Smart Light switches with existing wall switches


(Graeme) #1

I am trying to determine what would be the best product to use to retro fit Smart lighting into my house with existing wall switches.

I have looked at Smart Bulbs, but the problem that I have is that most of the lights that I want to make remotely switchable use multiple bulbs of varying sorts which makes it expensive or impossible to simply fit smart light bulbs in place of the existing bulbs. In addition, family and guests in the house tend to switch the light switches off resulting in them losing connection and control. I would like to be able to retain wall switches to make it easier for people who do not want to use voice or phone to switch lights on and off.

I have looked at the various options for replacing the wall light switches, but most require a neutral wire at the switch which is not available in my house. I also have a lot of different switch options 1 gang, 2 gang and 3 gang as well as 3-way and 4-way switches, plus a couple of dimmers, and no one manufacturer seems to have the full range at a reasonable price. I would like to avoid having a large variety of different technologies and different looking switches around the house, and so, the best option I can think of is to have smart switches wired in at the lights themselves but that would also support switching from an existing wall switch.
I found this device which appears to fit the bill: http://www.trustsmarthome.co.uk/trust-smart-home-built-in-switch-acm-2300h-71147-6286-p.asp
Except it does not appear to be compatible with SmartThings. If only they had a ZigBee version of it - especially since they do make ZigBee compatible products!

Does anybody know of a light switch product that is compatible with SmartThings and will also work with existing wall light switches?


#2

You didn’t mention one of the most popular options for the UK: using one of the in wall micro devices which do not require a neutral. This then can be put behind any non-networked switch you like, although they do tend to work best with refractive switches. There are several brands of these, including some of the Fibaro models and some of the Aeotec nano models. @RobinWinbourne has done his whole house with Fibaro kit and may have more to add. But the zwave micros are a simple and relatively easy solution to the problem that you describe. :sunglasses:

http://www.vesternet.com/resources/application-notes/apnt-111


(Graeme) #3

Thank you.
That does look like it addresses the requirements, although it is a little more expensive than I had hoped at £50- £60 per gang.


(cjcharles) #4

You can often find Fibaros (and some of the other devices) on special offer, or sometimes cheaper at Amazon (though I try not to use them too much due to all the packaging!).

Don’t forget if you have multiple switches in a circuit you only need one, not one per switch. And if you only want on/off then the relays are effectively half price compared to dimmers as you can control two circuits from one smart module.


#5

The cost you had in mind vs. what will work for your home is 2 different things.

It might be the case if you can’t find a deal that getting the nano switches to control a single light location might be more expensive than just a smart switch the bigger picture is running new wires to have a neutral at that location would be a lot more work and possibly more cost so you would need to decide cost or ease. the flip side is a nano switch to control 3 or 4way lights is going to be cheaper overall as you only need 1 device, not a switch and remote.

I would also agree with others that enough searching on-line you will find deals on almost every smart device so keep that in mind.

Cheers


(Graeme) #6

Thanks - I will keep an eye out for offers. I would be fine with just On/Off relays as not all my lights are dimmable or need to be dimmed. The Relays appear to need a neutral though, so unless I can find a place with a neutral where both the switch wires are accessible, I can only really use the single relays.

I am surprise that there are no cheaper alternatives to the Fibaro modules that are also compatible with ST?


(cjcharles) #7

Sometimes if you have multiple lights on the same circuit (ie RCD) then you can use a live and switched live from one light to the switch, and a switched live and neutral from the other light to the switch. That way you have live, neutral and both switch live wires at the switch. Don’t know where that sits in regulation but it’s safe at least, if labelled.


#8

I think you need to double read the specs on the Aeotech nano as they DO NOT NEED neutrals.


(Graeme) #9

Please will you point me in the direction of where I can find the Aeotech nano dual switch that does not require a neutral. Thank you


#10

here is the main site so you can see the options with or without neutral
https://aeotec.com/z-wave-light-dimmer-switch . Then take a look at amazon or google to find a re seller.


#11

Vesternet It’s always a good place to start for devices in the U.K. They have excellent technical support as well, so you can write them with any specific questions. But as far as I know, there is no nano dual dimmer. Just a single. There is a dual on/off relay, but that one requires 3 wire.


(Mark) #12

Just a FYI, the Nano dimmer will only control one light. I thought I could put it in a dual switch box, I sent it back when I realised it wouldn’t work.