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Rewiring House - Options for Future Proofing Switches and Lighting Automation

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  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    Hi Victorian/bk

    Actually, my setup has no mains at all at the light switch, it is pure cat cable.

    If I was doing it again, I would do it the same way, no .mains at the light switch. For those that might be nervous (and tbh, I see no reason to be nervous) you could divert the live an neutral down to the switch and up again to the light circuit.

    Good diagram Victorian, I have a few diagrams of my system from a document I did up on it, I will post up a link here later. Its old now, but still relevant.

    The hue integration, I am using just for hue lamps etc, but it works great. It actually eliminates the need for dedicated switched lamp circuits (you know the ones with 5a round sockets that people put in for bedside lamps etc.

    The 220v wiring is actually very straight forward, just a live out to the circuit and neutral back, you don't need to go wiring drops to light switches etc.

    Again, you could wire the 220v and neutral to the switch to give you flexibility to ass the system later.

    Thank's for the clarification - I'm finally getting to grips with the whole set-up.

    For the future proofing, I would have to wire 220v, neutral and cat5 to each switch and then extend the live and neutral to each individual lights. Initially, the Cat5 would be unused. If I wanted a velbus system, I would just bypass the 220v and neutral at the switch and connect any switches to the Cat5. If something like z-wave took over in the next ten years, I could then switch back to the live-neutral set-up with a fibaro dimmer module.

    I like the idea of using Hue with standard plug sockets as well. Wiring a 5A circuit into the house would require a level of planning that I don't know is possible at the moment!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    Autocad for the diagram!


    Yes, I'll definitely include neutral to the light switches. The other issue with the standard lighting circuit is my understanding that you connect circuits in a series, i.e. 4-5 lights would connect back to a single fuse, whereas a velbus or loxone set-up requires them all in parallel, i.e. every light has an individual fuse on the fuse box.

    It doesn't require an individual fuse for every light circuit, but you do need individual live feed back to the fuse board.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    Thank's for the clarification - I'm finally getting to grips with the whole set-up.

    For the future proofing, I would have to wire 220v, neutral and cat5 to each switch and then extend the live and neutral to each individual lights. Initially, the Cat5 would be unused. If I wanted a velbus system, I would just bypass the 220v and neutral at the switch and connect any switches to the Cat5. If something like z-wave took over in the next ten years, I could then switch back to the live-neutral set-up with a fibaro dimmer module.

    I like the idea of using Hue with standard plug sockets as well. Wiring a 5A circuit into the house would require a level of planning that I don't know is possible at the moment!

    Absolutely, and using something like click minigrid light switches, actually means that you could implement hue switching and standard 220v switching immediately as well.

    So, let's say you have a 2 gang wall switch. You can have the first gang working like a normal 220v on/off switch with the 220v wired to it, and the second gang wired to a cat5 pair using a momentary switch controlling a hue bulb.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    Another thing just to think about, is the way the Cat cable will go into your fuse board, ideally what I would do is have a seperate consumer unit next to your MCB consumer unit where you pit the cat5 in to your input modules, that way, the low voltage cat 5 stuff is mostly kept away from the 220v.

    Also, make sure you run some cat5 to your fuse board location for actual Ethernet.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,952 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stoner


    I like the idea of using Hue with standard plug sockets as well. Wiring a 5A circuit into the house would require a level of planning that I don't know is possible at the moment!

    This is not possible with hue.

    TBH , silly as it might sound I've two lamps plugged into lightwaverf wall sockets, they have Philips lamps in them.

    So on off control from lightwaverf with Philips dimming and colour change

    I've a lightwave scene in the living room

    One button turns on two floor lamps (with Philips lamps) and the amp and the TV.

    This is a handy all off.

    The ceiling lights Philips colour GU10
    So if I want to match ceiling and lamp colours I can.

    TBH the floor lamp/TV/ Amp scene with all on and all off is used every day, rarely use different colours.

    Also

    If you want a 10 amp cct for 5A sockets you can get fit a 3KW single of three channel relay on your DB (lightwaverf). This would give you some level of control at each CCT with regular lamps (non dimming)

    Many don't like lightwaverf, but I've 8 rads, wall stat boiler switches, external lighting , immersion, electric gate, various sockets all on one system and it's been very robust for me.

    Have them for years.

    I'd change them if they didn't work.

    I don't lie about kit just because I have it.

    For example lightwaverf light switches didn't work for me, have them in a bag in the Attic.
    I don't like voice control for lights either, it's too intrusive imo.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    Stoner wrote: »
    This is not possible with hue.

    TBH , silly as it might sound I've two lamps plugged into lightwaverf wall sockets, they have Philips lamps in them.

    So on off control from lightwaverf with Philips dimming and colour change

    I've a lightwave scene in the living room

    One button turns on two floor lamps (with Philips lamps) and the amp and the TV.

    This is a handy all off.

    The ceiling lights Philips colour GU10
    So if I want to match ceiling and lamp colours I can.

    TBH the floor lamp/TV/ Amp scene with all on and all off is used every day, rarely use different colours.

    Also

    If you want a 10 amp cct for 5A sockets you can get fit a 3KW single of three channel relay on your DB (lightwaverf). This would give you some level of control at each CCT with regular lamps (non dimming)

    Many don't like lightwaverf, but I've 8 rads, wall stat boiler switches, external lighting , immersion, electric gate, various sockets all on one system and it's been very robust for me.

    Have them for years.

    I'd change them if they didn't work.

    I don't lie about kit just because I have it.

    For example lightwaverf light switches didn't work for me, have them in a bag in the Attic.
    I don't like voice control for lights either, it's too intrusive imo.

    I think stoner, with regard the 5a spurs for lamps, I might have confused matters a bit, or not explained it correctly.

    What I meant was that with cat5 behind the light switch, it is possible to use it to switch lamps ( be it hue,lightwave rf, sonoff, smartrhings etc) on/off using the standard light switch, and avoiding the need for switched 5a spurs for things like bedside lamps etc. The lamp type can be anything, and the cat5 input pair could be any technology either (in theory, you could use a gpio input on a rpi.

    I'm don't mean to push any particular protocol or technology, just trying to expand on the options that are available if you provide cat5 at the wall switch as an input/control method to activate pretty much anything.

    So, instead if a traditional 5a switched spur for lights, you can achieve the same result using any 220v socket by either plugging in a smart plug or installing a smart bulb.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,572 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    Stoner wrote: »
    I don't like voice control for lights either, it's too intrusive imo.

    Yes, I've found you actually end up with different solutions for different rooms.

    - Hall, bathrooms, study/utility room, motion activated, with different brightness based on time of day.
    - Living room, lights come on at sunset and off at a particular time. However they usually get adjusted by buttons on harmony remote throughout the night. Setting a scene to watch a movie.
    - Bedrooms Hue dimmer switch by door, but also another one to next to bed to switch off the bedside lamps.

    The above might sound complex, in practise you basically don't think about it once set up.

    Rarely use app control mostly just for setup and config changes.

    Don't use voice control of lights much either. However the exception is the good night and goodbye routines. But that is a little different as it turns on/off a lot of devices in one go. Of course that is something you could do with buttons too, which I might end up doing at some stage with some cheap Xiaomi buttons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House


    Just to follow up on my research in the same thread, I've found two diagrams which I found very helpful to understanding the Velbus set-up.

    Image 1 - Home installation which shows the required modules:
    gOAkKnh.jpg

    Image 2 - Shows how the bus and 230V wiring would be connected:
    S8Xrk08.jpg

    I'm not fully clear on how to daisy-chain a Cat5 cable but I presume there is some coupler that splits at each switch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    Just to follow up on my research in the same thread, I've found two diagrams which I found very helpful to understanding the Velbus set-up.

    Image 1 - Home installation which shows the required modules:
    gOAkKnh.jpg

    Image 2 - Shows how the bus and 230V wiring would be connected:
    S8Xrk08.jpg

    I'm not fully clear on how to daisy-chain a Cat5 cable but I presume there is some coupler that splits at each switch.

    The glass panels are lovely, I have one, might over time get a few more, but to do a whole house in them would up the cost a good bit. A mixture of the glass panels and standard monetary wall switches does a nice job as well.

    For the modules mounted in the fuse board, there are connecting rails you can get to daisy chain them. For remote modules ( the glass panel switches for example), you could use a type of patch panel. I used a krone block, where I wired all my cat 5 wall switches back to, and all my input modules to as well, and then was able to patch between them. This means I could change a wall switch from a momentary type switch, which just uses the cat 5 pairs as inputs, to a glass panel switch which uses the cat 5 as a bus, by just changing the jumpers on the krone block

    In fact, I would.most definately not daisy chain them tbh, as then they can only be used as bus, not as inputs


    Will post up a link, might explain it better. Again, I think this works well for any wired system, it does not have yo be velbus


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2




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  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House



    That link is private when I clicked on it - should I request access from my gmail?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    That link is private when I clicked on it - should I request access from my gmail?

    Doh!!! Sorry, try it again now, although it said it might take some time for the change to take effect.

    If it doesn't work I'll use Dropbox or something


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2




  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,572 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk




  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House



    Thanks - that's a really informative document!


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,952 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stoner


    bk wrote:
    - Standard modern light fixtures. GU10 for recessed lights, E27 for bulbs. Note you might want to make sure the GU10 fittings have plenty of space. The Colour Hue GU10's are larger then normal LEDs - Neutral at each light switch and deep back box to allow flexibility to add smart switch - wexfordman2 would recommend cat5 to each switch to allow for various wired solutions

    You really want fire rated fittings, too many 2 euro fittings in use.

    In a flat ceiling you want insulated units or for fittings with insulation above them you need a cage enclosed fitting

    I've lots of posts on the electrical forum on the led sticky.

    Data cabling is very cheap of you don't terminate it into rj 45s

    Neutrals at the switch will do for most systems but if you can add the data too.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,572 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    Stoner wrote: »
    You really want fire rated fittings, too many 2 euro fittings in use.

    In a flat ceiling you want insulated units or for fittings with insulation above them you need a cage enclosed fitting

    Definitely! When I replaced the MR16's that were originally fitted in my place with GU10's I found some of the fittings and even one transformer, the plastic had melted and fused :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 149 ✭✭jimmy_t


    Hi Wexfordman, I assume you installed the velbus/cytech system as a DIY project, that is most likely beyond my expertise, is there anyone professionals dealing in this in Ireland or where were you buying your components?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭wexfordman2


    jimmy_t wrote: »
    Hi Wexfordman, I assume you installed the velbus/cytech system as a DIY project, that is most likely beyond my expertise, is there anyone professionals dealing in this in Ireland or where were you buying your components?

    Yep, it was a diy project, I did it myself in conjunction with an electrician, ie, I got the electrian to install and wire for the 220v side, and did the comma, bus and programming myself.

    There are a couple of UK suppliers of the velbus hardware, I think I got mine way back from ESR.co.uk


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