Q: Best scenario for making existing power outlets smart?

Hi fellow Homey owners,

I hope all is well and you are staying safe!

I have been a Homey user for quite a while now. I’m still in the process of slowly but steadily making my home a smarter home. My next project is going to make ALL my wall outlets smart to 1) be able to manage my home in detail and b) to measure individual power consumption.

From my own research, it seems like that I have two options:

  1. Go for a built-in single or double switch like the ones from Fibaro.
  2. Buy a bunch of smart Zwave wall plugs, either Fibaro or from a different brand.

My question to you: does on of the above options have a clear advantage above the other besides the obvious costs and the time to install. I’m actually more interested in whether one of these options would further improve the quality of the Z-Wave network more than the other.

FWIW - my context:

  • House is roughly 170 square meters and has a ground and first floor.
  • I’m on an updated (stable version) version of first gen Homey
  • 30-something devices, mostly Fibaro Z-wave light switches and motion sensors
  • I have to replace the wall plates of my lights and power outlets anyway (because the girlfriend told me so :wink:

Thanks for thinking along!

Tip: buy your stuff at amazon.de i.s.o amazon.nl
For some reason amazon.de is a few euros cheaper most of the times.

Funny thing: when you order at amazon.de your is still shipped from amsterdam and arriving next day

Check (and let us know the answer):
If you have multiple outlets close to eachother (I have rows of 3 and even 4). Will multiple module so close to eachother still work fine? Or do they interfere?

I have read advice to keep units at least 30cm apart…

Check the limitations of the bridge (direct connect).
Dont know if the system automatically manages that

hello, i have about 42 devices (zwave, zigbee, wifi and kaku/433Mhz) and a diversity of brands (fibaro, neocoolcam, heiman, aqara, somfy, ikea and philips hue).

I have a few fibaro plugs for doing the mesh routing which seems to work fine (1 fibaro plug per floor). this is because some devices do not have a strong signal or work as a mesh router.

Not sure if zwave wall outlets have better performance then the plugs but i wouldn’t think so.

Also no experience with devices to close to each other so i think that is the most important part to consider but in that case you should use one zwave device with multiple switch functionality.

here everything with zwave works perfectly if homey (so far with fw 4.2.0) is up.

Thanks gents! Super useful replies.

@FKey - I remember reading about the 30cm, too. I have just walked through the house and luckily, my power outlets seem to consist of either 1 or 2 outlets in about 95% of the cases. So I should be able to connect the units with two outlets to one double fibaro switch. Is my assumption correct?

@Erwin_De_Jong - good point on the meshing capability of the smart plugs. I actually did not think about the option to combine the a few smart plugs with the built-in wall switches. That’s maybe even a better option then going only-plugs or only-switches.

I don’t particularly like the looks of smart plugs in all wall outlets. The built-in switches just make the house look cleaner IMHO -but then again, taste is subjective? But I could consider to use plugs for those outlets who are out of sight.

Off-topic: Last but not least, for those who are reading this topic, I do already have one location in my house where I had to combine two dimmers with roughly 20 centimetres between each other. This has been working smoothly for the last two years or so. I probably wouldn’t recommend it but I also don’t want folks to go into panic mode because they have units within 30 centimetres from each other :wink:

I think you also have to keep in mind that most wall outlet switches, like the ones from Fibaro, are limited to a certain maximum power consumption (see the device specification). Especially the Fibaro Double switch. It would be possible to plug a high consumption device, like a water boiler, a coffee machine or a fryer for example, which may lead to dangerous situations…

If you go for esthetics build them in. If they are switching less than 10A.

Maybe the plugs have better range because theyre located outside the wall.

You could also consider fibaro walli if you have the money.

I have 5 zwave routers and cover my whole house, not even considering the mesh when placed and work fine. So if youre affraid the mesh doesnt work, you don’t need that many routers.

You could also consider wifi based devices to cut the cost. Maybe Shelly, and place zwave plugs wherever you need to route zwave.

Qubino is also quite good and there are many other brands that fit the bill at a fraction of the price.

Fibaro works good but if cost is an option and you’re remoddeling the whole house it moght get expensive.

Sometimes I see a whole bunch of qubino or fibaro switches on marktplaats, maybe keep an eye on that.

Do you mean you want to make all your outlets switched? If so, consider the situation where Homey is offline for some reason (shit happens); at that point, none of your outlets may work.

Anyway, there are plenty of solutions:

Just a note regarding the distances of Z-Wave modules (no own experience!):

1 Like

I’m not sure I would put switches in all sockets if you do not know what will be plugged into it. It’s an old thread, but look into the answers in the following thread, especially about the different kind of loads (inductive/capacitive/resistive) with regard to what load the socket will eventually allow: https://forum.fibaro.com/topic/16263-fibaro-wall-plug/
Personal experience shows that a washer that should be supported with regard to maximum loads would shut the plug off.

Someone experience with adding niko plugs to homey (eg hue bridge)?

Would like to use them to keep my interior consistent ( all Niko (non smart) plugs at the moment)