Adding RGBW ceiling LEDs... Choices?

Hi all,

I have decided to introduce some Color Lights to my Home setup (I am not a big fan, but the children demand it). I will change the current setup (which is horrible, installed long time ago from a mediocre electrical installer) with new dimmable RGBW LED overhead spot lights.

I am planning to deploy as follows:

Since I don’t have multiple wires running from the Panel to the Kitchen fake ceiling, I was thinking to use Z-Wave and place a Fibaro RGBW Controller next to a Power Supply Unit.

I already have one FGRGBWM-441 to control my white staircase LEDs and I am super happy with it (it also helps with the RF network coverage)

There are 12 LED spot lights (3x1W each) currently installed (with 12 drivers!). I don’t need individual control of each LED spot.

Any other alternatives that can be a better solution to what I want to achieve?

I could place the 230VAC -> 12VDC PSU in the Main Electrical Distribution Panel also but I think that it may be better to be close to the LEDs… (or not?)

Any suggestions for good quality dimmable RGBW LED spot lights (with ceiling fixture? :stuck_out_tongue:)

Should I go with 12VDC or 24VDC?

@george.erhan Maybe DALI?


I don’t know the answers for ALL the other questions as I don’t use ant of these technologies but I know that it’s always preferable to have a DC source as close as possible to the user device as DC voltage drops quickly over distance.


First of all, you will need supplementation of cabling: 3 wires for AC supply and 2 wires for power and communication for the DALI bus, then you would need DALI drivers and an interface to communicate. This can be done with a device like this (knowing that you have a KNX installation) without wiring the bus from the electrical panel, but still requires a KNX RF line coupler and DALI drivers for the light sources! I think this is the most reliable solution!

The FIBARO dimmer is a good solution for a retrofit, but you can only use it for RGB LED strips, not for RGB LED bulbs (at least that is what I read)!

If wires can still be installed from the electrical panel, then you have the possibility of installing KNX LED drivers such as this for LED strips or this for constant current LED bulbs.

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The voltage drop can be calculated depending on the distance between the DC PS and the consumer and the cable section should be chosen accordingly, but yes the DC PS should be as close as possible to the DC consumer.

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Hi, @Dim.

I am guessing that the existing wiring to each existing spotlight location is two wire, whereas the loxone spots require five wires to each light fixture. With this approach, you will have to replace the wiring to each fixture.

In my opinion, 24VDC is prefered over 12VDC since 1/2 the current is required to provide a fixed amount of power to each fixture. That means that there is less voltage drop from your DC power supply to the most distant fixture – a good thing. It also means that you can use smaller gauge wiring.

I am currently building a new home where I have specified a number of warm white LED strips (no RGBW), and I chose to go with 24VDC strips since at 24VDC I can reduce the size and number of power supplies needed to power all of my LED strips.

There are alternate technology smart RGBW MR16 bulbs available, but AFAIK, none that use Z-Wave for control. I think they are mostly Milight bulbs (bastardized Zigbee control.)

Good luck with your project!

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Well you can either connect RGB or RGBW spots, or you could connect white-only spots to 4 independent channels to distribute them across so you could even continue using your existing spots. But I’d go for RGB.
Allows you to run the builtin programs, too.

You’ll have voltage drop depending on the distance and wiring, but you could do the math upfront or get a decent PSU that you can eventually tune to deliver say 13VDC instead of 12V to compensate for that drop.
Here’s a thread with an excel to calculate that.

If you were to go with strips I’d recommend 24VDC because of efficiency and heat dissipation, but that leaves you with a lot less choices on the bulbs, and particularly spots are hard to find @24V so I’d recommend 12V.

No, you can perfectly well use these to run anything @12VDC (or 24VDC or whatever your existing bulbs can do), you can even have LEDs on one channel and halogen lamps on another. Anything to be compatible with PWM will do.
And since you already run a ZWave controller it’s less expensive than KNX-DALI or DALI alone.
Btw, the FGRGBWM also has 4x 0-10V input (one for each channel) so you can also hardwire them to some switch to even work in case of OH outage. Hard to find an input device for color though.

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Update: I got really busted by the wife and had to fall back to a very basic design (non dimmable CV driver, no color, basic on/off solution via my KNX Bus). She didn’t like the color+dimming options… children are not happy :smile:

I am not very happy because the driver is not a “smart” one, so I have to turn on & off the main power supply to it using a KNX Switching Actuator channel and I have some 200-300 milliseconds of delay until the driver “boots up” and turns on the LED spots.

I will get my “revenge” soon when I will retrofit the old WW LED stripes in the living room :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanx for the advises !

I was also worried about this (the Fibaro dimmer not being able to drive RGBW LED Bulbs) since its manual does not explicitly state “RGBW” next to the bulbs support but I think that you are right Markus… it should work fine with RGBW LED Bulbs (12/24V with PWM support).

Well some things take time.

It would work as well if you insert the Fibaro actuator where the ‘Lumen’ one is in your picture.
You could attach all of your spots to the W channel (it’s not worse than your current design then).
You could then a) get a (mono-color) zwave dimmer input to directly control that channel (if you like to) and b) you still have the RGB channels so you can attach color strips or further (color) spots that you can control independent from the W channel.
So you could get your revenge at a later point in time when you “all of a sudden” introduce color lighting without any additional hardware works. Remember revenge is best served cold :smiling_imp:

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