Which light switch should I buy?
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sydh
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Which light switch should I buy?

by sydh » Tue Jan 16, 2024 1:57 pm

In my lounge, I have the main lights switched by 2 switches, one each side of the room. I would like to operate the lights using Alexa. I understand I can buy "no neutral" switches for this but should I replace both switches or can I remove just one switch and replace it with the new smart switch? Most of the smart switches available are 1 way which I am assuming can't be used. If that is the case, could I remove the 2nd existing switch and short the wires together?

Mr White
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Re: Which light switch should I buy?

by Mr White » Tue Jan 16, 2024 10:32 pm

If you have a true smart switch you do not need a 2nd switch since you can either ask your voice assistant to adjust the light or you can use your mobile phone to adjust the light. Ideally you should change the first switch of the two way switching, this way you can then remove the cables going to the second switch (Since they will not be needed) having said that, you may find it easier to change the 2nd switch and leave the first one in situ, but never use it.

I should also point out:
1) Not all "neutral free" smart switches work with all lights, so it may work with what you have, it may not. 🤨
2) Most back boxes for light switches are not deep enough for a smart switch. You can change the back box, use a surface pattress or use a spacer.
3) If you were to "short the wires out" on the unused switch, your light would always be on.

sydh
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Re: Which light switch should I buy?

by sydh » Wed Jan 17, 2024 10:35 am

Thanks for your reply. I shall check dimensions.

ericmark
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Re: Which light switch should I buy?

by ericmark » Sat Jan 20, 2024 11:02 am

Energenie do a smart switch pair that has a master and slave, so work like two way switches, but I had 5 Energenie light switches, now down to 2, where they have failed, OK some were 5 years old, and not had any other make that long, but they default off, so if a bulb blows they switch off, and any power cut they switch off, Where a smart bulb default is on, so after a power cut they turn on.

I now prefer the TP-Link (Tapo) smart switch, it has a battery in it, should last about 2 years, can be changed without turning off power, switch face plate comes off to renew so no exposed live parts when renewing, and the switch stays as set when bulb blows or there is a power cut, no current is sent through the bulb, so no problems with LED bulbs flashing or shimmering. And the hub only needs power, it does not need connecting with LAN wires to router, it connects wireless.

Because wifi needs a lot of power, and systems like zigbee use far less power, any device which want to use low power will need a hub of some sort, so getting a system which will do all, means less hubs, so one does need to study the systems to decide which suits you, I now have four hubs, which is not ideal, one the original energenie wired, one zigbee, and two TP-Link (one Tapo and one Kasa for TRV) which double as door bells.

I have 8 x 6 watt E14 candle bulbs in living room lamp chandelier, so 8 smart bulbs would be expensive, so have a TP Link smart switch, there is a button which can be used with the switch, I did use it at first in dinning room to switch light from bed when wife had knee done, but found voice commands worked well so used as door bell instead.

But for rooms with less bulbs, smart bulbs are the answer, I leave the switches turned on, but if I do want to turn on light without voice commands, turning switch off/on turns on the lights. I use google Nest Mini's for voice commands.

sydh
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Re: Which light switch should I buy?

by sydh » Sat Jan 20, 2024 1:19 pm

Thanks Ericmark. That is a comprehensive article. Lots of food for thought.

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