I am not an electrician but I wanted to share my experience in installing the Fibaro FGS-223 double switch to independently control the lights of my front and rear gardens. The purpose is to show the approach and choices made not to obviate the need for an electrician if you have no skills in this area. To complete a similar project, you need to be competent with basic domestic electrics, do turn-off power to a circuit before attempting any changes.
I have two indoor light switches providing control over my front and rear garden lights. I want to add a programmable switch to automate this lighting. The Fibaro FGS-223 is a powered switch that can do this. Powered means that you must have access to standard neutral and unswitched power lines. Other switches are available, choose the one that meets your needs
The two indoor light switches are part of a block and are packed so tight with wires that I will never manage to install the FGS-223 there. I choose instead to install the switch at the first junction box in the garden since this is within Z-wave range of my HC2. There is a small risk here with operating temperatures but the location is well sheltered from both ice and sun.
The junction box is a break point for a six-strand armoured cable that runs through the back garden, dropping to four strands at the front. Two of the strands are switched, there is also a live, neutral, earth and a spare. Combining the Fibaro documented circuit diagram with the actual situation we get the "Basic Circuit Diagram" shown.
Where: S1 and S2 are the two switched lines. L is live, N neutral and E earth. The top wire is spare. On the Fibaro switch Q1 and Q2 are the output switched lines. You can also see the Q1, a neutral and earth leading off to the original light connected through this junction box.
I have also added identifying colored tape to the wires since in the junction box there is not much room and it is easy to miss-identify the wires.
To understand how the switch needs to be physically wired I like to draw a real-life connection diagram, shown as the "Wiring in the junction box" below. This diagram involves translating the above "Basic Circuit Diagram" by adding the necessary wiring connectors, shown as rectangles in the "Wiring in the junction box" diagram. Note: In the garden I prefer to join wires using re-usable lever connectors, they are slightly larger than permanent connectors but make it easy to later disconnect wires and isolate components for testing/diagnostics should something start letting in the rain.
As well as connecting the existing wires appropriately, I will need to add wires to connect live and neutral to the Fibaro switch and to connect the Q1 switched output to the existing garden light connector.
From this exercise I could see that the existing junction box would need to be replaced with a larger model, not a problem as the box is surface mounted.
Before removing anything, I like to use a multi-meter and just check that the existing wiring is what I am expecting e.g. I have one junction box where the armoured cable crosses so that the end connected to the house counter-intuitively enters the junction box through the hole furthest from the house.
Next turn off the power. Disconnect the existing wiring and remove the old junction box. Mount the new box and fasten the armoured cable at the entrances to the box, similarly fix the cable to the existing garden light. Should there be any gaps, seal these off with something like blue-tac. Note: try to make all cables enter from the under-side of the junction box.
Carefully connect the wires according to your own real-life diagram, give each wire a sharp tug to ensure that it is securely held by the lever connector.
Now power on and associate the device with your HC2 according to the supplied instructions. In my case this is using the HC2’s Add a Device function and pressing the B button on the switch itself. I have since used the toggle of the S1 switch 3 times to set the FGS-223 into learning mode. Both methods worked without problem.
Finally, once all is working, fold the wires and connectors into the box being careful to leave the FGS-223 antenna as free as possible. Close the lid to the junction box and re-test.
For me it was the drawing of the real-life "Wiring in the junction box" that made me realise I would need a larger junction box and also gave me the confidence to complete the project. If you are not working with electronics on a regular basis you could find a similar approach helpful in breaking the task into manageable steps.
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