Unified Lighting Control

My ideal approach to home lighting is to have high quality (90+ CRI) tunable white bulbs where the color temperature adjusts through-out the day and can otherwise be controlled via wall switches. I already have an algorithm in Node Red that calculates the desired bulb color temperature based on the time of day. I'm using Hue and Hue compatible "smart" bulbs on a Hue hub. So, for example, in the morning and afternoon, "smart" bulbs are cool white, while in the evenings my bulbs are warm. This aspect works well, though I wish the Hue bulbs were warmer and brighter.

However, I'm really only interested in the smart bulbs for the purpose of controlling color temperature & dimming. Most members of my household (everyone other than me) prefer to use a wall switch to control the on/off state of the bulbs. Even the "smart" bulbs are fine on a switched circuit other than the fact that they can't be controlled if the switch is off. So, a dry contract / relay based "smart" switch would resolve that issue and also work fine for "dumb" bulbs.

For lights that benefit from dimming and-or color control, I think I can let the algorithm handle color temperature and brightness, and on the rare occasion the algorithm needs to be manually overridden, we'd have to use the Node Red dashboard rather than a dimmer switch. In other words, I'd use the wall switch to turn the bulbs on or off, and, in case of lighting that benefits from dimming\color I'd use a "smart" bulb, node red & the algorithm to handle dimming\color.

In regards to wall switches, I'm curious what solutions might be available (particularly in the US, though I'm always curious what is going on elsewhere as Europe seems to be a bit ahead of the US in terms of availability of home automation hardware)? Because my post is primarily about wall switches, I started to post to this thread: Compatible Light Switch For Node-Red - #22 by TotallyInformation But, I think my use case / objective is a little different.

Personally, I'm weary of using WiFi switches and have been waiting to see what Zigbee 3.0 solutions appear in the US. I've used Insteon switches paired with a ISY994 hub with success, but I find the Insteon pairing process frustrating. Z-Wave appears to have the most developed product lines, but I don't have any hands-on experience with z-wave.

My interest in Zigbee is that I'd rather the "smart" relay-based switches be compatible with the Hue hub, whether those switches are controlling "smart" bulbs or "dumb" bulbs. Here in the US, I've only found 1 brand of Zigbee 3.0 light switch compatible with the Hue hub. There's a few other non-compatible Zigbee wall switches available. I have a Phoscon Raspbee that has many advantages over the Hue hub, except that you can't update firmware for the bulbs (that I'm aware of).

So, what are you currently using or considering?

(This is a little off the node-red topic... but what I'd really like to see is a hub that is aware of both smart bulbs & hardwired smart switches. One could then easily "pair" & group the bulbs to the switch by power cycling the switch. The hub would be smart enough to recognize the switch and bulbs cycling together, then use an app for more advanced configuruation of the grouping (assign to a room, assign a dimming \ color algorithm, etc). Once the light switch is installed by an electrician, this unified set-up would be much easier for non-technical home users to replace & configure bulbs.)

Personally, I don't ever want to use proprietary hubs or cloud services for home automation. This is one of the things that got me into Node-RED in the first place. I also believe that home automation shouldn't cost the earth which is why I don't use systems like the Phillips Hue.

I've put myself on the waiting list for the top recommended Zigbee2MQTT USB dongles and when Ikea reopens I'll be getting one or two of their Zigbee controlled mains switches that also act as repeaters. I have Zigbee based TRV's that are currently controlled by a Drayton Wiser smart heating controller (has a cloud service but works without and I have created my own node.js control and monitoring package).

Zigbee is clearly becoming the front-runner now for low-powered, low-cost remote home automation devices. So I figured now is a good time to get into it. It will be my 3rd radio type for home automation, the other 2 being 433MHz and WiFi.

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