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Lightwave Labs: Designing Smart Series Wire-Free Dimmers

22 December 2021 | Greig Silvester

Lightwave’s team of product designers and engineers have been developing a fantastic Wire-free Dimmer solution for the Smart Series that has the capability to disrupt the home automation market. We sat down with Kat, Lightwave’s Industrial designer to draw the curtain on the design process behind this impressive product, and capture some detail on the immense technical improvements that Lightwave has made to their new Wire-free Dimmers ahead of their 2022 release.

Background

Wire-free Dimmers were the most unique and innovative products from Lightwave’s Connect Series range (not to mention the most sought-after). These devices allowed a flexible approach to home automation and solved a myriad of problems for installers and smart home enthusiasts alike. These battery-powered dimmers had the same design as Lightwave’s wired Dimmers, and could be wirelessly paired with other Lightwave devices around the home.

Developing an easy to use wire-free solution that would match the aesthetic design of the Smart Series products, while complementing and enhancing technical capabilities presented many challenges.

3D Printer Upgrade

The team at Lightwave Labs decided that this project required a 3D printer with greater capability, faster printing time and improved precision. It was time for an upgrade! The Stratasys Eden was chosen as the 3D printer of choice, which has allowed Kat the flexibility she needed to optimise the product design. The Eden prints in 25-micron layers, which is 0.03 mm or about half the thickness of a human hair – that’s precise! Beyond the Wire-free Dimmers, this significant addition to the lab will improve the design process of all future products and accessories, including Lightwave’s new PIR sensor which is also scheduled for a 2022 release date.

^ See Lightwave’s 3D printer in action

Batteries – Which one to use?

There were many discussions around which types of batteries would be best for this product. After much deliberation, Kat took on the challenge of fitting 2 x AAA’s into the design, as an upgrade from the coin-cell batteries used in the Connect Series Wire-frees. After many different design solutions and many sleepless nights, a safe and secure battery slot was devised which also required redesigning the battery contacts within the device.

Multiple mounting solutions

Since the Wire-free Dimmers are so versatile in their application, Kat also had to make sure there were several options available for customers & installers to mount the device practically anywhere in the home. The most obvious way to mount this wireless device is with any standard double-sided adhesive pad or screwed directly into a fixing on the wall. The ability to mount this device over a standard back box can be interpreted as a game-changer for electricians. Why? Well, although it may be counter-intuitive to the name, a huge new feature of these Wire-free Dimmers is the inclusion of a low voltage terminal with polarised inputs, allowing the device to be wired into Mains power. Coupled with a Mains to 5V transformer, this means you’d never have to replace the batteries. This can also mean significantly less wiring in particular situations, where Smart Relays can be fitted on the lighting circuits and paired wirelessly to a Wire-free Dimmer.

Final Product

In the end, Kat and the rest of the engineering team at Lightwave have produced a fantastic product. When mounted, these Smart Series Wire-free Dimmers look exactly the same as Lightwave’s wired dimmers, and they have the same tactile button press action as well. When it comes to how powerful and versatile they are within the Lightwave system and what they can add to your smart home, well, you’ll have to stay tuned and sign up for more information – we’re pretty confident you’ll be impressed!

Register your interest

Please sign up here to register your interest in our Smart Series Wire-free Dimmers. By signing up, you’ll be the first to hear new product information and launch announcements, and you’ll also be given early access to pre-order before launch!

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