Review of Universal Zigbee-dimmer for flush-mounting – for Tuya Smart / Smart Life 2022. Once again, a device bought by one of the viewers of my Youtube channel and provided to me for study and review came to my review. For which I express my gratitude and share with you all that I have learned.
This is a relatively recently commercially available Zigbee dimmer of the Tuya Smart ecosystem, for installation in a wall box, the task of which is to control a dimmable light source. This allows not smart light – to make it smart. But this device differs from the usual dimmers on the market in a number of interesting features.
Where can I buy
Tuya Zigbee Smart In Wall Dimmer Switch Remote Control Works With Or Without Neutral Wire
- Type – dimmer for light control
- Interface – Zigbee
- Ecosystem – Tuya Smart
- The installation is a socket outlet, it works with and without a zero line, there is also a special ballast that can be purchased with a dimmer or separately.
- Maximum current – up to 1.2 A, about 279 watts
- The minimum load is 5 watts with ballast and 10 watts without it for a circuit with zero and 10 – 20 watts, respectively, for a circuit without zero.
- Automatic detection of load type and dimming possibilities
- Work with incandescent, fluorescent, energy saving, halogen and LED lamps
- Size 44x40x20 mm
The device comes in a simple white box, without specifying the ecosystem or interface. Only on the end there is the address of the Chinese factory.
Inside there is an instruction – in English and by the way it contains useful information, and a cardboard insert with a dimmer. By the way, he is really very small
The instructions already say that this is a Zigbee device, there is a diagram of the device with a description of all its elements and their purpose.
And most importantly – there are connection schemes, there are two of them – with zero and without. Zero is connected to the N connector, and in the absence of zero – N is connected to the output to the Out load. Requirements are indicated for the minimum load – when using ballast – they are half that. 5 and 10 watts in case of zero connection and 10 and 20 watts according to zero-zero circuit.
The dimmer is a plastic box a little more than 4 cm wide, on one wide side of which there is a contact block. The second wide side is rounded. On the right is an external radio antenna.
Screw contacts – the wires in them are fed from the end of the dimmer, and are clamped with a flat screwdriver from the front side of the case.
On the back side – on top, there is a single button, a short press on it leads to switching the state of the dimmer. From the useful there is also a signature for all contacts of the pads.
To understand the real size – to scale with a standard matchbox. The device is really very small.
Naturally, the dimer fits into a standard round socket without any problems. The only thing you need to decide is whether it is worth fixing it to the wall, or leaving it in the air, connected to the wires.
For the layout test, I took a standard, non-flat, Legrand switch.
All together perfectly fit into a socket box, even with a margin for wiring.
Disassembling the device is very simple – the halves of the case are held together by three latches that can be easily opened with an old plastic card
Immediately striking is the absence of an electromechanical relay, which is logical – the relay cannot dim.
Accordingly, the dimmer works completely silently, there is nothing to click there.
Some of the elements are filled with glue for secure fastening. But the glue does not allow you to see the markings of the elements.
Back side photo. I cannot fail to note that the flux in some places is frankly badly washed.
Another perspective for those who are interested in the element base and the quality of installation.
Let’s move on to the connection. Let’s first consider the option with a zero line. We connect the phase and zero to the L and N connectors, respectively. Do not neglect unnecessary checking, the indicator screwdriver is worth a penny.
We do not confuse anything – the phase is in L, zero in N. This is the only way to guarantee the correctness of the work, safety, including yours and your loved ones.
The load with one contact is connected directly to the zero of the network – the blue contact of the large terminal block, and the second – to the Out connector, it is located near the N connector and on this slide is connected through a triple terminal block, why a terminal block is needed – it will now be understood.
And this is a circuit without a zero line. At first glance, everything is the same here, but there is a difference. The wire from the N connector is connected to the Out connector and the load – through the same triple terminal block. Such a scheme is suitable for a larger number of socket outlets for lighting.
An external switch connects to the COM and S1 connectors and controls the dimmer by closing and opening these contacts
When first powered on, the blue LED on the back should flash slowly. If this does not happen, you need to hold down the button on the dimmer – and hold until the diode starts at first slowly, and then flickers faster and faster, after which the dimmer will be reset to the factory settings, and will start flickering slowly.
To pair, quickly press the button on the back of the dimmer twice – the diode will start blinking quickly.
After that, in the application, go to the plug-in of the gateway to which we want to connect the dimmer, click add a new device and confirm that the diode is already flickering.
The gateway finds a new device, interfaces with it, offers to set a name and location – but this can be changed at any time and adds a dimmer to the list.
I immediately received an update, by the way, for Zigbee devices this does not happen so often. The update itself takes quite a long time, it is understandable – the Zigbee channel width is not intended for transferring a large amount of data. The device plugin is unusual, there are many exclusive features here.
In the upper part, the level of the current brightness is indicated, below it there is a slider for changing it. Next, the type of the current connection is indicated, it is determined automatically – with or without neutral. Next are the type of connected external switch, it is indicated manually and its state is 0 or 1, control modes, recognition of the type of load, then the actual type of load itself – for example, resistive or inductive and the possibility of dimming. And at the very bottom is a switch.
External switch types can be fixed, reset, physical dimmer and auto-sensing. Management modes – local, remote and combined. Load detection mode – disabled, one-time at the first power-on and constant.
The position of the switch – for example, fixed, either 0 or 1, depending on its position. This can be used in automations if needed.
In automations, similar to almost all Tuya devices, the dimmer can be used, among other things, as a trigger or a condition for operation.
Almost everything that a dimmer can do can be used as a condition – turning it on and off, changing the brightness – for example, when the value is less than the threshold – automatically turn on the additional backlight and similarly turn it off when it is exceeded.
If necessary, you can even add to the condition a change in the type of circuit breaker, the mode of determining the load and control.
In general, the flight of imagination is not limited here, although in practice, in my opinion, in addition to switching the state and brightness, it is really possible to use the status of an external switch – for example, to determine whether the light is turned on automatically or manually.
And, of course, the dimmer works in the automation actions section. There are already fewer options, and I’ll say right away, despite their presence, not all can be used.
Basic actions are, of course, switching the state of the dimmer and setting the brightness – both immediately set in the first option, and stepwise change by 1, 10 or 20% as in the second and third options.
You can also change those settings that are changed manually in the plugin. Although I do not see any particular practical benefit in this.
The rest of the options are there, but in the current version of the firmware and application – they are not worked out in automations.
Examples of some simple automations. In the first one, by a single click on the wireless switch, the load connected to the dimmer is turned on or off, in the second, by holding the key, the brightness changes by 10% and in the third, when the brightness decreases below 30%, the backlight is turned on in the form of a starry sky projector.
Interestingly, the dimer is forwarded to Home Assistant through the standard Tuya cloud integration. This is the first Zigbee device in my memory that enters the HA in this way, I have not seen this before.
The device can be controlled, it belongs to the Light domain – lamps, but in this version of the integration and firmware of the dimmer – it can only be turned on and off. I do not exclude that brightness control will appear.
As of the review release date, the device is not supported in zigbee2mqtt – version 1.17.1-4. As for the creation of an external converter, then everything is not so simple here either, I will explain why a little further.
Connection to SLS gateway on firmware from 01/24/2021. The dimer model was compared to one of the existing Tuya dimmers, which gave some hope.
But there were no control options in the states.
In the course of further work with the author of the gateway firmware – the maximum that happened was to turn the dimmer on and off, as in the standard Tuya integration. Obviously, the principle of organizing control – here is significantly different from existing dimmers – for example, there are as many as three channels, and not one. Apparently for each type of load. In general, full integration takes time and the physical presence of the device from the author of the firmware.
All tests are available for viewing in video version of the review – link at the end of the text. With photographs and text – it is impossible to convey the full picture of the actions.
No zero line
Since the dimer came to me without ballast, normal testing in the mode without a zero line did not work. In this case, the LED lamp just flickered, responding only to switching on and off.
And with this lamp – the dimmer could not leave the offline mode. I did not want to put on the ceiling lamps in order to burn the dimmer with a high starting current.
Only an ordinary incandescent lamp started up, everything is almost normal here, turning on, off and reaction to the dimmer. The only exception is the maximum brightness mode – the lamp shines unevenly, constantly decreasing and increasing the intensity.
With zero line
When connecting zero – everything works correctly. Let’s see how the load type detection mode works – you can enable it once, permanently, or disable it if the load is determined correctly.
I screw in the incandescent lamp and overload the dimmer on the power supply.
After power is applied, the dimmer starts testing the switched on load – turning it on and off and trying to change the brightness.
As a result, the type of load is determined – in this case, resistive with the possibility of dimming.
Test with dimmable LED lamp. We turn on the load detection mode and overload the power supply.
The detection mode also turns on, off and changes the brightness of the lamp.
But as a result, he comes to an unexpected result, having made a mistake in both parameters. There is clearly a lack of the ability to manually set the type of luminaire.
Latching switch… It works quickly, at 100% brightness – when the zero line is connected, it lights up steadily. The application responds quickly, the status of the switch in the plugin changes. When the brightness is changed, the next switching on occurs in the last mode.
Return switch. Here, too, everything is worked out quickly and clearly. If you hold it down, the brightness will begin to change, alternately in one direction and the other. By the way, the button located on the dimmer itself works in the same way.
Dimmable LED lamp. I did not turn on the detection mode, leaving what was found during the test of the incandescent lamp. At least that’s how the brightness can be controlled. Here everything is the same for the latching and return switches. Unfortunately, there was no turning one at hand.
The device is undoubtedly interesting and with great potential. The disadvantages include the high cost, especially if you buy with ballast and the lack of support, I hope that only for now, in alternative integrations.
I must admit that today, it makes sense to purchase – more classic, so to speak, zigbee dimmers for a socket, for example from Lonsonho, which are much cheaper and are supported in zigbee2mqtt.
Thank you for your attention