Approved in-wall switches and dimmers



  • Hi,

    As far as I can see the only thing missing from this project is approved in-wall switches and dimmers. All the sensors are in place, but to have a usefull system you have to use 433Mhz or Z-wave to have approved switching/dimming.

    Has anyone thought about how this could be achieved? Or have I completely misunderstood the system?


  • Mod

    @Session while you running a zwave compatible Controller there is no any problem to build a scene utilizing Mysensor devices and zwave together. For approved zwave devices is better to refer to the supplier of the Controller

    On other hand you are free to build MySensors actuator and implement it as a wall switch



  • Not sure if I made my point.

    I want to skip z-wave and just use mysensors in a HA setup. To do that I need to built a 230V triac dimmer and control it with a arduino. All this will be put in a wall box. Problem is that it is illegal. Is there any incentive to construct these with approval and sell them? I am aware that this is a costly process, but you never know...


  • Mod

    @Session do you mean some kind of certification?

    this is different country to country



  • @Session Buy 433MHz switches, you can find both as plugs and as wall in. Then build a MySensors actuator to Control them using the "Wireless Transmitter and Receiver Link Kit Module 433Mhz" on the http://www.mysensors.org/store/ page. You can find sample code in the sample folder (\MySensors\Arduino-master\libraries\NewRemoteSwitch) to Control many 433MHz devices or you can sniff the 433MHz signal and build your own sketch (as I did)



  • @olaeke I have though of that as I already have 433Mhz dimmers in my walls now. The only "downside" to this is that you can not verify if the signal was received (the way you can with z-wave).

    I see the problem with certification. Maybe just stick with z-wave even if the same dimmer could be built for a fraction of the price. Should anything happen my insurance company wouldn't be to happy with my home made dimmers 😉



  • @Session You are right about the downside of one-way communication. I use cheap 433Mhz on lamps that is not "critical" and then z-wave devices on more critical things, the z-wave is to expensive. I agree I wouldn't put homemade 230V things inside my walls.



  • Maybe anyone knows of certified dimmer that can be controlled by pwm or 0-10V?


  • Hero Member

    @Session said:
    . Problem is that it is illegal.

    Do you mean you can not DIY 220V dimmer modules in your country? I wasn't aware of any restrictions for DIY --- Producing in series and making money out of it certainly demands approvals and certifications.

    I have build a triac dimmer for my sensors, and was about to share my project here... Maybe it is better to hold for now 😉



  • I wouldn't say it is illegal. It's a matter of insurance. If your house burns down, and the insurance company can prove that the fire was caused by your DIY in-wall dimmer, they will not pay for the damage.


  • Hero Member

    I use zwave in-wall controllers ( switches/dimmers) and have thought (including yesterday) about using a mysensors actuator instead ( i want to switch 4 lights at the same location.)

    Is it really that much more expensive though to just use zwave devices? I can buy Aeon Labs in-wall switches for about $60AUD ( doubles about $70AUD)

    Yes i could build a mysensors actuator for at least 1/3 of that but when you add the time required to put it together in a safe and tidy fashion then its cost is a lot more...and i cant get then as small as the aeon/fibraro device either.

    and then as discussed the insurance issue is another large consideration.

    I dont think many countries would allow a kit to be used for "in-wall" type installations.

    In Australia, we are allowed to build 240v mains kits such as amplifiers etc and plug these into a powerpoint legally, but we are not allowed to do anything on the other side of the powerpoint or light switch...All this work must be done by an electrician. (so technically even installing zwave devices must be done by a sparky... bollox to that! )

    So even if we created a 'mysensors in-wall module" - it wouldn't get certified in kit form (we would not be able to build it ourselves and expect it to retain certification)
    If Hek (or Sensnology) was to manufacture "Mysensors in-wall module" prebuilt and then obtain certification then im sure the cost of these would end up similar to what we pay for zwave devices. ( we know they would be awesome and far more flexible....)

    @rvendrame pls dont hold back and please do share your triac dimmer project!!! Your design is perfectly legal in australia so long as its not installed in the walls etc.


  • Hero Member

    @ericvdb said:

    I wouldn't say it is illegal. It's a matter of insurance. If your house burns down, and the insurance company can prove that the fire was caused by your DIY in-wall dimmer, they will not pay for the damage.

    In a lot of countries (most?) electrical equipment needs to have certifications by approved standards bodies (UL in the US, CSA in Canada as two examples). This is defined in building and electrical codes. Therefore, the use of unapproved equipment technically*** is*** illegal. No one will inspect this unless you install it in a new building or during major renovations, or an incident occurs such as a fire or electrocution. If the investigation finds unapproved equipment caused it, you may get fined and the likelihood of your insurance paying out are between slim and none. Because of this I typically recommend people use approved power supplies that will convert from mains voltage to something lower and only home-build the low voltage part.

    Cheers
    Al



  • In my country Low voltage (defined as under 50 Volts) does not require certification. If you remove the mains power to an existing switch, and replace it with 5V to power either your sensor or a button or POT for a dimmer, you are no longer working with mains in the box. Check your countries code. You may be able to do it.



  • Are you from an EU country? do you mean Low Voltage Directive? couldn't find anything like "does not require certification"...



  • America. Your USB charger, wall wart, or whatever power supply you use, should be UL, CE. or the like. Also, your relay or LED Driver on the other end should be certified. My LED drivers are CE, my USB charger is UL, and my relays on the mains side are UL. The DC side comes under Signal, Control, and Communication sections of the code.



  • The Low Voltage Directive applies to greater than 50 Volts AC, and greater than 75 Volts DC. Also " Importantly, it does not cover voltages within equipment" Notice that statement, They don't cover what you do with the DC voltage , only the part that IS connected to High Voltage. So when UL, etc., test your USB charger for certification, they are testing the AC side. The output is low voltage. Also, it is important to Isolate the AC and DC parts of your actuators. You should put in optoisolators on digital inputs and between your outputs and relays. Better relay modules have this built-in to the board. For the dimmer, this is not necessary because your mosfet only interfaces with the DC part of the LED driver, and only on the (-) side.



  • @Session Yes, there are plenty of "certified" dimmers that are controlled by PWM or 0-10V input.
    However, there are also plenty of "certified" LED drivers that you can also use by connecting the (-) negative side of the DC output to the Arduino ground, and the (-) negative side of your LED to the mosfet output. Certification is for the AC part of the Driver.
    The great thing about the new LEDS is that you can control the DC side and not worry about controlling the AC. You don't need a triac, you don't need a zero crossing detector, simply switch on and off (PWM) the negative side of the DC part of the light.


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