Automated Lighting In The UK – UPDATED 2018

When I purchased my new house just before Christmas 2016, I knew I had to fit Philips Hue in all rooms, not only would it save money on lighting the house but the added control features inside the bulb it’s self are a must for automated lighting in the UK as almost all UK homes do not have a neutral wire at the plug socket so Z-Wave devices that can fit behind a light switch are not able to work, If you have a new build it might be worth getting a electrician as you have fake walls to run a neutral wire to the light switch as most new builds have 100’s of downlight LED’s which will most likely be a GU10 bulb fitting which Philips, TCP nor LIFX make a white only bulb for, only Philips make a colour for 50 pounds each.
A Z-Wave device behind a light switch that’s fully compatible with Samsung SmartThings is the Aeon Lab Aeotec DSC19103-ZWEU for 33 pounds. A good friend has also purchased a new build before Christmas 2015 as is currently waiting a price on getting a neutral wire to his light switches throughout his house and will have a full review and installation documentation of the process if he ago ahead with it.

Why someone hasn’t made a Z-Wave/ZigBee Light switch with a battery is probably due to the US having a neutral wire in most of their homes and once a company realises that there’s money to be made in the rest of the world someone will finally make it.

Now the problem of having the automated part in the bulb itself is if someone turns the light switch off you are now no longer able to switch on the bulb(s) as the power has been cut, this could be very annoying with guests visiting. You can wire your light switches so there always on and put a blanking plate the only problem with this is if your phone has died or Samsung SmartThings things has problems a your routines, scenes or webCoRe pistons aren’t going to be working your going to be stuck in the dark. The solution I have found is the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch.
476733-philips-hue-wireless-dimming-kitThe only problem is it’s the shape of a US light switch so it wont completely cover a UK 1 Gang socket and nor do the screw holes line up but it does come with sticky pads too. So blank off the light switches and stick them where ever you would like the problem is most of the time its where the currently light switch is and its not going to look good with this 1 Gang blank plate with the Philips Hue Dimmer Switch next to it.

My solution though was to replace all the light switches with keyed switches, when I did this at the beginning of 2016 Screwfix had white (see below) and black keyed switch modules, but for over a year they only seem to have black in store, though there is white but with the following text in red “EMG LTG TEST “. If you google though I’m sure you will find other suppliers.

Philips Hue Dimmer Switch doesn’t even need a Hue Bridge to work you can buy the kit which comes with a bulb already paired (£30) or by its self (£20) to add more bulbs to the switch up to a maximum of 10 just hold the on button within 10cm of the bulb you would like to add and within 10 seconds the bulb should blink to notify you its connected. I purchased 10 kits from B&Q £30 each x 10 – £15 discount they had at the time so I got enough switches to replace the whole house except the bathroom plus 10 bulbs for £285 for the average house this could be enough to get you up and running if you only have one light bulb per room but for me the spare bedroom, office, dinning room, kitchen and utility room all had 3 or more bulbs so needed more, so got another 12 from Philips online shop they were the only place I could find them in stock plus I found a 10% off code so each bulb only cost 13.49 each. I have gone for all E27 bulbs as some of mine where already E27 but there’s already barely any new light fittings that take E27 or B22 there all GU10, GU9 and SES (E14). I had to buy converters some E14 to E27, GU10 to E27 and B22 to E27 only cost 10 pounds from amazon for 5 of each took over 2 weeks to get here as they come from china but few UK sellers on Ebay or Amazon want a few pounds for each converter.

The main reason for going with Philips rather than another brand is most of the products are available from multiple places but stock of the white only bulbs seems to terrible. I also have the Logitech Harmony Remote which is compatible with Hue and Samsung SmartThings.

4 comments on “Automated Lighting In The UK – UPDATED 2018
  1. Adrian Moore says:

    How do you terminate in the blanking plate but leave the switch in an “on” position?

  2. Matt says:

    I too am interested in how the lights where hardwired on.
    I’m thinking about trying to do something with 3d printing to do a UK spec version of the USA template so it’s a direct over the top replacement and flush with the wall plate, I’d also like a “kill” switch in to kill the power to the light if there is a problem of any sort without having to flick the breaker, but that is a bonus rather than a requirement.

  3. Chris says:

    I have a solution to this problem and have shipped 100s of them to happy customers. Various versions depending on the depth of your current light switch.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Philips-Hue-Dimmer-Remote-UK-Light-Switch-Adapter-Cover-/263035929754?ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

  4. Stephen says:

    I have bought many from here http://www.samotech.co.uk, in my opinion this is the best quality out there and sorts the issue beautifully.

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