Choice of Switches

Hello ,

I am starting a new home automation project and I am searching for dimming and on/off switches.
I consulted INSTEON products , it looks that its are good ones but it’s expensive for me.
Do you have other suggestions?

Thx :slight_smile:

Short of making your own, they are all going to be relatively expensive when compared to a regular switch. I use zwave switches in my house and they have been very reliable but start around $40 and go up from there.

And tu use led bulbs it’s necessary to use these switches? What are the disadvantages of using normal switches in an automation project

I’m not sure I follow. They definitely do make zwave switches that support led as well as incandescent etc.

As far as off the shelf automated switches, zwave, insteon and old fashioned x11 are about it.

If you have the electrical background, you could make some form of custom switch running off of arduino or esp8266 or similar. I have used both to create automated outlets but dimmers are far more complicated to get right and depend on your load. Packing them into your switch box might also prove difficult without custom PCB.

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thx , I would probably save more money and buy the INSTEON ones with the bulbs etc… :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh you’re looking at an insteon all in one bulb?

Remember if you put that bulb in a fixture that has a manual switch attached to it and the switch is turned off, you won’t be able to turn that bulb on automatically. This would be the disadvantage you were looking for in your previous post.

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No I mean that I will buy INSTEON switches and bulbs …

Oh ok. Forgive me if you already know but just want to make sure; you only need the insteon switch or bulb. If you replace your wall switch with an insteon switch, you can put whatever bulb in the fixture you like.

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Yes I thought about buying Philips hue bulbs but I will need also to buy the hue bridge . So buying insteon bulbs will be the less expensive solution I think

You don’t have to buy Insteon/zwave/… switches.
You can (re)use your existing wall switches and put a little radio sensor/actor behind them (in terms of electrics, i.e. wiring, put it inbetween switch and the existing light).
There’s quite a number of these available (not sure about Insteon, but in zwave you can get them from Fibaro, Philio, Aeon, …) … there’s actually more of these available than there actually are home automation enabled switches.
To go this way will offer you a greater range of devices (thus lower pricing) plus more design choices, plus you can keep your existing switches (and lights).
It also saves you from exchanging the light bulbs against radio-enabled ones (unless you want colored ones, of course). Of course you can combine these two methods.
But in the end, you need to be prepared to pay at least $40 per switch/light combo that you want to enable automation for (unless you already have all your switching and lighting wires run to a central location, then you could place Pis or Arduinos to control them and get away with substantially less per-port, but who has centralized wiring in place?).
Cheapest wireless devices I have seen are the ancient ‘Home Depot’ sold Intertechno plugs at $10-$15. In theory, you can control them from a openHAB server, but it’s a hassle not worth the effort.

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