Feedback on UK light switch idea

Afternoon all
Finally bought our own home so that of course means I can run wild to a degree with home automation. Have 8 hue bulbs and a handful of xiaomi aqara products all using zigbee2mqtt from before the move.
I’m looking at the light switch issue at the moment partially for ease of use and also the WAF.
Was looking at the aqara wall switch’s non wired, cost per unit and simplicity being the main draws.
My initial plan was to get one and test it out on a switch/light. My thought is to take of the switch hard wire the cable together so light is permanently on and stick the aqara switch on the front. Or blanking plate then switch on top if need be. What I need is a “that’s incredibly dangerous don’t be a moron” (and why so I don’t have any more bright ideas)“that will work but do A B C as well” or " have you seen this product instead" type of feedback.

I had the same enthusiasm when I moved into my new place a couple of years ago. It’s new(ish) build - 12 years old - but still didn’t have the appropriate wiring to the sockets.

I’ve instead gradually replaced my bulbs with Ikea TRADFRI stuff which has been absolutely flawless and not exactly expensive either.

I have a few things planned nothing major but with no landlord to worry about I can.
2 sonoff basics in the bathroom to control the down lighters (cheaper than 5 gu10’s) and extraction fan , should be able to set up some nice automations with the temp/humidity sensor I have.

Basic alarm set up for doors and windows plus eventually a smarter heating set up with TRV’s which should tie the many sensors etc together

The big issue for me is the lights and switch’s , the wife and 6 year old will never stop turning lights/plugs off then want to know why something isn’t working. So I need to work something out. Dont want to spend £20 plus a switch so trying to think of other ideas

I’ve got these up:

My wife, four year old, and even mother-in-law, now all use the TRADFRI plugs that are right next to the original switches should I ever want to change tech or sell the house.

Hard wiring the switches is again UK code and so might invalidate insurance etc. We are a 100% hue house, we have motion sensors (so nobody uses the switches anyway) and then a load of hue switches stuck next to the main switches. It was the motion sensors that helped shift behaviour (xiaomi ones are pretty cheap too_)

A safe (and legal) way to stop people using the old switch is to use these. You can still toggle the switch, but not easily.

Cheers Dan I thought that might be the case, I like the look of those and the ones from Greg. Ideally I don’t want to have multiple switch’s everywhere. But those ones you linked to could be put on then the xiaomi ZigBee ones placed on top. If easily removed I would still have access if the system went down. Have ordered an xiaomi ZigBee 2 gang to test the idea. And will pick up one of those you linked.

That’s a much safer and easier way round the problem.

It makes them stick out a little, but I use command strips to attach all my switches, easily removed and replaced. Also doesn’t ruin the paintwork if you need to move / replace them more permanently.

(Note: Lots of companies make command strip like products, I’ve had bad experiences with other companies)

Look at using instead of the bulbs, a reset switch like this:

When planning the house, try and keep to the same wireless protocols. Most lights use zigbee, whereas in my experience z-wave is far more reliable in terms of iradio interferance with 2.4g wifi…

So in terms of home automation:

  1. Try and pick either z-wave (more expensive sensors) or Zigbee (cheaper but may interfere with wifi unless you know what you doing with channel selection etc)

  2. Stick to this as it will simplify your life as you grow you integration…

I keep seeing people raving about these Xiaomi sensors. I’ve got a setup so already have most of my areas covered with hardwired sensors, but there are a couple of places I’d like to add more. What hub/USB device do you use with them?

I use Xiaomi, they are great. I followed the instructions on the zigbee2mqtt addon for Home Assistant. Bought all the bits from China to program a USB Sniffer (CC2531) and have never looked back.

There is a member on this board selling the zigbee2mqtt USB sticks , so all you need to do is plug n play.

I have the xiaomi motion sensors, temp/humidity and have ordered door/window sensors a wall light switch and a couple of the button switch’s.

The ones I already have work really well,very easy to install with zigbee2mqtt. Battery life is Down 10 % in 4-6 months (roughly) and importantly for me the price is good from the likes of aliexpress. Allows me to build the network as I think of new things to automate without falling foul of the wife.

link here

Awesome - thanks for that link

No worries.

So I’ve ordered
one of these the 2 gang wireless one, and went into the local electrical shop today and got a 2 gang key switch fitting. So just waiting for the switch to arrive and I can try this idea out. Will post pics when the test is ready.

Various goodies turned up today, sonoffs, door sensors etc. So having a fun productive weekend :smiley:

1 Like

I use conbee, not need to go the full mqtt route as there is an addon for deconz which is the controller for zigbee

So this is the finished test. Forgot to take a picture of the back plate underneath.

I found a 1 gang 2 aperture faceplate to which I fitted 2 emergency switch’s ( the ones you operate with a little spanner) This makes it all about 1-2 mm thickness, if I remove the rubber spacer next time I could slim it down a bit more.

The xiaomi wireless switch sticks on top. It needs some decorators caulk round the edges to tidy it all up, but I like it. It meets my original goals nicely and I think the wife finally understands why I want to do it. No duplicate switch’s everywhere and no turning off lights at the mains messing up automations.

Not sure if this is the best way around no neutral at the switch’s but works for me at a good price point.


Once you have the caulk in that will be a nice job. I suspect a few people here might copy this - myself included.

Fibaro Dimmer 2 or the Qubino dimmer can run on 2-wire systems and is your best bet for UK in my opinion.

Every one of my light switches in the house has at least one dimmer behind and a bypass over the first bulb. I then have pulse/retractive switches that spring back. These control all other lights in the house (zwave and zigbee) as well as anything else connected. So the landing switch can be clicked 3 times to go into ‘night night’ mode and everything turns off.

Cheers Dan,
I’ve not done anymore yet. The switch’s went up in price on aliexpress, not by much but will wait and see if they drop in a sale soon. I’ll see if i can find the link to the back plate I used as well. For anyone that is interested.
My only real issue is the sticking the aqara switch to the wall plate. I’ve used the patch that came with it. Very secure but won’t help if I need to remove it in a hurry. So currently thinking of alternatives. I had some small command strips but they didn’t like the plastic/rubber.

Christian- I have looked at those but the price is just too much. This cost £15-20. I would like to have that level of control in case HA goes down but can’t justify that level of cost. Especially as its only a 2 bed terrace but 10 or so single/double and triple switch’s to replace. is the one I bought. Will have to check when at home. Its called mini grid.