Question Confused about wifi enabled smart light switches

techno79

Active Member
Just wanting to explore options, so just hypothetically speaking:

What if all my light switches were put in without neutral. 2 years down the line, if I wanted to have the lighting re-wired to add neutral to the light switch, will this be a big job? How much effort and cost will it be? Will someone have to pull down the entire ceiling to access the lighting wires?
 

Seb Briggs

Distinguished Member
That will very much depending on the cable runs that your electrician installs and how physically the your ceilings are configured.
 

techno79

Active Member
I'm not sure the details of the configuration but here's some photos of some of the wiring that's in progress.
 

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Seb Briggs

Distinguished Member
Have you asked for Neutral at the switch ?
Maybe if they arent running it, ask them how they would allow for it to be done at a later date

The issue probably wouldnt be in the ceiling as there is neutral there but how they would get this down to the light switches. A draw wire. conduit etc
 

techno79

Active Member
Have you asked for Neutral at the switch ?
Maybe if they arent running it, ask them how they would allow for it to be done at a later date

The issue probably wouldnt be in the ceiling as there is neutral there but how they would get this down to the light switches. A draw wire. conduit etc

I am trying but I think misunderstandings are happening as I don't fully understand everything myself. I'm speaking to the person who is managing the renovation work but he is then chatting to his electrician.

However, I've just found out that having a neutral wired switch, doesn't prevent using an old fashioned light switch and thus asking them to include neutral at the light switch gives me the most flexibility for future.

For argument sake, say it costs me £100 to have the light switches wired without neutral or £100 to have them wired with neutral. What possible reasons are there for me not to wire them with neutral?
 

Seb Briggs

Distinguished Member
Thats correct neutral at the switch doesnt have any affect on the light switch used

There is no reason, no neutral is slightly cheaper for the electrician as less physical wire to install

Seb
 

techno79

Active Member
Thats correct neutral at the switch doesnt have any affect on the light switch used

There is no reason, no neutral is slightly cheaper for the electrician as less physical wire to install

Seb

Perfect, that's exactly the info I need to insist that the neutral wiring of switches is done from now. As you can see in the photo, the ceiling is open, and doing this wiring would be at it's easiest now. I don't know why there is so much reluctance at this point for the building project manager to make this happen.
 

techno79

Active Member
And just to be clear, when using a neutral wired switch with a switch that doesn't require neutral. This Connector Block will be tucked in safely behind the actual switch plate?

1600262787620.png
 

techno79

Active Member
Slight update with the wiring renovation. So the lights were wired up in the old fashioned way with the junction box near the first light and with no neutral at the light switch.

I requested to the renovation company that the lights be wired so there's neutral at the light switch. They assured me that they'd get their electrician to do this. I've now visited the property after the electrician has completed the job and what it seems like they've done, they've routed a single blue neutral wire from the junction box near the first light to the light switch.

This wasn't what I was expecting, as I was expecting the equivalent of the power input junction box to be moved to behind the light switch. However, does this provide me with the same functionality? Will this allow me to wire up a smart light switch that requires a neutral wire?
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
In short yes. The neutral is only required to provide power to the smart module. You will be fine
 

techno79

Active Member
In short yes. The neutral is only required to provide power to the smart module. You will be fine

That's awesome, thanks for the confirmation. I guess being a complete beginner with electrical wiring, I was thrown by what they said.

Out of interest, if this method works fine then what's the benefit in wiring the light switch with the equivalent of the junction box behind it?
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
I have never seen a junction box behind a light switch. I have only ever seen cables into a back box.
 

techno79

Active Member
I have never seen a junction box behind a light switch. I have only ever seen cables into a back box.

Sorry, that's down to my lack of understanding. I think what I meant was (according to my understanding):

Old fashioned cabling had the power in T&E cable coming to the first light fitting and then another T&E cable going to the light switch.

The new style wiring has the power in T&E cable going to the light switch first, and then another T&E cable going to the light fitting.

It sounds as though like I have a hybrid solution where I have the old fashioned cabling but with a single blue neutral wire going to the light switch.

If the new style wiring and the hybrid style wiring are effectively the same, then why isn't the hybrid version more common? Feels like you'd use less wire. No?
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Some sparks wire 2 drops of T&E to the switch but this is actually more cabling in many circumstances, so its easier and more common to drop triple and earth which is effectively what you have. Excluding the PE you only actually need 3 conductors for a smart module (that needs a Neutral) to work.
 

techno79

Active Member
Some sparks wire 2 drops of T&E to the switch but this is actually more cabling in many circumstances, so its easier and more common to drop triple and earth which is effectively what you have. Excluding the PE you only actually need 3 conductors for a smart module (that needs a Neutral) to work.
Gotcha. Thanks for explaining
 

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