Smart Switches – No Neutral Wire Necessary?
The desire to upgrade to smart lighting is shared by millions of households worldwide. You have seen the kind of technology the market has to offer and you know just how beneficial connected smart devices can be.
However, you may also be aware of the slight issue concerning homes without a neutral wire. As most smart home technology on the market is dependent on one, the absence of a neutral wire has traditionally proved problematic.
What is a Neutral Wire (and Do I Have One)?
The quickest and easiest way to find out if you have a neutral wire installed in your home is to check behind one of your light switches.
Turn off your electricity supply at the mains, before carefully unscrewing the faceplate and checking out the wiring behind. For UK homes built after 2004, there will usually be a blue neutral wire. Elsewhere, UK homes built before 2004 typically feature a black neutral wire.
Should there be no neutral wire at all, you will not be able to install any smart home lighting automation technology that requires one.
Where a neutral wire exists, it can be connected with a smart light switch to provide it with a low but constant electrical current, even when the switch is turned off. In the absence of a neutral wire, devices that are dependent on this constant electrical current cannot be used.
It would be cut off from the power it requires each time it is were turned off, effectively rendering them inoperable.
Traditionally, smart switches have always needed a source of power, due to the way they communicate wirelessly with other devices around the home. In properties that lack a neutral wire, such devices cannot be used as there is no immediate way of providing them with the power supply they need.
What Do I Do if I Don’t Have a Neutral Wire?
If your home lacks a neutral wire and you want to install smart lighting technology, there are two options available:
Option 1 – Run a Neutral Wire
This is the more extreme option of the two, which involves installing a neutral wire in your home. Something that has the potential to be a fairly major undertaking, as the wire will need to be run inside the walls and ceilings of your rooms.
If you choose this approach, you may as well also ask your electrician to install your smart lighting devices; covering the installation at the same time as running the neutral wire makes sense, though could result in a costly project.
Option 2 – Use Smart Devices with No Neutral Required
The alternative option is to install smart lighting technology that is not dependent on a neutral wire. One example of which is EVVR’s In-Wall Relay Zigbee light switch, which provides all the same features and functionalities of a traditional smart light switch, but with no neutral wire required.
Devices like these work by limiting the flow of power between the switch and the light, without actually shutting it off. This in turn eliminates the requirement for a neutral wire, as the flow of power is kept constant; slowed to a carefully controlled trickle. Installing smart lighting devices with no neutral wire required is a much quicker, easier and more affordable option than running a neutral wire in your home.
Learn More about the EVVR Zigbee Light Switch
The EVVR In-Wall Relay Switch (IRS) makes it easy and affordable to benefit from smart lighting technology at home. With no neutral wire necessary, the Zigbee 3.0 no neutral wire smart switch can be installed and activated in almost any property in no time, with no size limitations and no minimum load requirements.
For more information on the EVVR In-Wall Relay Switch (IRS) with no neutral required, visit our product page or contact a member of our customer support team today.