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Installing Smarthome Modules

Installing Smarthome Modules difficult | ROBB to the Rescue


Installing Z-wave smart home automation can be a challenge. With some ROBBshop tips you will be prepared and installing them will be more fun. For example use our small connection boxes. These boxes save you a lot of space.Please contact us is case of questions about installing a smart home automation system in your house or office. We can offer you both online and offline support in the BeNeLux.

2-wire versus 3 wire system


Before we continue, first some basic information about a 230V system.

A 220-230V in your house has 3 types of wires
Blue wire 
Brown wire 
- Black wire

The blue wire is the neutral wire, Brown is the Live wire. You need both a blue and a brown wire in the junction box to power the Z-wave smart home module. The black wire is the switched wire where the load is connected too.

Brown wire      : Live (never touch),
Blue wire         : Neutral,
Black wire       :  Switched wire, this is where you connect the load to (50% chance on power)

Centralbox : Box in ceiling where the light is installed.

Junctionbox : Box in the wall where the switch is installed.



The 2 wire and the 3 wire system

In Z-wave smart home automation systems we speak of a 2-wire system or a 3-wire system. A 2 wiresystem has only a black and an brown wire available. Since there is no blue wire there is no 230V available. Usually there is no blue wire in the junctionbox, this is called a 2-wire system. A 3-wire system has brown-blue and black wires avaliable in the junction box. Most smart home modules need a blue wire for power.


See picture below for explanation:



2 wire vs 3 wire connection

On the left side you see a 2-wire system, this is the situation in most cases. The switch in the junctionbox is connected to the brown wire. When the switch is activated the black wire will get powered. Since there is no blue wire in the junction box, there is no power, since you need blue and black to close the circuit. In the middel scheme this is the case. You can pull a wire back from the central box (where the light is fitted). This is a 3-wire system.

Note: when there is a wall outlet next to a switch there is also a blue wire. A wall outlet needs a blue wire.


The figure on the right shows you how the module is connected. De module itself has the blue wire for powering the module.

As you can see the switch is no longer directly connected to the load (light). The smart home module is connected to the load and the switch is connected to the Z-wave smart home module. Now we can use a wireless signal or the local switch to operate the load. If you cannot fit a blue wire you might use the FIBARO dimmer, this is the only module that works without the need of a blue wire.

Take a look on our projects page, there you will find a lot of information about connecting and installing smart home modules.


Installing Z-wave smart home modules

The picture on the left is the situation as is. The brown wire goes via the switch to the load. The blue wire goes straight from the electrical cabinet to the central box (where the load is fitted). This means there is no blue wire in the junction box (2-wire system). Since most Z-wave smart home modules need power, this setup will not work. The best thing to do is to pull the black from the central box and attach aa new black and a blue wire.  But be carefull not to break the wire as you will end up with no cables at all. 


Z-wave smarthome dimmer installation

Z-wave dimmers work different from normal smart home sitches. A dimmer will never completly cut-off the electrical connection between the module and the load. This is exactly the reason why the FIBARO dimmer is able to work without a blue wire. The dimmer will use the black to connect to the blue via the load. This is enough power for the dimmer. This is not the case for the Qubino dimmer which needs a blue wire. More differences between de FIBARO and de Qubino dimmer is found here.


ROBBshop also explains how to integrate a smart home automation module into a  Z-wave gangswitch

Please call us when you need more information. klik here for our details.


instruction video on how to install a FIBARO dimmer module.



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