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Hi,

New to the forum and looking for some help please. I have a new build with a 3 gang light switch which is wired to 2 rings of down lighters and a LED strip in the kitchen. I am trying to make these three sets of lights smart. I have already installed Hue around the rest of the house

The down lighters are integrated units, so to my surprise it wasn't a case of simply buying hue bulbs for them.

I started looking into, in line smart switches, for example the "zigbee light switch controller" found on Amazon. Looks like a good solution I thought. There are also other switches that require a neutral wire to work.

I have taken the switch off the wall to have a look inside and there is not enough room for 3 off the large in line controllers, but I was surprised to see neutral and ground wires shoved in there.

my question is two fold:
1. Being a new build, has the builder wired up this switch correctly? With all these wired bunched in there like that when I opened it
2. Does anyone know of a smart 3 gang, neutral requiring switch that would work with a hue hub?

Thanks in advance

20190406_164006.jpg
 
It is common practice now to bring the neutrals to the switch to enable smart accessories. Those earths though should be connected to the metal back box to earth it.
 

telectrix

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
and those connectors, jeez. ain't the installer heard of wagos????
 

Charlie_

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Arms
Quite a few products out there that will achieve what you're after..
Shame you have already gone through the expense of Philips hue but then it's ideal for diyers; no taking switches apart or interfering with wiring..
The best product imo for retro jobs is Aurora One Smart lighting products; full range of lamps, linear led, light switches similar to the hue ones, traditional type switches with smart units inside and best of all for you; inline control units that are installed just before the 1st light fitting in ' a ring'..
AOne™ - Aurora Lighting - https://aone.auroralighting.com/
Now you obviously you need to consider your competencies, I recommend you get a sparky in to do the work
 
Good advice already here, only thing I'd add is to make sure that the backboxes are deep enough to take the smart switch that you want to install (plus all the cables of course.)

Many new houses are wired with neutrals in the switches which is great, but they often still seem to fail to fit deep enough backboxes to take the majority of smart switches.

One other manufacturer you may want to look at is "Den" - they're expensive and quite new, but the only ones where the switch actually changes position when you turn it on or off. Pretty neat in my book (I personally don't like the soft or momentary switches.)
 
and those connectors, jeez. ain't the installer heard of wagos????
Agreed wagos are probably a 'neater' solution, nothing actually wrong with a bit of terminal block though is there?
 

Midwest

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Arms
Esteemed
Quite a few products out there that will achieve what you're after..
Shame you have already gone through the expense of Philips hue but then it's ideal for diyers; no taking switches apart or interfering with wiring..
The best product imo for retro jobs is Aurora One Smart lighting products
Aurora is about the same price, as far as I can see with the Philips stuff. The only advantage I can see they have, is actual hardwire switching.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
Aurora is about the same price, as far as I can see with the Philips stuff. The only advantage I can see they have, is actual hardwire switching.
You're not accounting for trade discount.
Up to 60% margins for installers to play with.

Yes they do have hardwire switching, which means they can do everything all under 1 protocol... no messing about trying to match up different systems that are tied in to other licensing agreements..
 

Midwest

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Arms
Esteemed
You're not accounting for trade discount.
Up to 60% margins for installers to play with.
Which doesn't help the OP then.

Your also forgetting that all these products are available on line these days, for instances my wholesaler could only slightly better the price I've paid for Collingwood lighting products, purchased on line.

Unless you have a rather large proposed order, the cost difference is small IMO.

There are other 'Smart Lighting' suppliers/manufacturers out there, much cheaper than Philips or Aurora, but you pays your money etc.

I have some Philips Hue stuff in my house, not by choice. As you said its easy to install, and can be bought cheaply & easily from Argos.

OP if you already have Philips Hue, I wouldn't reinvest in another brand.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
And your solution for his problem is??
I have suggested aurora because it will work alongside Philips hue and can also be integrated via alexa and others..
I also asked if he's competent to be making alterations to the fixed wiring and if not get a sparky in..

Looking forward to reading your solution
 

Midwest

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Arms
Esteemed
And your solution for his problem is??
I have suggested aurora because it will work alongside Philips hue and can also be integrated via alexa and others..
I also asked if he's competent to be making alterations to the fixed wiring and if not get a sparky in..

Looking forward to reading your solution
Sounds as if the OP is looking to replace the sealed units with down lighters & Hue Lamps. He could use some Hue switches in that case, for doming etc as well as the multitude of apps. It depends on how much he wants to spend and how much he new stuff he’s wants to chuck out. I could tell him to speak to Collingwood Lighting, they also do some very good quality kit, but more expense.

If he’d started off with Aurora, I wouldn’t be advising switching over to Hue.
 

Charlie_

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Arms
He doesn't need to switch over, they are interoperable with each other.
One in line dimmable unit installed before the first light on the circuit and can be controlled either by a switch or alexa. This would negate the need to take down and replace any of the light fittings.. The op said he wants to keep his existing fittings.
 

123

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Arms
Esteemed
Quite a few products out there that will achieve what you're after..
Shame you have already gone through the expense of Philips hue but then it's ideal for diyers; no taking switches apart or interfering with wiring..
The best product imo for retro jobs is Aurora One Smart lighting products; full range of lamps, linear led, light switches similar to the hue ones, traditional type switches with smart units inside and best of all for you; inline control units that are installed just before the 1st light fitting in ' a ring'..
AOne™ - Aurora Lighting - https://aone.auroralighting.com/
Now you obviously you need to consider your competencies, I recommend you get a sparky in to do the work
Does the AOne need it's own hub or is it compatible with any Zigbee hub? The Echo Plus has a built in Zigbee hub for example, is this suitable/compatible with AOne?
 

Charlie_

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Arms
You do need a separate hub for the Aone but all the AOne kit is ZigBee, when I last spoke to aurora they said that a 'skill' was in the pipeline for alexa.. Most are compatible but unfortunately it comes down to licensing issues between manufacturers
 

Midwest

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Arms
Esteemed
He doesn't need to switch over, they are interoperable with each other.
One in line dimmable unit installed before the first light on the circuit and can be controlled either by a switch or alexa. This would negate the need to take down and replace any of the light fittings.. The op said he wants to keep his existing fittings.
But he already has some 'Smart devices' or lamps. Will the Hue Bridge operate these new devices your suggesting?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Hi all, interesting stuff. thanks for your replies.

I currently have a hue hub, connected to some Alexa speakers around the house. So I think going by your advice is to have a neutral wire requiring switch that can either work with Zigbee or Alexa.

I dont want to change the down lighter units as I have 3 downlight light rings in total in the house (two of which are on this switch), all of which have 6 downlight units on each ring. that woudl mean replacing 18 units! That will get expensive.

- The aurora is just what I want- but they dont do a 3-gang.
- The Den stuff looks interesting, but my initial search shows that their three gang switch is wide. you can see my 3 gang switch is a standard narrow size. I am a mech Eng, so would rather not go down the route of cutting the wall up and fitting a wider back box.
- I have done a quick Amazon search and found the V-tac smart switch, 3 gang. This is the right size. Although it looks like it will be quite thick and take up more space in the already crowded back box. I'd also rather have mechanical switches.

Does anyone know of any simple, std size 3gang switches?
 
have a look at the click smart range it may do the trick
 

123

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Arms
Esteemed
Does the AOne need it's own hub or is it compatible with any Zigbee hub? The Echo Plus has a built in Zigbee hub for example, is this suitable/compatible with AOne?
You do need a separate hub for the Aone but all the AOne kit is ZigBee, when I last spoke to aurora they said that a 'skill' was in the pipeline for alexa.. Most are compatible but unfortunately it comes down to licensing issues between manufacturers
I asked my wholesaler rep to ask Aurora about this. Aurora have said to him the likes of the Echo Plus would be suitable, and a separate hub would not then be required
 
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