Smart Downlights - Where to Begin and What Are The Do's and Dont's?

Hi All

I am looking to install smart downlights in my home around 25 off them. Not sure where to start or what is the right way to go?
Visited my local bunnings and there were some options with DETA branded light fittings around $30/piece. Thereafter it had to do something with the Grid Connect app.
So I guess that Grid connects them all through the app. While Google interacts with the Grid Connect app rather than each light itself. Have I got it right?
Has anyone used them and what is your experience?
Is the price fair or should be sticking to Philips Hue or any other options?

Any advice and suggestions more than welcome.

Comments

  • +1

    I've a fan of the tuya platform, so these Mirabella Genio ones are decent, come in color or just warm/cool versions.

    https://www.kmart.com.au/product/mirabella-genio-9w-led-wi-f...

    https://www.kmart.com.au/product/mirabella-genio-wi-fi-dimma...

    More stuff that works with the platform can be found here

    https://www.kmart.com.au/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchDis...

    • Thanks. So do they each connect separately to WIFI / Google Home or do they all connect as a group?

      • they are a separate addition, not grouped.
        App controlled and can be used via Google Home for voice etc, I have 2 and they are great.
        Every time you add wifi devices that are not through a Hub (eg: Philips Hue, 1 connection to modem/router) and depending on your hardware, you risk clogging your network.

      • They connect separately, if you want them as a group you can create groups in the app, or look at using a tuya light switch to turn on your existing lights etc.

  • I am in a similar situation with a whole bunch of downlights currently still using the 50w halogens.

    I have tried to change them to LEDs but a couple keep flickering at fast velocity but still noticeable.

    So since I have a Google Home Max I might as well change them to smart downlights.

    Unfortunately I have MR16's so even if I could find smart LEDs they won't match, all the ones I have seen @ Bunnings etc are GU10's.

    So I am left with products like the 2 mentioned above or this from Bunnings.

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/deta-10w-smart-led-downlight-wit...

    The thing that I am disappointed about is that if the light is blown you have to replace the WHOLE unit, thats $30 gone including having to climb into the roof space again.

    LED's certainly do not last the N,000's of hours they purport to last.

    I haven't done more research than talking to Bunnings but I gather there are options where you can purchase a smart downlight where the bulbs are changeable from under the ceiling?

    • I am now more confused :-(. Whats MR16's and GU10's?

      • Google it. They are bulb types. Normally used for retrofitting bulbs into existing sockets.

    • The LED's will last the stated amount of hours if not abused. The electronics running the LED's may not and will likely die before you see issues with the LED's.

    • We had MR16's however, to use LED's you need to use transformers which is what always failed. We switched every single downlight to GU10 and it is perfect! So many more options, no more expensive transformers that always blow out and overall cheaper

  • +1

    That's a lot of lights. If you go down the wifi route (no hub) make sure your router can reliably support that many connections.

    • Thats what I thought. May be I am doing it wrong. Need to get decent Downlights and for each room have them connected to a smart switch, Deta or Alrec? Not sure if thats the way to do it.

      • For downlights this is exactly how I'd do it. The only caveat is you'd need a neutral at the switch in most cases. There are smart switches that do not need this but those are quite hard/impossible to find with Australian certifications. If your house is relatively new then there is a very high possibility for the existing switches are looped with a neutral.

  • So are you looking for smart light fittings, and not smart light bulbs?

    • I am looking to install downlights downstairs in my home. At the moment there just conventional light fittings. I want my new downlights to be controlled by Google Assistant (have Google Mini as well as Google Nest) as well as alternatively via the app using smartphone / iPad with dimmable and changing colour to white / warm or yellowish-white (tricolour options that I have seen on a few).

  • +3

    Unless you are after RGB mood lightning, individual dimming, etc, why don't you use smart wall switches instead?

    If you already have LED GU10 lights this would be a much better and cheaper solution instead of giving 'smarts' to individual GU10 lights. As GU10 lights are meant to be operated as clusters this would also defeat the purpose of using GU10.

    If you are replacing halogen GU10 globes then upgrade to dumb LED GU10 lights or 90mm LED downlights and use smart switches as above.

    This way you would also save more electricity as there is only one device on stand-by (the switch) instead of multiple lights hooked up to wifi waiting for a turn on/off signal. I'm aware it would be a negligible mA current but it all adds up and also increases the lifespan of the lights and way cheaper to replace faulty ones.

    Take the smart light path only if it is a single pendant light or two, bedside and desk lamps, etc.

    • +1

      Thanks. I had no clue till last night when I posted how to go about. But I think it’s getting clearer that I need to get GU10 globes and hook them to smart switch.

    • Smart switches also work for me. More economic solution for me I think.

  • +1

    I replaced my GU10 downlights with Ikea Tradfri GU10 bulbs,

    I use them with my Hue bridge alongside my other hue lights.

    works great with the Hue remote as I can program different areas and scenes

    https://www.ikea.com/au/en/cat/smart-lighting-36812/

    • @impoze does Alexa/automation work with this method?

  • If you are swapping out halogens with led one to one make sure you get dimable ones as they can be a lot brighter. The cheap leds not dimable.

    You should also look to get new transformers as the okd ones for halogens not very efficient on power and can cause flickering.

    You will save a heap of power

    • +1

      Yes this will work and you can turn on/off the lights with the smart switch and via google assistant/alexa and set schedules, etc.

      But you can't do the following;
      Colour change - The temperature of the downlight(cool white, warm white, natural) is set manually with a switch on the light body. Once set this is fixed and cannot be changed by the app or the smart switch. If you need to change colour temp then the only option is to get RGB or RGBW smart downlights.
      Dimming - Bulb supports dimming but you can't do it with the switch or the app. If you need dimming, 1. Forget about normal smart switches and get dimmable wifi smart lights or 2. Get a smart switch with dimming or 3. Get a smart dimmer module - like this one

      There is no one switch that fits everyone so you need to choose based on your needs and install location. For example in my case I used normal downlights and smart switches (similar to the ones in your example) in places I do not need dimming and dimmable switches in lounge room, tv/theatre room etc.

      • Thanks to you and Damm to me :-(
        Its lot more complicated than I thought.

        Definitely want in my wish list:
        1) Hey Google switch on the living room lights.
        2) Hey Google switch the lights to cool day light.
        3) Hey Google dim the lights.

        So need to see what will fit in without breaking the bank balance….as need 25 odd lights and 5 switches.

        • +1

          If you need all 3 features across the board then you only have one option - Smart dimmable wifi downlights (Tri colour or RGBW)
          This or this will work for you depending on the lighting fixture or cutout.

          Also before you buy any smart switches check if you have a neutral at the existing wall switches. If there is no neutral then the job could end up being much more expensive (note: only applies to smart switches). Also keep in mind you need a licensed electrician to do all this work and this could end up being more expensive than the lights.

          • @websterp:

            Smart dimmable wifi downlights

            Or Zigbee/Zwave. I much prefer these as you have only one device on your WiFi network to monitor and secure. Plus, you could have your hub entirely disconnected from the Internet.

  • +1

    Philips hue is by far the best smart light system, but you'll be paying for it… They need a hub plugged into your router as they use the zigbee protocol rather than wifi. The benefit of this is they are very low power and zigbee is very quick to respond. Might not seem like much but after 6 months the 1 or 2 second delay that some (not all) wifi bulbs have will annoy you.

    I read recently you can get the Ikea smart bulbs, including the GU10 downlights to work with a Philips Hue smart hub, as they also use the Zigbee protocol. I haven't tested it personally and the functionality might be more limited but the philips hue hub works with Google, Alexa and for me the important one, Apple Homekit. We're a family of iPhone/iPad/HomePod users so yelling at Siri to turn your lights off and on rather than using an app which may never get an update is very important!

    Also worth noting is Zigbee makes a mesh network, so every bulb you add extends the range of the network from your hub.

  • Sorry to hijack OP's post, but I'm also in the market for smart wifi downlights to replace all the current light fittings..

    Currently leaning towards getting the Mirabella Genio downlights RGB/$29 or non RGB/$25 each since they seem to be the cheapest smart downlight in the market.

    Pretty sure they tick all the boxes for OP? Just cant figure out the wall switches since they dont seem to sell one, so the conventional switch will have to stay on and they'll need to be activated via voice/app?

    • So when its says that it interacts with Google app then is it directly linking each of them with google home or via 3rd party app?

      • Once you set up the lights via either the Genio/smart life app then you can link your account to google home app. You can make the necessary grouping in the Genio/smart life app. In the Google home app you can set up the relevant commands under routines and put the lights in the correct room. Hard to explain but if you've ever set up a smart light it all works pretty similarly.

        • Thanks. A quick google as well helped;

          https://www.google.com/search?q=Mirabella+Genio&rlz=1C1CHBD_...

          Hey wont it be a cheaper option to get decent LED Downlights and have smart switches instead. I am looking for 25 odd downlights for my place.

          • @nickskewl: To each their own. If cost is not an option you can install 25 Hue downlights and if not setup wifi LED downlights or smart switches based on your budget and needs.

            I chose to use smart switches and very happy with it. If you decided to go down this path pm me and happy to share some of the resources I've used including places I've purchased mine.

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