Light Switch Compatibility with Home Assistant - CTEC

Hi,
Have found these light switch available here in Australia.

I can’t find them in the HA Component list, are these similar to another type of switch available in the US or elsewhere that is compatible with HA?

thanks

1 Like

I have just bought a house and we have tons of downlights and dont want to install smart globes in every one of them. The Ctec light switches would work well but I also cant seem to figure out if they could be controlled via home assistant.

Aus is annoying in the fact that it would literally be illegal to import a light switch.

After some research I think ZWave is the most supported option in Aus.

Im probably going to get one of these http://www.smarthome.com.au/aeotec-z-wave-usb-z-stick.html
and use it with this http://www.smarthome.com.au/aeotec-z-wave-nano-swhttp://www.smarthome.com.au/z-wave/z-wave-lighting-control.htmlitch.html or any of these

That’s the way to go. There are a few other z-wave sellers here in Aus that have used over the years. Some are cheaper for certain items.

I my last house I swapped a bunch of the standard light switches for the Clipsal Saturn series with momentary switch buttons. These then work really well with the z-wave switches and dimmers which will fit inside the wall box behind the switch plate.

I had a look at this site and they say that the switches need a neutral. In an existing house that can be an issue as its not normal to have one at the switch. This is where z-wave dimmers can get you out of trouble because they don’t need a neutral. Keep this in mind when buying the z-wave gear as the straight on/off switches will also want a neutral.

Ah nice. Thanks Ill check those switches out.

If the particular existing light switch doesn’t have a neutral (as is normally the case) but is accessible from the roof to get one installed, then that can be done. Not sure what its like where you live but in Perth all our houses are double brick so unless a conduit was installed to the internal wall switches, we are screwed. External walls are fine because there is a wall cavity to run cables down.

Well that’s not good news. Im in Adelaide and we recently purchased a brick house. Once we are in the house Ill know more, my wife’s uncle is a sparky so I’m sure between the two of us we will work it out.

for power points, the z-wave switches are great as they will fit in behind the outlet. I just swapped mine for the type that have an extra switch in the middle and used that as the local override which gets wired to an input on the z-wave device.
image

If you dont have conduits to the internal switches then the work-around is to install the z-wave dimmers since they dont need the neutral. Most of the dimmers will allow you to either use 2 buttons, 1 for brighten, 1 for dim, or a single button with performs both functions (my preference), but you will want to swap the existing switches for momentary buttons. I had these in my old house, they look sweet but… $$$
image

I’m a sparky (if the username didnt give it away) so if you want any advice regarding the integration side of it, just ask me. Happy to help.

1 Like

Legend. You have already answered some of the questioned I had.

Thanks for the info. Ill probably be in touch soon once I get this all going.

I have been slowly changing my light switches out for wemos, I am lucky house is less than 12 years old and has neutral wires to all switches. I have 25 now. However at this stage Belkin haven’t released a dimmer here in Aus this is why I was looking at the the CTEC switches.
I will look in to the zwave sounds like and option. The wemo are momentary switches, could you use the zwave dimmer option in conjunction with the Wemo? It would be nice to keep the switches all looking the same

Whe you say you use 1 button to control dimming how does this work?

I also like your solution for the outlets, very neat. I assume the override works for both outlets? Could you post a wiring diagram

Can you suggest the best places in Aus to get the zwave from

Thanks

The dimmers allow the one button to control both dim up and dim down like this:
if light is OFF, press to turn ON
if light is ON, press and hold to brighten, release, press and hold again to dim
press to turn OFF

The two outlets in a standard double outlet plate are both hardwired together internally so they are controlled together. This cant be changed.

this is taken straight from the manual of the Aeon Labs switches:
image

The switch you see at the top of the diagram is what you wire to the press button (aux) on the front of the outlet. Where they show the light globe, this wires into the outlet itself.

I thought Belkin were stopping Wemo in Aus…? I haven’t read anything good about them to be honest. :zipper_mouth_face:

I had another post where I listed a bunch of suppliers in Aus…

Thanks.
this may not work with the wemo as they have a long press function that can be set to turn other switches on an off. But I may give it a try and see how it goes.
my bad with the double outlet - of course, wasn’t thinking.

There is a real shortage of options in Australia- hopefully, this may change soon. Wemo dimmers look good but they can’t give me a timeframe on when they will be available if at all.
I do assume they are essentially the same board, just tested to work with 240V as I believe that is what they did with the other Wemo products

thanks

I wouldn’t bother with Wemo myself, just go z-wave only.

Any update on CTEC connection with Home Assistant? Looking at the Ceiling Fan controller http://www.ctec.com.au/wifi-fan-controller/ and 3 gang switches http://www.ctec.com.au/wi-fi-switches/

1 Like

Hi,
Just fed up with Wemo and their support in Australia, so am going to move to zwave. a couple of questions.
I have recently replaced my down lights in one room with LED dimmable downlights. So the next step is to add them to HA using zwave.

  1. Can i just replace the existing Clipsal locking switch with a momentary bell switch such as this one. https://www.sparkydirect.com.au/p/30PBBPLWE/clipsal-30pbbpl-impress-blue-led-bell-press-mech-1.html
  2. Will HA through zwave allow me to dim the lights
  3. I am looking to get a zwave controller have you used the vera controller? It appears it is only 1 of the two that are HA supported. IF not which did you use
  4. If I go down that path have you had any problems with pairing different brand switches/dimmers with controllers. I notice the price of the in wall dimmer modules does vary alot from $70 - $119 and I am not sure if the cheaper ones have problems

thanks in advance

Hi Scott,

zwave is definitely a nice way to go for lights in my opinion.

  1. yes, you can replace the toggle switches with momentary ones and wire the button LED into the zwave switch/dimmer output.
  2. This depends on what device you buy. You can get single and double switches, and you can get single dimmers. The switches require a neutral at the light switch (which is rare unless you get one installed) however the dimmers do not require this so are generally easier to retrofit.
  3. I had a Vera before swapping the Home Assistant and I HATED it. I couldn’t tell you how much time I spent fault finding it and trying (painfully) to deal with their tech support people.I would never touch Vera again. I now use an Aeon Labs Z-stick which has worked flawlessly for months.
  4. So far I have used a number of different brand zwave devices with no issues. the cheaper devices generally don’t have as many configurable settings such as report frequency. its worth it to spend the extra $20 or so to be honest. I haven’t been happy with DHS brand products. Aeon Labs (Aeotech) are good

Any one manage to get these working in HA