First time using a Shelly

Just got myself a Shelly 1. I was looking at Sonoff mini as well (and I’ve ordered two of them) but the Shelly 1 arrived first :stuck_out_tongue:

Problem is whoever wired up my house didn’t think about the future DIYer and didn’t colour code. When I connected my mains connected 240V Nest protect, I figured out the colour coding (its working perfectly)
Red - Live
Black - Neutral
Green/Yellow - Earth (not that I need that for Nest)

Problem is my light switches. I picked a very simple switch for my first attempt. There are only two switches; the one I’m interested in controls a set of 6 LED downlights. Here is a photo

The pink arrow is pointing to two separate wires going in. The Green arrow is pointing to a wire that has been stripped in the middle, bent, then put into the hole and screwed tight. I’m assuming these are both a live wire and a bridge between the two for the live wire. The other red would be the switches for the light

Basically, based on this configuration I’ve got no idea how to wire the Shelly! There is a bunch of black neutral wires in a bunch all wrapped together in the back of the box as well as a bunch of earth wires. You can also see a little black plastic cross over one of the holes - this is some Australian thing which I cannot remember.

First of all: If you don’t know what you are doing, get an electrician to do it for you!

For the Shelly 1 you need live, neutral, a wire from the switch and a wire to the lamp. You probably won’t find them all behind you switches. I guess these are the live wires and the ones going to the lamp (or another switch depending on you setup). You may have to look for a junction box and install the Shelly 1 there.

Its not that easy to find an electrician willing to do it for you; I’ve already called two. These jobs aren’t worth their time apparently.

I am aware a Shelly needs a live, neutral and switch to and from, that is why I’m asking whether the above wiring resembles any of that. Every single switch in my house is wired almost exactly like this, with a sort of live bridge between two switch points. One of those has to be a live wire, what I don’t understand is whether the second one on the top (pink arrow) is also another live wire coming in, since the colour coding is all the same.

Is this a typical type of electrical wiring job or is this something more complex (or was someone lazy and didn’t bother putting coloured wires in). It looks a hell of a lot different than other houses I’ve had

It’s an electricians job to do this. If you hire one and pay him it’s his duty to do it. You may even prohibited by law to do it yourself. So I don’t understand why no electrician is willing to do this for you.

For a switch you typically only need 2 wires, one coming from live and one going to your lamp. That may explain why they are all red (color coding is different in different countries). I’m not sure what the bridged wire is for. Maybe you can find a wiring diagram of your switches that explain this. You need to figure out, which of these cables are live and which are going to the lamp (using a multimeter or a phase-checker, but be careful this is dangerous you can get killed). As I mentioned, you might have to install the Shelly in a junction-box, where you have all the wires you need.

They literally just said “it’s not worth it to only install these th8ngs”. I’ve put an ad up for an electrician, we’ll see who bites

A big facepalm for your electricians! (Sorry, that is simply not understandable for me. It’s their f***ing job to do that.)

According to google, the two wires at the top terminal of your switches are the ones going to the lamps. The terminals on the left side in you image are the live wires, or at least one of them is. As far as I understand, one incoming wire is live and is bridged to an outgoing wire that (when bridged) is also live.


BTW: If you are on facebook you might have a look at this group:

Maybe someone there can help you with your wiring problems.

This looks like non us wiring so I can only make general comments, but here goes.

The Shelly requires power as the first thing. It sounds like you have live wire and neutrals in your box. For the neutral you will need to make a jumper wire and connect to the bunch. For the live you need a meter to see what wire the live is coming in on. You do this by measuring with the switches off. Only one spot on each switch should have power.
After that you will need to refer to docs as how to connect the switch lead as I am not familiar with a non us switch.

I highly recommend the buzzer tool for finding ac voltages. It is a non intrusive way to find the line that is live. You can also use it to detect what wire goes live when switching the switch on.

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Those are nice but if you plan to test the power with this tool, for the purpose of physically touching it, I recommend a second check with a real voltage meter. :wink:

I’m an industrial electrician and trust me those buzzers tools are not worth risking your life on. Just to test for power when a switch is flipped, :+1: for trusting your life on. :-1:


@H102 I second that! Definitely need to combine with a real meter. And kill breaker prior to wiring!

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A quick reminder that it is actually illegal to do this yourself in Australia. You need to get a sparky in to do the job. Without colour coded wires and proper equipment you are putting yourself at serious risk. Not to mention your house. And your insurer might not approve…

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Yes, this is ordinary enough in UK style lighting wiring. The colours used to be red=Live and black=Neutral and green=Earth decades ago. It’s still around.

The lighting fixtures are probably fed by a “ring” - Live and Neutral are fed in to each ceiling point and onwards to the next, eventually arriving back at the fusebox. Hence ring.
Elderly lighting rings may not always have an earth present even.
Even older style “star” wiring runs L and N to each fixture individually directly from the fusebox.

From each fixture, the live is taken off to a wallswitch and a switched-live brought back.
Hence red wires both in and out at the wallbox.

And no Neutral present at the wallswitch for use by Shelly etc.

Yep, heard this a million times, I posted on here expecting at least one person to say that. I wasn’t let down.

Has to be said…

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We only know what you tell us, and in this case it did not include “i am aware of the safety and legal risks that I am running”. So you get the lecture, and rightly so.

We also get a number of newbies and first time diyers not aware of the consequense of their actions. Therefore a little word of warning is mandated.


Reading that I find it even more strange that no electrician is willing to do that for him.

Reading between the lines, this is an elderly installation.
There is a professional liability issue if you come along and interfere with parts of an old system.

Example - “Just change this wallswitch”. It should be apparent to the installer that the wiring in the wall is old - so what condition is it in at the ceiling fitting, where it gets heat baked? Is that old fusebox up to the job? This modern wallswitch has an earth terminal - but there is no existing earth wire?

To do the job properly to a professional standard, it’s going to become a (chargeable) whole-house inspection, test and survey. Likely that becomes a recommendation to fully rewire. All before the wallswitch is changed… because the installer could be held liable if after he touches it, the house burns down.

The householder of course, when presented with an estimate to rewire the whole house, pronounces the installer a conman and fraud and posts about it on Facebook.

It’s easier for the installer to turn down the ten-dollar job.

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Fair enough
I’m trying to avoid that by checking with you guys though, that’s why I’m posting :slight_smile:
I’ve put an ad out for a sparky to come round

This sounds like my case however there are black neutral and green/yellow earth in the same wall switch, they are just wrapped in a terminal connector
Bit strange though, the house was only built in 2013 so I wouldn’t have thought it was an older install