UK Switches & Sockets - rewire urgent advice needed :-)

Evening

We're undertaking a significant house renovation with a full re-wire which has got to first fix stage. I know where the 3-pin sockets and switches for lights will be and if they were dumb what they would control.

So......

If dumb I'd have some 2 and 3-gang dimmer switches controlling our lights. I'd love to be able to find a smart alternative but struggling to find an option that integrates with Hubitat.

Amazon.co.uk would appear to be a non-dimmable solution but the ideal would be to be able to dim the lights they control. Can anyone point me to a solution that would achieve this? Happy to have the dimmable function controlled by a separate remote switch if that's more logical.

Also trying to work out the best solution for our UK 3-pin sockets. BG Electrical 822/HC-01 Smart Power Socket (WiFi) vs Click Smart+ 13A 2 Gang Zigbee Smart Switched Socket Outlet?

I'll come back to you later for the best roller blind solution for a bathroom :smiley:

Ask away if you need anymore info and thanks in advance for any wisdom you can share :crossed_fingers:

If I was starting out this is what I would go for. I really rate the click stuff as a whole anyway.

I believe there is a decision on here about these as we'll.

Not sure if there is one like this out there. What I advise and use is the "pucks" which sit behind the switch. These take up space so I normally have one per location then wire 2 way between them.

This way it stays local aswell the hub control. Get your sparks to loop in at the switch points. Then your have power for them.
I have fibaro dimmer 2 s but there are ZigBee ones as well and they would be my preference.

Thanks @BorrisTheCat

I'm still scratching my head about the light switches.

One example is our kitchen/diner. There are 3 lighting areas (Kitchen Island, Ceiling Spots, Dining area). If dumb I'd control with 3 x dimmer.

I'd love to be able to achieve a good smart solution. The Moes switches seem like a possibility. Amazon.co.uk

But there only appears to be a 2gang dimmer. Not sure what I'd do with the additional feed.

Thanks for you wisdom

:slight_smile:

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Do you have more than one switch location? IE 2 way?

Hi

In some areas yes.

The hallway/stairs and landing lights would be 2-way with a 3-gang switch (not necessarily dimmable).

The kitchen/diner mentioned in post above is 1-way controlling 3 different lighting areas each of which needs to be dimmable :thinking:

So where it's 2 way you put the puck in two locations, so a feed has to be at both and one/ two switch lines spread over the points. Then the "strappers" are wired to the opposite switches.

If you use deep boxes you can get two pucks behind a double switch. You can also install them behind / inside the light and wire the switch down to the switches.

The advantages of the pucks is that you can use two way setups wired like a conventional two way switch. Just instead of two way latching your use momentary retractive switches. The other advantage is they look "normal" but are smart.

I have Fibaro Dimmer 2's also for all lights in the house. A few tips if you're at rewire stage but haven't started yet.

1 - As @BorrisTheCat mentions you need deep boxes. Whether dry line box in plasterboard wall or metal backbox in brick/block, make all the boxes for your light switches 47mm deep as standard. That'll allow you room to fit a Z Wave or Zigbee module behind a standard switch.

2 - Use retractable switches rather than standard toggle ones. Push on, push off, push and hold to dim. Using retractable switches will also help where you have two way (or even 3 way lights) with more than one switch controlling the same light. The module just sits behind the switch that contains both the permanent line and switched line connection - the second or third switches just connect in parallel.

3 - Neutral available at switch. Not essential but will make it a lot easier. Most dimmer modules don't need a neutral but standard switch modules usually do. Historically in the UK most house lighting circuits would be wired using a loop system. Line and Neutral loops in and out of each room, then in each room a twin cable goes between the fitting and its respective switch. There are two ways to ensure there's a neutral available at the switch. First option is to do the loop in circuit as normal but install a 3 core and earth instead of a twin and earth between each fitting and its switch. The second is to have your electrician wire the line and neutral loop between the switches rather than the ceiling fittings (with a twin and earth supplying the light from the switch). I've noticed this method becoming more commonplace (probably as it makes it virtually impossible for someone to cock up replacing a light fitting with only one cable available!)

There are a couple of options for retractable switches. I use the MK grid modules but there are others.

Another plus for using dimmer and switch modules with standard switches...If the hub happened to go down, your lights work as normal as each module will work independently - the dumb switch connects to the module which in turn operates the light.

That would be 3 modules in one two gang box. I've managed that but 47mm boxes are essential.

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Thanks both - really helpful.

May need to change some of the back boxes to fit in the pucks. Going to catch up with the electrician now before it's too late :slight_smile:

Fibaro 2 looks like the best option for compatibility with Hubitat. Are there other cheaper pucks recommended? :grimacing:

Moes? - Amazon.co.uk

Candeo? - Amazon.co.uk

Finally assume LED Dimmer Bypass would also be needed? Z-Wave Fibaro Dimmer Bypass 2 — Vesternet

Appreciate the wisdom - I'm off to sell a kidney :sweat_smile:

Presumably it's possible to fit a single puck into a 25mm single gang back box. If that's the case would the MK Grid modules still fit too?

I'd honestly only use 47mm boxes. Its not just the depth of the module (puck), there's the depth of the switch recess. Also you've potentially several twin and earth cables stripped back to manage and coil. Just get them to fit 47mm boxes it's a no brainer.

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There are loads to choose from - Fibaro, Aeotec, Qubino, Vesternet (they do both Z Wave and Zigbee depending on your preference.) TBH the Fibaro is great BUT it does have a quirk.......It is recommended to include Z Wave devices with security set to 'None' (except for locks and garage doors etc). The Fibaro Dimmer will always include itself with S0 security on the C7 hub which is bad, as it generates too much traffic. There's a workaround which I use and that's to use a USB Z Wave Stick with PC Controller software. It's an additional step and a PITA if you've not used it before. The issue is caused by Silabs as opposed to being an issue with Hubitat.

FYI of about 14 Fibaro Dimmer 2 modules I have, I think 12 came from eBay. As long as you check pics and can see they have V3.5 firmware they're fine. Some of mine ended up only costing £20 ish.

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This :point_up_2:t2:. Also it's to do with testing as it makes it easier to install and test at the switch. (Brings all the complexity to low level).

If you can ask him to use plasterboard boxes even when on a block wall with dot and dab. Metal boxes can cause signal issues, so plastic is best .

On the one way 3 switches you may need to install the devices in the ceiling.

They are good, however ZigBee is better if you can get them (only get ZigBee 3.0) as ZigBee can use groups so you can turn them on and off with one message per group rather than one message per device.

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Only if you only have a few lamps per switch. Basically you want around 15-20w minimum without a bypass. The device instructions will tell you it's minimum load.

No this wouldn't fit, it would cause to much compression and cause a fault. Especially with MK, I would avoid MK in this due to how much space they take. I would advise "CLICK" take a look at their mini grid ranges. As a electrician myself I personally really rate their stuff. I have the Deco range, but there are loads of options to suit your taste.

If possible and the puck supports it (fibaro dimmer 2 does) use centre off retractive. They are much more user friendly than push to make. Its all we fit on lighting control jobs, definitive on and off, up and down.

I thought about this and could never understand why plastic in wall boxes aren't available. How would you do this in practice @BorrisTheCat ? I can only think you would cut off the bit that clamps behind the plasterboard and maybe superglue the tab forward that has the M3.5 threads in. My Z-Wave works fine but I see a lot of route changes and wonder if swapping metal for plastic might improve things (about 5 of my 14 modules are in metal)

Agreed :+1:t2:

I wish I'd taken the time to read through threads in this community before I started out....I hit all the issues with ghost devices, S0 etc and had to sort them out with help from the regulars on here!

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This is exactly what mine was doing and is why I changed. It's now settled and works better.

Just the same as using a plasterboard box on a stud wall. It only really works if you have a plasterboard layer. I have a dot and dab wall I chased out the metal boxes. I just carefully removed them and swapped them with plasterboard 47mm boxes. The extra depth from the plasterboard allowed a 35 to a 47.

If it was a solid wall you would struggle you would have to cut off the "wings" leaving the 3.5 screws then fix the back of the box to the wall.

Is that the case? Can it be configured so that S1 is on or push and hold to dim up, S2 is off or push and hold to dim down. I take it you use both S1 & S2 on the module. The benefit of using the standard retractive (apart from cost - about £7 less for MK) is that whether 2 way or 2 way and intermediate, the wiring was simpler with 2/3 switches in parallel to the module.

I might take a look at the Click Deco myself. I take it the grid plate is different to the MK?

Yeah my downstairs 5 are all in fully solid walls. I'll grab a box out of the garage, trim the wings back and glue the inner wing with the 3.5's using mitre bond. If I'm happy with the result, I'll crack on :+1:

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