- Smart home
- Smart lighting
- Smart energy meters
- Heating and ventilation
- Smart plug
- Household appliances
- Smart windows
- Home automation
- Smart technologies
The difference between 2 wire and 3 wire dimmers
When shopping for a smart dimmer module or smart dimmer switches, you need to know a little bit about your lighting system. They basically fall into one of two categories, namely 2 wire and 3 wire lighting systems. The 2 wire system differs from the 3 wire one in that it's missing the Neutral wire at the switch. The 2 wire system is the most commonly used system in Europe, but you should still check with your electrician or home documentation, just to be sure. It's important to note that counting the wires alone can be misleading, as even 2 wire systems also have three wires, with the third one being the Earth wire. While the Earth wire is important as a safety precaution, only the first two wires are actually crucial for operation of your lights and switches.
Once you are sure about the number of wires
Since the 3 wire system is less common, you will most probably opt for a 2 wire dimmer switch. They are clearly labelled as such, but you still might want to double check with the store and save yourself any unnecessary return and exchange hassle. Once you have the right equipment, just follow the instructions for installation. Dimmer modules and switches are generally easy to install and don't necesserily require the help of a professional electrician.
Chosing the technology
If you are just starting out with smart dimmer switches, it is wise to put some thought into chosing the right technology, as you will have to use the same one with any additional smart home systems you add on in the future. More and more, z-wave has been emerging as a leading protocol in smart home systems. Z-wave is reliable and safe, and very resistant to outside interference, as it operates at low energy radio waves which are not very suitable for other purposes. Another benefit of z-wave technology is that it connects appliances, in this case dimmers, to one another rather than each one of them to one central location. This mesh organisation greatly expands the reach of a z-wave dimmer module. Once connected thorugh z-wave, all your dimmer switches can be controlled remotely, wirelessly, via your smart phone, tablet or hub, from wherever you are, as long as there is a wireless internet connection available.
Always check for compatibility
Hopefully, your journey through a life of smart automation will be a long and expanding one. Therefore you need to carefully select every new upgrade to ensure that all your systems remain compatible and allow maximal interoperability through the years. Z-wave is a great choice in this respect, as it is used by an ever increasing number of manufacturers of smart home equipment. Because of its benefits, all the companies using it have been collaborating to ensure compatibility among different products, regardless of the company that made them. Particularly z-wave dimmers are a great place to start this exciting journey.