Micro Switch vs. In wall Dimmer?


(Nathan Cook) #1

Wanted to see everyone opinion is on micro in wall switch vs. replacing wall switch completely. I am not that familiar with how micro switches work but i am going to convert a bunch of lights to zwave dimmers and want to see pro and cons of both. Whats your opinion???


Aeon Micro Dimmer with Adorne Legrand Touch Dimmer
(Mike Maxwell) #2

Here’s my take on this.
aeon’s micro dimmers and switches can be used with an ordinary toggle switch as a local control device. This becomes an inexpensive solution.
Having said that, running a dimmer from a toggle is not an intuitive affair, so spousal acceptance factor will be diminished…
Running a switch from a toggle is more intuitive, but you loose the positional state cues (up=on, down=off), and everything behaves like the three ways in your house.
My preference for the micro switch and dimmer local control is to use a momentary push button switch. That way both dimmers and switches work the same way, at least physically and visually.
You can purchase momentary action toggle switches (for garbage disposals) as a control device, however they are expensive for what they are.

In my house I’m using Legrand Adorne switches and plates, I’ve succeeded in converting their standard switch device to a bush button for use as a local control device for the aeon micros…
[switch hack…][1]
[1]: Legrand Adorne paddle switch hack (convert to pushbutton)

Hope this helps.


(Chrisb) #3

If I’m not mistaken, using the in-wall micro switch can cause your lights to get “out of sync” with the switch. I know this happens with my fireplace that is a physical switch wired to a relay, which is wired to the gas fireplace.

If I turn on the fire place with the physical switch, that turns on the relay, which turns on the gas fireplace. But then if I turn off the relay electronically from the hub, then the relay goes off, and the fireplace goes off. But the physical switch is still turn on!

To turn the fireplace back on with the physical switch I need to turn off the switch, then turn it back on. Likewise, if I turn on the fireplace from the relay, to turn it off at the switch I need to flip it on, then off.

Granted, this isn’t a huge deal… we’re not talking rocket science or anything, but it’s a mild annoyance and might have WAP implications. If you’re going around the house trying to flip on a switch quick and it’s already in the “on” position even though the light is off you have to stop, flick off, then flick on again.


(Beckwith) #4

I agree that a momentary switch is best for home automation no matter how you achieve it. In fact, home automation with a momentary three way switch actually improves on the traditional three way switch. Up is always on and down is always off. And it avoids the situation where nothing happens when the other switch is half way. My family commented on this improvement.

To a lesser advantage is the LED status. The idea is you can tell if the switch is on or off even when it is dark. However, my impression is no one really understands the meaning and if anything just think it looks cool.

When you automate a traditional switch with a micro, you end up with the traditional three way issues. This is a step back that my family didn’t like.

As most of us have found, for home automation to be successful, family approval is critical.


(Mike Maxwell) #5

That was my point, apparently not described well enough though!


(Chrisb) #6

Well, that’s what happens with your skim read a reply! :slight_smile: I re-read closer and I see you did touch on that.


(Beckwith) #7

I assume when you ask about a micro, you are talking about one of these:


(Brian) #8

Don’t even both with the micro switches. Especially since you can get the full replacement switches for the same price or even cheaper.

$42


$35

Save the micro switches for speciality applications.


(Nathan Cook) #9

Thanks all… kind of what i was thinking. Price is same. or roughly…

@beckwith yeah i am referring to one of the many version of these micro dimmers (like you image)

@docwisdom Assume you meant they cost they same so you would always do full switches?


(Mike Maxwell) #10

True, if you’re in love with Decora…


(Brian) #11

@natescook1 precisely. I would always go full replacement of the switch unless it was a specialty application where that wouldn’t work, then I would resort to the micro.

@Mike_Maxwell I think its worth switching to decora versus the out of sync pain with the micros. The WAF is way too high.


(Beckwith) #12

I think you need to look at it as if you built your house from scratch, then go from there.

For home automation, momentary wall switches are key as I addressed above. Thus Jasco/GE is a good choice. Most people including myself are quite pleased with these. However, this may not be a choice in retrofit situations.

Then there is personal style preference. My wife prefers decora style for its looks, but my son and I prefer the classic switch that only takes an up or down swipe to toggle. Even if I could convince my wife my preference, I can’t find classic momentary switches, so that is out.

Of course after I put in the GE/Jasco switches my wife sees the Legrand Adorne switches and asks why can’t we get that? @Mike_Maxwell has a good hack for that.

Thus, the other thing to consider is consistent looking style.


(Brian) #13

the adorne are sexy, Id like to at least see Vizia support


(Nathan Cook) #14

those are nice but not so easy on the pocket book!


(George) #15

I had two considerations. One was least cost automation. The other was incremental modernization. The former is where the switches come in. The latter consideration includes both Designer format switches AND LEDs… I used both aeotec inwall dimmers (no more crude on/off!), and Evolve dimmers where appropriate. The difference is wall boxes where I am automating all in it vs those boxes where I am only automating one switch for now. As a footnote, Very few vendors support dimming LEDs. This was a BIG consideration for me. Only Evolve and Cooper appeared to support this. Not GE. I called them, they have no plans to support it at this crime. Please keep this in mind or you will be buying them twice!


(Chrisb) #16

FWIW: I’ve been using a GE dimmer with LEDs probably about a year now with no difficulties.


(Andy) #17

Retrofitting my house built in the 60’s has been a huge pain. I was ready to buy enough GE/Jasco switches to outfit the entire house, but then I found out only 2 of the boxes had neutral run to them and the idea of fishing them to all the other ones makes a a little sick to think about. The current plan is to install Micro Switches in the ceiling where all the needed wires can be easily hooked up. The last piece of this is finding a switch that’d acceptable to guests and my wife. So far @Mike_Maxwell’s idea he posted above appears to be the best way to make it work seamlessly, has anyone else ran into similar situations and found any other workable solutions?


(Nico) #18

Is there any micro switch like Aeon Labs Micro switch ?


(Mike Maxwell) #19

Figaro makes some as well, I think the EU versions are available maybe…


#20

I went to see the Adorne switches in store today, they are veeery nice, my girlfriend wants nothing else now.

Glad we can hack the paddle to momentary as my current 3 way are soa nnoyting where it’s never always up or down to turn lights on/off.

I guess you can use the micro on a push, sofTap or push Adorne too, but instead of being 5$ each they are up to 50$… plus de 30$ microswitch…