I’m about to embark on retrofitting LWRF to my house and this forum seems helpful towards people looking to make this leap.
I’ve done a bit of reading and am now at the stage where I hope someone can check my thinking before I make my purchase.
I’m going to start with the living room, which has 2 lighting circuits: 2x 6W LED wall lights on one circuit and 2x 6W LED main ceiling lights on the other.
Additionally, I have a number of sideboard/floor lamps that are also LED, each one at 4W or higher.
My shopping list is currently:
1x JSJSLW930 Lightwave link
1x JSJSLW420SS 2-gang stainless steel dimmer
1x JSJSLW301WH Remote dimmable socket kit (or JSJSLW321WH Remote on/off socket kit – is this dimmable?)
1x JSJSLW101SS Mood controller in stainless steel
The most important behaviour (to pass the wife test!) is that the wall and ceiling lights must work as ‘normal’ switched lights – I assume with the LW420 dimmers, I can still turn them on and off by simply single-tapping the buttons?
I can get away with the other lamps being controlled via the plug-in dimmable switches only, as long as it’s easy to do so (and there’s no significant lag).
Additional behaviours I want (reasons for going ‘smart’):
Capability to setup moods (different combinations of floor/sideboard lamps at differing brightnesses for activities such as ‘watching TV’ and ‘kids playing’) – I’m still a bit confused as to whether this is done inside the link or must be done from an app. I’m assuming the mood controller will let me activate up to 3 of these moods.
Moods activated from Alexa – ideally “Alexa, turn on Living room TV mode” etc.
Individual lights activated from Alexa – ideally “Alexa, turn on Living room main lights” and “Alexa, turn on Living room wall lights”.
Home-sitter mode – timed on/off sequences that can be activated on a schedule, manually, or remotely via an app/web interface.
Behaviours I’d like (but not a deal-breaker):
Motion sensing to activate a light or power circuit for a pre-defined duration (e.g. nighttime lighting) – can the JSJSLW107SS PIR sensor activate a light for a pre-set duration?
Ability to activate home-sitter mode from Nest thermostat ‘away’ mode – could do with advice here if anybody has experience.
Dusk sensor to activate home-sitter mode – can the JSJSLW801 sensor do this?
Motion sensing activation for a pre-defined mood (or single light/power circuit) – can the JSJSLW107SS PIR sensor do this?
Behaviours I don’t care about:
Smartphone app – I have no desire to use my smartphones to control stuff whilst at home or remotely but if it’s a built-in feature then I suppose I may eventually find a use for it.
Colour changing – I have a Hue hub and various bulbs that lost their novelty value pretty quickly, so colour isn’t high on my wish list.
Any recommendations for ongoing-expansion? Once I understand LWRF’s capabilities I aim to extend to other rooms in the house, and I’m assuming I can replicate the living room setup elsewhere.
Thanks in advance!-- Plums with beaks.
Quite a lot of questions so will try and answer some of them
The on / off socket kit are not dimmable, therefore I would purchase the dimmable ones
Based on your comments regarding not needing smartphone app etc, in theory you do not need to buy the LWRF link(Hub) as this connects the switches and sockets to the internet, however you will find it easier with it because you can set timers and moods that you are talking about in the web / smartphone app
Not all LEDS are dimmable and not all work with LWRF so you may need to experiment with the loads / bulbs etc (plenty of posts on here regarding bulbs)
They do work as normal light switches, if you press once the bulb will go through its dimming cycle from on to off or off to on, you can then program the moods you desire in the mood switch including the plug in sockets that can be paired with the mood switch, (hardest bit is remembering which mood is which)
You can set up moods as per your request, the mood switch is like an advanced remote control, you pair the sockets and dimmers in the state you want them to each of the different mood switches, they will not show in the web app, you will need to program them separately, but when you do they will work with Alexa, as it finds the moods also, one caution point is naming of your different items as Alexa is not brilliant at hearing things and sometimes will react and others says something like I have numerous items which one did you mean, this is an Alexa thing not LWRF you can read forums on alexa and naming. An example is she prefers lighting to light and Hall is usuall heard as all
PIR the PIR sends an on signal when activated and can send an off signal at a timed interval, but again it is just a remote so you will not see this in the app
Nest and home sitter mode – I believe you can set up a away mode which could be your home sitter mode, I believe Nest currently only works with the Android app
Ref colour changing bulbs, it is reported the two technologies do not work well together, so I would stick to dimmable led bulbs
Ref expansion, I now have LWRF lighting / power / heating in most rooms and find a use bit by bit, an example is I have a timer that starts a event as an alarm clock that turns my bedside lampoon at 50%, switches the TV on then 4 minutes later the lamp on 100%
I have a PIR in the Hall to ensure the lights are not left on
My wife works from home so I have TRV’s on all the radiators, so can zone heat the rooms that she uses and not heat the rest of the house
Not sure Ive answered all, but had a good tryLWRF light switches in several rooms, WIFI Link, Energy Monitor, Socket x3 and multiple On/Off adapters. PIR controlling lights and doorbell utilising light feature. TRV's for heating. Relays for garden and outside lamps Linked with Amazon Alexa via a dot
A good reply, just my 2p.
Buying a link on such a small installation may not be worth it, and there are many good reasons, not to use LightwaveRF for such an installation, the cost being the deciding factor. There are many other ways of controlling lights via remote control for mood lighting, and you can buy remote controlled bulbs these days that have colour changing control.
I have have always been wary of voice recognition as both vocabulary and inflection can change from one person to the next and of course at different times of the day. Environment also plays a big part, so the learning curve for a voice recognition system can be quite trying. Both you and your wife would have to be patient.
Where LightwaveRF is decent is when you come to do whole house integration, but even then there are some foibles.
nevetsecirp explained very well above the devices and use thereof, in an integrated house, but LightwaeRF have still not fully got things right, imho.
The TRV’s are good for remote control, but of course the temperature is taken at the site of the radiator, so you have to make allowances. The TRV cannot be covered by any curtain material, (Radiators are usually, but not always, situated under windows) If you want true control you need to purchase multiple controllers, which is a waste. If only LightwaveRF did there own thermostats to link in, without having to rely on third party devices.
There are other foibles for the heating side, like there is no control of the standard functions that are on the thermostat, like away, constant, holiday and frost modes, a seriously neglected control system. Furthermore there is no control via the link for anything other than setting temperatures for each day of the week.
Lights are over complicated and confusing for many newcomers, but at least some people here like nevetsecirp above, will be able to explain clearly what is needed.
Couple of extra comments.
You do need link if you want to integrate with Alexa; that is how the commands get through.
In my experience the voice recognition on Alexa is very good. There is no training and recognition from different speakers is very good. The points about naming devices are well made. It is good to choose words that are common, and unlikely to be confused with other word combinations. Speaking clearly and leaving a little gap between words rather than slurring together also leads to a high success rate.
The lightwaveRF skill works well and means you can get Alexa working within a few minutes. Sometimes there can be little lag of a few seconds which I think is mainly on the lightwaveRF side but overall is pretty good.
I now rarely use the smartphone App for control but it is useful / essential when setting up and editing or adding new stuff.
Thanks for all the replies! Lots to absorb and process.
I’ve only been buying bulbs that are specifically dimmable for some time, but I appreciate that even then there will be cases where they don’t draw enough to work properly. I’m hoping that my 2x 4W dimmable LED globes will work but I guess I won’t be able to tell for sure until I try them.
I have multiple heating zones in my house (and multiple Nests controlling them) and for now, I don’t need smart TRVs to control individual room temps, but it may be something to look into later. I don’t know what is meant by ‘Nest only works with the android app’ though – as in there needs to be an android device always on and bridging the Nest and LightwaveRF link for the two to work together? I don’t mind permanently mounting an old tablet to the wall but seems a bit of a shortcoming if it relies on another piece of tech as a go-between.
I was rather hoping that the Nest ‘away’ and ‘home’ events could be used to trigger some kind of homesitter program, or at least be query-able by a homesitter program that would know to only kick in if ‘away’ status was being reported by Nest. I’m probably using the wrong terminology here, as again I’m not sure where such a program would live.
I haven’t found much information anywhere about how I can use the Nest features other than perhaps flash a Hue bulb red when smoke is detected. That’s definitely a novelty feature that I don’t really care about.
Interested in the PIR feature to turn off lights if nobody is around. Can this be coupled with some decent logic like “If it’s past 10pm and the sensor hasn’t detected movement for 30mins then turn off all downstairs lights”?-- Plums with beaks.
I find setting up using this to be over-complicated, in as much there is no real help on their site.
I would imagine that a number of people on here have used IFTTT for their own projects.
You could use an old tablet, or even an old phone (like me) If you get a payg sim that does not run out, then you can control from anywhere.
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