So I recently had our electrician out to finish up some things that we needed to be done. I got some Shelly 1’s that I wanted to have put in. I have a hall light, bathroom fan, and garage work lights that needed to be smartened up. After trying the Shelly Duo bulbs, I decided that maybe Shelly 1 would fit the bill. We had to get creative. The hall light was straightforward. I wanted it automated, but for the use case, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on it and it was something that I could take or leave. We use it to light the hall when we open the closet door. I had smart bulbs in them, but my guests and cleaning lady would shut off the switch. Yeah… So that was an easy solution.
The bathroom fan is something that we want to be able to use and turn off, but don’t want it left on for long periods of time. Given smart switches don’t appreciate the load that hits it when it’s powered on, I opted for a Shelly 1 in that spot too. Problem solved.
Now, on to the garage lights. They proved to be difficult. No neutral to the box. Our house was built in 1994, so code required neutrals, but not to every box. My electrician spent a few minutes figuring out how to get a neutral to the switch as we had no idea which direction the wire came from or if we would be able to get a new wire into the attic from the switch. Then it came to me.
Shelly’s only need constant power, a neutral and to be on the same line as the device you’re trying to control. Change of plan. We ended up putting a box in the attic attaching it to the neutral and junctioning it to the switch. Who said it had to go behind the switch? Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Also, we had to get creative about lighting our hall. Seems that our heating duct runs through there and left no room for a conventional light and switch. Here’s a photo of what we ended up doing with some LED and a plug in the next room. This even proved difficult. It’s not exactly what I had envisioned, but it works. The hall is short, but it’s very dark in that area.
Have you had to come up with some interesting solutions? Love to hear them.