2-Way Lighting Using Fibaro Dimmer Modules

IMPORTANT - Read this first!

This guide relates to the ORIGINAL Fibaro Universal Dimmer.

Do NOT follow this guide if you are installing the Fibaro Universal Dimmer 2.

You can cause damage to the device, your lighting circuit and your lights if you ignore this warning!

To install your Fibaro Universal Dimmer 2 device, take a look at the new guide - 2-Way Lighting Using Fibaro Dimmer 2.


One of the things that confuses people the most is installing home automation into an existing 2-Way lighting system. This application note looks at how a Fibaro Dimmer module can be installed to control a 2-way lighting system.

Firstly, what do we mean by 2-way lighting?

This simply refers to a lighting system where one light is controlled by two light switches. Examples of this are where a room has two entrances (each needs a light switch) or for a hall light that can be controlled from the hall and the upstairs landing.

Standard 2-Way Wiring

Standard 2-Way Wiring SystemFigure 1: A standard 2-Way Wiring System.

A 2-core cable (brown and blue) carries the Live and Switched Live to the wall switch and up to the light fitting. An extra 3-core cable (brown, black and grey) connects the two wall switches together; enabling each of them to independently turn the light On or Off.
Note: in some installations two 2-core cables may have been used to connect the switches together, if this is the case the individual cables will be brown and blue rather than brown, black, and grey.

This type of lighting system uses 'Toggle' (latching) switches. These latch in position - for instance when you press the switch to On, the switch physically stays in the On position. These are the standard light switches you'll find already fitted in your home.

Note: To simplify these diagrams, we have not shown the earth cables - but all circuits MUST have the earth cable correctly installed.

Fibaro with Toggle Switches

We can simply install the Fibaro Dimmer module into the 2-way circuit as shown in Figure 2.

2-Way Wiring On/Off Control with the Fibaro DimmerFigure 2: 2-Way Wiring System using the Fibaro Dimmer with Toggle switches.

In this case we keep the standard toggle switches; connecting Switch 1 to the Fibaro's S1 input and Switch 2 to S2 input. The Fibaro is configured to accept S2 as the second switch control of the Dimmer module.

Fibaro Dimmer Parameter Setting:

The following parameters need to be set:

  • 14 - 1 - enables the dimmer to work with a toggle switch (default is 0 for a momentary switch)
  • 17 - 1 - enables the dimmers S2 switch to also control the dimmer (default 0)

 

Fibaro with Momentary Switches

For full On/Off and dim/brightness control we should replace the toggle wall switches with similar styled momentary switches.

2-Way Wiring Full Dimming Control with the Fibaro DimmerFigure 3: 2-Way Wiring System using the Fibaro Dimmer with Momentary switches.

Momentary switches, also known as Retractive or Bell-Push, only remain in the On state while you press them, they return to the Off state when the button is released. This doesn't mean that you have to keep holding the button to keep the light on. The Fibaro's internal controls automatically keep the light on when the button is released.

Fibaro Dimmer Parameter Setting:

The following parameters need to be set:

  • 14 - 0 - keep as default to work with momentary switch
  • 17 - 0 - keep as default

 

By using Momentary switches, the 2-Way wiring is simplified and can easily be extended to create multi-way lighting.

3-Way and Multi-Way Lighting with Fibaro Dimmers

Using the Fibaro Dimmer with momentary switches enables the easy creation of 3-way lighting circuits, in fact an infinite number of momentary switches can be wired in parallel to create 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-way... lighting systems.

Multi-Way Wiring with the Fibaro DimmerFigure 4: Multi-Way Wiring with the Fibaro Dimmer.

 

Alternative 3-way Wiring

Using momentary switches is the preferred option, but if you wish to keep the switches and wiring the same as your existing installation, the Fibaro Dimmer can simply be installed as follows:

A 3-Way Lighting System with Intermediate SwitchFigure 5: A 3-Way Lighting System with Intermediate Switch.

A standard 3-way lighting circuit is shown in Figure 5, the middle switch is an Intermediate (cross-over) switch. Figure 6 shows how the Fibaro Dimmer can be installed into this existing wiring circuit.

Fibaro Dimmer installed in 3-way lighting systemFigure 6: Fibaro Dimmer installed in 3-way lighting system.

Fibaro Dimmer Parameter Setting:

The following parameters need to be set:

  • 14 - 1 - enables the dimmer to work with a toggle switch (default is 0 for a momentary switch)
  • 17 - 1 - enables the dimmers S2 switch to also control the dimmer (default 0)

Alternative Wiring Guides

In this guide we've shown the common 2-way wiring schemes, but there are more.

So if the type you need isn't in this guide take a look at APNT-52 - Alternative 2-Way Wiring for Fibaro Dimmers.

Earthing

All electrical circuits MUST be correctly Earthed.

All cables used in lighting circuits contain a bare Earth wire - this typically has a green/yellow sleeve when it is wired to the switch or backbox. The Earth is a very important part of the electrical system and all switches, appliances and lights must be correctly earthed.

For simplicity we do not show the earth wire in these drawings or explanations as it plays no active role in the day-to-day workings of your light circuits, it is there for your protection in case of emergency.

 

Disclaimer:

Installing the Fibaro Dimmer modules involve working with 240V mains wiring. If you are not comfortable doing this you should consult a qualified electrician. This application note is provided as a guide, all work is are carried out at your own risk. Vesternet do not accept any responsibility or liability.

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Copyright Vesternet 2013

Updated: 13/11/5