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Thread: DFP fitting height & Light switches

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member ludditeal's Avatar
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    Default DFP fitting height & Light switches

    We are about to start our electrical installation work in earnest and have even registered with building control for them to carry out the inspection! So far all they have sent me is a load of "general" info about when to inspect for a normal build process. Looks like they are still not properly geared up for people doing electrics. That is an aside though.

    We are starting on the Kitchen which is being moved to a new location in the house. I plan to put a DFP002 next to the Kitchen door. Under part M all electrical fittings should be below 1200mm which seems ever so low. Has anyone mounted a DFP this low and is it usable? Seems like we will forever be bending over!

    Our cottage is also quite old so I am having trouble getting the Idratek wall switches approved in some room for SWMBO. She wants "period" light switches in some key locations. I am assuming I could use a normal mains light switch in whatever style but feed the inputs into a digital input to sense when the light switch is flicked on/off??

    Thanks
    Allan

  2. #2
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Hi Allan,

    I believe that some other people have used their own switches and done as you say. However, there are two downsides to consider, one is the loss of the LED which can be useful to indicate the state of the automation and the other is that "normal" switches with an on and off (up and down) position can also cause confusion. Retractive switches (momentary push) make more sense. Cortex can cope with either, it is more a question of confusion for occupants.

    I recall reading of someone else's encounter with building control over the low position of electrical accys. You should enter a discussion with the inspector, but perhaps one way round this is to make it clear that the DFP is an informational device and clearly needs to be at comfortable eye level. The reg's clearly have been written to ensure accessibility for wheelchair-bound people, but didn't anticipate the growth of devices like the DFP. If you have an auxiliary light switch under the DFP at the correct height perhaps that will help. Or you could point out that your HA plans are far more accessible to a wheelchair bound person since they could operate everything with a remote control.
    ----------------------
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  3. #3
    Automated Home Sr Member ludditeal's Avatar
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    Hi Gumby,

    Thanks for the reply. Problem is she wants the old fashioned toggle switches. I have been looking at various grid options with simple push buttons but not having much luck in finding something she likes. These are mainly to go on the the hall/landing although I plan to use presence detection to control the lights but I think she needs convincing that it will all work before giving up physical switches. At least it will be a fall back option.

    I haven't actually spoken to the inspector yet as the paperwork only came through this morning to acknowledge the building notice but will try your suggestion for the DFP as it is just too low the more I look at it. I put on the application that the wiring included the fitting of an intelligent lighting and home automation system so they do know it is more that a simple re-wire.
    Cheers
    Allan

  4. #4
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    I have a period home and have this same battle over style and momentary vs toggle switches, and I have to agree in some areas. The old fashion toggle switches are just much easier to grope.

    If you do go for momentary then it's worth looking for something that is tactile and proud of the faceplate so that individual buttons can be easily selected by touch - and try and keep the number of buttons to a minimum. The Idratek switches are good in this respect. For ease of use there's a big difference between 1,2 and 4 buttons on a switch and 6 button switches have always proved very unpopular here. Although I originally wanted these for flexibility I've since downsized many of them.

    Also having LED feedback is most useful as well as a way to locate the switches at night e.g. a very dim led on each switch or back lighting. This illumination can be inappropriate or very difficult to get right in some rooms eg bedrooms. Not only is the in darkness backlighting a consideration but also any key linked to a light elsewhere in your home that might still be on after you've retired for the night. Someone getting up for a late night snack perhaps and switching on a landing light.

    K

  5. #5
    Automated Home Sr Member ludditeal's Avatar
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    And if I had RTFM on the DFP question..

    From the DFP installation guide..

    "For correct operation the DFP should be mounted approximately 1350mm from the floor. This is required to
    ensure correct operation of the temperature sensor, motion sensor and Light level sensor. For disabled use
    the infrared remote control feature allows button simulation. "

    Cheers
    Allan

  6. #6
    Automated Home Ninja Viv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ludditeal View Post
    And if I had RTFM on the DFP question..

    From the DFP installation guide..

    "For correct operation the DFP should be mounted approximately 1350mm from the floor. This is required to
    ensure correct operation of the temperature sensor, motion sensor and Light level sensor. For disabled use
    the infrared remote control feature allows button simulation. "

    Cheers
    Allan
    This statement in the guide is to help you get it past building control.
    In properties we have helped install the builder has got special dispensation (in writting) from building control to allow mounting at this height. The disabled use is covered by the ability to use an infrared remote control to the panel.

    Viv.

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