Advice for a newbie

This topic contains 17 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Node Zero 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #23503
     NathanRussell says:

    NathanRussell
    Participant

    Hi,
    I’m a total noob to home automation, but also am a total geek :) , so am keen to get started.

    Currently I have no home automation at all. I live in a 1950′s house with approx 20 year old wiring. I am happy with tinkering with mains wiring myself, and understand circuits etc. EG. I have installed extra sockets in the ring main; and understand (and have added to) the lighting circuits.

    I am looking to try my hand at smart lighting. As I understand it, I can go with smart bulbs, smart faceplate switches, or smart relay switches.

    Smart bulbs are easy, but expensive.

    Smart faceplates could be the way to go, but (as I understand it), some require a 3rd wire which will be impractical as currently we have twin core+earth from the ceiling rose to the faceplate switch and the plaster is directly over it rather than in conduit (so adding the 3rd wire will almost certainly involve replastering). Also, some of the faceplates look ugly!
    From what I’ve seen, the lightwaverf faceplates look better than other manufacturers, and dont require a 3rd wire; but the present Mrs R would not approve of the orange and blue leds!; and some of our lights are non-dimmable leds

    So, that leaves smart relay switches, and in particular I am looking at the lightwaverf inline relay LW821 https://www.lightwaverf.com/product/821-in-line-relay-lw821/

    Am I right in thinking that I can use this to make an existing single room light ‘smart’ (I know there is a 3 port version as well) , and that I can keep the existing twin core+earth that is already channelled into the wall, and the existing faceplate switch? And that I am effectively putting it inline into the existing light circuit?
    IE. I’m thinking of installing this in the loft space, inline of the existing light circuit. Would this work?

    Assuming I did this, I would also need the hub to be able to control this light from a smart phone app. Correct ?

    Would the existing faceplate switch continue to operate as it already does do? (Again, the present Mrs R will take some time to fully embrace a smart home, so its important the current switch works !!)

    And if I subsequently brought into Amazon’s Alexa protocol and purchased an Amazon Echo or Dot, would it be able to communicate the hub to control the light?

    Or am I barking up the wrong tree here?

    Appreciate any help;
    Cheers

    Nathan

    #23504
     NathanRussell says:

    NathanRussell
    Participant

    As a follow up to this post, would I wire the lightwaverf relay in a simlar way to this? (though this is for a competitor product which has 6 terminals)

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    #23506
     Node Zero says:

    Node Zero
    Participant

    No. They are not like this at all. You have to do away with your standard switch. A LWRF relay is either operated by the app, a wireless ‘stick on’ wall switch (can be fixed to backbox in place of your standard switch) or a handheld remote. Sensors in the form of a Pir or magnetic door switch can also be used.
    3 wires are only required with dimmers and a 2 way circuit like what you have on the stairs etc, using relays the wiring will be fine. Normally you would locate the relay in the ceiling void as no neutral connection is available behind the switches.
    And yes, you would need the hub for app control and Alexa.

    #23507
     NathanRussell says:

    NathanRussell
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply. I think I understand.
    So, the room I want to do first has non-dimmable led bulbs. Because of this, I cannot simply replace the current SPDT switch with a LW400 (because this is a dimmable smart switch)
    Instead, I have to use the LWFR relay in the loft space, effectively in place of the current twin core+earth and SPDT wall switch. And then to switch it on and off, I need to use the LW201 wireless faceplace switch, which can be screwed into the existing back box. And the existing twin core + earth that currently runs from the ceiling rose to the faceplace switch is completely redundant.

    Shopping list so far is the LWFR relay and LW201, which together give me nothing more than I currently have (assuming I screw the LW201 to the existing back box)

    So, to properly use it, I then need to buy the hub, which then allows me to switch the lights on and off via an app on the phone.

    And then to do it via voice, I need an Amazon Dot.

    Shopping List:
    1) LWFR relay – approx £26
    2) LW201 – approx £20
    3) LW930 hub – approx £80-90
    4) Amazon Dot – approx £50

    Whilst items 3 and 4 can be shared by many rooms etc; items 1 and 2 are potentially needed for each room. Wow, this could get expensive !

    #23526
     markk says:

    markk
    Participant

    The wireless switches don’t look nearly as nice as the dimmes. Why can’t you replace your lamps with dimmable ones? Also, I’d recommend you look at a raspberry pi running Domoticz and an rfxtrx433 transceiver instead of the lightwaverf hub. a bit less plug and play but So much more flexible.

    Running RFXCom with Domoticz on raspberry pi3. LWRF dimmer switches, PIRs and plug sockets. Some Homeeasy switches, harmony hub controlling AV and air con. Geofencing with Pilot app. Tado for heating and cooling.
    #23527
     michael ward says:

    michael ward
    Participant

    I have answered once already and for some reason the post was no displayed.
    Go to megaman lightwave for all the data for the products.
    Node Zero is incorrect in as much as your existing wiring can be used for dimmer control. Ring main in and out to light.
    Change the single relay for triple relays for best cost effective way of doing multiple lights.

    #23528
     michael ward says:

    michael ward
    Participant

    Just in case editing makes the post disappear, a second post.

    All wiring from 2016 has to be done by a qualified person and must be in accordance with Part P building regulations. If the wiring is old chances are it will not meet the requirements, so any work you do could invalidate your house insurance. Just a friendly note so that you don’t say you have done anything to the wiring.

    I fell foul to this when I had an insurance inspection. All the house had to be rewired. I made a claim for water damage as the loft tank split. Up stairs lighting cable was compromised.
    As of January 2016, any cables going into a defunct ECB meant the whole house has to be rewired. Any ECB that is not of metal construction is a defunct type.

    I must point out that if all wiring passes an electrical safety check, then everything should be OK. It is only when a large company such as Insurance gets involved, that this is applied. Normally an Electrician will just do the work to make good any problems, whereas Insurance companies are all about belt and braises .

    I now have the whole house rewired where all lights are lightwave controlled and as the sockets had to be done as well, I have a mixture of lightwaverf and USB mains sockets. Central heating is also under control as well.

    #23529
     Node Zero says:

    Node Zero
    Participant

    3 wires are only required with dimmers and a 2 way circuit like what you have on the stairs etc, using relays the wiring will be fine.

    Node Zero is incorrect in as much as your existing wiring can be used for dimmer control. Ring main in and out to light.

    Please can you explain in more detail why you deem my post to be incorrect?

    #23530
     michael ward says:

    michael ward
    Participant

    No you only need 2 wires for the dimmers, check out the megaman site

    #23531
     Node Zero says:

    Node Zero
    Participant

    3 wires are only required with dimmers and a 2 way circuit

    #23533
     michael ward says:

    michael ward
    Participant
    #23534
     Node Zero says:

    Node Zero
    Participant

    If Billy has one apple and so do Charlotte and Johnny, how many electrical engineers with over 40 years experience does it take to count them?

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    #23536
     michael ward says:

    michael ward
    Participant

    Did you bother watching the video or just sprouted rubbish because you want to be right.

    #23537
     btidey says:

    btidey
    Participant

    Please stop. You are both right but just happening to be talking about different things.

    NZ installation of 2 way circuit Master / Slave 3 wires
    MW installation of single master switch 2 wires

    #23539
     michael ward says:

    michael ward
    Participant

    If I could have withdrawn the above post, I would have, but well done for explaining what node zero was talking about without being a rude clod.

    The person who asked the question is new to this and coming out with jargon that he may not understand just leads to more confusion. You also have to think of the person who reads this text to glean information that is clear and concise with explanations given, rather them show a picture and be an obnoxious XXXX

    All I was waiting for was for him to show a good example, instead he opted for personal insults instead.

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