UK Lighting Query


(Adrian Parker) #1

Afternoon all,

I’m after a little advice regarding some wiring setup so that I can ensure it does what I want and before I buy the kit for me electrician to fit. This is for a UK setup. As this deals with lighting I’m aware of the various UK specific lighting FAQ threads but I can’t find the right answer from these that I can be confident will work.

Current Setup

  • Single 1 gang light switch connected to a standard light fitting (3 x 40W max LED bulbs). 3 wire setup.

Desired Setup

  • Convert standard switch connected to standard light fitting to a smart solution. I need to ideally be able to dim the lights fitting via a physical switch (and it has to be 'normal’ looking dimmer for the WAF) and dim via ST. I don’t believe this is possible so I’m willing to accept a smart on/off solution as long as it can be controlled by physical button and ST.
  • Addition of 2 x Hue GU10 and 2 x Hue lightstrips. This will ultimately be linked to my AV setup and I would like a physical switch so that there is the option for these lights to not be active all the time. Obviously this needs to be something which won’t cut the power to the Hues as they need to be powered 24/7


  • Needs to have WAF - nice looking switches/dimmers (ideally chrome)

  • Have physical switches and ability to control via ST

  • Lighting setup for home theatre, with ability to turn this off when not required

I’m thinking the MCO Home touch panel 2 gang might fit the bill. If I was to get this could I wire one load to the existing light fitting and give me the ability to turn this off via physical switch and ST, and then use the 2nd switch on the panel purely as a z-wave switch to turn hues on and off via WebCore?

If not, does a physical switch/relay exist which I would get wired in and would be able to dim the hues but not actually cut power to them?

Hope that all makes sense. Any help will be greatly appreciated.



(Bob) #2

If you are open to another hub, then have a look at LightwaveRF. Just replace your existing switches. They also do a slave so you can have 2-way switches.
They do various colours.
You can configure cloud to cloud so ST can control them or you can install a Raspberry Pi to remove the cloud.
So you can control these manually (finger method :wink: ) or use ST for home automation.
Plenty of other options out there but personally this is my setup and my favourite. (I would say that wouldn’t I. I’m not a LightwaveRF employee or shareholder BTW).

(Adrian Parker) #3

Thanks Bob,

Appreciate the reply. I have looked at Ightwave but I’m not eager to have another hub/integration to add a further link.

Thanks for the reply


(Simon) #4

I recommend the Fibaro Dimmer 2 modules. I have many and they work with or without a neutral. There is a really good device handler available. The dimmer 2 can be used with momentary or toggle switches, although for dimming its easier to use momentary switches.

There are a number of momentary switches available with many discussed on the forum. I have not tested these, but Varilight do a range of momentary switches. I had their V-plus IR installed successfully for over 10 years so hopefully the momentary are just as reliable.

Last thing. are you sure you have 3-wire in your switches? Its not common in the UK. Most of the time you just have a Live and return to the ceiling rose. this is one reason why Fibaro are popular here.

(Robin) #5

All newer UK homes i’ll being built with neutrals to the switches.

+1 on the Fibaro’s, I use them throughout my UK home and they work flawlessly. Can go behind your existing switches, or you can upgrade to any dumb momentary switch, module typically goes behind the switch.

To control your Hue’s, you can connect an additional switch to each Fibaro module which can be used to send commands to the hub, which in turn can toggle other things.

(Adrian Parker) #6

Thanks @siwilson,

Appreciate the advice.

I’m pretty sure my electrician said it was 3-wire but let me check - part of the house has been re-wired so this maybe different to the location I want to put these switches in.

(Adrian Parker) #7

Thanks @RobinWinbourne,

With regards to controlling the Hue’s, are you referring to the idea of supplying power to the fibaro module but not connecting a load to it? i.e. simply using it as a smart switch. This way the Hue’s won’t power off and ‘drop off’ the network.

(Bob) #8

Not seen the varilight switches before.
I have a spare Fibaro dimmer so I may order one and see how it integrates.

(Robin) #9

Sort of… the Fibaros can connect to a single load (controlled by switch 1) but have the option of adding a second switch which does not control any loads directly.

So you could take your single gang switch and replace it for a double gang. One switch will control a load (your 3 x 40W), the other switch will just send scene ID’s to the hub which can be used to do anything you wish.

For example, on second switch:
Single click toggle hue GU10’s
Double click toggle Hue strips
Triple click run goodnight routine
Press and hold, shoot cat

(Adrian Parker) #10

Thanks @RobinWinbourne,

That seems to answer so many questions; can reuse existing wiring, no need to chip out, can control and physical and virtual device, can use normal light switches. All I need is a larger back box and to find some suitable switches.

One quick question though. Vesternet specify that a 2 way & off switch can be used to allow dimming up and down:

I assume this dimming is performed by the fibaro module so will work with ST? Also ( and more importantly) does anyone know if this will remove the ability for me to use the second switch to control scenes? The diagram on vesternet shows both S1 and S2 being connected.

Thanks in advance

(Robin) #11

Good morning!

Dimming is done in the module yes. But you’ll need to make sure your GU10’s are dimmable and if you’re not using a neutral wire you might need a small bypas module behind the light fitting as well.

What size back boxes do you have? If it’s those pathetic 16mm ones, you’ll need to up-size, but you won’t have a problem fitting a single module inside a 32 or 47mm box.

If you use the two-way and off switches (roller blind switches) you won’t be able to use the second switch for scene control seperate from the load.

I like to use retractive/momentary type switches, as these give you full dimming control on a single switch connection. Leaving the other switch for scene use.

Retractive switch dimming works as follows:

  • Single click - toggle lights on / off
  • Double click - lights on to 100%
  • Press and hold (when light is off) - turn on at 1%
  • Press and hold (when light is on) - dim down in increments
  • Release and press and hold again (when light is on) - dim up in increments

Sounds complicated but it’s actually really intuitive when you physically try it… Even my wife likes it!

You also get a much broader range of switch design with retractive, as blind switch options are somewhat limited.

Check screwfix, they have some nice retractive switches… I like the retro-touch ones.

(Adrian Parker) #12

Thanks so much @RobinWinbourne,

Perfect and clear answers to everything I’ve asked. Over the past couple of days you’ve helped cleared up so points of confusion I’ve had for weeks, so thank you again. A credit to the community.

Right, I’m off to buy a Fibaro dimmer and a 2 gang retractive switch :slight_smile:


Just in case you want to get MCO, they doesn’t work well with ST

(Adrian Parker) #14

Just before I put my cash down, would someone mind confirming that the Varilight XFCM2 momentary switch will fit the bill. I’ve taken a look at documentation ( and found a photo during searches, attached) and it doesn’t appear to have a common, on L1 and L2. This is pretty contrary to what else I’ve read is required.

Thanks in advance


(Robin) #15

That will work fine, it’s just two push to make switches so only needs two terminals per switch.

Some momentary switches have 3 terminals giving you common, normally open and normally closed but it’s not needed for your purposes.

(Robin) #16

Wire to the Fibaro switch terminals as follows:

(Reverse S1 and S2 depending on which side you want the load switch to be. S1 being the one that controls the load)