Project Europa | 240V Smart Switch(es) For Europe (EU) - Zigbee, Thread/Matter

This is a little different than our traditional project sequence in that we don’t have a concept built out yet (we have ideas, but we’ll build this together since I’m not at all familiar with the EU market). I look forward to working with everyone to build an amazing switch. It’s truly beautiful being able to work with people all over the world!


Project Team
Feel free to tag any of us with questions. Myself (Eric H) & Darwyn are the go-to’s for overall project management and timeline questions, Eric M is the go-to for any firmware related questions and I’m (Eric H) the go-to for anything else. Either way, we’re all here to help!


Introduction
As per our tradition of working with you amazing people, here’s what this thread allows us to do as a community.

  1. Allows us to keep everyone updated on the project status (either good or bad)
  2. Allows you to participate and help us develop amazing products together
  3. Enjoy each other’s company and have fun talking home automation

How this initial post will be laid out is in five sections:

  1. Project Overview
  2. Initial Hardware & Software Requirements (edited to remain up-to-date)
  3. Timeline (edited to remain up-to-date)
  4. Pinned Ideas & Shout-outs (edited to remain up-to-date)
  5. Monthly Recap

Housekeeping

  • DATES & FUNCTIONS ARE NOT SET IN STONE: Just a reminder that all dates and functions are sometimes fluid. We have to make choices based on feasibility, opportunity costs, and overall timeline. I will be as transparent as possible on these decisions, but just a heads up, they may not always be exciting.
  • NO IDEA IS A BAD IDEA: Ok, some are, but honestly throw out anything that you can think of. If we use your idea, we’ll credit you and send you a free device, so take that shot!
  • VERSION 1 VS VERSION 2: Some ideas may be fantastic, but may not make the cut for the first version of the product. Once the product is locked in from a function standpoint, we’ll keep a tally of V2 ideas and then once the product is produced, we’ll move the ideas over to a suggestions/wishlist section.

Project Overview
The purpose of this project is to bring the Inovelli community built magic across the world and into the European Union (and potentially the Australian market).

For at least 6+ years many passionate smart home owners from across the ocean have reached out to us and requested that we create a 240V version of our products over to their market. In fact, we get about 1-2 requests per week either via tickets or social media and we believe now is the time to make this happen.

However, this isn’t going to be an easy task as there are a lot of obstacles to overcome (new market with rules/regulations we’re unsure of, capital expenditures we don’t have, design aesthetics we’re unsure of, etc). But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the power of a community can bring these ideas to life and it’s what I’m banking on to bring this project success.

I’m excited to see what the next 6+ months bring and I will fight my hardest right beside you along the way!

Project Name - Europa

I chose the name Europa because it’s said that Europe was named after the Greek princess, Europa. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but it sounded cool. In addition, ever since I was a kid, I’ve had this fascination with Jupiter (the planet) and Europa is one of its moons.

How does this all relate to this project? Simple. We’re developing a switch (and hopefully entire line) for our friends in Europe and to be able to create something for what seems like a far away (like Jupiter is to Earth) is a welcomed challenge.

Hope that’s not too corny :slight_smile:


Europa - Hardware Requirements
We will be using the hardware ideas from our current Blue and White Series 2-1’s, but we will tweak it for the EU.

Hardware

Initial Concepts

Option #1 - Bezel-less Design


Option #2 - Bezel Design


Option #3 - Bezel Design #2

Hardware - Look/Feel

  • Responsive Paddle: rests in a neutral state (momentary switch style)
    • On/Off Switch – Tap Up 1x = On, Tap Down 1x = Off
    • Dimmer Switch – Tap Up 1x = On, Hold Up = Dim Brighter, Tap Down 1x = Off, Hold Down = Dim Darker
  • Config / Favorite Button: button should be used for configuration of the switch as well as scene control (if Thread supports it).
    • Should be able to be held (for config)
    • Should be able to be tapped (for scene control)
  • RGB LED Bar: should measure the % of how much the switch is dimmed and show on/off status
    • LED’s should be RGBW
    • LED’s should also be able to be dimmed
  • Colors: switches will be offered in white (matching xxxx brand - need to figure out the most popular brand), but the paddle should be able to be replaced to change colors (almond, brown, red, black, grey, etc) and adapt to different European styles
  • Slim Design: depth of switch should be as slim as possible so that it can fit into metal boxes.
  • Square vs Circle Backing: the switch should fit into both square and circle gang-boxes (possibly include an adapter)

Hardware - Features & Capabilities

  • Zigbee and/or Thread/Matter: We will use the MG24 chipset
  • 3-Way / 4-Way Ready: should work in multiple different settings in a 3 & 4 Way setting
    • Should work with our auxiliary switch
    • Should work with an existing dumb switch
    • Should work with another smart switch
  • Power Monitoring: switch should measure the power consumption
  • Instant On: when tapped 1x (and scenes aren’t used), switch should turn the bulb on instantly (no delay)
  • CFL & LED Compatibility: minimum buzz and flickering
  • Neutral & Non-Neutral Compatibility: switch should be able to work with a neutral wire or without a neutral wire
    • Should auto-detect which setting it’s in (neutral/non-neutral) and if it can’t, then there should be a manual override.
  • Humidity/Temp Sensor: there should be a humidity sensor built in under the paddle similar to our On/Off switch
  • Lux Sensor: lux sensor should be built in
  • mmWave Sensor (potential): there is a potential to add an mmWave sensor if the market sees fit – personally, I think this could be an alternative switch after the initial ones are sold

Europa - Software Requirements
Below is what we came up with for the software requirements. A lot has been inspired from our Blue Series 2-1 switch!

  • Multi-Tap Scene Control: switch will support multi-taps (ie: tap 2x = night-time routine, 3x = xxx, 4x = yyy, etc)
  • Notifications via RGB Bars: there will not be animated notifications (Zigbee) and solid color changing notifications (via an endpoint) for Thread
  • RGB Bars Config: bar should be able to change colors and also dimmed to the customers favorite level
  • Auto Timer: switch should have a timer that shuts the switch off after a certain amount of time
  • Easy Config: switch should be able to be configured via the config/favorites button.
    • There should be infinite customization via parameters in the firmware, but also set customizations for HUB’s that do not allow parameter changes (ie: HomeKit, Google Home, Philips, etc)
  • Set Min/Max Level: minimum dim level / maximum dim level
  • Ramp Rate Configuration: ability to change how fast/slow light turns on
  • Ramp rate & instant on/off separated
  • Default Dim Level: ability to set the default dim level
  • OTA Ready: ability to update firmware via OTA
  • Associations we are researching this - there doesn’t appear to be anything similar to Z-Wave Associations or Zigbee Bindings as of right now
  • Smart Bulb Mode: mimic our current implementation of Smart Bulb Mode

Timeline
Ah, everyone’s favorite part. When is this flippin thing going to be released? Great question – here’s the high-level of what happens leading up to the first release of the timeline:

  1. We present a PRD (Project Request Document) that has all of the above info in it (see above section for the pdf)
  2. R&D (manufacturer) analyzes the PRD and we go back and forth until we can align on 90% of the product
  3. Initial Timeline is released and remaining 10% of product features are added/cut along the way

Again, just want to throw this out there – I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t predict things that come up along the way. Trust me when I say we’re trying our best to get things launched on time.

Pre-Initial Timeline Milestones:

  • Brainstorm with Community on Design/Features:: In Progress
  • Present PRD: Not Started
  • R&D Analyzation: Not Started
  • Initial Timeline Released: Not Started
  • Crowdfunding via Indiegogo: Not Started

Timeline (Estimated)

The initial timeline will be shown below and will be updated monthly.

Develop Initial Firmware

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Create Samples for Beta Testing

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Round 1 Firmware Test

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Round 2 Firmware Test

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Round 3 Firmware Test

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Final Firmware Test

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Manual Creation

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: IN PROGRESS

Box Design + Inserts & Wiring Guide, etc

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: IN PROGRESS

Matter Certification

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

FCC/IC Certification

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

UL Certification

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Mass Production

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Status: NOT STARTED

Pinned Ideas & Shout-Outs
Here are the ideas from the community. We sincerely appreciate them, we love them, and we couldn’t create the products we do without them. So, thank you for your input and let’s continue to innovate together and change the home automation category for the better (NOTE: if an idea is crossed out, it’s not because it wasn’t valid, nor was it something we didn’t consider – we’ve discussed it internally or with the manufacturer and unfortunately it was not feasible).

Project Updates
Here is where I’ll give a monthly update.

Feb 7, 2024: Finally was able to convince the partners to explore this seriously. Special thanks to everyone over the years who’s asked and shown their support for us! It really paid off and helped :slight_smile: Let’s get this party started!

3 Likes

Alright everyone, I have an initial question about design.

Bezeless design (white/black picture shown below)

Word on the street is that this is very uncommon and the concern is this will be a learning curve for guests as this switch does not look/feel like the current, “dumb” switches. In addition, our European contact mentioned these designs may be interpreted as, “Chinese”. Do you think this a concern we should consider?

To be clear, I love the look of this switch. Like really love it. It allows us to encompass the config/favorites button (think of it as a button you can quickly tap to activate a scene) as well as a lux sensor with the real-estate at the top (whereas a traditional looking EU switch does not).

But, the design is more up to you all as you know the market better than me.

EDIT: Just whipped up a concept with the bezel

Hi,

So happy to hear that you’re considering us across the pond! The second concept you had with the square design looks more like what we have here. Here is a popular option used at least here in the nordics by Schneider Electric: Exxact | Schneider Electric

They also have a (poor selection, very expensive) smart switch selection called Wiser Wiser | Schneider Electric that uses Zigbee. I haven’t invested in them due to their astronomical price and low customisation options, they also don’t officially support any 3rd party ecosystems outside their own so ZHA/Z2M support is not the best, but that’s what you can do when you have no real competition. Aqara also has some switches available but they are the Chinese style ones that don’t fit our boxes if you have anything else near them.

We usually have switch frames that hold multiple switches like this, so the size/shape is important:
image

Some feature requests:

  • Smart bulb support (bypass internal relay of switch)
  • Support for push-dim/switch-dim LED drivers (momentary press on/off, long press brightness up/down)
  • The mmWave you recommeded would be nice but not necessary
  • You said you wouldn’t, but would also love the option to customise the RGB brightness/color using automations to show state/alerts

Also I’m up for crowdfunding!

Capturing some of the comments from Reddit (since it’s long, I’m going to TLDR it and you can click on the drop-down to read the entire comment if you’d like):

u/criterion67 - Benefits and ideas from the US Version

I’m located here in the US, so I have the benefit of enjoying all of the awesome goodness that Inovelli provides for our market.

You will not find a better quality smart switch with as many onboard customizable options, anywhere else on the market! They use top notch materials and the designs are quite attractive. I just installed another switch today (a fan control switch)!

I love that I can use them not only as a standard smart switches, but also to trigger multiple automations depending on the chosen number of button (paddle) presses. For example, one of my Blue series 2-1 switches in my primary bedroom, not only controls the lighting with standard on/ off/dimming capabilities, but I also use multiple paddle presses as triggers for other automations. The LEDs are also fully customizable for both color and animation type. I use this feature for various notifications. In this particular use case, I have Philips Hue bulbs in the bedroom and use the smart bulb mode on the switch to keep the power constant to the bulbs. The paddle presses are still able to control them.

If I press the up paddle 5x, It will open my garage door and the LEDs will display a rising animation in red. If I press the down paddle 5x, it will close the garage door and the LEDs will display a falling animation in green.

A 2x press of the config button will initiate a cleaning cycle for that particular room using my Dreame robot vacuum/mop. The LEDs will flash purple as a confirmation. I use the same cleaning automation with switches in other rooms of my home as well.

A 3x press of the config button will unlock my front door, whereas a 4x press, will lock all exterior doors.

Some of you in the EU and down under may want to consider donating & shipping some of your local design switches, so that Eric can have something in hand to use for testing, inspiration and design.

I know that my post is long and I wouldn’t have taken the time to share all of this if I didn’t truly love Inovelli as a company and their products!

I hope you guys can make this a reality as everyone around the world should be able to enjoy Inovelli! :+1:

Inovelli Response

Hey thanks u/criterion67! Read the entire comment and I sincerely appreciate it :slight_smile:

I love what the community allows us to do – we couldn’t build these switches without you guys, so I’m really hoping we can keep this same energy and strategy and replicate it overseas. I’m sure there are a lot of hungry smart home owners who want to design some products together!

I just bought some Aqara H1’s (those things look really cool) but yeah, I’d love any and all options so we can study them, that’s a great idea.

PS - I love seeing the use-cases, that’s actually my favorite part of reading comments. I have the same setup in my bedroom with the Blue 2-1’s and the Hue lights. Zigbee Bindings are amazing!

u/Be_Shadow - EU/Switzerland Perspective on Design

Eric, all of these designs are common in EU and Switzerland. The dial version is mainly used for dimmers, but for such a use case you can think of any alternative. The main difference to US is that EU uses exclusively the square type frame that fits in the wall box.

Inovelli Response

Awesome, thanks! Yeah we have a dial version too, but I’ve only seen one of those as a dimmer switch (Lutron Aurora) and the design isn’t really that popular anymore. Most dimmer switches you hold up or down on the paddle and that will dim.

Are dimmers popular over there or is it mainly On/Off?

Also, does the switch that’s at the bottom left control two loads? I’ve even seen switches that have three rectangle toggles in them.

Yes, nowdays the dimmers tend to be as you described. Dials/knobs are considered a bit old fashioned.

The switch at the bottom right (not left) with two buttons in one frame are generally used to control two different loads.

Also, i think the EU standard that covers dimensions and electrical specs for household use switches is the EN/IEC 60669 series.

u/blidgency - EU/Scandinavian Perspective on Design and Function

I’m located in Sweden and here in Scandinavia at least, the square one and the two rectangles are the absolute most common. And a sophisticated design is something that would fit very well. What’s really lacking here in Europe is switches with up/down buttons that also supports smart bulbs. For me here in Sweden, to get up/down wall switches I’d have to turn to battery powered Zigbee switches, and we all know that battery powered isn’t as good as switches running on mains.

Inovelli Response

Tagging u/Be_Shadow too since I’m replying to your comment :slight_smile:

I’m trying to understand how the switch works currently (it’s been a while since I visited China which had the same style switch and I just can’t remember).

Let’s take the square style switches (bottom left and bottom right) – do you press on the bottom part to turn it off and the top part to turn it on? Or do you just press on the bottom once to turn it off and press on the bottom again to turn it on?

My thoughts would be that it would make the most sense to design the switch using the latter method so that the switch always rests in the same spot and the LED Bar could turn on when the light is on, and off when the light is off.

Hopefully I made sense?

Both are available depending what switch you have. If it’s a regular “dumb” switch you click up to turn it on, and it stays up until you click it down for off and it stays there. Of course there’s more expensive alternatives, i have a 2 gang centre off switch for 170$ with a smart relay behind it in the living room…

If we put smart relays behind them or if it’s a dimmer it’s possible to put springs behind the buttons to make them momentary, and the button stays in the down position until it’s pushed. When released it returns back down.

I hope this answers your question!

Inovelli Response

Yeah definitely – seems very similar to the US then, which is nice.

Do you think people would prefer the momentary style for a smart switch?

I do think people would prefer momentary switches. Since I’m in Sweden, and all of us of course has IKEA smart bulbs, i have many friends who has made their dumb switches “momentary” by putting in a spring just because people come over and use the switches :smiley:

Inovelli Response

That’s great! Easier to make so that works out :slight_smile:

u/Crytexx - EU Perspective

Eric, I think I love you. This is awesome and honestly surprising you have commented on my year old post!

I will comment on your sticky thread with some answers, ideas and pictures by the end of the week. Currently it is pretty late at night for me, so I am just commenting to give this post some traction (for the SEO ;))

Again. Amazing. I am so excited already!

Inovelli Response

Haha, thanks dude! I’ll be honest, I just typed in, “240V Inovelli” into Google and just started clicking and hoping anyone was still interested lol

We need all the help possible to get this going and I need to get up to speed on the EU market so I appreciate you coming in and commenting.

I’m looking forward to getting this up and running as well!

I appreciate you!

u/ADHDK, u/brwnie, u/Lurker_81 - Australian Perspective on Design and Function

Australia might use 220-240 power, but we have 1-4 gang switches in these styles with a standard plate size. 4 gang is quite common, meaning if a plate maxes at 2 it’s more work and more permanent upgrade an existing point by adding another plate and wall box.

Probably the only nice looking smart switch available here with modern ecosystems is the LIFX

We also have our own electrical standards requiring certification, and all installs must be made by a licensed electrician no DIY allowed to mains power.

While dimmers seem to be ignored for the EU market, I’ll say a lot of new builds in Australia would have dimmer capable downlights with dimmer switches for dumb lights being a large appeal. New builds downlights are pretty much all tail and plug in the ceiling for ease of use and replacement. Here’s the product sheet for the down lights I just pulled from my ceiling when installing Nanoleaf.

Honestly I’d likely have just kept these downlights if there were decent wall switch replacement options with dimmer.

Inovelli Response

Fantastic, this gives me a ton of info to go off of, thank you so much!

u/magformer - UK Perspective on Design Differences

First, this great and I’d be very interested in another 240v option.

In Europe, I’d say the aesthetic of switches in continental Europe is quite different to the UK/Ireland. Your render looks quite “continental” - the large buttons occupying most of the face of the switch, and the rounded edges.

In the UK and Ireland, switches tend to look quite different - the switches themselves are almost invariably smaller relative to the faceplate and they tend to have either square edges or more acute rounded edges for more “premium” switches. Also retractive switches are fairly uncommon for normal domestic lighting in UK/IE.

If you put these in the UK/Irish home they would definitely stand out. There is a segment of the market that wants smart switches here that don’t obviously look “smart”. I could be totally wrong about this as a non-US person but it seems like Inovelli switches have a lot of design elements in common with typical non-smart US switches. I’d say these renders are sort of the same idea for the continent, but not UK.

But current/competing 240V smart switches also don’t fit in so you could do that type of product better than others, and assume those who want really conventional looking switches will buy relays.

There’s a real lack of good dimmer options and I could see something that mimics a traditional rotary dimmer doing well. There are a few options, e.g. iolloi but they are expensive and hard enough to find.

One practical point to consider is that different EU countries have different types and shapes of electrical back box that these swtiches would be going into - some totally different, e.g. square vs round, and they can be quite shallow in new construction. If you wanted one SKU to work across different countries, you might have to think about mounting templates or adapters.

Inovelli Response

Wow, thanks for the insight on the design differences, this is exactly what I’m looking for.

If I’m understanding correctly, it sounds like the faceplates are the same/similar across the UK, but it’s the paddles that are different, is that correct? I wonder if we could make some sort of standard faceplate, but then have different paddle sizes that fit into that plate?

As for the rotary point, I asked another commenter, curious on your thoughts. Would it be accepted if we had the standard square/rectangle switches used as dimmers, but instead of the rotary, the switch paddles would be held up to dim brighter and held down to be dimmed darker (then single tap up = on, single tap down = off)?

u/c_david_j, u/Ulrar - UK Perspective + Aqara Mention

This is great! The Aqara H1 switches have been adapted very well for UK/EU so could be a good starting place to look. Our UK switches are the same size as EU (86mm x 86mm) but we use much smaller paddles for the actual switch on the front. Saying that, I think the larger look of the EU version looks more modern and will have wider appeal, and works perfectly fine in the UK. Seems to be what other manufacturers do.

Also just to add, I don’t think having rounded corners is a good idea. All our switches have square corners, so if you replace a square switch with one that has rounded corners you’ll see the back box or the bare wall!

Inovelli Response

Can you give me an example? I’m trying to envision this, but I’m stumped :confused:

Sure! See this Reddit post which shows how it looks when you unscrew the switch from the wall. If the replacement switch has very rounded corners then it won’t look great when screwed into the wall. The more square the better.

Unscrewed UK switch

u/Ulrar Response

I have the one, no neutral which is good but the switch feel is really not great, they’re (subjectively) unpleasant to use because only the bottom really actuates and they’re kind of mushy.

Biggest problem with them is they don’t support binding in decoupled mode

u/siobhanellis, u/c_david_j, u/Born_Check5979, u/Preference22, u/blidgency - UK, Europe and Australia Perspective + No Neutral Call-Outs

The big square one works for the UK, so would the one with two paddles…. Especially if it has two separate circuits as that means you can do downstairs and upstairs (usually on separate circuits), but you can join together if you wish. I’ve actually grey imported some Eve switches which are the big single paddle.

No neutral would be fab.

The UK has the twisty ones for dimmer switches, but not sure how popular they are here. Certainly not as much as the USA.

You will need CE compliance for Europe. That is still valid in the UK but, because of Brexit the UK has launched its own standard… which is identical to CE (another Brexit bonus)…… so not sure how much longer uk will recognise CE.

Australia is really different in its switches.

Inovelli Response

Perfect, thanks for the feedback! Especially the Brexit comment, something to make sure we keep in mind as we develop the switch :slight_smile:

c_david_j Response
No neutral is pretty much a must! It’s unusual for UK homes to have neutral wires

Inovelli Response

Oh wow, I didn’t know this, that’s great feedback! Do newer homes come with a neutral wire? In the US, it’s typically houses built prior to 1980 that may not have a neutral.

I know you guys have a lot more history than us and your homes are probably a lot older due to that reason.

u/Born_Check5979, u/Preference22, u/blidgency Response

u/Born_Check5979 - Common in Ireland also to have no neutral.

u/Preference22 - In the Netherlands it’s the same, older homes have no neutral wires. Newer homes do have that tho! So you could incorporate it into the design to either have 2 types of switches or that it has 3 ports but not all 3 are needed :wink:

Ps: not sure from what year the neutral wire became a thing. In my 1930s home it’s at least not available

u/blidgency - Yup it differs a lot. In Sweden neutral has been mandatory in new builds in the last 20 years something and many older houses had them too

u/AGULLNAMEDJON - EU Design Perspective

I can’t offer any real advice but I would suggest:

  1. Make the covers removable. I saw a rant the other day that European switches have the cover integrated to the switch making painting a bit of a nightmare.
  2. I’d make the radius on the corners on your concept models a bit smaller. Probably just me but I think it looks too fun, not enough business.

Inovelli Response

  1. Perfect, yeah I was wondering how popular this was as I haven’t seen too many color options online for the EU – we have this on our current switches (the paddle pops off so you can change the color) so hopefully it can translate fairly easily
  2. Nice, yeah I just grabbed a picture online and modified it lol – question for you, is that part around the switch typically sold separately or do most manufacturers build it into the switch?

Building on point #2, here in the US, we have the actual switch (A - shown in the Imgur link), but then we sell the faceplates (B - shown in the Imgur link) separately and they typically aren’t integrated together: https://imgur.com/a/eVHtU4d

u/magformer - UK/Ireland Perspective on Design and Function

First, this great and I’d be very interested in another 240v option.

In Europe, I’d say the aesthetic of switches in continental Europe is quite different to the UK/Ireland. Your render looks quite “continental” - the large buttons occupying most of the face of the switch, and the rounded edges.

In the UK and Ireland, switches tend to look quite different - the switches themselves are almost invariably smaller relative to the faceplate and they tend to have either square edges or more acute rounded edges for more “premium” switches. Also retractive switches are fairly uncommon for normal domestic lighting in UK/IE.

If you put these in the UK/Irish home they would definitely stand out. There is a segment of the market that wants smart switches here that don’t obviously look “smart”. I could be totally wrong about this as a non-US person but it seems like Inovelli switches have a lot of design elements in common with typical non-smart US switches. I’d say these renders are sort of the same idea for the continent, but not UK.

But current/competing 240V smart switches also don’t fit in so you could do that type of product better than others, and assume those who want really conventional looking switches will buy relays.

There’s a real lack of good dimmer options and I could see something that mimics a traditional rotary dimmer doing well. There are a few options, e.g. iolloi but they are expensive and hard enough to find.

One practical point to consider is that different EU countries have different types and shapes of electrical back box that these swtiches would be going into - some totally different, e.g. square vs round, and they can be quite shallow in new construction. If you wanted one SKU to work across different countries, you might have to think about mounting templates or adapters.

Inovelli Response

Wow, thanks for the insight on the design differences, this is exactly what I’m looking for.

If I’m understanding correctly, it sounds like the faceplates are the same/similar across the UK, but it’s the paddles that are different, is that correct? I wonder if we could make some sort of standard faceplate, but then have different paddle sizes that fit into that plate?

As for the rotary point, I asked another commenter, curious on your thoughts. Would it be accepted if we had the standard square/rectangle switches used as dimmers, but instead of the rotary, the switch paddles would be held up to dim brighter and held down to be dimmed darker (then single tap up = on, single tap down = off)?

u/Is-Not-El - Eastern European and German Perspective on Design and Function

Here is a little feedback from a Eastern European:

Around here and some parts of Germany the single most popular light switch is the Schneider Electric Asfora line. It’s so popular in fact that Eve copied their design. Most non-smart switches here come with replaceable caps, so people can place a different colour cap is say a 2-gang switch is controlling a boiler you can put red cap on it. In reality however very few people bother to do this but I guess it’s not a big deal since most manufacturers still do replaceable caps.

The most common manufacturers here are Bosch, Schneider Electric, Siemens and Legrand. You can buy a few switches from them and study them. Bosch and Legrand also have smart switches as well as Eve as previously mentioned. What is really important is the price however, unlike the US we have multiple switches around for various stuff so price is important. I personally have 30 switches around a 2 bedroom apartment. Eve wants €100 per switch so €3000 total, Schneider Electric is €4 per switch for non-smart switches - I can outfit my entire apartment with the price of a single Eve switch and given how cheap IKEA smart bulbs are I would not come anywhere near €3000 for bulbs and remotes. If you can fit your switch in the sub €50 market I would buy it and you would complete with Bosch who officially sells their smart switches for €50 but usually one can find them on promo for €30. Your advantage would be that the Bosch smart system sucks and is not offered outside Germany for some weird reason.

Inovelli Response

u/ferbulous - Question about Matter Bindings

This is good news, I have some question about matter. I know it’s still pretty new but is there a matter decoupling or binding feature similar to the zigbee ones?

Inovelli Response

Great question - I believe there is Matter Bindings, but my understanding is that most hubs do not support it yet. It’s definitely a feature we wanted on our Thread/Matter switch, but this is what we were told. For sure though, once it’s available, we’ll provide an update via OTA to include it!

u/blidgency - Feedback on Mockup

Hey Eric u/inovelliUSA that 2nd mock up looks great. Adding the config button adds more options than any other switch we have right now available right now. Just the idea of having a switch supporting my smart bulbs all the way makes me really excited and even my wife finally sounded happy about my experiments at home

Inovelli Response

Yeah I’m really loving the second mockup with the config button. Which version do you like better? The one with the LED bar at the top or bottom? I think it would be easier to pull off the one at the top, but I could be wrong.

Also, the top leaves us with some interesting space to maybe put an mmWave sensor, lux sensor etc. I definitely want to put a humidity/temp sensor in these so you can put them in your bathrooms.

Are exhaust fans popular in your bathrooms (also, what do you call bathrooms out there lol - it’s even different in Canada so I try to learn the language)?

I think that a button with the led on the top is the best look and feel no matter if it’s only an “up” button and not both up and down.

We do call it bathroom here in Europe. In Sweden we have bad habit of calling it just the toilet :rofl: exhausts fans does exists but only in houses, not apartments.

Neutral is regulated for all new builds after 2005-something and it’s very common here in the north

u/pippin_go_round, u/blidgency, u/ufulu - German Perspective on Design & Function

From Germany: two paddle as well as single paddle square are very common. Two paddle is usually used when there’s multiple circuits in a room, which is the case, especially with bigger rooms. Both of those I’ve seen in pretty much any flat I’ve ever been in. They also come combined with double or (more rarely) triple front plates.

Combination with power sockets is rarer but happens, especially in bathroom.

Twist knobs are fairly uncommon but not completely unheard of. I think they’re becoming more common, as smart devices and dimmable led bulbs become wider spread.

Inovelli Response

Hey I studied German in HS (4 yrs worth)!

Great feedback regarding the design. I was wondering about the outlet next to switch combo.

As for the knob, do you think it would be accepted if we kept the same design as On/Off (ie: single, double, triple paddle) and then just made it so that if you hold down on the top of the paddle, the light dims up and if you hold down on the paddle the light dims down?

u/blidgency, u/ufulu Response

u/blidgency - I’m leaving my thought here, I do think a paddle would be more appreciated than a knob!

u/ufulu - From a personal aesthetics and usability point of view the philips hue tap dial switch are really great and fit in nicely next to the regular German type switches.

Hello! I think the one with the bazel looks like a modernized version of what we have in our houses today and i think that is really good! In my opinion, best mockup so far!

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I want to mention a lesson learned by another small American company that I know who decided to develop a product and sell it in the European market. The import fees will likely be more expensive than these switches if shipped from the USA, and warranty service from the USA is impractical even for items way more expensive than these switches will be priced at.

Anyway, my suggestion is that you plan the European-based logistics well in advance of starting pre-orders or crowd-funding. Also remember that the UK is no longer part of the EU since Brexit, and may need its own special arrangements if you plan to sell in that market…

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Hi,
Just signed up after following on the reddit thread.

I’m based in Northern Ireland so can provide any input or support for the UK/Ireland side of things. My house has no neutral at any switches so that’s my big callout when looking for smart switches.

Looking at your designs, I agree with the initial designs being of a 'Chinese" design as they are very similar to the Aqara H1/D1 switches I currently have. I wouldn’t have been convinced on bezel switches but after seeing those designs you have created I am sold on them and know they would be more popular with people of a non tech persuassion in my household.

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Now I can move to Switzerland/Norway and run the Inovelli.EU shop!

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Hello! In my opinion the bezeless design looks super sharp. It’s true that it’s not standard to have switches like that but I myself have the Aquara H1 switches and people who have seen them love how modern they look.

If people decide the design with the bezel is better it would be nice to have bezells for 1 switch, 2 switch and 3 switch arrays as is quite standard here in europe:
image

I definitely see the benefit of producing the switches with the bezzel as you can easily change the look of the switch by swiching the bezzel for example from sharp to rounded corners. You basicaly have 2 products with relitvely minimal aditional cost to production.
It is also true that you could in theory provide both the bezeless and bezeled design as your spliting the switch into 2 parts but that is much more expensive.

About the Neutral & Non-Neutral Compatibility… Many houses are wired with the neutral wire inside the wall box as many electricians use the 3 conductor wire in all situations, but there are definetly cases where that isn’t true so it agree having it compatible with both is great.

About the square vs. circle wall boxes… most wall boxes around here are circular but as you said it’s a good idea having it be compatible with both using a round to square adapter or just making it compatible from the get go like the aquara H1.

As i can see all the points and requirments are perfect and i totaly agree with all of them. It is truly a comprehensive list of every possible feature a person would want.

My country of origin is Slovenia but my points stand also with Croatia as I have houses in both countries.

Hello!

In Slovenia, traditional home designs often favor the inclusion of bezels, as demonstrated by the popularity of brands like TEM. Despite my personal preference for bezel-less designs, it’s clear that many older-style homes here still prefer bezels. Regarding wiring, older houses typically feature a system where three conductors are routed to the light, and a single conductor is interrupted at the switch to control the lighting. However, this setup is gradually changing in newer homes, where developers leave the wiring decisions to the homeowners, resulting in all three conductors being left in the wall. Furthermore, it’s common to find circular wall boxes in Slovenian homes.

Regarding the wiring setup again, the approach taken by Sonoff with their Zigbee products, such as the ZBMINI-L2, is noteworthy. These products are designed to work with a single conductor and, when in the off-state, they close the circuit but limit the current to prevent the lights from visibly turning on.

Ergonomic and design wise i would prefere the bar to be on the side , like button would still in the corner but on the side (like for the us version)
I feel like this version people will often click on the bar instead of the top button

The standard sizes in Australia are : 115mm (length) x 73mm (width) x 11mm (depth)

Also generally Australian light switches can have between 1 and 5 rockers on a single plate.

If you’re looking for a beachhead into multiple international markets perhaps you could utilise in wall modules? Currently there isn’t a thread option available here. Is this something you would consider?

IMG_1640
IMG_1641

Created an account just for this. Have been waiting for Inovelli to make switches for EU.

I really like the last render (Option #3 - Bezel Design #2). Looks very clean!

One thing to consider, most homes in EU have switches that use a universal design for the switches around the GIRA system 55. If you make switches that plug into these, it will be a seamless integration, otherwise you will have to create 1/2/3/4 switch panels. These panels usually have lengths of 86mm, 156mm, 226mm and 296mm respectively.

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Will the drivers/functionality be the same for these new switches and the ones sold in North America? Some people utilize several hubs. I know Homey Pro should be a new hub to the Inovelli family.

I’m from The Netherlands and my house falls under ‘new construction’. (got the key Q1 2023)

Not all my switches have a neutral available, so I assume it is not required by law. The ones that have are on top of a junction box. They used round gang-boxes.

I decked out my house with smart lighting, except for the downstairs toilet, and use Aqara H1 (four single gang, three double gang) switches in decoupled(/smart-switch/…) mode.
I had to do some rewiring so that some switches so that each switch is connected to a live and neutral, but for some the S1 and/or S2 are not connected and I rely on decoupled(/smart-switch/…) mode for things to function, and therefore have no power monitoring available on the switches.
If I had brought dumb lights I would have had to buy no-neutral versions or do more extensive rewiring.

I can’t put two Aqara switches next to each other, which is an issue in one location where there is a single gang below a double gang switch while sharing a bezel from Jung’s AS500 series. At two other locations there is a outlet next to a switch sharing a bezel.
In august at IFA 2023 Aqara has announced some eu style product is coming in the coming months, hopefully those will fulfill my needs…

My father has a house boat since 2017/2018 which has all dimmable light with round pushable and turnable dimmer switches.
This is probably the most modern looking setup outside of my own in my (small) social circle. Analog switches with two resting states are by far the most common over here as far as I know.

I like Option #3 - Bezel Design #2 the most.
Three pros in my opinion:

  • part of the momentay switch is flush with the bezel.
  • it only shows the led on the bottom, so it serves as an indication on where to press when it is dark, not just an indication of where the switch is.
  • round corners are more common.

Hi,

Also from The Netherlands. I like option 2 or 3 with bezel also. I am a Homey user and with the advent of the Aqara FP2 there are many users asking for this. therefore it also seems wishful to me that the european version also supports Mmwave just like the new switches for US market. otherwise (don’t get me wrong) it’s just another smart switch. Mmwave and Lux are the things that make you want this switch.

A mmWave sensor would be an interesting addition I would definitely consider since I like to hide as much of the smart devices as possible. But it would need to be fast (like PIR) for rooms you quickly pass through. On the design, personally I don’t like to mix different kinds of switches in my home. Currently I only use modules like Fibaro Dimmer/Switch that are placed behind existing switches so that the design is uniform. So not being able to use my existing switch plates/covers would be a con for me.

Hey guys – how common is dimming over there? Like would you be ok with an on/off switch to start, or is dimming something that’s commonly used?

Also, regarding user experience, which would be how you’d want the switch to operate.

Option #1

Option #2

The benefits of Option #1 is that I’m guessing this is the norm. However, how would you incorporate dimming up/down?

Option #2 makes it easier to dim up/down, but I’m guessing this is not as intuitive for people if they’re used to Option #1 being the norm.

On regular switches we have something called push dim when used with LED drivers. If we look at your option #1:

Tap button 1x = On
Tap button 1x again = Off
Hold button = Dim up/down (could be configurable, on regular switches it alternates)
Hold button again = Dim the opposite way to the first hold

Dimming Technologies - NET LED Lighting

Techical:

  • 0-10V
  • DALI
  • 1-10V
  • TRIAC
  • Pulse width modulation (PWM)
  • Push dim (with LED drivers, where the driver does the dimming, common in new construction)

Option #2 is more common here from what I have seen as most of the dumb switches are usually rocker type. Although, I would expect tap at the bottom to be on and and tap at the top to be off.

I am not sure about others but dimming switches would be the best as most of the lights in my house are dimmable.