Would like some advice: kitchen lighting and HVAC project (UK)

I am in need of some guidance for my Smart Things device and getting the best out of it in regards to a large kitchen/diner I am currently having built.
My ideal scenario is to have the heating and lighting fully integrated into the Smart Things platform, however I am confused by exactly what to use from the list of compatible devices.
I will have min 6 light switches representing different areas in the 55m2 kitchen diner and would like an on/off switch device to sit behind 4 of them and dimmer/on/off to sit on the LED strip light switches. Please suggest best practice here.
I am also using Air Conditioning to heat/cool the kitchen - I have 2 indoor units and would like to control these through a thermostat can you suggest the one that you would recommend and the easiest to interface with the Samsung Air Conditioning?
Many thanks

Need some more detail here:

The Samsung Air Conditioning model number for a wiring diagram to make sure what it requires for a thermostat interface.

Same with the LED Strip lighting, need the model number to determine the correct interface controls.

Same for the light switches; it helps to know if you are using decora style or some special switch that must stay and the zwave switch needs to tie into that. I am asking because I am confused by your description when you say “sit behind”

It would be nice to know what each of the light switches controls as well (i.e. are there 3-way’s being used?)… can you upload a floor plan?

Thanks Dale
I will find out the model numbers and come back to you.
When I say sit behind I thought there may be a device that can sit behind the generic outer on/off switch (I might be wrong)
I will also upload a floor plan,

You are exactly correct. It is up to you. Use in wall smart switches but your choices are limited in a decora style or use whatever standard or custom light switch you desire and have it signal a hidden smart switch inside the gangbox.

Also what stage of construction are you at… are fixtures and wiring already installed

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The wiring is currently going in. The plasterboard is going up on Tuesday.

Speaking of important details, what country are you in? :sunglasses:

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If you are in Dallas then check out www.smart-dots.com. Or PM me… we have been doing this for many folks in Dallas-Fortworth Area… Would be glad to help you too!


I am in the UK.
Any advice would be welcome.

What’s the model number of the air-conditioner?

Do you have neutrals (blue wire) at the switches? This is also often called a “three wire” set up.

I think Fibaro devices are your friends since you are a UK user. Maybe Phillips hue for some lighting as well. Be sure to have line hot and neutral in as many places as possible since most smart switches need them.

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@John_Crighton is in the UK and has done a lot of work with Fibaro modules. He might have some more suggestions for the lighting.

(For clarity we should add that the Fibaro dimmer modules are in-wall zwave Devices that go behind the switches, as you described. In many ways they are similar to the Aeon modules that are on the official compatibility list. They are somewhat more complex, though, which is a good thing, as the Fibaro 2 have an option to be wired into a two wire set up, where the Aeon models all require three wire. They are very popular in the community for both US and UK installations. They also have an RGBW controller which can be used with LED strips.


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Regarding the lighting.
Ask your electrician to 3 plate at the switch. Will give more choice and options. With minimum cost if any if he hasn’t started. and ask for at least 35mm deep back boxes.

You need to decide if you want to go smart lamp route ( Philips Hue etc.) or Smart switch route. or mixture.

As a quick rough Pro con IMO;

Smart lamp route gives benefit of more versatile lighting. I.e. being able to change colours as well as just dim.
But switch integration is not the best in this country. Regarding choice and wife approval.
Also bottom end dimming isn’t as good. ( on the items I’ve tested )
Button presses might not trigger lights first time or maybe even second.

smart switch route gets big wife approval and fits in with existing accessories. No colour change, but better lower end dimming ( again on what I’ve tested)
Bit more robust, press a switch things generally work.

If your LED light strips are RGB and you want to be able to control colour from switches.
You will certainly need your electrician to put more than the standard amount of wires in.

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Well ok, I finished my kitchen diner a couple of months ago, coincidentally also the same size and in the UK.

I have two sets of downlights (8 and 6 bulbs), one pendant light, an island pendant, under cabinet lights, a soffit box LED and garden lights, all separately switched, all using Fibaro Dimmer 2s in this room. I have used Schneider Ultimate Screwless momentary switches and grid systems where necessary. Every light switch is retractive/momentary.

I don’t have any HVAC running here at all. I’ve not gone for A/C but I do have underfloor heating. I’ve been waiting to see how things settle in the heating area of ST, and I’m almost positive I’ll be going down the Honeywell route, maybe evohome as I have the option of controlling radiators throughout the house individually (as well as the hot water and underfloor).

The soffit box (https://community.smartthings.com/t/for-fun-pictures-videos-your-setups-hacks/41687/10) does not currently have a physical switch, which I may address in the future. It’s a bit of a gimmick, and not essential lighting, so I may not. It’s done with 12m of RGBW LED strips combined with a Fibaro RGBW controller (soft white shown). I’ve run all three strips directly to the same controller to keep life simple. Some RGBW extension cable used. The picture shown is before I had any paint on the skirting!

Some of my switches have two way setups, e.g. I have one switch for the island pendant on a 4 gang plate by the door, and one switch actually on the island. Not much different to a standard two way switch, but it does give me an option of where to locate the fibaro. This helps with spreading them about. In this situation for instance, I’ve put the module behind the island switch, so that modules for other switches can go behind the 4 gang plate (which currently has two behind it).

In the far corner of the room I have a double switch containing two modules. This is in an external wall with a fairly decent void left behind the plaster board. This means that I have been able to put a very deep box behind it to hold two modules. One does the garden lights, one does 8 downlights.

The under cabinet lights also do not have a physical switch. Here I’ve used a Fibaro relay module (under cab lights are not dimmable). This is connected to the ST motion sensor, placed strategically near the counter space. Between dusk and dawn, if you approach the counter the lights will come on for a couple of minutes.

If I wanted further physical switches, I could do this very easily. I’ve only just started to experiment with some brilliant code developed by @hajar which lets you use S2 on the fibaro module as a smart switch. In my lounge I have a lamp with a smart bulb (Aeotec RGBW Z-Wave) which is on constant power. I removed the single momentary switch for the main light (connected to S1 on the fibaro) and fitted a double, S1 to the main light/first switch and S2 just to the second switch. With the device handler and a smart app, the second switch now sends a signal to ST to toggle the lamp on/off.

In the same vein, I could add another switch in the kitchen diner to do pretty much anything. E.g. setting the soffit box to a particular colour, dimming other lights, turning on the coffee machine and playing a particular tune on the Sonos could all be done on the flick (or double click) of a switch.


Guys, many thanks for your answers and help.
To answer the questions, I am using 4000k LED strip and I am having it around the lantern as a feature and around the island as a feature also.
I believe I will have 3 or 4 groups of 4 LED spots. I am also having a feature lighting of 6 x G95 LED of one pendant.
Finally I have track lighting onto the kitchen work surfaces which will have
@John_Crighton - can you suggest which Fibaro products I need - I will only need dimming on the LED strip, and pendant lighting
I found out that at the moment with the Air Con working on BacNet and NASA (Samsung protocol) that I have to use their thermostat?
I really appreciate all your feedback and I look forward to hearing any more advice on my plans, I am more than happy to change them if anyone thinks different would be better!

Also my presumption is that I will be able to set up rules with these lights on motion and timings through my Smart Things app?

Hi Jim,

How long is the LED strip you’re using? Do you want to keep the colour constant between the two runs, or have them different colours to each other?

If lights need dimming, the Dimmer 2 is a great solution. If you’re using LED bulbs with it you might need the Dimmer 2 Bypass as well depending on how low the power draw is. I’d say try it without first, then get one if needed.

If you don’t need dimming and will never need dimming on some switches you could use a Fibaro Relay. There are good reasons for and against this, the price difference between a relay and a dimmer is very small, so not worth a thought. Dimmer does not require a neutral, Relay does. Dimmer will work between 40w (lower with bypass) draw and 250w, Relay will work from 0w to 1.25Kw and is a true on/off device. If you have something else on the lighting circuit (e.g. an extractor fan with an overrun) a dimmer might not be an option, as it’s never truly off, only at 0.01% brightness. This is enough to keep some extractor fans going if they are otherwise powered.

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Excellent John - this is great feedback and much appreciated.
The colour of the LED strip will need to be constant despite being in different areas and I will have an extractor on the same circuit as one of the LED strips. I guess the length will be about 10m for both.
How many switches or light circuits work off of a Fibaro dimmer or relay switch?
If I have 2 switches for the LED strip (one by the bi-folds and one by the entrance) do they both the dimmer/relay behind the both switches?

Ok, by far the best way to deal with the LEDs is to have one module and run all 10m directly from the one module. Any other solution will result in colour change delays, and other sync issues that can easily be avoided. This will also mean that when one strip is on, the other is on.

Have you bought the lights / power supply yet?

At first glance this may seem odd if things are at different ends of the room, but if you’re knocking through and laying other cables it won’t be too much trouble.

As far as adding physical switches for the LEDs, I have no experience in this. Personally I would err on the side of using smart switches, or even using S2 on one of the fibaros.

I’ve found from reading here that switching the power to the LED power supply on/off can cause some erratic behaviour. Personally, I keep the PSU powered 100% of the time and just turn the lights on/off when I need to. This has been trouble free for me so far.

The extractor situation seems odd. Are you going to have the extractor wired in with the LED strip (i.e. so that when the lights are on the fan works)? Or is it just sharing the same power feed?


Well that is not necessarily true entirely… did you get the model number of the unit for me? I’ll do the research and verify the issues. It sounds like you got the Samsung DVM S with the dual compressors? BTW, if you know the actual model numbers of all the products you will be using it will help us with the suggestions for you. You mentioned the extractor… is that something you wanted on SmartThings? If yes than get that model number as well to see compatibility with fan controls.

Your kitchen sounds awesome. I can’t wait to see the plans. :slight_smile: The plans will help us know if you have 3-way switch requirements, where you have two switches in one location, possible neutral issues, etc. It sounds like you have at least one 3-way planned for your LED strip?

[quote=“jim2, post:18, topic:48243”]
If I have 2 switches for the LED strip (one by the bi-folds and one by the entrance) do they both the dimmer/relay behind the both switches?
[/quote]You should only need one dimmer with the two wall switches wired in to the one dimmer. Either wall switch will enable the dimmer to turn on/off to whatever you set the level to in ST. If we get your wiring diagram or show your electrician the manual pg 9-10 to verify your lighting wiring

Yes, the smartapp that comes internally with your hub Smart Lights can do the basic rule control of your lighting. If you need more advanced control you can use one of the community developed rule apps like SmartRules if you are on iOS (for a fee) or CoRE by @ady624 which still is in development but will be released I’m sure before your project is done.

(urgent: The electrician needs this info quickly since your wiring is going in now.)
Jim, this is a great idea to do what @John_Crighton did if it is not too late to have deep boxes installed to accommodate hiding your smart switch modules behind your wall switches. It just makes it less troublesome.

Also like @Navat604 suggested if they run neutrals to all switch locations it keeps your options more open for device selection.