2b) Or did you mean a “two pole“ switch, which allows you to control two different circuits with a single switch. These are more common in an industrial setting than in a residential setting, but you do sometimes see them. You also see them in some older houses for a light/fan combination. Or sometimes for pool equipment. These will have four hot screws on the switch instead of two.
2c) Or did you mean a switch for a “two way” set up where two different switches control the same light fixture. These are common at stairways with one switch at the top and one switch at the bottom each controlling the same light. ( this is called a “three-way“ in the United States.)
Regarding the second question, I have to apologize for my bad English. What I need is to be able to control on/off lights without replacing the current non smart wall switches (I guess it’s called relay). The goal is being able to operate the lights by either the wall switches or automations/smart button.
Is this possible? How would the relay “know” weather the wall switch is open or closed?
In case it is feasible, it would be similar to the 2c scenario you presented.
Thanks a lot Mr. JDRoberts!
EDIT: that would be a 3 way relay (4 way relay would be even better)
Do you want to keep the original dumb switches because you like them or because you aren’t allowed to change anything about the wiring?
1. INLINE MODULES
If you ARE ok with changing the wiring, then there are “modules” that fit inside the wall behind the existing switch. These will work fine, it’s just that it is possible for the network to turn the module off regardless of the position of the dumb switch when you use the app or voice control. So if you have a push button switch it won’t matter, but if you have a toggle switch you might notice that the position is different than the way it worked before you added the module.
However, since it is common in a two way setup that sometimes you have to press up for on and sometimes you have to press down for on, depending on the switch position of the other switch in the two way, most people are fine with this.
These modules are available for both dimmer switches and on/off switches.
1a) Because SmartThings is in the middle of a big change right now, I would suggest zwave modules from Aeotec for Spain, as they are most likely to work easily with the new changes because of the partnership between the two companies.
1b. The Zigbee version of the Sonoff module is another option for the on/off switch. They are much less expensive. They do make a WiFi dimmer module, but it is more complicated to setup with SmartThings than the Zigbee version. I’m not sure if they have a Zigbee dimmer yet or not.
Here is the Zigbee on/off switch. This device is very popular.
(Note that “relay” is a word that only applies to a simple on/off device, which could be either a switch or a socket. So you can get either a relay module or a dimmer module depending on its purpose. )
2. DEVICES THAT DO NOT REQUIRE WIRING
If you do not want to do anything with the wiring, then you have to have a battery-operated device that physically moves the original switch or that fits over the top of it. Sometimes people who rent want these.
2a. A robot finger.
SwitchBot makes a little button pusher that works well with SmartThings. (You do also need their mini hub to get the SmartThings integration.) This is a cloud to cloud integration, not an Edge driver, so I don’t know if it meets your requirements.
These look odd but work fine and are easy to remove later. So they can be a good choice for renters.
2b. Smart bulb with a battery powered switch.
Another popular option for renters is to just replace the lamps with Smart bulbs, then use a battery powered or non wired switch. In this case you usually put a little plastic or wood box over the original switch to keep people from turning the power off to the smart bulbs.
As far as the switches, if you get ones that work with a hue bridge you can use them for dimming any smart bulbs that are connected to that same hue bridge.
SmartThings will be able to control the bulbs, but will not know that the switches exist. But that won’t matter, the switches will just be a parallel method of controlling those lights.
These are expensive, but very nice looking, with different companies offering different styles.
And these do offer local operation, although it’s not technically an Edge driver.
Or you can just get an inexpensive Zigbee button that works with SmartThings and use that with any smart bulbs that SmartThings can control. You can find some devices of this type that use Edge drivers.
This type of device WILL connect directly to a SmatThings/Aeotec hub, so you can use it to control any device that SmartThings knows about. You probably won’t get dimming, but you might be able to set up some scenes, like a single tap for on, a double tap for off, and a long hold for 50% brightness.
You get better dimming from a switch that works with a Hue bridge, but again those cost more and only work with smart bulbs connected to the same bridge.
If you are ok with devices that have to be wired into mains power, there are a number of modules that can fit behind the existing switches. Some are simple on/off relays, some are dimmers.
If you don’t want to touch the wiring there are still some options to consider as mentioned above.
I would think about using the sonoff ZBmini, since with the Edge drivers, which are going to be the future, they are causing problems, they do not work well for now.
You have several similar zigbee 3.0 like Moes, Samotech … and others that are the same device with a different commercial brand, which work very well with the edge drivers
And I would think much more about using double or triple switches, with the edge drivers they are unmanageable, at the moment to use in independent lights is very bad option. All switches are shown in the same tile an only switch 1 (main) can use a custom name.
I don’t see an easy edge solution for these multi-component devices, neither zigbee nor zwave.
I would try to use individual switches whenever possible, even though you have to install them in the interconnect boxes rather than in the switch mechanism boxes.
In addition, in Spain the mechanism boxes have little depth to install switches and rarely have neutral.
The OP isn’t planning to use multi component devices (“double gang“); there was a translation issue. They were looking for two switches controlling the same light, that is, a two-way set up. Each switch is just a single component, though, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
The Aeotec nano dimmer module is one of the smallest modules made and does not require a neutral line, so that’s another reason I suggested it as a possible candidate for Spain.
It’s harder to find plain on/off switches that don’t require a neutral, though: the physics are different.
Aotec nano can be another good option in zwave and admits voltage in the input switch s1 or s2
Personally, as a user, I prefer zigbee if there are not large distances, easier to pair, unpair and the mesh is rebuilt much easier, in my experience. Tenicamenete they have no comparison, they are very different.
I was just warning of the problems that I currently see in multiple switches, with DTH they cannot work locally and in Edge they are grouped into an indivisible component, just like in Tuya app.
The sonoff ZBmini switches to make installations of combined lights need to modify the wiring since they do not admit voltage in the terminals s1 and s2, while the Aeotec,/zwave), moes, samotech and others admit voltage (Line) in the input of the switch s1 and therefore can be place in series with the last mechanism between the light and the switch output without having to modify the electrical installation
This is an amazing community. Thank you all guys for sharing your knowledge and experience.
To be honest, when I said dual switch I referred to double gang but reding JDRoberts detailed explanation I realized that I was asking too much for a single device, so I’m fine with single switch now.
Zigbee is a good choice in terms of cost as well. I’ve found this device which is apparently based on Tuya and can be installed parallel to dumb switches circuit. Is it as good as it seems for less than 11€?
You will know what type of electrical installation you have, but in my case, it is much easier to do the installation for switches combined with devices that admit voltage (L) at the input of the dumb switch.
I have used these Moes and they work very well and the shipping from AliExpress to Spain took about 10 days, they cost me € 7 with the coupons that you can use
The Aeotec dimmer can work with a toggle switch, but it won’t dim FROM the wall switch. It will just toggle between its last dim setting and off. If you want it brighter or dimmer, you have to adjust it through the app or by voice or by routine.
As far as a Moes dimmer, the issue with all of the Tuya-based Zigbee devices, regardless of brand, is that they use some unique proprietary code, not just standard Zigbee. If you search the forum you’ll find many people saying they can’t quite get their particular model to work. And sometimes it’s the same model number that someone else has working, but the firmware has changed so the results are different.
They are still popular because of the cost, but they can be a lot more work to set up.