UK Light Switch Replacement for beginner / non-programmer

Hi everyone,

I have now spent a few days reading many posts and I’m struggling to get an answer. If I have missed something please accept my apologies and direct me to the right place.

Put simply, I want to turn my dining room light switches to be controlled by Smartthings. I can do simple wiring myself but have never programmed anything so want something which simply connects to Smartthings in the usual simple way (like adding a bulb for example). The light has 2 switches which control the one light.

Can you help me with a simple solution? I’m happy for it to be just a switch, it doesn’t need to be a dimmer. Currently it’s just 2 ‘dumb’ switches.

From your description of 2 switches (assuming light can be turned on/off from either/both) you are going to need a 2 way zigbee light switch. (Make sure its 2 way NOT 2 gang - 2 gang means there are 2 switches on light switch to switch 2 different lights).
The other snag, and you need to know if you have a neutral wire in the current switch. (Most in the UK dont).
The only thing I’m aware of that can do this is Lightwaverf.
Others might chip in with other options.

Welcome Rich
As Mike has mentioned, lightwave is an option but the integration into ST is via cloud 2 cloud integration, if there is an issue with the lightwave cloud you loose operation of the switches

Having a switch that directly connects to Smartthings should give you local execution if a standard Smartthings device type is used, upshot you should retain switch useage if Internet goes down

Switch itself… actually very difficult to find easily, in the UK we all have the same face plates almost without exception, a smart version of an exact same item would naturally have to mechanically move the switch from on to off position and vice versa

They have existed but the manufacture of the devices and there own hub went bust a while ago sadly, I have read they are trying to re start

So what is mostly available to us in the UK are touch switches but they are not to everyone’s taste

There are a few threads that are in depth about UK light switches here on the forum, will see if I can post a link to the latest in a moment

This is an excellent thread to read, unfortunately in the UK things are just not as easy as they could be

Thanks both for your help so far, I really appreciate it!

I am happy to change the actual switch if needed to a ‘push’ switch, that’s fine. I have had a look at your article too, fido, thanks. Do any of these options simply plug and play into Smartthings or do they require some sort of coding or ‘hot fix’ as you say? I am prepared to make the investment in something more expensive if it means it’s more seamless to install etc.

For example, on the Yagusmart option you suggest. It all sounds great but then I get to the bit that says “When adding it to smartthings it identifies as a ‘Thing’ so you need to change the type to ‘ZigBee Switch’ and it will run locally” i don’t really understand what that means. Does this mean I need to go into the back-end somewhere and change something for it to work?

Yup, exactly that, it will take approx 20 seconds to do it, making toast is more complex, it simply means that Smartthings sees the device but is not sure what type of device it is, you select a drop down box in the IDE, scroll through a list of devices until you find the recommended type, select it, save , job done

Just to be clear though, I don’t use Smart wall switches or recommend any certain type, the link i gave just shows what others have discovered and kindly shared, all of my lighting is side lighting, the main ceiling lights, inset GU10 led types I don’t need to be smart, they rarely ever get used

We use a combination of led wire lights across the ceilings ( wife’s idea) smart plugs for side lights and WiFi lamps that connect cloud to cloud in ST

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Exactly that, but it’s literally just choosing a different selection from a dropdown in the web interface to your SmartThings account (that interface is called “the IDE”). So pretty easy. :sunglasses:

A) sign into your account at The URL:

B) choose “My Devices” from the selections at the top of the screen. That will take you to a list of the devices on your account.

C) look down the list until you see the new switch. Click on its name to open its details page.

D) at the bottom of the details page is an EDIT button, tap that. This changes the details page to edit format.

E) find the TYPE field for this device. That’s a dropdown field. Choose the new DTH you want the device to use, then click the UPDATE button at the bottom of the page to save it.

That’s it. It’s about the same as changing the date on an entry in a to do list. No programming required. :sunglasses:

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Thanks both. Very useful. I am going to give the Yagusmart a try!


LightWaveRF is one of the very few fullblown UK solutions. However as others have discussed its integration to Smartthings is cloud to cloud based and hence not ideal.

The other common solution in the UK that would work and is purely local is to use micro modules and replace the light switches with ‘momentary’ switches. The light face plate would look like a standard UK switch still but instead of being ‘latched’ up or down it returns to a middle position after sending a signal to the micro module. These type switches are fairly common.

There are various brands and types of micro module, Z-Wave, Zigbee and WiFi. However the ones most commonly used with Smartthings are either Fibaro or Aeotec with both being Z-Wave micro modules.

A single micro module could fit behind a single UK light switch plate but if you have 2, 3 or 4 gang positions then it is better to put the micro module in the ceiling above the light fitting.

Micro modules are available to do, on/off switches, dimmers, staircases aka 2-way circuits and even in theory a pull-cord bathroom switch.

The solution referred to by @fido is ‘The Den’.

I don’t know if their revived solution works the same but when they went bust all their switches stopped working because they all worked via their cloud server and not locally. They also have hardly any integrations to other systems e.g. Smartthings. The fact they look normal and you can see the switch physically move is clever but the other issues put me off.

Thank you very much. This is probably a silly question but was are the main flaws of cloud2cloud based solutions? Is it basically that if you internet goes down it won’t work?

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  1. Not working at all sometimes is obviously the biggest flaw.

  2. Another issue is that a cloud solution almost always adds “latency”, small delays caused by the time it takes messages to travel around the Internet and back. These can vary depending on where are you live and the Internet provider that you use. So it might be only an additional half second or so, but in some cases it’s up to 15 seconds. It can also vary depending on the specific clouds you are trying to reach.

  3. A third issue is that the company that owns the cloud can make changes to it at any time, which can cause changes in the features and function of the devices in your home. This actually happens fairly often with smartthings itself, But it’s also been known to happen with other devices using a cloud.

With most companies, it’s similar to when apps that used to work on your mobile phone now don’t because they’ve had updates that no longer work with the particular model that you have. It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s extremely annoying when it does happen.

  1. A fourth issue is that cloud operations usually means Wi-Fi operations. It’s very unlikely that home automation devices other than cameras will Slow down your other Wi-Fi devices like tablets and video streaming, because the Home Automation messages are tiny. But each Wi-Fi device does take up a slot on your Wi-Fi router, and many home routers are limited to 32 devices total. so that’s just something to be aware of. Sometimes it means that you have to upgrade your router just to be able to support more devices.

In contrast, your locally operating zwave or zigbee devices don’t need your Wi-Fi, just the hub does.

Lightwave RF is similar: only their gateway needs a Wi-Fi connection, the individual devices are communicating to it on a different frequency.

But if you went with one of the Wi-Fi switches from a different brand that used Ifttt for integration, you would be using up one Wi-Fi Router slot for each switch.

  1. there are some potential privacy and hacking problems in using a cloud, but these aren’t typically a big concern just for something like light switches.


The advantage of cloud operations is that you are using somebody else’s computer, and it might have a lot of power and features that you don’t have at home.

The disadvantage of cloud operations is that you are using somebody else’s computer. :wink: Just getting to it takes a little time. The company that owns it can make changes that you might not like. it might not always be available. There are potentially some privacy issues. And in a typical residential home, you may have to keep an eye on how many Wi-Fi connections your home router supports.

That doesn’t mean you should never use the cloud. Just as Netflix is considered more desirable than a DVD collection these days by most people, cloud services can offer a lot of benefits. But when it comes to something as basic as a light switch, you should at least be aware of the downsides, too.

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Thank you for the detailed response, this is really helpful. It sounds like I should avoid those cloud solutions then for various reasons.

The dining table light I have is a 2-way system (2 switches control one light). So it sounds like I need a Fibaro module and 2 new momentary switches. I thought the Yagusmart switch was going to work but it sounds like it won’t work very well.

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Speaking just for myself, I would lean toward using Aeotec micros instead of Fibaro for now.

Smartthings is in a process of transition: new platform, new app, new hardware companies. And they now expect the individual device manufacturers to maintain the integrations and “device type handlers“ that allow their devices to communicate with the smartthings platform.

Fibaro has shown little or no interest in taking over ownership of the integrations, And some of their devices which used to work just fine with the smartthings classic platform aren’t working well with the new stuff.

On the other hand, Aeotec has gone the other way, and is now the named partner for hardware for smartthings in both the EU and North America. And the UK. So just as an example, future hubs purchased in the UK will have the aeotec logo, not the smartthings logo.

All of which is to say I’m pretty sure that Aeotec will be highly motivated to keep their devices working with smartthings in the future. Fibaro, not so much. :thinking:

Both brands are good and both of their micros are good devices, this is just an organisational decision, but I think it may have an impact on individual customers.

Just my own feeling, others may feel differently, and there are certainly a lot of smartthings customers who already have Fibaro devices.


Thank you, that’s helpful. I have searched online and seems there are so many Aeotec devices and modules etc.

I don’t suppose you have any links to the best place to buy the correct on/off module? Also the best switches to go with it (assume I fit the Aeotec in the ceiling being the ceiling rose).

It’s a 2-way system with 2 switches (both switches are 2-gang and also control another light each).

Sorry for so many questions!

Vesternet or Amazon are both good. Vesternet should also be able to answer any wiring questions you have. I think these days the nano modules are the most popular from Aeotec.

When buying on Amazon, I would only select from items sold by Amazon itself or aeotec, not third-party sellers.

This one is the dimmer, not just the on/off switch, but it was the first one I found:

Absolutely agree with JD, Fibaro have shown no interest with integration into ST, many of us have contacted them and there parent company to help with integrating products we own, they are not concerned, so a good reason not to purchase anything Fibaro

Aeotec on the other hand appear to be moving forward with Smartthings, a good reason to buy there products

It would be nice though if Aeotec were included in the recommended brands when adding a device in the new app, I’m sick of seeing just smartthings, I mean what does a company have to do to get in that section, they now produce there hardware, what more do ST need

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I knew Aeotec had effectively taken over the Hub from Smartthings but I was not aware Fibaro had failed to step up and maintain DHT support so I agree Aeotec would be a better choice on that basis.

I would lean towards Vesternet, they are specialists in this area and if you purchase from them they can provide advice and support better than Amazon.

Vesternet have many excellent articles and the following is about switches and has a section about momentary switches and suggested suppliers. I have personally used Scolmore switches from their Polar range but these are simple devices meaning other brands will be similar so appearance will be a large factor.

Scolmore have basically the same choices in various styles the first link below is their main site, followed by their Polar range which closest resembles typical plain white switches.

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