Dimmer & switches | Recommendations | Ideas?


i’m just starting my home automation journey and I’ve been slowly adding some security items and xiaomi sensors to my setup.

Now I’m ready to tackle my lights but I’m in conflict what to do. As I see it I have two options:

  1. Transfer all my light bulbs (GU10 fittings) to Smart Bulbs (Hue, Tradferi, Osram, …)
  2. Install a Zigbee / Zwave dimmer in the socket and replace the existing bulbs with LED dimmable.

As I understand it, option 1 is not compatible with existing switches, since when you switch off the lights you loose all connectivity. From a user point of view this is not wanted.

However, if you go for option 2 you loose the color options?

Currently all switches in the house are from the Niko brand and in the interest of uniformity I would like to keep it this way.

If I go for option 1 there might be a solution with the following: [Hue Switch](https://www.niko.eu/en/article/100-91004)
However, I’m not sure it will be detected by HA with a zigbee usb controller / deconz / mqtt

Option 2: Fibaro / Qubino as a traditional dimmer which can be zigbee / zwave

How do people usually tackle this problem? Either one way or the other?
Is there a smart way to combine both options?

What are your thoughts on smart lighting in general?
Do you use color bulbs only as accent lights and main lighting just dimmable?

In short, I’m looking for some ideas :slight_smile:

Smart bulbs with presence based automated lighting. I can’t remember when I last touched a light switch.

Wired PIRs turn on lights for most rooms. For the lounge they come on when the alarm is disarmed and it gets dark. They turn off when I get in bed. This is because I usually sit still enough in the lounge that the PIR does not trigger often enough to keep the light on.

Brightness is adjusted inversely to outside light level. After I have been in bed for an hour if the lights are triggered by the room PIR they come on a dim red to preserve night vision and make return to sleep easier. This mode cancels at a pre-set morning time or when it gets bright outside.

Colour of a few lamps tells me things (temperature, system errors, updates available, doorbell, etc…)

Lifx are another option for GU10.


Apartment or short term get bulbs
Large home or Long term get switches.

I don’t use physical switches but my family and visitors do. If small apt/home I don’t mind getting up to physically switch if some turn off bulb but this is pain in large home. Short term living in space maybe this not bother me but 3+ yrs of that would annoy me. Also devices are investment so I don’t want to spend $1000USD on switches just to move in 2yrs. This is how I decide switch or bulb.

Wifi generally use hub and third party so I avoid. Some wifi(sonoff/esp8266) can be flashed or may avoid 3rd party server passthru so these aren’t that bad but ultimately their look/function is just not my preference. I use this for short term but not long term. I have simply gained zwave preference since devices switches/dimmer are older, reliable and look good. Zwave has poor security but honestly the old wifi switches are worse security hole and really I not gaurding Fort Knoxx so this is low risk anyway and must be local for zwave so…

For switch/dimmer I like GE zwave models. They look good, well built and don’t look like fire hazard(screw terminal vs poorly soldered low gauge wire connection)

I use Trane zwave thermostat. It just work, simple use and look like thermostat. I try Nest and Radiotherm and they were big pain with unneeded feature.

Main Light dimmable
LED accent except in area not need bright lighting. This also room size dependant since single LED strip may light small bathroom well enough for general use like "mood’ lighting while mirror/vanity lighting is seperate. That setup would never work as main lighting for kitchen/living/bedroom due to # lights needed and generally color may not meet decent warm white without being too yellow (I’m picky about color) or require expensive LED set. It’s simply requires less effort/cost as accent

Thanks for the great feedback.

Since it’s a large home which I own I’ll be looking into switches first and sensors later.
Especially for family and visitors. I’m looking at a qubino or fibaro dimmer which will integrate nicely with a niko pulse switch (which is compatible with my existing frames)
Perhaps I can integrate this nicely with HA where the fibaro / qubino does not come in full strenght at night or just the accent lights.

I don’t see a possibility to add wires for a fixed PIR sensor so I’d have to go the battery powered ones.
Are there recommendations for small non-obtrusive ones (which can double as alarm sensor)?