What is a Smart Relay?

In our previous blog posts, we’ve explored the differences between plug-and play options as well as their installed counterparts. Today we’ll look at an item that isn’t an equivalent plug-and play device in the marketplace called Smart Relays. In simple terms it’s the only products like this that are available within the UK in regards to what they can accomplish and how they could extend the capabilities of home automation.

What exactly is relay?

Smart Relays are devices that are installed which can be connected into any circuit to enable remote control via wireless of everything connected to the circuit. This allows you to control a wide range of devices, appliances and electrical fittings just the manner that you control your heating, lighting and other plug-in devices.

With the use of a Smart Relay, you can become more inventive in your routines and automatizations. For instance, you could elevate your morning routine into the new level of efficiency by setting the relay to gradually open your blinds or make the garage door open when you walk out to the door in front. LED strip lighting in your kitchen? It will make it easier to be able to see your work surfaces as cooking, and then switch to the lighting for dinner by a single click or voice command that wirelessly activates the Smart Relay to turn off the LED strip.

What are the relays and how do they work?

There are several possibilities when it comes down to the method by which Smart Relays work. Certain models, such as those from Lightwave Smart Mini Relay, include three latching points such as open, stop and close. This allows for the control of automatic windowshade and electric gates as well as the garage door.

Others, such as The Lightwave 3gang Smart Dimmer, don’t have the capability to control three distinct positions, but they can control three different mains electrical circuits in isolation from each the other. Because this relay is so strong, and has an 3.5kW maximum load shared it’s ideal to manage large wattage such as commercial lighting as well as underfloor heating, or an irrigation pump for the water feature in your garden. The relay also has the capability of monitoring the energy consumption of your home that is displayed on the app as simple graph.

Both of them are able to be concealed behind a fitting, inside the circuititself, or within a enclosures that are waterproof, making an attractive and discrete device to add to your existing system. If you’re using Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa as well as Apple Homekit, you can use these devices to control them with your voice, too.

Why are installers so enthralled by Smart Relays so much?

The Smart Relays can be extremely adaptable devices that are able to help solve many problems for experienced installers and certified electricians. When used in conjunction with a larger house automation solution, an electrician can install a wireless “magic button’ on the Smart Dimmer that triggers a Smart Relay. That means that, between the switch, and the lighting fixture or device, there’s no requirement for wiring.

A great example is the use of a relay to control the bathroom extractor fan or using a relay to control your garden floodlights that can be controlled by every Smart Dimmer around your entire home.