No light without Dingz? Testing the smart wall switch
There are many smart light switches. I learned that when I wrote a review of the Feller EDIZIOdue Smart Light Control for my Philips Hue kitchen lighting. Iolo AG is now striving to take wall switches to a new level with their design called Dingz, which is supposed to do more than switching the light on and off. It can dim lamps, switch on the light via integrated motion detector and control roller blinds. According to the manufacturer, Google Assistant, Alexa, myStrom products and other smart home devices can be linked to the Dingz switch. Sounds like a lot of responsibility for a wall switch. I want to know if I can make my four walls even smarter with the eDingz and install the switch in my smart home universe.
Two boxes, two products and two manuals
A base station is required for the switch to work. This needs to be installed first. It connects to the Dingz front or the Dingz front plus. The difference? The front plus features a motion detector. The Dingz fronts are designed for the EDIZIOdue switch combinations from Feller that are commonly used in Switzerland. They fit perfectly and don’t require attachments, additional accessories or manual adjustments. The small cardboard boxes only contain the base or the front and a user manual. It's rather short – for my relatively low level of understanding of electric, it’s too short. But I’ll try it anyway, because I’m offered support from iolo AG for this test. In addition, detailed installation instructions can be found on the Dingz website. Very important: if you’re unsure, I advise you to have the installation carried out by specialists.
A maximum of four lamps or two blinds can be connected per base. Using the DIP switch on the base station, you select whether the connected device is a lamp or a blind. It is also possible to combine a blind and two lamps. Even a thermostat can be connected. There's an LED strip in the middle of both the front and the front plus. With the front plus, an additional motion detector interrupts this strip – don't worry, this is intentional, the LED lights up just like with the normal front. The first connector on the back of both fronts also serves as input for external buttons or motion detectors, which adds to the range of applications. The Dingz App lets you pair countless other devices with the switch. From compatible voice assistants to smart thermostats and intelligent lights, the Dingz offers endless possibilities.
Electrifying: quick and easy to install
I want to know whether what sounds cool and easy on paper also works in reality. So I tackle the installation. The manual doesn't provide much information. It says I should make sure that all electric loads I connect to the switch are on the same power circuit. Otherwise, the fuse will blow. Besides, it won't work without a neutral conductor. The manual also mentions that specialists should carry out the installation of the base – which I'd like to highlight. You don't want to risk a defect, fire or electric shock. My contact person at iolo AG explained to me in detail what I have to pay attention to. As the connections and the light switch I want to replace are clearly labelled in my apartment, I'm confident and try it myself.
I switch off the power in my storeroom, which is where I'm installing the wall switch with motion detector. Removing the existing socket is done quickly. I take a photo so that I know which cable belongs where when I put it back. Better safe than sorry, right? To install the Dingz base, I need the neutral conductor, the phase and the connection that switches the light on and off. I plug the cables into the holes of the Dingz base and screw the base to the metal frame, which also houses the units for the fan and the socket. A triple combination is installed in my storeroom. Before I put everything back behind the cover and screw it together, I turn on the power and test if everything works. The LED lights up blue. That's exactly what the manual says it should do. So far, so good.
I tackle the next step and put the Dingz front onto the base to see if it works. But nothing happens – there's no light, nothing happens when I push the button and the smart switch doesn't appear in my WiFi network. So far, everything has worked smoothly and then this setback. I'm disappointed and about to give up, turn off the power and put the original switches back in. That's when I remember the famous words: «Have you tried turning it off and on again?» I turn the power off and back on – this time with the Dingz front already installed. Success! The LED lights up. I’d done everything right after all. However, it would be helpful if the instructions said that the front needs to be installed before the power is turned on again. Then again, this might be obvious to clever users.
Smooth operation with light, Sonos and Philips Hue
Now I open the Dingz app on my iPhone – it's also available for Android – and try to add the smart wall switch. First, I need to put the switch into pairing mode by pressing the two right buttons two and four once for five seconds. An orange flight on the LED flashes. I follow the instructions of the app and the Dingz switch is shown on my screen. To be on the safe side, I test if the switch also works as a regular light switch. It does. By the way, everything works the same way with the front plus. Setup and configuration can also be done via the web interface. But I prefer the app, as it's more intuitive and faster.
Now I get to the nitty-gritty: I want to make the most out of this thing. The light switch is working. This isn't a big deal, it worked perfectly fine before, too. I could connect more lamps if I had more than one lamp in my storeroom. But again, an ordinary multiple switch can do that, too. What's new is the motion detector. It works perfectly. I can also specify how long the light stays on after the sensor is activated. There's also a night light function. I can choose a time period in which the light only shine at dimmed brightness. Of course, this only works with a dimmable lamp.
The app tells me that I can also control my Sonos speakers and Philips Hue lights with the smart wall switch. I can't control all functions, of course, but more than I expected. The Dingz front plus – just like the normal front – offers three ways to control the buttons: pressing the button once briefly, twice in quick succession or for two seconds. When I connect my Sonos, this means pressing the button once briefly will play music. Before that, I need to define in the app which speaker group is controlled. Pressing the button twice briefly pauses the music and holding the button for two seconds skips to the next song. To be honest, this is a bit far-fetched. Why do I want to control my Sonos Speaker from the storeroom? But to be even more honest, I have to admit that I really like this feature.
To infinity and beyond
What's more useful than the Sonos controller is the compatibility with Philips Hue. I have a Philips LED strip behind the TV and a Hue Play in the kitchen. With this Dingz, I switch these lights on by pressing the button once and off again by pressing the button twice. If I hold the button for two seconds, I dim the brightness by 50 percent. I can configure all of these commands in the app, just like I did with the Sonos. This makes the smart wall switch even more interesting than it already is. It makes it possible to configure almost everything to your own wishes. Two handy features I'm only now discovering: the app shows me how much power the lamp I control with the switch consumes. There's also an integrated temperature sensor that tells me via the app how warm it is in the storeroom.
The next step is controlling the blinds. Because there are no blinds in my storeroom and I like the Dingz front plus with the motion detector there, I install the regular Dingz front in the office. I want to control the light and the blinds in my office. To use the Dingz base to control the blinds, I have to turn one of the two DIP switches to the left. I connect the light switch in the same way as I did it with the Dingz front plus in the storeroom. Then I need to connect an additional cable, because there's an input for raising and one for lowering the shutters. This is quickly done: I switch off the power, move the cable, screw on the Dingz base, put on the Dingz front and switch on the power. Having learned from my mistake, I switch off the power again before I mount the front. Everything works like clockwork and the blinds control is ready to be used.
I can now use the top two buttons to move the blinds up and down in my office. This can, of course, be controlled and programmed via the app. I can choose the blinds to be lowered at a certain time and then raised again later. Unlike the Homematic-IP installation, the switch fits into the existing installation without an attachment. I like that. I control a second lamp via Dingz front, which is located in the office corner, via MyStrom App and the corresponding adapter. I also connect the MyStrom app to my Google Assistant and have access to it in the Dingz app: I now open the blinds in the office, switch the lights on or off, dim my Philips Hue lights or play music on my Sonos speakers via my Google Home.
Conclusion: one switch for everything
Wow! I'm amazed. This little thing can do anything. These smart wall switches – whether front or front plus – have made my four walls smarter in no time at all. It only takes a few steps to connect the Dingz, mount the front and activate everything in the app. After an hour or two, I’ve managed to control almost all the linked devices in my home with just two switches. Does it make sense to control Sonos speakers from my storeroom? Will I ever use Google Home to open the blinds in my office? This isn’t the point. What really counts for me is that I could do all this – thanks to the clever Dingz switches.
The Dingz wall switch is for all those who want to make every corner of their home smart. If you like the idea of using your wall switches to control not only lights, but also your heating, music, blinds and more lamps, the Dingz products are exactly what you need. They're clever motion detectors, dimming nightlights and thermometers all in one. Which other product offers this? Of course, the smartness comes at a price. But I'd be perfectly willing to spend 200 francs or more on a smart home product that's so easy to install and controls practically everything. The smart Dingz buttons – a Swiss product, by the way – are a must-have for every home automation specialist and are highly recommended, in my opinion.
Are there smart home products from other suppliers that are so easy to install and offer so much? Maybe even at a better price? I want to find out. If you want to join me on my mission and don't want to miss any smart home articles, follow me by clicking on the «Follow author» button on my profile.