VFAQ: Lighting Control Options for UK SmartThings

That says it’s a “ballast dimmer,” so I don’t think it would work with individual dumb LED lamps. The wiring diagram shows the Z wave device controlling a “analogue dimmable ballast.” That Ballast changes the physics involved. This is not a device intended for dimming control of individual dumb LED lamps.

It also says:

The Fluorescent Dimmer requires a Neutral connection.

So the MK Astral LFD51U Device is intended for control of old-style fluorescent tube fittings which have A ballast with a transformer which can be controlled by an analogue dimmer. That’s not what most people will be looking for for residential lighting. Maybe in a workshop or some kitchens that were redone in the 1980s.

I think the MK part numbers tell the story. The LD models are dimmers for typical residential lighting, but will not work with dumb LEDs. They were designed for incandescents and halogens.

The LF models are designed for use with fluorescent lights that have ballasts that can be controlled by an analogue dimmer. (Typically tubes) They require a neutral wire.

The LS models are binary switches. No dimming. They can be used with dumb CFL’s or LEDs, but may require a “low energy lighting adapter” in a two wire setup.

To be honest, that’s perfect for me. I don’t want dimmers on most of my lights - just simple switches.

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Damn! :disappointed:

I rang MK and discovered that they had discontinued their MK Astral range some time ago. The person I spoke to in their technical department said they had asked the marketing department to remove them from the website many times.

They back then did have two types of dimmer module one specifically for fluorescent lights. This might have meant that the other module would work with dimmer compatible LED bulbs. As @PailOckenden pointed out this product range predates the wide use of LED bulbs.

I did find a couple listed on eBay but I would have needed many more to do the entire house.


Thanks @JDRoberts for the Vesternet link. Having followed that it looks like the Scolmore mini grid with the Fibaro dimmer module and bypass module might be the way to go. Anyone able to comment on a dimmer capable switch i.e. three way switch from that list of three?

I tried to pair the 2 gang switch to ST, but unfortunately it didnt show on “add a thing” even I press the Prog key on the Schneider 2 gangs switch.
Do you know how to pair it up? without handler.

thx very much

Did you manage to get the schneider dimmer to be recognize in @L_Henry

I went for these retractive switches and they seem to be pretty good.

My personal favorite is this which is a 2 way so 2 controllers can be connected to one switch with a up down toggle

Since they are modular you can create any combination with 1,2,3,4 gang grid plates and face plates

There are also 2 options for the face plate to choose from white and metallic finish.

Hope this helps someone.

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That is not a neutral. its the switched live returning to the lamp. A typical UK lighting circuit will have live and neutral looping around all the lights on the same circuit, with the switch dropping down from the ceiling rose. If you open up the connection at the ceiling you will see 3 red wires together. two black ones with one lamp connection and then a single black one connected to the other amp connection.

You could put a module such as the Fibaro Dimmer 2 behind that switch as the Fibaro does not need a neutral. you can also retain the existing switch.

How did you get on with the Arteor range of switches and Fibaro dimmers?
I am about to invest in these and I would appreciate your experience.

2019 update

Two new devices are now available in the UK.

Neo coolcam makes both single gang and double gang UK style Glass switches which some community members are using. These models are Z wave, not Wi-Fi. They will connect directly to SmartThings.


And Phillips now has new designated partners who are creating switches that harvest the kinetic energy from the finger push (like the Hue tap), so they require neither batteries your wiring. Neither batteries nor wiring are needed. But you must have a hue bridge. They will definitely work with lights which are connected to the hue bridge.

It’s not clear yet whether they will be visible to smartthings, though, or whether you will be able to use them with the smartthings hubs directly once the hubs are updated for Zigbee 3.0. We will just have to wait and see on that. But if you have a lot of Hue bulbs, it will be a nice alternate means of control. Without having to worry about batteries or pressing an extra time to wake up the device .



Came across Aurora A-ONE Zigbee lighting for the UK. See - https://auroralighting.com/gb/productaone?search=Smart_Specification_Web^Smart%20Inside|Product%20Web%20Type^Dimmers&page=1&category=AOne™%20Control

Being Zigbee it would obviously work with Smartthings but they also specifically list such compatibility. Disappointingly they do not yet mention Apple HomeKit support. As they like Ikea and Philips Hue use a Zigbee gateway it should like them be possible to add HomeKit support via a software update to this gateway - if one could only get hold of a suitable person to explain this to. :unamused:

Unlike many smart light switches which are available in just a fixed configuration i.e. 1 or 2 gang, they also do a module. This might in theory make 3 and 4 gang options possible although they do not list a face plate for it. They also only do dimmers and not switches.

Still so far other than the approach of using micro modules and momentary switches this seems the best UK smart switch solution I have seen. The Lightwave RF one is too ugly and has limited permutations - especially for HomeKit compatible models.

That’s not a given.

FAQ: Zigbee Application Profiles, or why not all zigbee devices work with SmartThings

All of that said, the “works with smartthings“ program is an official certification program, and Aurora is one of the new members. But only for some of their devices.

And that certification doesn’t necessarily mean that all The features of a device will work out of the box with smartthings. Sometimes we just have to wait for community reports to find out.

Anyway, you can see the certified models on the official “works with smart things for the UK“ list. They are definitely attractive looking devices. So hopefully they will work well. :sunglasses:


And here’s a discussion thread for the aurora devices.

The zigbee piece doesn’t matter one way or another for HomeKit. It’s the Wi-Fi piece that matters.

And while it’s true that Apple now allows for software updates to create HomeKit integration, they still have to be able to handle the very significant WiFi encryption requirements, and that often takes more memory than an existing device may have available.

For example, a popular smart sprinkler company in the US, Rachio, was able to retrofit their existing generation three controllers for HomeKit, but not their generation two controllers, specifically because of the memory requirement. Other device manufacturers have had similar issues with retrofits.

Why doesn’t HomeKit work with Generation 2 or Generation 1 controllers?
The new Rachio 3 is our only smart sprinkler controller with hardware equipped to connect with Apple HomeKit.
For the last year and a half, a team of engineers has explored possibilities for fitting the HomeKit-required firmware onto the Generation 2’s processor memory. Ultimately, it was not possible to add HomeKit to Generation 2 controllers. Our Rachio 3 hardware has 4x the memory of Generation 2, making HomeKit connectivity achievable.

I have read this topic multiple times now and I am completely perplexed. Bear in mind I am a mechanic so I’m far more comfortable with pumps and sectional drawings than wiring diagrams so apologies in advance for any stupid questions.

I am looking at changing out my smart bulbs with a wired solution over time due to people failing to understand that you don’t need to touch the light switch anymore. I do not have a nuetral so it is looking like Fibaro dimmer 2 is going to the route I am going to go. The questions I have are:

  1. Is it better to install retractive switches than on/off toggle switches? I would like to have the dimming functionality.
  2. As far as I can tell I would need a bypass if I want to use LED bulbs. This would get installed at the light fitting if I understand it correctly?
  3. The initial place I want to install is in my bedroom. There are three red wires, which I assume are all live wires. One going into the bottom of the switch and two into the top of the switch. The wiring diagrams seem to suggest I should only have one wire going into either side of the switch so can I still use the dimmer module?
  4. My back boxes are 35mm deep and are metal. Looking at the dimensions I think the module would fit but would the metal block the signal to the hub?

Thanks for any help and apologies for the lots of probably really stupid questions.

I have a number of Fibaro Dimmer modules and they are a great piece of kit. Here are a few answers for you.

  1. Is it better to install retractive switches than on/off toggle switches? I would like to have the dimming functionality.

If you want to control dimming from the switch then yes restrictive is best. If you’re not fussed about dimming form the switch then normal toggle also work fine.

  1. As far as I can tell I would need a bypass if I want to use LED bulbs. This would get installed at the light fitting if I understand it correctly?

Yes if the load is under 30W (which is almost always the case if you run LED bulbs) then you need a bypass. You connect it across the load, so across the switched live to the bulb and neutral. Since you do not have neutral at the switch you would do this at the light fitting.

  1. The initial place I want to install is in my bedroom. There are three red wires, which I assume are all live wires. One going into the bottom of the switch and two into the top of the switch. The wiring diagrams seem to suggest I should only have one wire going into either side of the switch so can I still use the dimmer module?

I picture would help, but I suspect you have an additional switch controlling that light (2-way switch setup)? That is not an issue you just have to install the dimmer module between the switches and where the switches live os to the light. If you don’t have a 2-way setup then something else is going on and would need investigation before proceeding.

  1. My back boxes are 35mm deep and are metal. Looking at the dimensions I think the module would fit but would the metal block the signal to the hub?

35mm might be a bit tight depending on how much cable you have in there and the design of the switch. Some intrude into the box further the others. If that is the case then you can use a spacer to make a little more room. Don’t worry about the metal back, it won’t be an issue.

Thanks for the reply it seems pretty straightforward except for the two lives into the com terminal of the switch. It is a single switch that only controls one light and has no other switch for that light.

Here is a photo of the switch.

OK, in that case no issue. You just have to remember to put both Live in the Live terminal of the module. If they are too fat then a junction block. Double check what’s live or not and maybe get an electrician to do it off you not comfortable.

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Your questions are fine, the picture is great, they just don’t belong in this topic. This is an FAQ, and if we get caught up in the details of individual projects then it becomes very hard to read for other people in the future.

Please start a new thread and title it something like “questions about Fibaro (UK), “ and there will be lots of people who will be glad to help.

You can put it in the UK section if you like. That way you will get more answers specific to UK wiring. :sunglasses:


So you are saying that asking questions about lighting in a FAQ thread about UK lighting isn’t correct? What can be posted in an FAQ thread about UK lighting? Just for future reference.

Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.

In all of the device FAQs, posts with Additions of more devices of the type under discussion are fine. Things that would be of interest to a new person coming to the thread who is attracted by the thread title.

But once we get into questions about the details of an individual installation, it’s usually better to set up a separate thread for that.

For example, the questions about wiring in a specific room would belong in a thread about that specific model, or a thread about one person’s specific project.

The discussion is definitely welcome in the forum, it will just work better in a different thread.

The purpose of this thread

This thread is intended to lay out in general the various device class options for the UK. Along with links to individual discussion threads for people who want to see more details on any one particular device or device class.

It’s just so that people understand they don’t have to just be looking for an all in one switch to replace their existing dumb switch. They can also look at inwall micros or smart bulbs. And there will be different options available if they have a neutral at the switchbox.

After that, examples of specific devices, particularly ones that might solve general problems that many people have, are also helpful.

But the point of an FAQ is that it is a frequently asked question, that is one where many people have the same question, and the answer is intended to be of interest to many people. Not necessarily all, for example, some people will have a neutral at the switchbox and some will not. But everyone starts out with a similar question and then the answer may be “Some homes will have a neutral at the switch box and some will not , and that will affect the Device choices you will have.“

Once the questions start getting highly individualized, the answers become highly individualized, and the conversation will work best in a thread devoted to that project.

So this is not just a “thread about UK lighting.” It is an FAQ about lighting control options for the UK, meaning the various device classes presented at a high level, followed by individual model examples with links to their individual discussion threads.

You can see an example around post 25 where a long discussion of the wiring for a specific project was moved by the moderators to a separate thread. That was after multiple complaints from people that the FAQ had become too hard to follow.

Since this forum allows any individual member to start their own thread, it’s easy to start a new thread to ask for help on a specific project and receive highly individualized responses. :sunglasses:

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