Lifx Smart Switch compatibility in modern apartment

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Quantum Flux, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Quantum Flux

    Quantum Flux Member

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    Before anyone flames me - I'm not planning to do any electrical work myself.

    LIFX have released a new 'Lifx Smart Switch' which can be used to make dumb light circuits smart without the irritating problem of putting a smart bulb in a dumb fixture and having it go offline when the switch is turned off.

    I've got an off-the-plan apartment due for completion later this year. This will come with the usual strings of LED down lights throughout. I recall somebody telling me these kind of circuits didn't have a neutral wire at the switch. Is that correct? Does this mean the Lifx Smart Switch can't be used in modern installations? That would seem fairly silly.

    Edit: Anyone been in a similar situation? Were you able to request neutral wire at the switch? What was the additional cost like?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  2. aXis

    aXis Member

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    As far as I'm aware, it's not standard to have the neutral wire available at light switches - just active/active return. You would have to ask for it specially, the earlier you ask the cheaper it will be.

    I ran similar smart switches (Z-Wave, they sucked, but wifi will probably be better) in my established house and had to spend about $2k to get an electrician to run neutral wires to all of the switch points.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Quantum Flux

    Quantum Flux Member

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    The tower core / lift shaft isn't even close to my floor yet - so hopefully it's not too late to request a change. It's a 2 bed apartment so I'm guessing there will be around 7 to 10 light switch panels. I've requested a quote from the builder to provide a neutral wire at each light switch. It's only a few extra metres of wire - guessing it'll be 500 to 1k. Not sure if they'll hit me for design changes or approvals or anything like that :confused:?
     
  4. HSV_Enigma

    HSV_Enigma Member

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    In a domestic single dwelling its about 50/50 whether the supply will be taken to the switch or the lighting point but in a commercially built set of apartments it will almost certainly be taken to the lighting point so there will be no neutral. It will definitely be a design change if they will even do it but its worth an ask.
     
  5. pantner

    pantner Member

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    I've refit one of mine to a smart switch like this. Luckily it was a 2 gang switch, with one of them being a 2 way switch, so there were 5 wires available when only 4 were needed.

    If you're not able to get the neutral wire run, ask for conduit to be run in the walls to the light switches, rather than just having the wires channeled in the wall.
     

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