pay an electrician to find them. To make my lights in question work, I installed Aeotec micro switches in the box at the fixture. Works great. Problem is that the light switch has to stay turned on.

I have several options:

  1. Leave it as-is and hope no one turns off the light switch.
  2. Remove the light switch, and just connect the wires so it is always on.
  3. Use something like the Lightify Smart Switch (https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0196M620Y, appearance would probably not pass the wife test)

But, what I really want is something that looks like a wall-powered light switch, but is really a button (or two buttons: on/off). Since the wiring in the switch box must always be on, this device would always be on, and toggling the switch part of it would just be a button.

I can’t find such a thing. Does such a device exist?

Are there in-wall switches like the GE ones that could be wired to accomplish this? I know they need hot/neutral, and then out to the circuit they are controlling, so could I wire the switch inline, with nothing actually being controlled by the switch?

Thanks.


(Mark) #2

Can you share a diagram of how you connected the aeotec micro switch?

I have one on a three-way circuit and I’m able to control the light from both wall switches and the ST app. It works just fine.


(milandjurovic71@gmail.com) #3

Inovelli switches with scenes.


(Ben Erkens ) #4

The Fibaro Dimmer 2 module can be used as a switch / dimmer. You don’t need a neutral and the module is controlled by the switch and the SmartThings hub.

PS it’s a Z-Wave device, check for the proper frequency.

Fibaro Dimmer 2 module


(Mark) #5

Aeotec’s newest generation of in-wall dimmer, the nano (since it’s a little smaller than the micro device), makes the same claim.

But I believe with any of these kinds of devices, that depends on the load that’s connected. Very low wattage loads, like some LED bulbs, may not function correctly and require an additional installation step that requires accessing a neutral wire anyway.

The aeotec micro switch the OP already has installed should be able to do this, as I mentioned, that’s why I’m curious to know how it’s wired.


(Ben Erkens ) #6

The Fibaro Dimmer 2 module can a “bypass” installed at the lamp holder, still a 2-wire connection, without an additional neutral.

https://manuals.fibaro.com/dimmer-2/


(Mark) #7

I think we are saying the same thing, as far as how the bypass module is wired.

But I am suggesting that the OP has no need for the fibaro device.


(Ben Erkens ) #8

@junrau

Sound silly but the Aeotec and the Fibaro Dimmer module don’t need a neutral wire. The Switch version does need a neutral wire!

Your option is to replace the Aeotec Switch by a Dimmer module. Then is solves your problem of leaving the wall switch always on. After replacement by the Dimmer, you can use the wall switch as designed.

Aeotec Dimmer

Hope this solves your needs.

Grtn Ben


(Eric) #9

you could do low-tech and just guard the switch, allowing manual override by your pinkie

I have one wall switch guarded. It’s enough to prevent casual operation.


(Mark) #10

why not just do something like this:

image

The aeotec micro switch (the device the OP already has installed in the fixture box) is designed to work with (or without) the physical wall switch. Just like the fibaro devices, and the newer aeotec nano devices.


(Scott Ainsworth) #11

That is is exactly the right solution. The existing switch is removed from the the 110V circuit and is then used as a low voltage input to command the relay.


(Ben Erkens ) #12

That’s also an option, you need to move the Aeotec Switch from the wall box to the ceiling (lamp)?


(Mark) #13

The OP has already installed the aeotec device in the fixture box in the ceiling, and it is capable of doing what he or she wants. That is what I have been saying since my first reply :wink:.


(Ben Erkens ) #14

Yes, and he want an option for the wall switch that can be switched off and “killing” the power to the Aeotec.

There are some solutions…


(Mark) #15

Hmm, I don’t think so, but perhaps I am misunderstanding what the OP wants.

I read the post to mean that the OP wants to be able to control the light with both the aeotec relay (through ST) and with the switch at the wall.

From what I read above, as it stands now, turning off the wall switch interrupts the circuit and renders the aeotec device unable to control the load. That is not what the OP wants, nor is it how the device is intended to be wired in this situation.

I guess we’ll have to wait for further clarification from the OP.


(junrau) #16

Here’s my wiring diagram. The left is the box with the light switch, the right is the box at the fixture. The wall switch connectors on the smart switch are not connected.

My original question is whether or not there is a device that looks like a light switch, but is really a button. I don’t want it to be a switch since the circuit will remain closed, and it could be wall-powered since the wiring in the switch box is always hot.


(Jeff H) #17

The lightify switch works great… covers the regular switch so no one touches it, and then provides you with 2 buttons to do two different things as you wish.


(junrau) #18

Yeah, I’m leaning towards that one, but it is big and I was hoping for something more non-descript.


#19

@OP, I don’t think you appreciate the beauty of @marktheknife’s proposed solution. The wires in your home aren’t all just tired together to send power all over the place. They start in one box and end in another. As you’ve said, you already have power to the light fixture box directly. Then the clever electrician interrupted the line going to the bulb and ran two wires to a box in the wall so the previous home owner could turn the light on and off. You could simply connect hot and neutral to your smart switch and disconnect the two wires that go to and from the light switch leaving them completely unpowered and safe. Now your circuit works fine and you happen to have two unused wires running to a switch in the wall. At this point, you can follow Mark’s diagram to repurpose that switch to act as a remote control for your smart switch that is always powered up there in your ceiling.


(Mark) #20

I’m certainly no wiring/electrical expert, and I’m not 100% sure if I understand the diagram OP posted.

@junrau you’re saying that your line hot is in the switch box, not the fixture box?

Are there any other loads on this circuit?

Where is the neutral wire connected to the aeotec micro going?