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Best Buy Guides Find the Best Built-In Modules for Your Smart Home in 2022
Best Buy Guide
Find the Best Built-In Modules for Your Smart Home in 2022
Best Buy Guide

Find the Best Built-In Modules for Your Smart Home in 2022

Connecting lights is one of the first things users do with Homey. Replace an existing bulb with a smart one, connect it to Homey, and you're done. But then you find out that your existing switch no longer works as intended, and in most cases, the best solution is to install a built-in module to upgrade the switch. The installation might be a hurdle, but fortunately, it's not that bad. Let’s take a look at how built-in modules work and which one you should buy.

Upgrading Regular Bulbs

First things first – when upgrading your lights, you have to decide whether you want to use a smart bulb or continue using a regular bulb. In short, normal bulb turns on when there is power, and turns off when there is no power. You can make such regular fixture smart with a built-in module that turn the power on or off.

The advantage of using normal bulbs is that they are cheaper per piece and use slightly less energy. If you want to upgrade several bulbs at the same time – for example, a series of recessed spotlights or a chandelier – it often makes more sense to use regular bulbs in combination with a built-in module than replace them all with smart counterparts.

Built-in modules & smart switches

You can replace an entire switch with a smart one, or if you like your existing switches, you can keep them and install wired modules behind them. Alternatively, some modules can also be installed in lamp canopies instead of mounting them inside a switch box.

Built-in modules can switch your normal lights on/off and keep information on the position of the switch. This is possible because the power status of the light and the position of the switch are now decoupled.

Built-in dimmers

In case of dimming modules, you’ll be able to change the brightness of the bulb as well. However, you have to make sure that your normal bulb can dim. This is often stated on the packaging.

Using Smart Bulbs

On the other hand, a smart bulb contains a built-in connection over Wi-Fi or Zigbee. These bulbs can be turned on and off remotely, but often also dimmed, and sometimes you can change their color or color temperature, from warm white to cold white. That's a thing that normal bulbs with a built-in module are not capable of.

Because a smart bulb must always listen for commands, it has to have constant power. That means you can't turn off the physical switch. This is solved by replacing the switch with a smart one. Depending on whether you want to keep your switches (for example because they are the same style as your outlets), you have two choices.

Wireless smart switches

The simplest option is to remove the existing switch, and connect the two wires where your switch used to be together. Afterward, you can add a new one that works wirelessly through Homey. Wireless switches and remotes run on a battery, and they send a wireless signal to Homey when you press a button or rocker. In Homey, you can then create a Flow that turns your lamp on or off.

Some wireless switches have one or more buttons or rockers. Because they have no wires, you can completely control which button does what. Wireless switches can also be mounted anywhere. They can therefore be installed in place of your existing switches, but that is not necessary. You can easily put them on your bedside tables, for example.

Many popular manufacturers produce wireless switches –be it Aqara, Philips, KlikAanKlikUit, or IKEA Trådfri – which means there are a lot of features and form factors you can choose from.

Wireless smart dimmers

Wireless variants are also available for smart dimmers, which you can place anywhere in the house. These work well with smart lights that can dim and change color. Of course, you can also use them to control the volume of your smart speaker or TV.

Because your lamp and switch are no longer directly connected to each other, you can connect more than one button to your lamp with Homey. Alternatively, you can control the bulb via a voice assistant.

Built-in modules & smart switches

If you use smart bulbs, you can also connect a built-in smart module in such a way that it will only listen for the changes in the switch position and leave your bulbs constantly powered on.

How to Install a Built-In Switch or Dimmer?

If you opt for a built-in solution, you can come across all sorts of situations when you unmount the existing light switch. But basically, it comes down to whether you can see two, three, or four wires.

2 wires3 wires4 wires
DescriptionYou can turn one bulb on/off by breaking the connection.Same as two wires, but with a neutral wire added. Same as two wires, but with a neutral and ground wire.
1 regular bulbUse a smart module without neutral.Use a single smart module with neutral.Use a single smart module with neutral.
2 regular bulbsUse a single smart module without neutral.Use a double smart module without neutral.Use a double smart module with neutral.
Smart bulb(s)Connect the wires. Use a battery-powered switch.Use a smart module with neutral.* Use a smart module with neutral.*
* Keep the bulbs powered on in Homey settings, and use the switch position to control the bulb parameters.

The Best Built-In Modules and Switches in 2022

Take a look at the table below to get an overview of the best products currently available on the market-

BrandModelPriceDimensionsProtocolTypeHomey Pro SupportHomey Beta Support
XiaomiAqara Single & Double Wall Switch€39+86 x 86 x 38 cmZigbeeSwitch with caseYesYes
QubinoLuxy Smart Switch€9994 x 91 x 46 mmZ-WaveSwitch with caseYesYes
FibaroFibaro Switch & Dimmer€49+43 x 38 x 20 mmZ-WaveBuilt-in module / dimmerYesYes
KlikAanKlikUitACM-2000€1748 x 48 x 25 mm433 MHzBuilt-in moduleYesYes
Shelly1€1540 x 38 x 18 mmWi-FiBuilt-in moduleYesYes
ShellyDimmer 2€2042 x 36 x 14 mmWi-FiBuilt-in dimmerYesYes
QubinoMini Dimmer€5538 x 34 x 16 mmZ-WaveBuilt-in dimmerYesYes

Aqara Single & Double Wall Switch

Available at EUR 39+

Aqara Single & Double Wall Switch
  • Single and double rocker variants available
  • With or without neutral
  • Great price
  • Minimalist design

The Aqara Wall Switch is a pretty versatile option. It comes both as a neutral (ie. 3-wire) and a no-neutral (ie. 2-wire) model, with single or double rocker form factors available for both variants. That means Aqara should work in most situations, regardless of whether your home has older or newer wiring.

The outside case is well-designed and minimalist, so it will suit most interiors, regardless of their style. As for functionality, Aqara’s switch offers only on/off capability, so unfortunately there’s no dimming for regular bulbs. However, if you use smart bulbs, you can remap the buttons to assign various types of scenes with a specific dim level for your smart lights.

As you would expect, the Aqara Wall Switch integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Homey ecosystem. Install the Aqara App for Homey, pair the switch to Homey Pro or Homey Bridge via Zigbee, and set up any home automation that comes to your mind!

Qubino Luxy Smart Switch

Available at EUR 99

Qubino Luxy Smart Switch
  • Unique design
  • Works as a decorative / night light with 16M colors
  • Z-Wave connection
  • Only single rocker variant
  • Expensive

The Qubino Luxy is a smart switch that itself works as a decorative light, night light, or signal light for smart home notifications. The switch allows you to choose from 16 million colors that can light up the switch case. 

When it comes to control of other devices, you can use this innovative accessory as a simple on/off switch. Alternatively, you can assign its 5 touchpoints with the Qubino App for Homey to run various Flows, creating whatever mood you wish.

The Luxy is a powerful and versatile switch that can be used to control your home from anywhere. It's perfect for those who want greater flexibility in their daily lives. At the same time, its Z-Wave connection offers great range and security advantages when communicating with Homey Pro and Homey Bridge.

Because of the extra functionality, the device is quite expensive, but it might be worth the investment if you’re an advanced smart home user.

Fibaro Switch & Dimmer

Available at EUR 49+

Fibaro Switch & Dimmer
  • Single and double variants available
  • Long range with Z-Wave
  • Power metering
  • Small size
  • Works in both 2-wire and 3-wire setups
  • Pricey

The Fibaro Single & Double Switch modules provide total control of your home. They will prove their worth in many different places and situations, from switching on or off electrical devices like lights to controlling plugs behind major home appliances. With the Fibaro App for Homey and the built-in power metering function of Fibaro modules, you’ll know exactly how much energy is used when your devices are running.

These modules don't take up much space, allowing them to be hidden anywhere, be it switch boxes or lamp canopies. Like with other Fibaro devices, the build of these switches feels really sturdy. Moreover, these accessories use the Z-Wave Plus technology to connect to Homey Pro and Homey Bridge, equipping your smart home with a long-range, stable connection with increased security.

The Single Switch can control one circuit while the Double Switch version controls two. On top of that, Fibaro also offers a dimmer variant suitable for lights and ceiling fans.

KlikAanKlikUit ACM-2000

Available at EUR 17

KlikAanKlikUit ACM-2000
  • Great price
  • 433 MHz connection
  • Useful for retrofitting lamps
  • Doesn’t work with existing switches

The ACM-2000 built-in module is a convenient way to control your lights via Homey. It allows turning on/off with a remote, a wireless wall switch, or directly in the Homey Mobile App

This module does not support installation behind existing switches – once installed, it will occupy the former spot of your switch without providing the option to manually switch on your lights. However, it can also be hidden in the canopy of your lamp with the original switch staying in its place. This, in turn, offers an ideal solution for upgrading pendant lamps or flush-mounted ceiling lights.

Things only get simpler from that point. With the ACM-2000 integrated into Homey, you can control the end device manually, but you can also automate your lighting to turn on when it gets dark outside, or turn it off when there’s no one home.

A potential downside is that the 433 MHz connection doesn’t offer as much range as some of the other products on our list. At the same time, it doesn’t add noise to your Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Z-Wave networks, speeding up the communication with various devices.

Shelly 1

Available at EUR 15

Shelly 1
  • Small size
  • Affordable, especially when bought in bulk
  • Works without a hub
  • Works in both 2-wire and 3-wire setups
  • The Shelly mobile app needs improvement
  • Adds noise to Wi-Fi network

Have you ever been frustrated with manually switching your home electronics on or off? Would you like to have simple remote control over your existing lights? The Shelly 1 is a good solution for such situations, as it offers basic control for your smart home. 

The 1 is a minimalist option in many of its aspects. Not only will it provide you with remote control over lighting fixtures in any room, its small size also means that you don’t have to worry about it fitting behind the switches you already own. Moreover, its price will suit any budget.

On the downside, Shelly mobile app is nothing to write home about. However, thanks to the Shelly App for Homey, you can manage most functionality via Homey. For example, you can have your lights turn on/off automatically with a motion sensor or create a schedule for your lights to turn on as it gets dark outside.

Shelly Dimmer 2

Available at EUR 20

Shelly Dimmer 2
  • Affordable, especially when bought in bulk
  • Works without a hub
  • Works in both 2-wire and 3-wire setups
  • The Shelly mobile app needs improvement
  • Adds noise to Wi-Fi network

Unlike its simpler siblings, the Shelly Dimmer 2 offers dimming capabilities. That means you can retrofit your dumb light fixtures to control brightness or upgrade a ceiling fan and manage its speed via Homey.

Because the module works over Wi-Fi, you don’t need a physical hub to connect it to Homey – simply set up the integration via cloud. Another advantage of these Shelly dimmers is obviously their price. It’s hard to find a more economical solution with the same functionality, especially when buying these in bulk.

Shelly users often complain about the Shelly mobile app being unreliable, and unfortunately, it’s also true for these modules. Fortunately, after the initial setup, you can simply control all functions of the dimmer from your Homey thanks to the Shelly App for Homey.

Qubino Mini Dimmer

Available at EUR 55

Qubino Mini Dimmer
  • Practical design
  • Z-Wave range and security
  • Neutral and no-neutral versions
  • Expensive

With the Qubino Mini Dimmer, you can control your lights from anywhere. This dimmer is perfect for those who want more flexibility when it comes to their lighting needs, and it works with just about every type of bulb out there – from LEDs, fluorescent, halogen to incandescent bulbs. 

This module is suitable for flush boxes which don’t offer much space – even those where a classic module would not fit. This, in turn, reduces assembly time and the cost of installation.

The installation instructions are clear enough on how to connect the wires. Once connected via the Qubino App for Homey, there is little latency between the commands sent from Homey Pro or Homey Bridge and the response of the light. This is possible thanks to the Z-Wave connection which offers great range and improved security over other protocols.

Conclusion

As you've seen, built-in modules are a great tool to control your home. When it comes to simple on/off functionality, we recommend checking out the Shelly 1 or the ACM-2000. Both devices get the basics right without breaking the bank.

For those who are looking for flexibility, we recommend the Shelly Dimmer 2. It’s a bit more expensive than the previous two options, but it gives you dimming capabilities, and it's possible to control it via cloud. Meanwhile, Z-Wave's range, no Wi-Fi interference, and offline functionality make Fibaro a suitable higher-end option.

Finally, for those who want to replace their entire switches, the Aqara Single & Double Switches will get the job done. They provide the ability to control one or two fixtures via Homey, and enable you to run various automations triggered by the switch.

One thing you shouldn’t forget is that all of the products mentioned above work well with physical hubs like Homey Pro and Homey Bridge, while the Shelly devices also support control via the new cloud-based Homey service.

We hope that our article helps you choose the right product for your needs. Regardless of your choice of brand or model, Homey will help you stay flexible across various protocols and ecosystems. Go ahead and give Homey a try!

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