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

How deep will the switch protrude into the back box? This is vital in uk as some houses have shallow back boxes, with 25mm being used a lot.

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That causes an increase in the number of SKU’s to manufacture, get certified, stock, support, etc. It’s very likely just cheaper to have it there and have people never use it. The BOM cost increase is likely minimal.

Regarding mmwave . . .

  • Inovelli has yet to produce a working mmWave switch. They’re working on it, but it’s proving to be a difficult endeavor. So maybe down the line . . . . WAY down the line.

  • This is a new unproven market for Inovelli. They are a small firm, so this is a BIG endeavor. Don’t expect multiple SKUs from the get-go. If the first switch is successful, then others will follow.

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That causes an increase in the number of SKU’s to manufacture, get certified, stock, support, etc.

Inovelli has yet to produce a working mmWave switch. They’re working on it, but it’s proving to be a difficult endeavor.

Just to clarify, I would personally gladly buy the switch also without mmWave. Having a mmWave option would, as stated, be a game changer, but it does not mean that the switch would not be the best option on the market without it. My main point was just that I would then also prefer it to not have the lux sensor and the corresponding faceplate hole as I do not see a use case for it. It would be better to leave the lux sensor out to further reduce cost or increase profit margin.

I have been waiting to install the Wiser system from Schneider Electric when (or rather if) they roll our matter as promised a year and a half ago. This, or an opening of their API, would be needed for stable integration in HA which is my preferred platform. I already have their hub and a few switches to test on my workbench, and these do not have mmWave. After finding this thread, I will now, however, wait to see if these Inovelli EU switches are realised, even if Schneider rolls out matter tomorrow. Inovelli’s vastly superior track-record in terms of customer relations, platform support, and customisable firmware are sufficient positives for choosing their system for me.

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Looks like a great switch, I like the design with 2 scene buttons, and it’s a reasonable compromise at this time. My dreams of Thread will have to wait, it seems!

The biggest question is if you can share what depth backbox the switch will require?

I’ll echo others that I’m not 100% sure the utility of the lux sensor without mmWave, but if it’s a negligible cost, you might as well keep it.

I think you could also have another look at 3-way switching, which is pretty universal for hallways with stairs – in fairness, probably more important for 2-gang and 3-gang switches. Make sure there’s no conflicting terminology when talking to your EU contact – in the UK, it’s “2-way” for controlling 1 bulb with 2 switched, and then it’s “3-way” or “2-way and intermediate” for having 3 or more switches. I’ve only just discovered this difference myself.

The current plan is for the switches to be multi-way capable. This will be done via Zigbee binding, as opposed to hard wiring. This has the added advantage of reducing the production time, as there is no requirement to develop an accompanying Aux switch.

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Awesome comments guys, let me try to answer some of the questions – sorry, just getting back from vacation! Went to Yosemite :slight_smile:

Great question – There are a couple of reasons:

  1. We eventually want to come out with 2 and 3-Gang options and use as much of the tooling as we could to save on costs (tooling is usually around $20-30k USD - in this case it varied from $35k to $27k). Most of the non-smart and smart switches we looked at from a 2 and 3 Gang option looked like this:
    image
    It looks like it’s a square that is evenly divided into 3 sections to create 2 or 3 rectangles. The dimensions looked the same across most of the switches we found, so we wanted to keep it consistent for people who may not be used to smart switches (and so we didn’t look like some Chinese knockoff that had a wild design)
  2. We did a couple PCB layouts and the horizontal LED Bar with the horizontal plastic piece on top seemed to be the most cost effective vs running it down the right or left side
  3. Honestly, I just thought it looked more aesthetically pleasing with the horizontal bar, but I know this is preference

That said, this is your switch and I want you all to be happy with it. Plus, you guys know the market better than me, so I’m happy to explore the vertical LED Bar again. Are you thinking something like this?

I can see where you’re coming from here and I don’t necessarily disagree. I think I wanted to put it in there because it would just be another way to automate your lights (ie: lights come on when it’s dark, off when it’s light, etc). However, if you guys want to scrap this sensor, I’m not opposed to it as it would save on costs (not much, but some) and if it’s not beneficial, then there’s no need for it.

Regarding mmWave, I think @Bry hit the nail on the head here with his comment. I’d love to launch an mmWave switch in EU and plan to do so if sales on the base unit warrant it. This is a brand new market for us and if we added an mmWave sensor, we’re looking at a price-point of around $90-100 USD, which would be a hefty price point for a brand that no one has ever heard of in the EU. While I believe in us and I believe it would be worth it, I just fear that with the MOQ’s being so much higher, it would be a tough sell and we’d end up losing money or not gain enough momentum to fund the switch.

I also want to see how the mmWave switch performs here in the US first before trying it elsewhere. We do have a lot of sales so far and the switch is performing well in our internal testing, however, I know there will be issues in the field once we start selling it (as all switches do initially) and it’s going to be hard to troubleshoot across multiple languages (unfortunately, we’re your typical American’s… we only speak English). Whereas our Blue Series 2-1 (Dimmer) switch has been in the market for 2+ years and we’ve ironed out all the bugs and (hopefully) we won’t run into any issues if we launch the same switch with the same firmware in the EU.

Yeah this is a good point and you’re having me lean more towards just scrapping the lux sensor on this switch and putting it on a future mmWave switch like we are doing here in the US. The cost of these sensors is also pretty small, so I just figured we’d add them as an added bonus (I’m talking like $0.30/sensor, so not that big of a deal).

I don’t have the final specs yet as they just priced it on the parts and we haven’t done any testing yet on it, but I will for sure let everyone know an estimate before putting it up for sale. Are there any requirements you’d like us to meet?

Regarding dimming, I plan to have it act the same way as our US version which allows for both Leading and Trailing Edge (depending on if you have a neutral wire or not).

Are there a lot of switches with the advanced firmware and parameters listed out here: Blue Series 2-1 Switch • Parameters | Inovelli Help Center

Serious question, I’m not trying to be a jerk, I promise – I just didn’t see a ton of switches that had a lot of configuration parameters, multi-tap scene control, animated notifications, etc. Bc if there are, then yes, I would agree, we need to figure out a way to differentiate and I’ll have to rethink a few things.

Yeah, we had to scrap the temp/humidity sensor due to the switch being a dimmer. I completely forgot the reason why we were able to put it in one of our new switches was bc it was an On/Off switch.

Great question – I don’t have final dimensions yet, but I’ve been working with an EU expert on dimensions and he mentioned this exact sentiment. Not to mention having it work across all EU countries so I’m hoping it will be small enough to fit those boxes.

That said, 25mm seems pretty small. I’m looking at an Aqara switch made for the EU and it seems to be the same depth as our US version which is ~28.6mm.

Is that 25mm where the back of the gang-box is (as in we’d have to make a switch that’s like 15mm so that the wires would fit in, or is the 25mm your target for the switch bc the gang-box depth is somewhere around 35mm?

Well, this is the next step – I’m curious the protocol we all want. I’m trying to see if the manufacturer can produce both Zigbee and Thread in the same MOQ (as in maybe 2500 Zigbee and 2500 Thread/Matter), but historically this hasn’t been an option. Who knows, though, maybe they will if the demand is there.

Yes, now you guys have me nervous haha. I’ve been working with a guy who’s extremely familiar with the EU market (he lives in both the UK and Milan and has been the CEO of a major smart home company in EU) so I’ve been relying on his info along with info from this thread, so I think we’re good, but I’m curious what you think the target depth should be.

Alright, let me take another look. I was on the fence personally because I think it’s a good feature, but figured the solve by having two smart switches bound together would be a good solution to keep the costs down on our end.

To put it in perspective, here’s what I’m up against from a cost perspective:

Option #1 = Smart Switch + Dumb Switch
In this scenario, you would have a smart switch on one end and you can leave your existing, “dumb” switch on the other end. This obviously saves the customer money by not having to purchase another smart switch, but the tradeoff is that you can’t have dimming at both ends (only on/off at the, “dumb” switch end). For us, it requires us to add an additional relay inside the switch and also increases the depth of the switch (which it sounds like we’re up against a challenge here already with that).

Option #2 = Smart Switch + Aux Switch
In this scenario, you would have a smart switch on one end and purchase a special, “Aux” switch (here’s our US Version: Add-On (Auxiliary) Switch – Inovelli). It’s basically a non-smart momentary switch that semi-matches our smart switch design. Whenever you press on the Aux Switch, it sends a signal via the traveler wires to turn on/off/dim the smart switch. You can also use it for multi-taps for scene control. From the customer’s point of view, this still saves money over purchasing another smart switch and it allows dimming from both ends of the 3-Way (as well as multi-taps) and is, in my opinion, offers everything a smart switch would except it doesn’t have notifications. If we went this route, Inovelli would incur more costs (tooling – which I guess we could share most of it with the smart switch, various certifications, etc) plus purchase an MOQ of these. The good news, however, is that we wouldn’t have to put an additional relay in the switch, so we could keep the depth the same. I would estimate that all-in, this would cost about $100k USD.

Option #3 = Smart Switch + Smart Switch
In this scenario, you have two smart switches that are bound together if using Zigbee or Z-Wave (Thread is another story, I have to figure that one out bc it’s not possible right now, you’re going to have to use an automation). The benefits are that you have everything the aux switch can do plus you have notifications and all your switches completely match. Expensive, I understand and I actually opt for Aux switches in my house, so I do understand the predicament.

What I think we should do is start off with Option #3 and if we sell well, we can use the profits to come out with an Aux switch. There wouldn’t be any sort of hardware change required to the switch (Option #1 is the only option that requires any sort of extra hardware), it would likely just need a firmware update (or we could honestly build it in from the get-go knowing that we’ll come out with the aux switch).

Knowing that 3-Way’s aren’t as common as Single-Pole (or 2-Ways as you mentioned), people could outfit their 2-Way’s first and wait for the Aux switch to come out (I know waiting is the hardest part haha).

What do you think?

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Vacation looked nice Eric! After seeing those mockups… please don’t move the led from the top…

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Very nice. I lived in California for two years in the early 2000 and went there several times. I absolutely love Yosemite.

I (and my wife) like the last mockup’s vertical LED arrangement more than the horizontal one, especially the last one that looks like the US version. This said, given @robin’s quick negative reaction to these, you should probably conduct a wider poll to gauge the market. It is, after all, a matter of taste.


I think I was thinking of the 2-gang switch as something like, but seeing it now, I am not equally sure, and 3-gang will admittedly enter silly territory. Also, given your comments on manufacturing and reusing designs, I guess it may not be the best idea. (Edit: the rest of the family also thought this mockup looked silly, so maybe it is)

My wife, at first, mistook the separators between the larger smart (configuration/favorites) buttons (in the prior mockups) as design elements rather than the edges of the buttons, and I can see this point. I think that it will be unclear what parts of the plate can be pressed and what parts can not if you go with


or a horizontal version (especially without the lux-sensor hole) with just two smart buttons rather than three. What I like about the US-style dimmers and switches is that it is clear that the configuration/favorites button is a button. Maybe a lux sensor is needed just to clarify this :sweat_smile:

One thing that was also not clear to me is if you go with

and then make a 2-gang or 3-gang version; what will the association between the main buttons and the LED bar be? Will you then split the LED bar into 2 or 3 segments, or will one have to choose to associate the LED bar running across the full plate with one of the switches? If the idea was to split the LED bar into 2 or 3 segments, with one above each switch, then I agree that a horizontal bar seems logical, although the length of the bar on a 3-gang version will probably be too short to show dimming levels reasonably.

As for the depth, I measured the Schneider Wiser switches and dimmers I had been playing with. If one measures from the back of the metal plate, these are just above 25 mm deep. See the illustration below.

Finally, just to give you another data point from an EU home, I have attached a collage of what I will be working with. I am certainly no market expert, but I think that around here, it is about 50-50 if the switches are arranged vertically or horizontally.


Regardless of where you end up with the design, I am looking forward to being able to replace the aging and yellowing plastic dumb switches with some new white ones.

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Hope you had a great vacation. It looks lovely!

I like the buttons and bar along the top design. Once you have 2/3-gang, it will give each switch the widest target to aim for. LED bar filling from left to right is instantly familiar from any kind of loading bar for me. Oh, and if you drop lux sensor, shouldn’t it be two button segments, not three?

I’ve got both Zigbee and Thread, so can go with the flow, but I’d probably prefer the latter? I’m keeping an eye on how your first Thread switch pans out!

Am sure your friend can point to stats and specs, where I mainly have vibes. I think EU boxes are generally quite deep, but the UK can have some very shallow backboxes for light switches, especially for retrofit houses and no-neutral wiring, down to just 16mm! Newer houses can probably expect 25mm or 35mm boxes, but it’s so dependent on house/builder/electrician/room.

If you can fit into 25mm behind the mount for a 1-gang switch at least, that will be more compatible for the UK. Personally I’ve just recessed a switch to 35mm, and a lot of competitor switches will also require that depth.

Appreciate the detailed options and I think that plan makes sense. I need to investigate my hallways & landing wiring, but would need a 2-gang switch downstairs able to control both entrance and landing, and then 1-gang on the landing.

As a hopefully temporary thing, would option #3-to-#2 support third party momentary switches, as you did in the US before developing the Aux?

Exciting to see this underway! Is there any update on Australian compatability? Not sure about the additional work needed apart from certifications.

Just want to throw my weight behind what this would mean for the Australian market. We maintain our own forked HomeAssistant for commercial/large scale residential projects (100+ locations).

Switches are the bane of our existence in our market, and Lutron are a bunch of muppets with how difficult they make qualification and accessing their products over here.

However we use KNX at scale, and Z-wave where we have to do wireless.

If we had a high quality option for likely option 3. I’d buy 1000’s of them.

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Hey @Eric_Inovelli hows the process been going since the feedback dropped in on your last message?

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Regarding shallow backbox depth for UK switches have you considered using a spacer like LightwaveRF? They’re a relatively popular brand for smart switches here Smart Dimmer, LED Dimmer Switch | Lightwave

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Hello,

Another Swede chiming in here as I recently got news about this fantastic project! I just bought an apartment about 1½ years ago and I still have not found smart switches I deem good enough for my apartment. If we’d get Inovelli Blue or White switches over here they would be my absolute no brainer choice based on what I’ve read in this thread so far. I want to buy Thread as much as I can for everything new and switches that act as edge routers would simplify a lot. Even though my current network is 99% Zigbee and 1% Z-wave and I have Home assistant Yellow which together with a module for Z-wave and an adapter for Zigbee2MQTT and Thread inbuilt handle all three.

I haven’t seen too many shared pictures showing what a regular switch usually looks like apart from @joakim.jalden 's latest post so I’ll chime in with a few pictures I took of two switches in my home, both are of the Schneider Exxact series. Both are 1-way which are the majority of switches in my home.

I have two 2-way switches as well I can photo if requested, as well as dimmer switches I can photo as well.

EXHIBITION 1 - Regular light switch, 1-way

EXHIBITION 2 - Light swtich sharing space with cables to a nearby outlet, 1 way

I’ll also chime in with my two cents about the prototype.
I think the last picture is the best one. Where there is a LUX sensor, two scene buttons the horizontal LED and then the light button itself. Usually in Swedish homes at least there is just one or two buttons in the same switch. I’ve rarely seen switches with buttons for three separate lights, that seems more like a UK and US thing than a Nordic or EU thing.

I also think a LUX sensor is a good idea. I definitely see the want for mmWave but honestly that’s a bit too early to dive into I’d say, also it’s pricey. I would personally use a LUX sensor in each smart switch to automate my lights to turn on depending on the LUX using my Home Assistant, it would simplify a lot of making my home more automated but still have the ability to use the switches like normal operation for us or our guests. I wouldn’t necessarily need a motion sensor in all switches, and the price tag it would result in.

The only place the LUX sensor wouldn’t make sense is where we’d have 2-3+ switches in the same place.

So personally I’d say keep the LUX sensor in. I believe for most people that aren’t Smart Home geeks they would appreciate LUX sensors and turn on their lights depending on how dim it is in the room. Most regular people have no clue about mmWave and how it’s the motion sensor 2.0 and they won’t for a few years anyway.

Down the line I think three options would be nice:

  1. Switch without any sensors
  2. Switch with LUX sensor
  3. Switch with mmWave sensor

I’m gonna follow this project closely, I’m excited about hopefully (and finally) finding smart switches I want to buy!

@Eric_Inovelli It’s been a month since your last update. Any news since then?

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Appreciate that it’s probably far too late in the process but it’d be amazing if you guys were ever to produce a smart switch / dimmer euromodule; would greatly improve spousal approval factor to be able to choose decorative wall plates!