Smart home always on "wired" Switches?

hue
osram

(Robert) #1

Ok, here’s my dilemma. My home has a mixture of Philips Hue and Sylvania Osram Lightify lighting. Every time I have someone over, they of course flip the switches off and on. Not too much of a big deal w/ the Philips Hue but the Sylvania brand are annoying and you sometimes have to reset the lights (on/off 5 times for 5 secs each). I was wondering if there’s switches that are constantly on but wired? So, if someone turns off the switch the light will go off but it will still be powered on. I know this is probably a lot to ask but I’m not a fan of the whole house having switches that are battery powered. That would end up being a nightmare in the long run (to me). I want my home to be normal to most people. Switches are what people know. I can tell someone to not touch the switches just before they go to the bathroom (motion sensor) but as soon as I tell them that they go and flip the switch off/on. Again, I know there’s switches that use an internal battery that can last up to 5yrs. I’m just not a fan of that. Something that’s somewhat affordable as well. I know nothing is cheap when it comes to a smart home set up. Thanks in advance.

-Robert


(MarkTr) #2

How about just protecting the switches?


(Robert) #3

I’ve heard about these but never have seen them. I’ll have to look them up. 90% of my harm are smart bulbs. There’s 5 rooms that don’t have them and they’re all single LED’s already that are super bright. I’ll probably eventually change those too. I see HUE is coming out w/ switches through their “friends of Hue” program. I’m currently searching to see what’s offered. My main thing is not having to change batteries all the time w/ some of these types of smart switches. I’ll check out what you’re talking about though. It might be a short term fix until I can get the money to get some smart switches integrated into the mostly used rooms.


(MarkTr) #4

I used the toggle switch covers on my outside (dusk-to-dawn / motion activated) lights for years before I started using smart switches. It prevents accidental or guest muscle-memory activation but it’s still easy to access when you need to.


(Robert) #5

I just found the switch guards on Amazon. They’re clear so they won’t be unsightly. The issue I’m going to have is my girlfriend and her son are going to be moving in w/ me next summer. She’s not techy at all, while her son is more than likely pretty good w/ this stuff and would probably think it’s cool turning on lights w/ his voice. There’s a lot of cool smart switches out there but they are just as pricey as the bulbs. I wish we could get group buys set up on here w/ manufacturers. Not sure if it’s ever been tried but it’s something we car guys used to do on the web boards w/ the manufacturers that sponsored the boards.


(Jimmy) #6

What’s the reason you’re using bulbs instead of switches?


(Robert) #7

90% of my home are smart lights linked to Alexa. I flip one switch on the daily which is the bathroom fan. All the others are connected to smart lighting. So the switches are always on. I use Amazon Echo or a motion sensor turns them on.


#8

See the FAQ on switches to use with smart bulbs. There are indeed switches which can be installed and do not actually control the current to the bulbs. Start with the short FAQ, and then if you want to read even more details, there’s a link in the short FAQ to the long FAQ. :sunglasses::level_slider::bulb:


(Jimmy) #9

Didn’t really answer why you were using smart bulbs instead of smart switches. You wouldn’t have this problem with smart switches.


(Robert) #10

Exactly! I do NOT have any smart switches. Which is the reason for the question I posted. As my post states, I don’t want battery powered smart switches. I want something that is hard wired like a regular light switch, but stays powered on as to not cause issues w/ my Hue/Sylvania installed smart lighting. As I stated this isn’t an issue w/ me just being in the house. It’s an issue when I have people over because they turn lights on/off.


(Mark) #11

But smart switches are powered by the mains wiring that they are connected to. Do you have neutral wires in your switch boxes? Is there another reason you prefer smart bulbs?


(DavidK) #12

I have smartened my house with lights that go on with motion and I have NO smart bulbs and NO battery powered switches.

So @prjct92eh2 was asking is there a reason you cannot use wired smart switches instead of smart bulbs?


#13

Yes, there are hardwired switches, they look just like a regular light switch, but they don’t control the current to the bulb. They work by sending a message to the hub, which then sends a message to the bulb. This is different than the battery powered option. This is discussed in detail in the FAQ that I gave you the link to.

This is an excellent question, and one that is asked frequently, which is why we have an FAQ for it. :sunglasses: See option 2 in the FAQ ( this is a clickable link)


#14

I don’t know about the OP, but the four most common reasons for having smart bulbs instead of just smart switches are:

1). You are renting, and aren’t allowed to use change out the existing switches

Two) you want the color changing effects of smart bulbs

Three) you want to divide a large room into multiple lighting zones without having to wire new branches

And

Four) there are other integrations or app features that you want that are available with the hue bridge but not with Z wave or zigbee smart switches.

Just last week we had someone add yet a fifth: they have a family member who is not neurotypical and they want to be able to disable the Wall switch at certain hours of the day.

I’m not saying any of these necessarily apply to the OP, but there’s certainly lots of reasons why people like smart bulbs for some locations. :sunglasses:


(Robert) #15

I bought the bulbs first. I didn’t even think about switches at the time. The current LED lighting I had in my home was way too bright and no way to dim it. This was a newly constructed home that I purchased. I also wanted the color lights too! So now I’m looking at the option of putting in the switches. I do appreciate all the replies and help, it’s much appreciated.


#16

Look for something like the Fibaro or Aeotech In-wall switches. They basically get hardwired in and sit in the box behind the light switch. I have my whole house done with these and threw Hue out the window for exactly your issue.


#17

Those are good devices, but they don’t match the use case that the OP describes. They aren’t any different than putting a regular switch in that spot as far as current goes unless you wire around them as described in the Hue Switch FAQ.


(OSCAR CAVAZOS) #18

Hello, I am new here to the forum, but it seems to me that if you want the switch to be always on, why not just connect the load to line on the toggle switch and it will always be hot regardless of the switch position. Switch would be there for looks.


#19

That certainly solves the issue of someone turning the current off to the smart bulbs when you don’t want them to, but it leaves no way to use the switch. So most people would use a child lock instead, which then allows you to use the switch underneath in an emergency, but keeps people from turning the power off on an every day basis.

But if you do want to still have a wall switch that works without cutting current to the bulbs, you use a smart switch that has a radio inside that can talk to the hub and is designed to be wired in The same fashion you suggest (this is option two in the FAQ linked to above), then you have a wall switch that will work to turn the bulbs on and off as long as the home automation system is working, but the bulbs will still be drawing current so they can hear the next “on” command from the network. :sunglasses:


(Robert) #20

I think I’ve found what I’m going to go with. The Lutron Caseta switches look pretty cool. Plus they’ve got a dimmer option at the switch too. Not cheap but then again nothing is when it comes to a smart home. I’ll just have to wait until a sale on them. I really appreciate all the help and suggestions. You guys are awesome.

-Robert