VFAQ: Lighting Control Options for UK SmartThings

Different people want different options. Choice is good.

The Logitech button is a cloud to cloud integration, which does introduce a small amount of lag.

And sometimes it’s just a matter of aesthetics. The pop button is rubbery and neon colored. Sometimes people are looking for something that, well, looks more like a light switch.

There are several other battery powered devices which are available in the UK, some of which are Z wave and so communicate directly to SmartThings.

For example, the Devolo scene controller is very popular. It also costs less than the pop button once you factor in the price of the required pop bridge. It has several style and color options.

And the remotetec has eight separate buttons, each of which can be used for three functions (click, double-click, and long press, just like the Logitech POP) so that gives you 24 functions on one battery operated device.

All of the battery powered devices that work with SmartThings are listed in the buttons and remotes FAQ linked to above. Including the DeVolo, the Remotec, and the pop. Here’s the link again:

So the pop is definitely a good device (I have three of them), and there are several other good ones as well, each with somewhat different features or aesthetics.


Does this work with LED bulbs and where can you get them?

Can you please also tell me where to get these switches.


Can you send me the link as well please?

The link is at the post above and here

Thank you, that’s very expensive for a switch £72 though

Roger Dunnaker

It’s Singapore dollar, so translate to about £50

Still very expensive for a light switch

Roger Dunnaker

I would say the switch worth the price, for almost the same price if you go for Fibaro relay, the max you can control up to 2 lights, and that need neutral wire to work.

Fibaro relay: http://www.vesternet.com/z-wave-fibaro-relay-insert-1-2-5-kw

Hi, I’ve just got a couple of the 3 switch version of these. Got the first wired in and it successfully works the lights from the switch itself. Detected fine in ST, and the multichannel app shows three end points.

I’ve got two problems though, the main switch (which operates switch one) can be switched on and off from ST fine, but doesn’t update its status without a manual refresh. Also, the Endpoint devices always show ‘on’. If the switches themselves are on I can switch them off once from ST, but then they just continue to show as on and can’t be controlled any more. Do I need to change any of the device settings etc? Keen to hear how you got yours working. Cheers.

Just for reference in case anyone is thinking of these - I’ve now got them working. Needed to delete and re-add the end points and they started behaving so now have full control of all three buttons. Would definitely consider these a good option for anyone looking at light switches in the UK (I ordered the neutral wire version as my house has them at the switch).

Edit to add: not sure why I seem to have two accounts! Apologies.

But not compatible with SmartThings, correct?

I’m very new to smart home automation and would be glad if someone guided me in the right path. I got the smartthings from us with the schlage lock from us as well. Living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates we have slight issues with us voltage but smartthings and schlage are working fine till now. I contacted the person in the link and he said he’s got switches for 110-240v which he said should work in Dubai but I would need us z wave frequency and he doesn’t have switches for it now.

Anyone can guide me where I can these switches with us frequency which would work in dubai.

Searching the ZigBee Alliance’s website for light switches I came across the Shneider Electric ULTI ZB 1 Gang Dimmer:

It appears to use the ZigBee Home Automation 1.0 Dimmable Light device type. I haven’t yet found these for sale in the UK.

This PDF on Schneider’s website also shows other products in the same range including a 2 gang dimmer and 1 gang and 2 gang switches with choices of face plate. It also mentions their 2-wire TruRetrofit technology which “requires no neutral wires” and “dimtect” technology which automatically detects your bulb type to make CFLs and LEDs dimmable. Is this all too good to be true?

The wiring diagrams for the dimmer and switch do seem to mention a neutral wire.

I’ve recently moved into a new house in the UK (built in 1989) and it appears that my light switches do have a neutral (black) wire to them in addition to live (red) and earth (green/yellow).

My questions are:

  1. Is this ZigBee Home Automation 1.0 Dimmable Light compatible with SmartThings out of the box?
  2. Will these switches work with my existing wiring? (assuming there’s space in the back box which seems a bit shallow)
  3. Will these switches work for people who don’t have a neutral wire to the switch as discussed in this thread?

(I intended to attach more images but the forum won’t let me as a first time poster).

An example of the wiring in my existing light switches:

The Schneider switches are indeed certified under the same zigbee profile as the smartthings hub, so it should be possible to get them to work, although they will probably need a custom device handler. Because they are not available in the US, I just don’t think very many people have looked at them yet. But they would definitely be with trying.

As far as not requiring a neutral, it’s most likely similar to the fibaro inwall dimmer relay. It’s technically possible, if the manufacturer says it can be done. Schneider is a long-established, reputable company, so I would just contact their support department for more details.

So good catch, definitely somebody should check into these.

As far as your own wiring project, please start your own thread so you can get specific responses to that, this is the FAQ thread for general device discussion.

You can start your thread either in the UK category of the forum or under devices.

I’d be very surprised if the black is a neutral.
In the UK we tend to use 'switched ’ live.
So I would assume the red is the live and the black goes to the ceiling rose.

Ah, I see. Like this…

…where A is the live feed from the consumer unit, B goes onto the next light in the ring and C goes down to the switch.

Source: lightwiring.co.uk

So my question about whether these switches and dimmers really work without a neutral wire is particularly relevant.

Something I don’t understand about SmartThings is why a custom device handler is needed for a standard ZigBee device type, even if that device type is already supported by a device from another manufacturer. Surely the point of having a standard is that SmartThings doesn’t have to add each individual product to their catalog when it has already been certified by the Zigbee Alliance as complying with that device type…?

That’s exactly how zwave works, it’s just not how the zigbee standard works, which is why Z wave is so much more popular for low-end DIY systems.

In zigbee, each device has its own unique ID, and it tells that ID and specific list of individual commands that it supports, to the coordinator, in this case the SmartThings hub, at the time that it joins the network. This is what smartthings calls the “fingerprint.”

When the zigbee standard was developed, the assumption was that most of the devices would be deployed in sets, One coordinator and a bunch of preassigned devices. You would be adding more devices later, but only of those same models. This was actually considered a security feature as the coordinator would only accept the models that it was expecting.

So each coordinator would come with a set of device type handlers for the specific fingerprints it was expecting to see.

And this is exactly how most security systems which use zigbee devices work.

The zigbee light link profile, which is what is used by hue bulbs and other zigbee bulbs, was introduced later and works completely differently. It doesn’t require a coordinator at all. Basically there’s a very high level of trust, and pretty much any ZLL device can join the group. But it was really only intended for lamps, where it was felt the security risks of this kind of open join were minimal.

Z wave, in contrast to both of these, has a central primary controller (again, the smartthings hub). When devices join, they tell the controller their device class. Currently, they don’t come with an individual ID the way a zigbee device does. And they are able to join as a generic device of their class, like a dimmer switch. It is the controller which assigns the device its individual network ID at the time of joining. Moreover, Z wave has the concept of a “basic” command (that’s Z wave term in this context) which means the device has a predefined response to a general command. That usually just on/off but it means that the controller doesn’t really have to know anything about the device in order to use it at the most basic level.

When you put all of that together, it means that it’s very easy for any certified Z wave controller to add any certified Z wave device and get at least simple control over it.

But for a certified to zigbee coordinator to add a new certified zigbee device, it has to recognize its individual fingerprint. Otherwise it doesn’t know what commands to send. There isn’t a generic “basic” command the way there is for Z wave.

Most coordinators don’t let customers add new fingerprints to the coordinators database. That’s why you have to wait for the company to add support for new device models.

SmartThings is very unusual, and much more flexible, in that it allows customers to add new zigbee fingerprints to their specific account. This is why we can use so many different ZHA devices. But in order to do so, we have to have a device type handler that will work with that fingerprint.

You can sometimes get away with adding the device as just a thing and then forcibly assigning it to the device type handler for an existing known fingerprint, but it can get complicated, particularly for multi endpoint devices.

So… This particular issue is not a SmartThings issue. It’s just a zigbee issue. Z wave has the concept of a generic device with a basic command and zigbee does not.

Again, nothing to do with smartthings. If you buy A different home automation system that supports zigbee devices, it’s very likely that you will be limited to the specific models that their coordinator has information on, and you will only be able to select from their list of approved devices. So the need to add custom code for previously unknown zigbee devices , while it is a complexity, is a positive feature of SmartThings from the customer’s point of view. :sunglasses: Because the alternative under the zigbee standard is only being able to use devices which the company that makes that hub has already built device handlers for.


I’ll just throw another spanner into the works for you.
LightwaveRF do nice looking light switches and sockets.
These do not need a neutral and are a direct replacement for existing switches.
Now the downside.
They require their own Lightwaverf hub though.
The lightwave hub can be fully integrated with ST using IFTTT or a Raspberry Pi.
IFTTT can be very laggy, while the Pi acts as a local server.
I have some light switches fitted using the Pi method and this has allowed me to automate them using motion, lux, presence and turn on off when away to seem like I’m at home.
You can also use the switch if you wish!!!
This is much better than using a smart bulb where you have to leave it switched on all the time.
If you are just starting out on the HA road, this may be an option worth considering.

Oh and, if you move you can take the switches with you if you wish or just leave them behind as they are a switch in the conventional sense.