Seeking Insights on RGBW Lighting Solutions for Creative Workspace Renovation: Wired, Wireless, or Hybrid?

Hi there,

I am currently managing the renovation of a compact building, which is being transformed into a creative workspace. This space will feature a variety of workstations and meeting areas. To enhance both the ambiance and functionality of the environment, we plan to extensively incorporate RGB lighting and LED strips.

As part of the renovation, we will overhaul the entire electrical system, providing an excellent opportunity to integrate a smart home system. I’ve chosen Home Assistant as our platform, given my programming background, though I’m relatively new to it.

I’m considering a hybrid approach, using wired connections for basic power control and wireless solutions like Tuya bulbs for dynamic color management. However, I’m undecided between this hybrid approach and a fully wired system.

For those experienced with similar projects, I would appreciate your insights on:

  1. The feasibility of mixing wired and wireless systems, specifically using wired setups for power and wireless for RGB control.
  2. Recommendations for wired systems—should I opt for KNX, or consider alternatives like Shelly Pro or Sonoff SPM?

Regarding wired components like wall switches, power outlets, and roller blinds, I planned to use KNX for its future-proof benefits, despite disliking the necessity of proprietary software for configuration.

However, lighting continues to pose a challenge:

  • KNX: It offers four-channel dimmers. Along with dimmable/RGBW lights, these could work, but the dimmers I found cost about €160 each, and I have at least 10 groups of RGBW lights. This option will be expensive, and it requires non-standard wiring for the extra white channels. Also, “on wall” KNX controllers are pricey, unless I’ve overlooked a cheaper option.
  • DALI: The mi-boxer “on wall” devices seem reasonably priced at about €25, but integrating DALI with KNX is necessary.
  • Wireless Color Control (Zigbee): This would be my hybrid version. I could connect the Zigbee controller or bulb to a KNX-controlled line to switch the lights on and off, using Home Assistant to manage the colors. Currently, this seems like the best approach to me.

Any advice or insights would be greatly appreciated as I navigate this setup. Thanks in advance for your help!

I would recommend going DALI for all the lightning. It can handle RGBW/ white color(DT8) and of course normal lights. while you stay under 64 lights (drivers) 1 Dali Gateway to KNX will suffice.
These gateways only support lights and not switches, so those will need to be KNX.

1 gateway will set you back around 350€ (there are cheaper ones, but those only support broadcast: (whole line control, not groups and seperate devices)

I would use HA as an visualization option and let most things work directly from KNX, and only some simple automations. So using the inbuilt scenes and such from KNX, so everything keeps working even if your HA install has a hickup.

I cannot comment about the other wired systems, but with KNX you are not locked into 1 manufacturer. You can mix and match ANYTHING that has KNX and even age is not an issue. Installations i did 23 years ago will happily accept newer components without any firmware or software updates.

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Thank you very much.

So it is one additional DALI-KNX Gateway on the DIN Rail, that sounds okay.
Whats about the lights? Do i need a controller such as the mi-boxer for every light group next to the lights? If so how do i wire the controllers, can i use the KNX EIB cable?

The current plan is NYM 5*1,5mm² from the DIN rail box to the light groups. Is the wiring fine for DALI or do i need to change something (cause the electric work is already in the preparation)

DALI is a 2 wire protocol. Usually you pull 6x1 flexible wire cables (Fase, Neutral, 2x DALI and earth) Its allowed for 1 DALI controller to be over multiple circuits. Meaning in the circuit box you can combine all the DALI lines to 1 controller.

As for the groups. You can either hardwire: 1 dali dimmer for several lights or group with each LED strip/ light having its own DALI driver:

(First links i found, just to explain what i mean)
DALI dimmer: (you will need to suplly your own PSU, these are cheaper and allow multiple strips. Just stay under the 5x4A)

DALI Driver: (Supply included but get more expensive the more load they require)

Most of the times a RGBW will require a seperate PSU and normal light will come with a dali driver that needs AC and the DALI signal

Use the KNX cable for just KNX :wink: (EIB or Instabus is the old name for KNX)

In the end its gonna depend on what lights you use and where. Like i said the normal lights will have a driver that gets fed normal AC and you can supply them from the breaker. The RGBW strips will require 24/12V and you will want to keep the PSU as close to the strip as possible. But they will also use AC from that 5x1.

Excuse the rough drawing

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Thank you very much.

So the difference between a dimmer and a driver is that one needs an additional PSU while the other got the psu in build?

But I don’t got why it’s 6 flexible wires ?
On your drawing I could see 5 lines and I also count 5 lines. Fase(230v), ground, neutral, Dali + , Dali -.
All of them goes into the driver or PSU+dimmer.
Therefore my cable would work
For the bulbs they don’t need to be specific DALI ones? Or is there something like a Dali socket for bulbs like e27?

I would like to have a bunch of hanging lamps, some off wall spots and some headlights style.
I only see controller for stripes or in wall spots with already Dali build in.

If I like to hardwire multiple bulbs to one group in need 4 lines + 1 neutral. Can I use the existing 5*1,5 nym cable between them or is this going to be a problem because it got a ground one which shall not be used for other purposes?

Best regards and thank you very very much!

PS: I also could deliver 24v via the fase wire. The lights got their own cable from the box to the light.
However rgbw still gives me a headache:/

5, thats me having a brain fart.

I’m used to work with LED lightning that driven by a DALI driver, there are 230V dali dimmers that can dim normal lightbulbs tho

But if the lightsource is LED its best to dim that with DC instead AC to DC dim.

That would be no problem, just keep connection the earth between the cables, even if you dont use it at the lights. Mind you this is if you do not go beyoond what is allowed amp draw wise for 1,52 (with lights that should be no problem)

You can use the cable for 24V and DALI, just be mindfull of the voltage drop if its very far away.

Edit: linked the wrong DALI Dimmer

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Well I would prefer not using 230v lights as well.
As far as I understood I would need lights that have 5 wires and run on 24V ? I just struggle to find RGBW lights/lamps like these. The most RGBW lamps I found are either with wireless remotes/ZigBee or they have sockets like GU10 or e27. Is there any specific term i can search for?

Could you help me to understand this?
If i have to keep earth (green/yellow cable in my region), im left with only 4 wires left therefore not enough to handle RGBW hardwired as they need R G B W + neutral therefore 5 + earth?

Thank you for your constant help

I was talking about the DALI side.
For RGBW you can use the green/yellow for + on the DC side, code does not apply to low voltage.

Do you mean normal lightbulbs with RGBW? cuz most of my comments were about RGBW LED strips.

Most of the consumer bulbs/spots are going to be either Zigbee/WIFI or some manufacturer only protocol. And you will be better of using HA to control those.
(Pref Zigbee or Zwave)

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I hoped that i could use DALI for things like headlights or other lights, but i only found spots for DALI.
So how would you handle these other lights? On/off via KNX and color via zigbee/wifi or going full control over zigbee (but controlled with knx switch and app).
For Light stripes, i even thought about running WLED as they could handle addressable stipes as far as i know dali couldn’t manage these.

Thank you that’s great!

And thank you so much for you constant support here!