Any ideas on what’s the best option to replace these? Three switches in a single gang box, the lower one is a three way switch that controls the fixture in the staircase, the upper one controls fixtures in the living room and the middle one controls the porch lights. Also, concrete wall, so difficult to make more room for installation a triple gang box.
I am also searching for something like this, 3 or 4switches
What country are you in? Device selection does vary somewhat.
Also, are you willing to use either smart bulbs or an inline micro for each light? If you, that gives you more switch options, but increases the cost over just replacing the current switch and continuing to use dumb bulbs.
I’m living in Mexico, with no problem to import from the US, I’ve already replaced most of my other switches in the house with smart switches (lutron caseta because no neutral is available) so I’d like to continue in that line to keep control directly on the wall for kids and guests. But I haven’t figured out how to do it here. Summing up, I want wall control and automation capabilities, I’m willing to try anything that fulfills those needs.
So there’s no neutral in that box?
No, no neutral. I forgot to mention. It’s an old house and I guess they never thought about a “smart home”
OK, in that case by far the easiest way to do this will be to put smart bulbs in each of the lighting locations and then just use a battery operated switch on the wall.
If it were me, I would put a small hinged box over the existing switches so you could access them if your home automation system wasn’t working. Then you could mount the battery operated switch on top of that. But some people prefer to remove the existing switch and put a blank plate over it because they prefer the look of it. That’s up to you.
For example, you might look at the Aeotec wallmote quad, which has four buttons, each of which can be tap or long hold, which give you on and off for four different buttons. The aeotec device sends a message to the hub and then the hub sends a message to the smart bulbs.
There’s a good DTH for it here:
It is Zwave, so make sure you get the frequency that exactly matches your hub.
Another Z wave device that a lot of people like is the Nexia NX1000. The price is going up since it was first introduced and now it’s usually $99, but it does have five buttons.
The remotec 90 is usually about half that, and is available on either the US or UK zwave frequency. It has eight buttons, and each can be tapped, double tap, or long hold, so you get 24 functions altogether. So it’s another popular choice.
Anyway, all of these and more are discussed in the buttons FAQ. Just read the descriptions carefully, as some are battery-operated and some are mains powered.
In all cases to make this work you need to have a smart bulb in the fixture. So pressing the button on the wall sends the message to the hub, then the hub sends the message to the smart bulb. But it’s a good no wiring solution.
@Alfredo_Garcia - Those look like bticino switches we use in Italy. They are way smaller than typical US switches and that has always made we wonder how Italy - and other countries using the same hardware - would ever be able to make homes smart. The only way I can think of is to use Fibaro / Aeon style dimmer / relay modules that fit in the, often multiple, junction boxes in each room.
If this is what you are using then the 3 gang box should be more or less the size of 1 gang box used in the USA. Do you have conduits between these switches and electrical boxes in each room?
This is what it looks like in Italian construction before concrete in poured to form the floors, and stucco is applied to the walls:
Is this how your home is built?
Yes my house is like that, all the wires are put into conducts before the walls are finished.
Then you likely need to use this:
You will likely have to install them inside the junction boxes where the switch wires go to (not inside the switch gang box as it is likely too small). You will find the required neutral in the junction box… however you should also find it where the switches are in most cases if the wiring is the same as in Italy. Power distribution is in the junction box, live, neutral and ground go to the switch box and then it goes up to the light so the neutral should be there. An instance where the neutral may not be present is a 3 way system. The neutral will only be where the wires go up to the light fixture. Wiring is simpler and easier to restore if you can bring a neutral to the switch box (if missing) and fit the module inside the switch box but I really doubt you can fit 1 let alone 3 unless Mexican switch boxes are much bigger than what is used in Italy that looks pretty similar. Installing it in the junction box would likely require adding a couple wires for the switch to be connected to the Aeon / Fibaro module.
Smart Bulbs might be an easier solution…
Example of wiring:
It doesn’t HAVE to be in the switch box though. With proper wiring it can be located int he junction box south of this switch box. The load is typically north of this switch box in a simple 1 switch circuit. (drawing was overly simplified)
I’d go with @JDRoberts recommendation to just use smart bulbs and a remote multi port battery operated wall switch. Concrete and no neutral…Yikes!
That’s quite common in some countries. Also adobe, which presents similar RF issues. Mesh can be a very helpful topology for those situations.
With conduit and junction boxes it is usually super easy to run new wire (stranded). I rewired half of my house in Rome correcting issues over the years. Neutral (light blue wire) was always there as it comes with the hot line from the closest junction box, the hot goes to the switch and then in continues up to the light fixture.