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LightwaveRF home automation: iPhone-friendly smart control for central heating joins the network

What’s new for LightwaveRF?

LightwaveRF thermostatic radiator valveBritish home automation specialists LightwaveRF have unveiled a set of central heating control products to go alongside their lighting and electrical power remote control devices.

The Thermostatic Radiator Valve enables you to turn each radiator or group of radiators into an independent zone that can be controlled via a timer, or remotely via your smartphone or PC.

There’s also a boiler switch to turn your heating on and off remotely, a radio thermostat to monitor your home and trigger the heating controllers, and the thermostatic radiator valves can be switched on or off via LightwaveRF’s magnetic window switches and PIR motion sensors.

October 12, 2012

What is LightwaveRF?

LightwaveRF is a British-designed wireless home automation technology, which can be integrated with your home network for remote control from your PC or smartphone.

There are adapters for controlling your lighting, electricity and central heating, as well as energy monitoring and security devices.

Devices communicate with each other over a low-bitrate radio link at 433.92MHz, which is also used by the remote control handsets, and a network adapter is used to relay these signals to your smartphone or PC, over WiFi or using your internet connection if you’re away from home.

There are free apps for iOS and Android devices, and a secure web interface which can be accessed via any web browser on a PC or Mac.

LightwaveRF is not interoperable with other home automation technology, but the control API is freely available to other home automation systems, and has been incorporated by the likes of Crestron.

LightwaveRF WiFi Link and smartphone/iPhone control

What can I control with LightwaveRF?

LightwaveRF Master SwitchLighting

  • Dimmer switch: Replaces your existing light switches and can act as simple on/off switches or dimmers as required. They also have mood settings for specific light levels.
  • Master wall switch: This switch can store up to five mood settings for all of your lights, and is battery-operated so it can be placed in any location – even a wet room. Smaller Mood Master switches are also available.
  • Compact fluorescent bulb: Fully-dimmable 20W energy-saving lightbulb in bayonet and screw fittings, with built-in LightwaveRF chips that can be controlled without a new wall switch.
  • LED light: Battery-powered LED light for sheds, lofts and cupboards where there’s no mains power.

LightwaveRF dimmer socket adapter and remote controlElectricity

  • Socket adapter: Dimmable plug-in unit which can control the power for devices drawing up to 300W.
  • Inline relay: On/Off switches inserted into the mains power line for controlling anything from fluorescent tube lights to garage doors or electric blinds and curtains, handling up to 500W loads on a 240V UK supply.
  • Wall socket: Replace your standard 13A UK mains power sockets, fitting into a 25mm or 35mm back box.
  • On/Off switch: Battery-powered switch for triggering the Inline Relay, can be placed anywhere.

LightwaveRF room thermostatHeating

  • Thermostatic radiator valves: Every radiator can be controlled independently, or grouped into zones, so they only allow the radiator to heat up at certain times, on programmed cycles or at will, to a set temperature.
  • Radio thermostat: Lets you monitor the temperature in any room, and automatically trigger whole-home heating or independent radiators.
  • Boiler switch: Turns your central heating boiler on or off, depending on automatic programmes, your remote commands or signals from a thermostat or thermostatic radiator valve.

Accessories

  • Window switch: The magnetic window switch can be used to trigger lighting or turn on other devices, or to turn off radiator valves in a room if someone opens a window to cool it down.
  • PIR motion detector: Battery-operated infrared switch which can trigger any LightwaveRF lighting or power switch in your home.
  • Signal booster: Battery-powered relay which extends the range of LightwaveRF devices for use in large homes or gardens.

Networking

  • Smartphone WiFi link: Connects to your router and enables you to connect smartphones and PCs to LightwaveRF devices, either over your home network or remotely through your broadband connection.
  • Energy monitor: You’ll need a network adapter and a smartphone or PC to use the Energy Monitor, which tells you not just how much you’re using through mains power, but how much all of your LightwaveRF devices are using individually – and the same app can be used to switch them on and off. Monitors mains power usage by clipping onto your cable and uses battery power, so there’s no need for professional installation.

Can I fit LightwaveRF devices?

Several LightwaveRF devices, such as lightbulbs, socket adapters and master or mood switches, can be simply plugged in or are battery-powered, so they can be fitted by almost anyone.

The Smartphone WiFi Link is designed to configure itself automatically with your broadband router, and the Energy Monitor doesn’t need to be fitted in-line to your mains power supply.

The Thermostatic Heating Valves screw on in place of existing thermostatic valves, without any plumbing skills.

Wall switches, power sockets and the boiler control switch will need you to be capable of isolating the power in your fusebox, using a screwdriver and understanding the colour codes on mains wiring. It would be pretty expensive to bring in an electrician for this unless you’re going to fit out an entire house. New sockets will require a bit more DIY skill to fit the back box into a wall, unless you use a surface-mounted box.

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