UK Light switches – My experiences (2020)

The only other thing to say is that I’ve really only just bought these in the last 48 hours so cannot atest to longer term reliability.

Also ofcourse they are of a new brand I’ve never heard of and cannot find a trace of online so buyer beware I guess.

Although saying that the only potential safety issue I’ve ever had with a smart device has been a smartthings official plug!

Which wall switches do you recommend to use with my yeelight?

I am still looking for my own solution as I have not yet found something that meets all my own criteria.

However after looking at the Iolloi link on Amazon provided by @mkdr30 I also saw another brand called Samotech. Samotech appear to be OEMing Tuya products but are making them easier and cheaper to acquire here in the UK.

The interesting thing here is that supposedly Tuya have some HomeKit support which is one of the criteria I am looking for.

Does anyone have any experience of Tuya or Samotech? Can anyone confirm whether HomeKit works either via the Samotech/Tuya SM310 hub or if one links the Samotech/Tuya modules to a Philips Hue hub?

Note: Officially Philips Hue only exposes to HomeKit their own brand products.

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Samotech is a decent budget brand, I have several friends who have them and they’ve been pretty popular in the forum.

HomeKit support depends on the exact configuration.

Tuya makes both WiFi and Zigbee devices which are then rebranded and sold under many different brand names.

  1. Some of the Wi-Fi models have HomeKit support. Those will have the Homekit logo on the box.

None of the Tuya Zigbee end devices have HomeKit support themselves.

  1. However, tuya makes a bunch of different gateway models, and one of those gateway models does have HomeKit support for some of the Tuya Zigbee Devices connected to it. That model is sold by Zemismart in the US and some other brands in the UK. But if you are using that gateway, then you don’t get any integration with smartthings. :disappointed_relieved:

  2. There are some Tuya Zigbee products which can be added to a Phillips hue bridge, but like other third-party products such as Gledopto Or INNR, the hue bridge will not expose them to HomeKit. This is an Apple certification issue, and it’s the same reason that the Tuya Homekit gateway doesn’t work with third-party devices. In order to get home kit certification, the bridge company has to individually certify each model that it will expose to HomeKit. Some reviews have said that one or two of the Samotech models did end up being exposed to HomeKit, but if they were, that’s an error you can expect to be resolved eventually so I wouldn’t rely on it.

  1. so that leaves homebridge. It is possible to use homebridge to pull together the Tuya gateway, smartthings, and several other devices that don’t have native Homekit support and bring them into HomeKit, but it’s technically pretty complicated to set up and it’s only a one-way Integration.

I found this thread whilst trying to debug why I am having problems with my Yagusmart 2 Gang switch.

I am replacing a simple 2 gang one way standard switch controlling two lights; an LED Floodlight and a Halogen Ceiling light.

My experience so far is that if the Yagusmart is wired as per the old switch, nothing happens.

If I put an earth wire into the N terminal, the switch becomes active, and I have it configure in the ST app.

Unfortunately the 1st gang does not operate - the light is permanently on, the 2nd gang works perfectly.

I have the capacitor across the 1st light as recommended, but it seems to make no difference.

I have previously installed a Yagusmart 1 gang switch (earth wired into the N terminal) and it works OK.

Any observations or suggestions.

(I am an aging IT professional [1970] so understand logical stuff, but not an electrician)

Earth (called “ground” in the US) and Neutral (the N port on that device) are NOT interchangeable. Remember that your goal is not merely to get that particular switch to turn on and off: it’s to get that particular switch to turn on and off without burning down your house or creating a shock hazard.

Sounds like it might be time to bring in an electrician.

And here is a UK reference on the same topic:

It also sounds like you might need a different model of switch, one designed to work with two wire rather than three wire systems. But don’t connect earth to a neutral port, you will create a safety hazard. :scream:

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As @JDRoberts says, never use your earth wire instead of the neutral. Whilst it might get some switches to work you would then be passing some current through your earth wire which if a fault were to occur could turn any metal fixing/appliance in your home live!!!
You obviously don’t have an RCD/ELCB (Residual Current Device / Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker) in your home or this would have tripped your electricity supply (unless you don’t have your lighting circuits protected).
Earth connections are there to protect you and your home do not misuse them.

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I am based in the UK so understand our wiring and have been doing switch replacements in my house for many years – not blown anything up yet!

So, UK house – 2 wire lighting circuit. But the Yagusmart does not even become live until there is a wire in the N terminal. One there is a wire there, I can see it in the ST app, I can switch switch 2 on and off, but switch 1 remains permanently on.

What I am seeking is some advice from someone who has overcome these challenges, not read the instructions and implemented and the worked first time.

To me the problem is that without a wire in N nothing happens but the wiring diagrams for UK 2 Wire don’t see things that way. Hence I am stuck in a logic loop.

Any one else got a view?

Simon Thompson

The simple answer is you’ve bought the wrong switch. You have to ensure you by the 'no neutral ’ type for our type of wiring.

I didnt intend to come across condescending in my message above and if I did I apologise. I was simply trying to explain what you’ve done is both dangerous and against regs/code in the UK.
Whilst it will make the switch ‘work’ its working incorrectly and both dangerous to your property and family.

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I accept your point but these switches are specifically described as being good for the UK.

I have located some switches from the UK and sya they are designed here in the UK now, rather than the dodgy ones from China via Amazon. I will try that.

Thanks for the feedback

Glad to help.

It’s a pain but there is a fairly good range for ‘no neutral’ connections now. Just make sure it states that.

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I thought I had found one and have even ordered it, but then in the small print it mentioned the capacitor to fit across the L1 line, which did not work for me on the first try. On further viewing I think it is the same as the Yagusmart one.

What would you recommend?

Simon Thompson

There are lots. Lightwaverf I put at the top end and have a few of these myself, but then I have a mix of things such as sonoff minis and other zigbee and WiFi no neutral switches as my project as grown and grown.
If you like Yagusmart, they even do a version of no neutral

If you’ve already ordered those, give them a try. I have 1 switch that said it ‘might need’ the capacitor across the lamp - it didn’t and works fine.

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Switchboxes in the UK can be wired for either “2 wire” (no neutral) or “3 wire” (requires neutral) devices. Usually older boxes are 2 wire and newer ones, in homes built in the last 5 years, are 3 wire, but you do find both, sometimes even in the same home! So either kind of device can be “designed for the UK.”

Most smart switches require a neutral because that’s how they power the radio. But as @Mikeyf79 mentioned, there are some models that will work without a neutral. :sunglasses:

The terminology is confusing because the earth is not counted as a wire even though it looks just like all the others except for the colour.

Also note there is always a neutral somewhere: that’s what completes the circuit. But an older homes it was quite common for the neutral to just be a return wire from the ceiling fitting. The other wire, the “live“ was just cut at one point and the wall switch installed there. When the traditional dumb switch is on, current can flow to the fitting and then on through the neutral. When the traditional dumb switch is off, no current flows to the fitting from the switch.

Vesternet has a good article on this:

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Might there also be something in the communication method. I note that Vesternet uses z-wave and Zigbee protocols and Yagusmart uses WiFi.

Simon Thompson

Protocol doesn’t affect the wiring, many companies use exactly the same case and just swap out different radio modules for different protocols.

Vesternet is a retailer like Amazon, they carry many different brands and protocols, including some WiFi devices.

Yagusmart makes both Zigbee and WiFi models. They sometimes look identical. They make Zigbee models for both 2 wire and 3 wire setups, so you do need to read product descriptions carefully. :thinking:

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Old wiring in UK houses - including my own house does not have ‘two neutrals’. Many smart light switches and especially dimmers require the wiring to have two neutrals so power can still reach the smart switch even when the lights themselves are turned off.

Either you need your light switch cabling to have two neutrals or you need a smart switch specifically designed to only need a single neutral connection. It appears in your case neither is true and therefore it is not working.

Your options are either to return these smart switches and get different ones that do not need two neutrals or to get the electrical wiring replaced.

Technically these switches are going to be UK compatible but only if you haver newer style wiring with two neutral connections. I believe this is now fairly common on modern homes and installations. As mentioned my own wiring lacks two neutrals but I plan to have my wiring upgraded along with other work.

I’ve never heard the term “two neutrals“ in this context for either UK or US wiring, and I want to make sure the OP doesn’t get confused.

The typical terminology for the UK is the one used in the Vesternet article linked to above: “two wire,” which means no neutral at the switchbox, or “three wire,“ which means there is a neutral at the switchbox. But there’s only one neutral on the circuit, it’s just a question of where it’s attached.

And there will be only one neutral wire coming into the switchbox for a single circuit.

Again, the Vesternet article has diagrams that show this clearly.

Do you have a link to a reference referring to “two neutrals“? I’m wondering if this might be someone’s own terminology for a three wire set up where you can find a neutral at both the switchbox and the light fitting. But it’s the same neutral for the same circuit, it’s just pulled down all the way to the lightbox so that it’s available there as well.

I think many suppliers are being economical with the truth when they claim UK compatibility.

Simon Thompson

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This thread is starting to get silly now.

There is no such thing as 2 neutrals. And nothing needs 2 neutrals to work.

In fact neutral is very rarely switched in any circuit in a UK home, only the live is switched. The neutral is directly connected to device. About the only thing to have a neutral switch is a cooker switch (I.e. it switches/isolates both live and neutral).

This is why we don’t have a neutral at our light switches, because it’s permanently connected to the lamp. (Thats the correct electrical term for a bulb before anyone says any different). As my apprentice master used to say many years a go “a bulb is how you grow flowers, that’s a lamp boy”.