SmartThings Community

VFAQ: Lighting Control Options for UK SmartThings

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#62

The relay is essential, I guess it act as triacs to trigger the on/off.


(Jamie) #63

I have a triple switch in the kitchen that controls 3 different lightening circuits - To replace this would be cheaper than buying the 9 smart bulbs in these 3 circuits.

I also have other switches that have 2 outputs.

So I’m guessing that a relay would be needed for each switching circuit so it can become more complicated but possible.

However personally I live in a new build with neutrals in the light switch housing so I am lucky I have just took a punt on a zigbee triple switch from China so will see what I get in a few weeks


#64

I tried the double switches to control 2 lights, it work with 1 relay only, I don’t really understand but it work


(Andy Godber) #65

Looks a big relay to get in the ceiling rose?


#66

The size is 4cm x 5 cm x 2.5cm


(Jamie) #67

I did say above the ceiling rose - in the ceiling cavity, where the wiring is. In the same way some people put 12v ballasts in the ceiling void.


#68

Right, that’s the way :slight_smile:


#69

Yeah, installed my first Z-Wave Switch, now my dumb light become smarter :grin:


(Wayne) #70

I don’t understand. If you can get at the neutral near the ceiling rose why not just install one of the zwave relays or dimmers there instead and leave all of your existing light switches untouched?


#71

Check the first post, there’re various options available to control lights, this is one of them :smiley:


(Wayne) #72

I did. I’m just not understanding the advantage of this last solution as it seems to need both access to neutral in the ceiling and needing to change the light switch. Just seems a lot of work! (maybe I’m just lazy?)


#73

For relays, you need some spaces behind your existing switch (in the wall), so that you can re-wire your switch to work with the relays such that when you flip off (toggle off) your switch, it’s still controllable via zwave / app.

If you keep the relay at the ceiling rose, when you flip off your switch, the zwave controller will be off too.


(Wayne) #74

This is a misunderstanding I think. I have the zwave relays in several ceilings now where my back box is too shallow or without neutral. I wouldn’t have been able to automate my lighting otherwise.


#75

Sound like a good option!
Do you need to re-wire the switch? When you turn off the switch, the relays still work?


(Wayne) #76

You basically take the two wires that go into the switch and put them into the module. Connect the load (lights) connect a live and neutral and you’re done. Keeps the other half happy as well as you can keep the original fittings on display.
So you leave the light switch untouched and yes the zwave module is always alive.


#77

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:


(Wesley Wong) #78

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)?


(Wayne) #79

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!


(Wayne) #80

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.


(John Lockwood) #81

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.