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

Hey guys, wanted to provide an update before I read through all these great comments!

We’ve been going back and forth with a few manufacturers and I have some further questions for you as we may need to make some tradeoffs on features.

Here are the questions/comments I’ve received:

  • Since we’re making a switch that can be used as a 1, 2, or 3 gang, the concern is around having this switch work on multi-way setups. Since there are up to 3 switches within the switch, there would have to be 8 terminals (3 Loads, 3 Travelers, 1 Line, 1 Neutral) which is causing some concern around how thick this switch may become and whether or not it can fit into smaller junction boxes.

    • Would you guys be ok with using a secondary smart switch in multi-way setups as a virtual switch? In other words, use two smart switches and bind them together via Zigbee or associate them together via Z-Wave?
  • Speaking of depth, if we want this switch to be a 2-1 (On/Off & Dimmer), it would require 3 MOSFETS and 3 Relays. Right now, the manufacturer hasn’t seen any 3-Gang switches as dimmers. They all appear to be On/Offs. The only dimmers out there appear to be 1-Gang.

    • Would you be ok with creating two separate switches (one On/Off and one Dimmer) so we could save space inside the switch?

The final comment was this when I asked what the status was on the quote:

Got a wee bit of feedback: hold up is analysing the 2 Gang and 3 Gang dimmer requirement. Concern is that’s problematic with System 55 (internal space, heat rising) so they’re investigating that element

What do you guys think?

I believe that should be fine. Having a virtual switch would satisfy the use case as 2 way switches can have different configurations.

Most manufacturers have either On/Off or Dimmers, I am assuming that is because of the above reason, it would make the switches too big for a comfortable fit. It should be fine I guess.

I have seen 2 - 3 gang dimmers in the market. Would love it if you would be able to solve it. My use case is at max 2 gang dimmers but somebody might have a requirement for 3 gang as well.

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when I speak for me, I would use the switch primarily to control “smart” lights. So I would take full advantage of the smart functions of the switch. I dont know people who switch 3 separate lamps via 1 wall outlet box via the wired way.

yes, but it would be nice if the smart commands were in there. switch has been pressed for a long time and released. because I do not wire it to any lamp. only use the triggers and the smart functies off the switch. like the Heat it which I mentioned above.

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[quote=“Eric_Inovelli, post:41, topic:16088, full:true”]
Hey guys, wanted to provide an update before I read through all these great comments!

We’ve been going back and forth with a few manufacturers and I have some further questions for you as we may need to make some tradeoffs on features.

Here are the questions/comments I’ve received:

  • Would you guys be ok with using a secondary smart switch in multi-way setups as a virtual switch? In other words, use two smart switches and bind them together via Zigbee or associate them together via Z-Wave?

Yes I would be totally OK with that. For my use case, having one switch that’s function even if my HA setup wouldn’t work would be good.

  • Speaking of depth, if we want this switch to be a 2-1 (On/Off & Dimmer), it would require 3 MOSFETS and 3 Relays. Right now, the manufacturer hasn’t seen any 3-Gang switches as dimmers. They all appear to be On/Offs. The only dimmers out there appear to be 1-Gang.
    • Would you be ok with creating two separate switches (one On/Off and one Dimmer) so we could save space inside the switch?

That’s common here in Europe. So nothing new to us. I’d probably use a few of those switches for smart bulbs and as long as the docummentation is clear of what I need to buy, I wouldn’t have a problem and other people wouldn’t either.

Speaking of depth, if we want this switch to be a 2-1 (On/Off & Dimmer), it would require 3 MOSFETS and 3 Relays. Right now, the manufacturer hasn’t seen any 3-Gang switches as dimmers. They all appear to be On/Offs. The only dimmers out there appear to be 1-Gang.

Hi,

First of all, thank you for working on it. I’m waiting to see a crowdfunding campaign to support you.

I’m using this Chinese product right now: https://moeshouse.com/products/star-ring-zigbee-dimmer-switch?variant=46040268341563

It is working but has too many bugs in the firmware and too few features. I think a 2-gang dimmer is enough for me. I haven’t seen a switch with a built-in dimmer; it’s either a dimmer or a switch.

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I myself have had nothing but problems with wireless switches run via automations. They are mostly stable but sometimes it just doesnt switch the switch and you need to press it multiple times to switch which is extremely annoying. Thinking about how uncomon three way switches are here i would almost rather go with only 1-gang and 2-gang switches with two way support.
But seeing that 3-gang 2way switches already take up a lot of space i don’t see a problem with theese switches taking up some more room in the box.
image

Was this an actual switch or a mockup? This would be a perfect example to analyze!

I guess it is https://www.jasmart.com/products/view?id=18016&lang=en based on what I can read at the top. There is a 4 gang as well, JASMART Electric Co.,Ltd. - switch,socket,swiched socket,Isolator,RCD,BS socket,wall. But the pages are extremely sparse on details.

I wouldn’t!
One of the most important criteria in my setup is too ensure things to work correctly if the central home automation system is offline.
IMHO, support for physical 2 and 3-way is an actual need, as it’s done by, for example, Sonoff.

Just so you are aware, binding (Zigbee) and association (Z-wave) work independently from the hub. You need the hub to set them up, but once that is complete, the hub is no longer used. So if the hub goes down, binding and associations will still work. This is not as good as a wired connection, of course. But if the hub going down is a concern, you should know that binding and associations are not affected.

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Yes, you are right! I forgot that.

But there’s another important reason why it could be good to support physical 2-way: there wouldn’t be the need of replace all the switches in a circuit. Just by replacing one of them, the whole circuit will be manageable from the home automation system.

In this case, maybe you could safely ignore the 3-way case, requiring that the smart switch should always be in one edge of the circuit.

Inovelli switches already work that way. You can use the existing dumb switches with wired interconnections. You can also use an Aux with a wired interconnection. Multiple Inovellis require virtual interconnection by binding or association, however.

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Thank you Eric for putting the idea into action. Really appreciate you involving the community in the development process of the product.

Inovelli switches seem to be the only brand that has Zigbee and does decoupled mode. I want to get into smart home stuff but the switch situation is holding me back. This would be perfect.

Ideal features would be:

  • Works in the UK (230v)
  • No neutral required
  • Has a decoupled mode for smart bulbs
  • Has Zigbee binding capabilities
    so smart bulbs can also be directly controlled from the switch
  • Offers multi gang options with 2/3/4 dimmers instead of just the single gang currently offered in the US
  • Rotary style dimmers? 2 way paddles are good too but they’re pretty big if you’re going with 3/4 lights.

First off, I’m very excited for this project. I’ve been waiting for a really good Thread option in the UK for what feels like forever!

I like the Option #2 bezel look, with the LED integrated at the top – I’m happy whatever you decide, I would have them turn off after a few seconds instead of always being lit.

For switch function if it’s a flat face (which looks cleaner), I would suggest that up and down tap both act as a general toggle for on/off, while the up and down hold is then for dimming. To me that feels like it has immediate discoverability for visitors and use in the dark with a stateless switch, but also provides intuitive and fast advanced function for daily use. Hopefully this could at least be an option in the firmware.

Also want to add further thoughts/points regarding the UK:

  • Modular switches are uncommon here and fixing in place works differently to the EU, so you’ll need to consider how frames attach during install, and if you can rely on third parties for frames. I’ve found a UK importer called Swtch which has a good explainer, while Gira has specific “British Standard” models and a support ring for stability.
  • In general, I think the framed System 55 design will work for the UK and the look will be accepted alongside other smart switch designs (how many people have the Hue remotes stuck to walls?) but you will need to point UK customers in the right direction for compatible frames and accessories.
  • Rotary dimmers are typical in the UK (per TrendREPS above), but these are limited to 2 per single gang or 4 per double gang backbox. 3 switches in single gang are only ever basic on/off switches here.
  • Depth is going to be very important. There is a lot of retrofit electrics out there, and with brick interior walls the most common back boxes we have are 25mm or 35mm. If you can keep the 1 and 2 switch designs to fit within 35mm, that would be ideal.
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Hi All. I prefer the bezel-less design for 2 reasons:

  1. It does not look as cheap as the bezel design
  2. It looks more unique and distinguishable from normal switches, which I know is what some people (including myself) would prefer. Let us say it looks ‘smarter’ :wink:

Can I also say that as a person who resides in the UK, I am so excited about this! It is so hard to find good scene controllers and switches in the UK, so I think this would be a great Inovelli-ation in the UK smart home tech market. Thanks so much for bringing this up!

Hi, I’m an Italian fan of your new smart 2 in 1 switches! I’d love to see them with the exact same design to be available also here (220V) and it would be better if they could be alignable side by side in the same “box” (this is the reason to make a dedicated frame also for 3 switches aligned). I love both the idea of the led light and the dimmable feature. Dimmable lights are very used in Italy, a bit less the led (but there is the option to disable them no? I would personally love the led because i think it is very futuristic but also because the switches that control garden lights in Italy tend to have a led indicating when they are on or off - otherwise it would be impossible to know it from inside the house if the windows are closed!).
I’ll send you a picture with a meter (in centimeters) so that you can see how -literally- every switch and switch frame is made in Italy…I’ll take a photo of the one that has also the switches of the garden lights (they have the same measures however) so you have an idea. In Italy whe only use white or black color for switches (never seen any other color…never in my life and in any kind of building), but would tou consider to make the white and the black versions also in matte white and matte black? (In my other house I have matte black, but in general in Italy you have two options: white or matte black…and also the touch feeling: none here lives slippery shining switches).
For the transimission technology: please use matter over thread (maybe with a over wifi backup if thread momentarily goes out of range) because other technologies (like zigbee…)are simply the past! Thread has also a huge benefit: if internet goes down it would still works!
No additional registration online for the product but give us the possibility to do it directly in the home app we already have (I use homekit personally).
Can I give you one last suggestion? Here in Italy we tend to have a lot of switches, even for the same light (my home has 3 for just for the same one light!)…so would you consider to make discounts on your switches that increase with how many switches we buy?


Hi, we’re in the process of planning a new house in northern italy and i’m really excited about this project, since after weeks of digging i really didn’t find any acceptable solution for a EU-compatible dimmer switch that ticks all boxes.

To answer some questions above:

Most common switches around here:
Our contractor offers two systems

  • Flat style (Berker/Schneider/Jung), typically 1 or 2 gang. 4-gang switches are usually implemented by installing 2 2-gang switches in a horizontal or vertical orientation which then share a common frame that is sold separately
  • Modular (Italian?) style (Bticino/Vimar) is also very common

Rotary style dimmers are not a thing around here

Max current
All the sockets and circuits are dimensioned either for 230V 10 or 16A.

Design:
Both designs are great. I would buy any of them.
Bezel-less looks more modern (not chinese at all)
With bezel it looks a bit more robust and standard

Colors:
White/Grey/Black are nice, would probably go for grey

2-way switching
I’d prefer the multi-way switching to work through a physical connection to a dumb switch that’s completely independent from any RF signal, but if my understanding is correct, that will still be possible in any case?

Must haves:

  • basic functionality must still be there if all radio signals stopped working for some reason
  • I would have preferred Z-Wave, but Zigbee would still be OK I guess, especially with the option to support Thread in the future. Wifi switches all over the house are not an option for us.
  • Work as a reliable Z-Wave or Zigbee router that’s not picky about devices from other manufacturers
  • No cloud or any form of forced online registration of devices, that would be a big showstopper
  • Easily integratable in systems like home assistant without the need of a proprietary hub
  • Dimmer functionality would be crucial for me. I think that some nice solutions without dimmer are already there

If those points are met, which I’m almost certain they will, i will definitely plan the new house Inovelli-ready and replace the default switches once they are available.

Edit: A small note, even if the voltage in the EU may vary between 220 and 240V, the nominal value usually is 230V. That’s whats written in tech specs and on products. So it’s kinda weird to read 240V. I was looking vor 230V switches and only found this project after a long time indirectly through reddit.