7 Dec 2021
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United Kingdom

Apologies if this is in the wrong place/wrongly formatted etc, first time poster here.

I am currently looking at swapping our old "dumb" bulbs in two rooms with smart LED strips to be wired into the mains, and fit into some cornicing/coving. We know someone who is fitting it for us, but as his English isn't great and our knowledge of electronics isn't great I have been struggling to ask him these questions, so I was hoping to get some help here.

Details of the rooms and the requirements:

Living Room - 17.4m
- Warm white
- Dimmable via Alexa

Hallway - 5.5m
- Warm white
- Motion sense on/off with different dim % depending on different times of day

I looked into Hue strips but for the length we need it's more than we're willing to spend. So, as an alternative I have been looking at getting dimmable, "dumb" led strips, a wifi/zigbee controller for each room (, two Hue dimmer controllers, a Hue motion sensor and a Hue bridge.

The led strip I have found appears to have a dimmer between the strip and the controller (

I have some questions:
- Will this in-line dimmer need to be removed? Or does it mean an external/3rd party dimmer won't work?
- Regardless of led strip used, do I need a dimmer and a motion sensor to control the insensity and timing of the hallway lights?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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1) Although there are electronic switches which will work without a neutral, you need to use large bulbs as the smaller bulbs tend to flash when off or shimmer when on.
2) Dimmer can be fitted in the switch or lamp, often if no neutral at switch in the lamp is only way.
3) You can get dimmable bulbs.
4) You can get wifi PIR's
The problem as I found the hard way is you can end up with a collection of hubs. However although some of our bulbs use zigbee and some are direct, both use Smart Life app to control them, but to get the remote to work with bulb both needed to be zigbee.

Why I don't know, but for me to bring up smart life app often it takes 2 to 3 minutes, by wife can get it in seconds. I don't walk around the house with my phone, once home it goes on charge, so for me I want switch to work.

I have settled with a relay, seen here testing it DSC_6059.jpg DSC_6058.jpg but does not dim as such just use 1 or 4 or 5 lamps, the relay changes state either with wall switch or with phone so best of both.

I am sure at the moment (70 years old) I could program a PLC to do all I want, but can I still do it at 80, and if it goes wrong who will fix it? As things get more complex getting them repaired gets harder. Last week the storms caused the EE mast to fail and this resulted in my getting cold as the central heating geofencing thought I was not home.

I would suggest either dim or PIR not both, not saying can't be done, but you want to be able to maintain it.
Personally I would bite the bullet and use Hue components as they will do what you want, and can work from a normal switch as well. Failing that, have a look at the samotech sm309. This is a zigbee dimmer which a hue hub sees as a hue bulb - I have two of the sm308s (the non-dimmer version) in both an LED batten and a twin-fluorescent strip. You can connect a momentary switch for manual actuation in addition to hue/alexa.

However, as I say I think Hue is the way to go. They are expensive but all the hue stuff in my experience (and I have quite a lot - never totted up what I've spent :eek:) is very high quality and they do honour their 2 year warranty ( I had a bulb stop working, and after phoning through the serial number, a replacement was sent). You could also then use the battery dimmer switches as well. Hue also has a PIR sensor in the range to work with hue lights.
It depends on how you use your mobile phone, I get home and place the mobile on charge and will not touch it again until ready to go out again, my wife however it is glued to her it seems, she is never without it. So for me zigbee is a pain as need to find phone to alter, for her it is great.
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So for me zigbee is a pain as need to find phone to alter,

not if you have an alexa and/or hue remote dimmer switches

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