Smart Light Switch (New Build with Neutral Wire)

As @Bry said, You should not use a switch which controls the current to a smart bulb, whether that switch is dumb or not. The bulbs are designed to always be on power and to decide for themselves how bright to be. Cutting power once in a while during a power outage is not a huge problem. But cutting it every day like it was a regular switch can significantly shorten the life of the bulbs, making expensive bulbs that much more expensive.

Smart bulb, smart switch: but NOT on the same circuit branch

The simplest alternative is to add battery operated switches whereever you want them And put child safety locks on the original switches. That gives you a switch that guests can use while leaving the original switch available for emergencies.

Phillips has signed up new partners, including two or three in Europe, who will be coming out with switches which look just like regular UK/Europe switches but use a technology which does not require any battery at all. This will be a good choice for many people. You can still do whatever you want to do with your home automation rules, such as making the lights come on from a motion sensor or at a specific time of day. But the physical switch is available as a parallel means of control. :sunglasses:


If you like, you can also put a blanking plate over the original switch and then put the smart switch over the top of that. Just a question of personal aesthetics.

You can do the same thing now with the Phillips dimming switch, which works fine for this purpose, but it doesn’t look like a regular UK switch.

Do you really need a smart bulb?

Many people who have smartthings use smart switches with dumb bulbs for any place where they don’t actually need smart bulbs. That’s when that neutral wire will make a big difference.

Smart bulbs are usually used when:

A) you want the Colour-changing features

B) you don’t want to do any re-wiring

C) you have a large room where everything works off of one switch but you want to create different lighting zones

However, if none of those three apply, a smart switch with dumb bulbs is generally less expensive and more effective.

Smart Switches to Use with Dumb Bulbs

So it’s up to you. If you are looking for a good smart switch to use with dumb bulbs there are two main options.

You can either get an in wall micro such as the Fibaro and then you can use pretty much any dumb switch that you like with it, although a refractive/momentary switch will end up being the most intuitive.

@anon36505037 has now done two complete houses with Fibaro kit, so you might find some of his project reports of interest:

Or you can get one of the models like Popp or TKBHome which are an all in one switch replacement, where you will have a choice of face plates.


Other Forum Resources

Have you had a chance to look at the UK lighting FAQ yet? I know it can feel overwhelming, but pretty much all of the options are detailed there:

1 Like