LED dimmer recommendation? Homematic vs Z-wave vs Zigbee vs WiFi vs whatever?

I’ve been playing around the past weeks to find an entry into managing my lights via Home Assistant. Funny enough, this seems to be the most complicated part, which is down to most of our lights being LED 230V dimmable lights. They’re mostly controlled by Gira 2000 Universal LED dimmers which handle the lights very well without any flickering or glowing and a trailing edge mode.

My first attempt was a Homematic IP HmIP-BDT dimmer. Easy to install, easy to integrate in HA, but unfortunately not working with our lights. The LEDs were flickering like a disco. The Homematic support recommended the use of a compensation module HmIP-DC but that didn’t make any difference. Then they admitted that the device only works well with certain LED lights but couldn’t really share a list of tried and tested brands and models. Their partner ELV had an old list and I tried some recommended Osram LEDs but those didn’t work either. The whole experience was bad enough so that the dimmer now goes back to the shop.

Another downside was the limitation that the dimmer would not remember the last brightness value after being switched off. Apparently, Homematic IP offers this only when using the CCU local controller instead of the cloud which I was using. Totally stupid, as obviously the device is capable, but not the software. This doesn’t help the WAF as the Gira dimmer did that easily.

Now what? As I’m only starting, I’m open to use any technology. My preferences are:

  • small devices that fit behind existing switches and allow the switches to be wired to them
  • no more cloud - I’d like to stick to Home Assistant
  • LED dimming needs to work reliably
  • option to install stuff in the electric cabinet on a DIN rail would also be great as some of my dimmers for more complex setups sit there (that was one of the reasons I was also looking at Homematic IP)

I’ve now researched quite a bit around

  • the small Qubino mini dimmer on Z-wave but wonder about the future of Z-wave support on HA
  • Shelly Dimmer 2 on WiFi but it’s not clear if that can store the last brightness
  • Eltako dimmers, but that is really expensive professional stuff

Any advice from you practitioners? What are you using with your LED lights?

Did you ever decide on a dimmer? Looking for a good one myself.

Yes, I settled on the Shelly dimmer 2 and didn’t regret it. I have thrown out all the homematic stuff (thank you Amazon) and now have more than 20 shellies deployed, most of them dimmers.

Flickering is on par or even better than the expensive Gira LED universal dimmers that got retired. The Shelly devices calibrate themselves when started.

They work without cloud (but can be cloud connected if you want), they store the last brightness, they can be programed to give an impulse for low dim values and then go down where other dimmers just stay dark, they can send signals directly from one device to another, you can set the speed with which the light dims up or down, they work with touch button switches as well as with ordinary switches, the list continues…

The only downside is their maximum load of 220 W, which is no good for one of our halogen lamps, but then again with LEDs you’ll never hit that.

I actually also got some 3d printed holders for Din rails and had an electrician throw out the Hager remote dimmers for Shellies. Works well. I also like the small form factor that made it easy to stick some into the wall.

Prerequisite is a decent WiFi coverage, but in my case that was given anyhow with a number of unifi access points. You don’t need a separate base.


Thanks a lot, it was quite helpful!!