Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
  • Smart light switches for Alexa
  • Premier Icon scc999
    Subscriber

    Due to some questionable wiring choices (I assume) dating from when our hosue was built, the light switches could do with being moved.

    We really need to rewire the whole place so are saving up for that – in the interim I figured that if I could just change the existing switches in daft places for a smart switch, we could just yell at Alexa instead…

    So, has anyone tried and liked a smart switch that can just be wired in place of a standard one?

    The probelmatic ones are single switches other than the double that controls kithcen lights on one swithc and an outside ight on another.  None of them are lights with multiple switches on.

    Really dont want a system that requires a separate bridge or hub, would rather use Alexa for that.

    Thanks

    Si

    muddyjames
    Member

    From my limited research, having a neutral to the socket is helpful as you can power the switch and get greater functionality.

    geomickb
    Member

    You just need the Philips Hue Bluetooth bulbs (the ones that can be used without a hub).

    These can then be controlled with Alexa.

    Mick

    twowheels
    Member

    Do the switches have live AND neutral wires running to them?

    If it’s just an “out and back” live from the light fitting the cheapest smart switches are not an option- you’d need one with a battery that charges by sucking power from the live when current is flowing(light is on)

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    You just need a generic smart bulb the ones what can be used without a hub or Bluetooth.

    5lab
    Member
    Premier Icon scc999
    Subscriber

    Will need to check if there’s a neutral to the switch in that case, thanks muddyjames & twowheels.

    Smart bulbs not an option, there are 8 individual bulbs in the kitchen in two fittings and one of the other lights has an exposed bulb and all the smart bulbs I’ve seen aren’t the nicest looking.

    If anyone else has smart switches (not smart bulbs) please chime in!

    Si

    Premier Icon scc999
    Subscriber

    No neutral in the light switch.

    Might have to wait for the rewire after all.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Well it depends how techy you want to go.

    I’ve been using a number of Energenie light switches, wall sockets and plug adaptors in two houses for a few years and have found them to be good.

    Although you can get a hub and a remote (they work with Alexa also) I mainly control mine using a Raspberry Pi which switches lights on and off according to the sunset/sunrise so they’re completely automated.
    I can also switch them on and off using my phone just by running a simple Python script.
    I’ve also installed Fauxmo on the Pi so it looks like a Belkin Wemo router to an Alexa device – so I can also just tell Alexa to switch [whichever] lights on and off.

    It’s a really adaptable system and the rangle is very good. The wall light switches, obviously, do a number of downlights and outside lights while the wall sockets/adaptors can switch groups of table lamps. In our holiday house, which is totally electrically heated, there’s a Pi that checks the air temp every minute, records it to a cloud service and switches the heating on and off using the wall sockets.

    As I said though, you don’t need a Pi… just use Alexa and/or the remote.

    Forgot to say…. no neutral needed for the light switches.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    You can get truly wireless switches from Philips to run hue kit but they’re ugly as sin.

    Xaomi do a live only switch mi8 fire wire I think but you’ll need to do some Googling for that. Their wireless switches are actually not bad but pricey and need an aqara hub,then you’ll need smart bulbs any way.

    Alternatively use something like a sonoff wireless relay to switch the fitting (which is what I’ve done for the fluorescents I’ve got) and do away with switches altogether.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Smart bulbs not an option, there are 8 individual bulbs in the kitchen in two fittings and one of the other lights has an exposed bulb and all the smart bulbs I’ve seen aren’t the nicest looking.

    For future reference you can group lights together.

    Premier Icon scc999
    Subscriber

    Thanks Drac, good point.

    GU10 bulbs x 8, so it isn’t a cheap option but maybe worth it for the ability to turn the kitchen lights on of off without being faced with a walk across a pitch black kitchen before or after!

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    Hue GU10s were 3for2 this week. Still would be £100 for 8 bulbs.

    Premier Icon Kamakazie
    Subscriber

    I think you’d end up being cheaper with a bridge than all smart lights.
    Provides options for future expansion as well.

    twowheels
    Member

    Are you willing to gamble on Aliexpress? $15 / 84 reviews/ 667 orders.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000191335997.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.56bb21802mceYs&algo_pvid=f43cc6cb-69b5-43d5-b3ab-05769385c5f3&algo_expid=f43cc6cb-69b5-43d5-b3ab-05769385c5f3-0&btsid=5d8f34f0-4a67-4fa4-8fa5-1542eb40bea3&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1,searchweb201603_55

    Looks like you might need to chuck a capacitor in one of the light fittings (I guess the smart switch trickles some current through permanently to keep it alive, rather than using an internal battery)

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Yeah GU10s smart bulbs are crazy expensive.

    redfive
    Member

    I used one of the new Sonoff Minis to make led tube lights in my garage smart. Smart bulbs weren’t really an option in there and they have the disadvantage of being reliant on people leaving the light switches on.
    The Sonoff Mini has a separate switching circuit built in so you can still use the switch normally (prevents confusing the Luddites), without causing the smart switch to go offline.
    It works really well, but I found it best to place the Sonoff at the light fitting where all the wires converge, in place connecting everything in the ceiling rose.

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Subscriber

    theres an offer on smart plugs of 3 for 29 quid at argos atm.

    ive just got some and they are brilliant

    slowol
    Member

    I fitted some Phillips hue lights in the hall to avoid chasing down the wall for an extra switch.

    They work well (we don’t have Alexa) and got a good deal on Black Friday last year. You can turn them on/off with either your phone, a tablet or a wall switch. I used standard Phillips bulbs in the other 2 lights in the hall so that light colour is matching.

    It isn’t cheap (about £80-100 for 3 standard bulbs, one hub and one switch) but works and is much easier than chasing into (newly decorated) walls and pulling up carpets for wiring.

    Ol:-)

    P.S. I know someone who has their whole house done with colour changing bulbs and can make a disco with one touch of their phone. Totally OTT!

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