Japanese wiring isn’t automation friendly.

Picture of wires from blog

In my old leaning house I have one live wire going to the light switch. nothing else is in the switch box.

Now I thought that this would be because of the old leaning house that I’m in. However upon asking around it would seem as thought this is common in new constructions as well.

This image goes to doesn’t really help but it does demonstrate the frustrations that home users can feel when trying to upgrade.

Is it just me or are the wire colours strange?

  1. COVERS: My first idea when running into this was simply to cover up the light switches and placing a sonoff at the light. Obviously the switches wouldn’t be of any use so they would remain at the ON position. All automation would rely heavily on motion detection.
  2. RELAYS: Attaching wemos/nodemcu relays powered externally (another outlet) to the light switches. This doesn’t have a streamlined look as there would be a wire going into the light box. However this solution would work in lieu of having a ground. Still not super safe, so maybe a fuse would need to be added. A side benefit here would be a freed sonoff from light duty. [UNSURE about my current home insurance policy I’ve decided to NOT go with this option. Should something go wrong the insurance may refuse to pay]
  3. COMPROMISE: Leave the light switches covered and the sonoffs at the lights. Install a NEW light switch powered a wemos/nodemcu combined with capacitive buttons that would illuminate and go through a plastic box or light switch cover. Of course the would have to be powered by the mains and a wire would need to go to an outlet. But as an advantage they could be placed anywhere. This option is by far the most complex and over the top. But maybe the only viable option for the cautious renter.

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