Starting from zero - SmartThings and Fibaro RGBW


Hi All

New here and although I’ve found a few threads that cover segments of what I want to do, I’m a total newb to home automation (other than having Hive heating!) so really need some clarity on what exactly I need and how to do it :slight_smile:

We’re currently having built a new single extension with vaulted roof that I want to uplight with dimmable LED strips, ideally smart control with RGBW if it’s not a lot more complicated. I initially looked at the Hue strip kits but the wife wants regular wall switch control rather than the Philips plastic remote wall mounting so that’s out the window it seems.

So, I think what I should to be looking at is some LED strip, a suitable transformer and a Fibaro RGBW controller with a Smartthings hub but I’m not certain what else I’d need as a minimum or what to tell my sparky in terms of putting wiring in that will support it so have a lot of questions in my head that I haven’t found the answers to

  • Can the Fibaro RGBW be added in isolation to start with and I can then add a Smartthings hub once the build is done or will the Fibaro simply do nothing without being connected to a hub of some sort?
  • Do I need additional Fibaro Dimmer modules as well or will the RGBW module also dim?
  • Is it possible to configure it to at least allow me to on/off/dim the lights using a wall mounted switch (thinking Varilight Powergrid momentary rockers?), and if so what do I need in terms of wiring at the switch end?
  • With the RGBW I assume the LED power supply isn’t dimmed, the dimming is done between the 12/24v output and the LED strip itself, so the power supply is on constantly? If so is having them running 24/7 an issue?


Osram Lightify Flex Strip - can I use the 120V version in the UK?
(Robin) #2

You will need constant 12v or 24v power to the Fibaro RGBW micro. When turned off the micro / transformer will use a tiny bit of juice, but not enough to really worry about.

All switching and dimming is done by the RGBW micro so you don’t need seperate dimmer micros.

In regards to wiring, you can choose to put the micro behind the switch or in the ceiling next to the strip itself.

I would personally reccomend putting the micro in the ceiling (hidden next to the concealed strip in the vaulted recess) as you can then also hide the 12/24v transformer up there as well.

I have never used physical switches with my RGBW micros but looking at the manual the device defaults to wanting toggle switches (not momentary)… this can be altered via parameter changes but you will need a hub to make the change.

You will need a bank of 4nr switches to gain full RGBW control:

But a single switch could be used if you just want on/off at the wall with colour changes controlled via the ST app.

You should run mains power to the ceiling. Then run 5nr wire cores + mains earth (ground) between the ceiling and switch position.

(Robin) #3

Just to add, I’m yet to find a Fibaro RGBW handler setup to change the device parameters, so changing to momentary switches is not straightforward for a novice user.

You could however use the Zwave tweaker device handler by @zcapr17 to update the parameters and then switch back to the Fibaro handler afterwards.

(codersaur) #4

Any reason you’re not using my Fibaro RBGW handler? It allows all parameters to be changed and supports using channels as inputs.

EDIT: I realised I forgot to create a thread for it, so here’s a new one:

(Robin) #5

I forgot you did that lol… I’m using @twack’a handler as I like the UI and I don’t need to control the RGBW channels individually.


Thanks Robin, that clears things up nicely, so a default set RGBW with toggle switch would just power them on or off with no dimming I assume.

When you say you don’t use physical switches, I’m guessing you’re using LED strips for extra mood lighting rather than a primary light source are you? I’m wondering if that might be a better way for me to do it, put “dumb” dimmable white LED strips in now and then perhaps introduce a separate smart controlled RGBW strip for mood lighting that could then just be app driven.

(Robin) #7

I’m afraid I don’t know if dimming would work using toggle switches, I’ve never connected a switch to one of my RGBW micros. If it’s anything like the dimmer micros though, you’ll have no dimmer control with the toggles.

Anyway, just buy yourself a ST hub, use @zcapr17’s device handler noted above and you can setup the switches to your hearts desire… you won’t regret it and can slowly add other automations as you feel fit!

Nope, I have a massive RGB garden floodlight and 12nr RGB up-lighter spots in by decking.

I don’t need switches because I’ve gone for full automation route via sensors on my back door and back gate instead.

I do however have a tablet running ActionTiles which replaces some switches if needed, and I have also recently added a Fibaro Key Fob to my collection of gadgets, which has some colour options programmed among other things.

Get a hub… with every penny!!

(Ryan) #8

Sorry to dig up and old thread but. I am trying to see if it is possible to use an in wall RGBW controller RGB controller with the Fibaro RGBW.

My wife likes hard switches vs my love of voice control.


(Robin) #9

Nope… that won’t work I’m afraid.

The Fibaro RGBW can however connect to 4nr momentary switches giving you all sorts of manual control… never tried it myself though (I’ve always use these modules without physical switches)

(Migt moggy) #10

HI All,

I’m trying to establish my best, cheapest, smartthings compatible option for running a rgbw lightstrip around the ceiling perimeter of a small room.

Ideally about 6 meters.

I did have Philips hue strips connected directly to my smartthings hub but after working flawlessly for 4 months they suddenly dropped off the network never to return again.

So now I’m looking for something that will do what they did when they worked and be controllable through stmartthings.

I’ve read about the Fibaro RGBW controller but in my ignorance I have no idea how you would connect a dumb lightstrip to it (if indeed that’s what I should do).

Can anyone help?

(Robin) #11

The dumb light strip will have 4 or 5 terminals (R,G,B,+ or R,G,B,W,+ ) which wire directly to the terminals of the Fibaro.

For most strips you’ll need a cheap adaptor:

Or just cut the controller end off the wire that comes with the strip.

(Migt moggy) #12

Thanks so much Robin.

Is this the right Fibaro device?

If I buy this, the adapters you suggest

and this light strip (not sure if it’s any good as not sure what to look for)

Is that everything I need?

(Robin) #13

Suggest you go for an RGBW strip… rather than just RGB.

(Migt moggy) #14

Thanks. so this one would be fine?

This fibaro device

and these adapters

Is that everything I need?

(Robin) #15

You’ll need a 12v (non-dimmable) LED driver as well… sometimes works out cheaper to buy a strip that comes with a power pack, dispose of the dumb RGBW remote and module, and cut the DC Jack off the end of the supply wire for connection directly to the Fibaro.

(Robin) #16


Exactly what I have done.

(Migt moggy) #18

Thanks so much

so if i get these

This fibaro device

and these adapters

thats everything?

(Robin) #19

Yep… that’ll do it (unless you need some 5 core extension wire between the module and the strip?)

(Migt moggy) #20

How do I tell if I need it ?