VFAQ: Lighting Control Options for UK SmartThings

I see, you intercepted the 2 wires that go into the switch. For my case, I only have 1 live and 1 neutral at the lights, so directly connect to the relay is easier, and the switch able to work with 2 lights with 1 relay.

Let me share my setup:

Hi @CSC , i just bought this switch (3 gang) recently in Singapore and now notice your configuration. Do you mind to share if i intend to use the first gang to control 3/4 bulbs (group together on/off) so how’s the relay connect to (first bulb)?

Okay. I now understand. This use case is where the switch back box is either too shallow or lacks neutral and the unswitched live is unreachable in the ceiling. Good to have another option even in those circumstances!

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Hi @CSC any chance of a link to the switch and relays you’ve posted. I think I might have a use case which needs this.

Would not the following be a possible solution for UK users and for that matter anyone in the world?

Wall mount an iPhone, iPad or perhaps even better an iPod Touch. Provide power to the iOS device via a concealed in wall charger. A quick search did not list any iPhone wall mounts probably partly down to the many different shapes it has had over the years and probably partly down the presumption they are too expensive for such a purpose. However a disused iPhone could potentially be used if you can find a suitable way of wall mounting it.

Note: It is actually quite common to wall mount iPads as touch screen controllers for higher end home automation systems that is higher end than Smartthings.

The iOS device could then run either the Smartthings app or SmartTiles. Via these it could then send signals via the Smartthings hub to Philips Hue bulbs, or Osram Litify both of which are already fully supported.

(As an aside it is disappointing that there is currently not an iPad optimised version of the Smartthings app.)

The following are examples of iPod Touch wall mounts.


http://www.habitech.co.uk/Control++Lighting/Wall-Smart/Wall-Smart+wall+mount+for+iPod+touch+5_WAL-IPOD-TOUCH.htm
http://kitchenbathroomradio.co.uk/in-wall-mount-for-ipod-touch-white
http://www.aldoussystems.co.uk/acatalog/iDocx.html

Note: The choices for iPads is much, much bigger.

You would also need an in wall charger. Typically but not universally such chargers feed power in at the source end to an RJ45 cable i.e. Power-over-Ethernet, and then in the wall behind the wall mount use an adapter to convert to USB and then you would in this case use a standard USB Lightning charger cable to the iOS wall mounted device.

As is sadly typical the US market has smaller, cheaper, neater solutions but it is still possible in the UK. My boss has a higher end system with wall mounted iPad Minis controlling everything.

It will of course be much easier if you have plaster board covered stud walls otherwise if solid brick or concrete it will require a fair amount of chiseling to create enough room behind the wall mount.

This is certainly an option with smart bulbs. Or with in wall relays. People also use Wi-Fi mobile phones for this.

As you mentioned, it’s a popular use for SmartTiles.

However, there are a couple of issues to consider.

The wall mount tablet gives you no more options than holding the mobile in hand does. It’s just more convenient positioning. That means:

One) it cannot control a nonnetworked fitting. The device you are controlling from the tablet must have its own network identity. Again, that could be a smart bulb or it could be an in wall relay or a pocket socket. So the wallmount tablet is an additional device cost to whatever else has been done to provide home automation.

Two) it will only work when a connection to the smartthings cloud is present. There is no local operation possible if the Internet is down or if the Internet is up but the SmartThings account is not available. That won’t matter to some people, but it will matter quite a bit to others.

  1. The tablets almost always require that the person have pretty good reading skills. For this reason, they are not always suitable for small children. They may also be problematic for guests who require reading glasses and don’t expect to be wearing them when just walking around the house. The following applies only to a very small subset of users, but since I happened to be one of them, I will also mention that the tablets cannot be used by an assistance dog.

So many people do use the wallmount tablets and like them, but they are generally used as an additional means of control, rather than the primary.

At my own house we use many different parallel means of control. We do have one wallmount tablet on each side of the house, but we also have a physical switch for each light as well as voice control. So just comes down to each person’s preferences, use cases, and budget. :sunglasses::dog:

There is a thread in the forum where people have shared projects for Wallmount tablets and phones for use with SmartTiles. Although obviously some of the equipment is only available in the US, It might provide some additional ideas and inspiration.

Oh, and as far as chiseling, quite a few people mount the tablet on top of a wooden box which rises above the wall surface, rather than digging into it. These can be made to look very nice. So again it just depends on each person’s aesthetics.

Also The Koala line from Dockem EU is available through Amazon.co.uk and has several models under £15. There’s still the question of what to do with the cord, but there are some wallmount options in the UK which are quite affordable.

In general, the costs go way up if the Mount also has to tilt or swivel. Or if it’s intended to prevent theft of the tablet. But if all that’s needed is a picture frame type style, the costs are reasonable. For DIY options, again see the hardware thread linked to above.

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Just found this posted today.

Does not appear to be a Z-Wave product but according to the above SlashGear article it is already compatible with Smartthings.

Of course you then have to have Smartthings, probably a Logitech Harmony Hub and this new Switch.

It’s Bluetooth and can connect on your mobile phone or the harmony hub.

It definitely has possibilities if you do already have the harmony hub. It’s basically a one button remote but in an interesting form factor. Rather expensive, though. But it will definitely be good for some use cases. Detailed discussion in the following thread.

I haven’t seen it announced for the UK, yet, though.

Is it just me or is the Legrand Adorne range actually available in the UK? It seems that Adorne is US, but the UK equivalent is the Legrand Arteor range?

It used to be (Legrand is a French company), but it looks like it’s not now. The Arteor range is a home automation system from Legrand available in the EU, but isn’t sold in the same range of colors or shapes as the Adorne line. Just square or round in silver or white.

Because you’re not using any of the electronic components, if you really like them you could get the Adorne models from Canada or the US. But it would probably cost a lot less just to go with the Schneider momentary switches.

Thanks for the extra info.I agree the Arteor range isn’t quite as extensive as Adorne, but in terms of finishes it still has plastic, wood, metal, mirror/glass, and even leather options, not just silver or white. Plus the actual module options are still pretty extensive: the basic Arteor range has your usual mechanical switches, buttons and outlets, then ‘Arteor HA’ extends the range with zigbee- and bus-based devices (shame that Legrand’s zigbee implementation uses a proprietary profile though, so it won’t integrate directly with SmartThings, you need their hub instead).

I actually tracked down the Arteor range after discovering these momentary switches in the Shard hotel recently and thinking they were really nice to use. I definitely prefer the modern large ‘paddle’ switches to the typical British old-fashioned tiny switches.

Anyway, just want to point out the Arteor range is worth considering if you’re in the UK, given they’re so flexible and as in the neutral plastic finishes they’re coming in around half the price of the Schneider momentary switches, although not as cheap as the Click MiniGrid range.

I’m about to replace my Rako Lighting with the Fibaro Dimmer 2’s so I can integrate my lighting with SmartThings and these Arteor momentary switches are probably what I’ll end up using. :slight_smile:

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Just received notification from the oem manufacturer that I deals with, they have 4 gang z-wave switch now, on top of the existing 1/2/3 gang switch, work with switch box that without neutral wire and come with 2 type of bypass.

The new type of bypass is also much smaller

If anybody is interested in fitting this tech into a ‘normal’ house context I used the Philips Hue 4 button mini remote and adapted it to fit within a light switch. The switch is a normal 2 way switch wiith the ability to be used in multiple switch setups. It only switches the lights on or off … no dimming but thats ok for our use.


Behind the scenes its not quite as nice … but its just a prototype.

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So do these still require the relay or work without it? And are these just on/off or momentary dimmers?

For this particular 4 gang switch, they only have the version that require a bypass module.

It’s a on/ off switch.

If you want those support neutral wire at switch and work workout bypass, they have the 1/2/3 gang switches available

This appeals to me, how did you work around the momentary press? I image keeping the contact closed will significantly reduce battery life as I can see on mu unit the light flashes every second or so suggesting its sending the signal again.

@CSC do you have a link to where these switches can be purchased?

I’ll pm you the link

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