Smart switch query

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My living room table lamps are all plugged into 5 amp sockets controlled by a single light switch. I intend to replace this with a smart switch. My query is whether I need to fit a ballast to stop flicker on each lamp???
 
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you need to check that there is a neutral available at the switch , otherwise you may need to use a NON-Neutral smart switch
Ignore the colours - having a black or blue wire does NOT mean it has a neutral - take a photo of the switch disconnected and ALL the wires in switch / backbox
 
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If the switch doesn't have a neutral, then I strongly recommend that you have the wiring altered so that there is one - although plenty of smart switches claim to work without a neutral, problems are pretty much inevitable.
 
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Thanks. Switch has two brown wires to L1 and one brown wire to L2 so I'll be using a Non-Neutral Smart Switch
 
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Thanks. Switch has two brown wires to L1 and one brown wire to L2 so I'll be using a Non-Neutral Smart Switch
 
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Thanks flameproof. This is now looking horribly complicated, when I thought I could just simply install a SONOFF Smart Switch.
 
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There are, but they don't have any endings visible. Anyway, why do I need them for a non- neutral switch ?
 
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There are, but they don't have any endings visible. Anyway, why do I need them for a non- neutral switch ?
If you have three blue wires there, joined together, and not connected to anything else, then they are probably the neutral connection.
There’s no reason to use a “no neutral” smart switch if there’s a useable neutral right there in the box .
Read Flameport’s advice above re using no neutral devices.
 
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I have used Energenie MiHome smart light switches which don't need a neutral.
Started with 1 some 4 - 5 years ago and it worked well, used as no two way switching in bedrooms, expanded to 5 around 2 - 3 years ago, and found problems used with some LED bulbs, the E27, BA22d, and E14 all seemed OK, but the G9 caused a lot of problems, and had to swap GU10 until found 3 that worked OK.

The G9 flashed when off cured by using a load capacitor load-capacitor.jpg but also a shimmer when on, swapping one bulb to a tungsten stopped shimmer, but in the end did find a bulb that worked, G9-comp.jpg the smaller bulb had shimmer, had one of the larger ones fail, so opened to have a look, found fault, but also could see why no shimmer, there was a smoothing capacitor inside the bulb nearly as big as the whole of the smaller bulb.

The shimmer is clearly a reaction between the switch and bulb, however that is not the end of the story.

I started to have problems with lights not turning on or not turning off, switch off supply (reboot) and it did work again, also had one turned itself into a flasher unit, so now only 2 of the 5 still in service. Also had one smart socket go faulty.

To remove a smart switch or smart socket I need to go outside, down a set of steps and into what is now a flat, it was originally a garage to switch off power, but to remove a smart bulb or plug in smart device I can do it local to the device. So today prefer plug in devices, had one smart bulb fail (GU10 colour changing) but in the main they seem to work well, needed to reboot the zigbee hub once, but the energenie hub lost count how many times.

Whole idea of smart devices is to make it easier, the two remaining lights switches both have remote controls so very handy to switch on/off from the bed. The landing light bulb not so handy as needs the smartlife app to boot up first with phone, intend to replace with a relay, the bottom of stairs switch is not easy to reach, so that light is on a simple timed on/off. Outside light again timed on/off.

We have auxiliary display cabinet lights on a smart extension lead, (energenie) which like the light switches uses a remote control as well as phone. We have one zigbee remote control, and really the phone is a pain as so often mobile phone not to hand, remote controls far better.

Some of the zigbee show on/off, except for the energy monitor the energenie do not show state, so if used to power for example the AC unit, one has no idea if it has actually switched on.

I do like the automation, but the Nest Mini acted like a mischievous little boy, playing BBC radio 4 we would say hey google turn off, get reply turning off 5 switches and all lights when out, command hey google turn the lights back on, got I don't know how to do that yet, so took lights and central heating off google Nest Mini control.

Son seems to have had better results with Alexa, but maybe he is just better at programming it, and Grand Children thought it was funny telling Nest Mini to do something after they had left.

We have no FM radio here so the Nest Mini does work well. However one does need to be careful what one allows it to control.
 
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Whole idea of smart devices is to make it easier,

Are you sure that is the real motive for manufacturing and selling them ?

Could it be that the profit from selling a lump of electronics is significantly greater than the profit from selling a simple mechanical switch.

Easier, yes it is easier for a few people to increase their income.
 
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People selling clearly want to make money. People buy them to make life easier.

If they fail then they need replacing. And if the work replacing is too much then on balance they are not worth fitting.
 
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