Home Automation Lighting with LightwaveRF
LightwaveRF is a low-cost wireless home automation technology ideally suited to simple control of lighting and power sockets.
The LightwaveRF range of dimmers and sockets are stylish and easily retro-fitted into existing installations, making it ideal for quick, easy control of lighting.
How it works
LightwaveRF devices are paired directly with each other. So a LightwaveRF remote control or sensor is directly paired with the dimmer or socket that it will control. This makes LightwaveRF very easy to setup and you can be up and running in minutes. Each LightwaveRF device can be paired with up to six controlling devices, so you have lots of scope to use as many sensors and remote controls as you like.
A key thing to remember with LightwaveRF devices is that dimmers and sockets are receivers only - they do not transmit any acknowledgements or status updates. In the same respect, LightwaveRF remote controls and sensors are only transmitters, they send command signals to the dimmer or socket they are paired with.
The system can be used together with the optional LightwaveRF Link controller that allows you to control the lights from a smartphone or tablet while you are at home or even away.
Moods allow you to control a number of LightwaveRF devices all as one group. The mood can set dimmers to different brightness levels and some devices On and others Off. So a movie mood could change the lighting so the main room lights turn off and the table lamps dim down to 20%.
LightwaveRF is ideal for most applications, however, it does not have the advanced features of a mesh network technology such as Z-Wave, so be sure to check out the Z-Wave Lighting guide or our in-depth comparison of LightwaveRF and Z-Wave.
Upgrading your lighting with LightwaveRF is straightforward, it is designed to easily replace existing light switches or sockets, so you can do it or any qualified electrician will be able to do it for you. However, before going ahead, there are a few things to consider or double check.
Back Box Depth
The LightwaveRF Dimmers are slightly deeper than standard light switches, actually all dimmers are, as they have electronic components inside which take up additional space. The LightwaveRF dimmers are 23mm deep, so you need a back-box that it is at least 25mm (preferably deeper as you will also need space for cables). The LightwaveRF Wire-Free switches can be mounted on any flat surface or over an existing (unused back-box), so they have no special depth requirements.
All LightwaveRF Wall Dimmers are dimmers - they are not switches. This sounds silly, but it is an important thing to remember. In day-to-day operation they can dim lights as well as turning them On and Off so they behave like switches. They operate as follows:
- Click and Release (Top Button) - turns light On to previously set dim level
- Click and Release (Bottom Button) - turns light Off
- Click and Hold (Top Button) - increases brightness, releasing it keeps the lamp at that brightness
- Click and Hold (Bottom Button) - decreases brightness, releasing it keeps the lamp at that brightness
The LightwaveRF dimmers must be used with dimmable bulbs such as Incandescent, Halogen and LED. They cannot be used with non-dimmable bulbs such as CFL (Energy saving), fluorescent, or non-dimmable LEDs. Using the dimmers with non-dimmable bulbs can damage the dimmer and bulb. LightwaveRF wall plugs and sockets can be used with any bulb type.
2-way and Multi-way Light Circuits
LightwaveRF dimmers can be used in 2-way light circuits - these have one light circuit controlled by two (or more light) switches, such as a landing light that can be controlled from upstairs and downstairs. There are two ways to use LightwaveRF dimmers in 2-way lighting by using them together with:
- LightwaveRF Slaves - these use the existing wiring, you must have one LightwaveRF master (see below) and a LightwaveRF Slave. More information is shown in Using LightwaveRF in 2-way circuits.
- LightwaveRF Wire-Free Switches - can be mounted anyway and control any LightwaveRF dimmer just like in a 2-way system. More information in LightwaveRF Wire-Free Switches in 2-Way Lighting.
Components - what they do
To add LightwaveRF home automation control of your lighting you can start with as few as two components and expand your system from there.
LightwaveRF Wall Dimmers are wired into your lighting circuit and replace your existing wall switch. They are able to control the lights (on/off and brightness) and you are able to control them using a LightwaveRF remote control, sensor or from a smartphone/tablet via the LightwaveRF Link. There are two types of LightwaveRF Wall dimmer:
- Wall Dimmers (Master)
This is the most common LightwaveRF dimmer used to directly replace existing light switches. The Master Dimmers are available with 1, 2, 3 and 4 gangs.
- Wall Dimmers (Slaves)
LightwaveRF slave dimmers are used together with master dimmers when used in 2-way lighting circuits (one circuit controlled from two or more switches). More information is in our guide Using LightwaveRF Dimmers in 2-way circuits.
Wall Plugs and Sockets
LightwaveRF Wall Plugs and Sockets allow you to easily control lamps and other appliances wirelessly.
- Wall Plugs
Simply plug them into the wall socket and you have wireless control of the attached lamp. They are available in Dimmer (2-pack) and On/Off Switch (3-pack) versions, they also include a handheld remote control meaning these are the ideal low cost way to start using LightwaveRF to control your lights.
- Wall Sockets
Replace existing 1-gang and 2-gang 13A wall sockets, allowing you to wirelessly control the lamp or appliance.
Inline Dimmers & Relays
The Inline dimmers and relays can be wired into your electrical circuit and provide control of the lights or sockets. They are designed to be hidden in ceilings, floors, cupboards etc and need to be used with LightwaveRF Wire-Free switches or remote controls. These are available in Dimmer, Relay (3000W), Relay (500W) and 3-Channel Relay versions.
Wire-Free Wall Switches
These battery-powered switches are completely wire-free and can be positioned anywhere for convenient control of other LightwaveRF devices.
- Wire-Free Wall Switches
Battery-powered wall switches that operate just like remote controls, allowing you to control LightwaveRF dimmers, sockets and relays. They are completely wire-free and can be mounted anywhere. Available in 1-gang and 2-gang versions.
- Mood Controller
Similar to the Wire-Free Wall Switches, the Mood Controller can be positioned anywhere and control an unlimited number of LightwaveRF dimmers, sockets and relays. Set the buttons to control the devices based on programmed moods and instantly change your lighting with a single button press.
Sensors to automatically turn your lights On and Off.
- Motion Sensor (PIR)
Turns On the dimmer or socket it is paired with when motion is detected and turns them off again after pre-set interval.
- Door/Window Sensor
Turns on the paired devices when the door or window is opened, and then turns them off after a set time.
The LightwaveRF controllers give you further control of the lighting from handheld remotes or your smartphone.
- LightwaveRF Link
The LightwaveRF Link connects to your Wi-Fi router allowing you to control your LightwaveRF system from your smartphone, tablet or computer. It also gives you remote access so that you can control devices even if you are away from home.
- LightwaveRF Handheld Remotes
Simple handheld remote controls give you instant control of your LightwaveRF devices at the touch of a button.
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