Yet another UK lighting Question


#1

Hi there,

Apologies in advance for yet another UK lighting question. I’ve read the VFAQ but am still none the wiser I’m afraid.

I have electronic light switches and dimmer switches combined meaning that there’s no on or off position, I just touch the same button to turn the light on and off. I also have a blue neutral wire and reasonably deep switchboxes.

It looks like I need an in-the-box micro relay? Will this allow me to continue to use the physical controls on the switch whilst being able to control each set of lights via Smartthings?

If so, can someone point me in the direction of the a retailer? The ‘works with smartthings’ link in the VFAQ is broken.

Apologies again and thanks in advance!


#2

Vesternet and Amazon.co.uk are both good UK retailers, but there are additional ones listed in the following thread as well:


#3

I fixed the link to the list of compatible devices in the VFAQ, but here it is again:


#4

Hi and thanks for taking the time to reply.

Can you confirm that it’s a switch/relay that I’m looking for? That would mean either the Aeon Labs Micro Smart Energy Switch or the Fibaro Universal Dimmer?

Also, am I right in saying that, because I don’t have a physical / rocker type switch, I can operate the light via smartthings or continue to use the physical control normally?

Many thanks once again.


(Jon) #5

Customer support at Vesternet are excellent and will answer any concerns quickly. Have been great when i had an issue with Fibaro Sensor


#6

Many thanks - I’ll contact Vesternet and ask what product I’m looking for and whether it will work as expected.


(Wayne) #7

Just a word of warning. Those “fairly deep” backboxes you’ve mentioned. They really need to be extremely deep when you are talking about the “micro” switches because they are anything but micro in size.


#8

I was wondering - like you say, they look pretty big in the pictures and are probably bigger in real life.


(Wayne) #9

This is a micro switch even after putting in a 47mm backbox. It was still a very tight fit.

If this is a “micro” just imagine what a non micro would be like!! :sweat_smile:


(Not for public consumption) #10

yeah they recommend 45mm back boxes for most “micro” switches, from the pic above it looks like you can get away with less but you then have to have non flush switches, as the pic above would have most of the actual circuit within the front plastic housing, the flat to wall versions would have that extra 10mm+ in addition to the micro controller which are about 20mm+ big holes in small walls needed :confused: Nice clean job on the one in the pic though :slight_smile:


#11

@a4refillpad, may i ask what ‘micro’ switch you have in the photo?

cheers


(Wayne) #12

That is the aeotec micro dimmer 2nd edition.


#13

Hi,

I’ve just been in touch with aeotec and they’ve advised me that my light switches :

http://www.lutron.com/europe/Products/Pages/StandAloneControls/Dimmers-Switches/RaniaDimmer/Overview.aspx

are not compatible with their micro switches.

is there anything else that i can try?

thanks in advance.


(Mayur) #14

@mrdo I have these switches too. Were you able to get them working with your setup?


(Meza) #15

I would expect you’ll need to replace those switches with basic Retractive / momentary switches, and pair each up with a micro dimmer or micro relay unit.

If you get three way Retractive you will have the same style control of press up to brighten and down to Dim.

I’ve done this with Fibaro 222 dimmers and MK grid switches combined with dimmable LED gu10 bulbs. Looks great and works well.


(Andrew Taylor) #16

I’ve put a few of these around the house, they don’t do dimming, but simple on/off solution is all I needed and are a pretty cheap way of getting some smart lighting on existing ‘dumb’ bulbs.

£17 each and easily retrofit over existing switches. I already have an Energenie hub, as I have the eTRVs around the house.

I then integrated into ST using this smart app

Main issue is they are one way communication with ST, so if you turn them on manually, you lose sight of if they are on or off. So I guess it depends if you need to know if a light is switched on or not manually.


(James Scholes) #17

Having had a brief look at the installation guide for several types of Universal dimmer, the issue is that the dimmer module (which sits behind the switch) expects to take charge of regulating the level. All they expect to receive from the existing switch is a state (open/closed, or “triggered” for a momentary switch.

There’s no obvious way to pass through “half on” or “mostly on” as the original dimmer is now disconnected from any direct association with the current.

As others have said, a momentary switch would allow “hold to dim/brighten” operation (as well as double or triple-clicks. If you absolutely want a dimming control on the switch, then you’d need to find a z-wave/zigbee switch with a dimmer that can pass a command to dim to a different level on to the actual dimmer.

Hope that clears it up.


#18

I have developed a device which may be of interest depending on your timescales. It is an integrated switch complete with dimming electronics and an energy harvesting (wireless & battery less) switch transmitter meaning that you can add additional switches to the same lighting circuit without installing additional cables.

It is designed for 2-wire (no neutral) lighting circuits which is not the case in this example and it is currently based on an EnOcean radio protocol but I’m working on a Zigbee version which will be compatible with smartthings.

Take a look at my website, www.rhoob.com, as I’m currently in the development phase I’m looking for market feedback. It would be great to get your thoughts on it.


(James Scholes) #19

Thanks. It certainly looks interesting, and you may have hit a niche in the market!

So, it looks like your product is in two parts:

First, a dimmer unit (I’m assuming similar in principle to the Fibaro dimmers)
Second, a wireless energy harvesting (Magneto-resistive) switch for communication with the dimmer.

In terms of technology, would I be correct in assuming you’re using the enOcean tech for the switch, then having a multi-protocol dimmer unit (or several options of dimmer unit) to utilise either enOcean or ZigBee?

If so:


#20

Correct - although my design can work with low power loads without an additional dummy load.

Correct.

Almost, it is more cost effective to have a single protocol device. I have an EnOcean version ready to go and currently working on a Zigbee version so I can integrate with SmartThings and similar hubs.

Can I ask what you make of the aesthetics? Would the design put you off or draw you to the device? The rocker design is largely governed by the energy harvesting module therefore modern capacitive touch style rockers and flush face plates are not possible.

As a potential consumer could I ask what would you expect to pay for this type of device?