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[Best Buy] TP-Link HS200 Wi-Fi Smart Light Switch $24.99

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  • Dec 23rd, 2018 2:22 pm
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Jun 21, 2009
194 posts
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Gee wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 4:31 pm
You took the course eh? You can get an extension after the 3 years. I actually have a full stack of Meraki gear but I prefer the Cisco stuff.

Yes I am running the Mobility Express Firmware. I actually have two access points, but one access point was able to cover the entire house.

I have box of Cisco access points in my garage including controller. Just don't have a use for it right now.
Took the course to get the free stuff, Its the RFD way :). I originally ran the Meraki firewall for just the vlan for the smart home stuff, but its limited to 150 mb/s throughput, so when I wanted to put everything at home behind a firewall, I switched the the Palo Alto.
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Oct 2, 2013
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repatch wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 3:42 pm
?? No. You need to connect ALL 4 WIRES for it to work and be safe.

Neutral is required since the switch needs power 24/7 for WIFI.

Ground is REQUIRED since you probably don't want to kill anyone?

The two 'hots' are required, well, because that's what's being switched and nothing will work otherwise.
This is partially false and true.

If you look at the bottom of the switch, there's a metal part. When you screw the switch in the box, the screw touch the box AND the metal plate, thus grounding the switch.

If your box is in metal, this is valid for nearly all electrical switch.

If your box is plastic, you do need to ground it using the bare copper wire.

Obviously, connecting the ground wire is the best to do but not required.
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Nov 5, 2005
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ma678 wrote:
Dec 15th, 2018 10:42 pm
I thought I did a lousy job to let the switch half way out of the wall socket. This thing is really big. Is there a way to squeeze it in the box?
I bought one of these and I found it to be too big/crowded in the electrical box. There are other solutions like installing smart switches, smart lights and having a HUE system which provides the same thing.
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
repatch wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 3:42 pm
?? No. You need to connect ALL 4 WIRES for it to work and be safe.

Neutral is required since the switch needs power 24/7 for WIFI.

Ground is REQUIRED since you probably don't want to kill anyone?

The two 'hots' are required, well, because that's what's being switched and nothing will work otherwise.
I am willing to bet that 9 out of 10 (probably 10 out of 10) installed light switches do not have the ground connected. The green screw is definitely on the switch, but you will be hard pressed to find any electrician connecting a pigtail to the screw and securing it to ground.

Not sure if electricians are lazy or they're trying to save money on extra copper.

I'm not saying it is required. But it is definitely safer to have a ground wire connected.
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Gee wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 5:16 pm
I am willing to bet that 9 out of 10 (probably 10 out of 10) installed light switches do not have the ground connected. The green screw is definitely on the switch, but you will be hard pressed to find any electrician connecting a pigtail to the screw and securing it to ground.

Not sure if electricians are lazy or they're trying to save money on extra copper.

I'm not saying it is required. But it is definitely safer to have a ground wire connected.
Read my post 2 post above yours. This doesn't add any safety per say.
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Mar 5, 2007
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Exp315 wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 3:52 pm
The ground wire has no effect on the function of the switch. The only purpose of the ground wire is to connect any exposed metal parts of the casing to ground, just in case some internal fault should cause the hot lead to accidentally touch a metal part of the case inside. But the TP-Link switch does not have exposed metal parts, and needs a ground wire no more than an ordinary light switch needs a ground wire.
If the switch didn't require a ground, it wouldn't have a ground wire. The switch has metal parts, and yes, under normal operation they are not exposed, but what if something breaks, and DOES expose a metal part?

If there is a ground you MUST connect it, to do otherwise is simply dangerous. You can justify things all you want, it doesn't make it right. Trust the engineers who design these things and the engineers who come up with the code.
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Exp315 wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 4:03 pm
It came from you. Nobody else said anything like 'smart home devices will bring your wifi network to it's knees'.

I don't think anyone would say that the total volume of data generated by smart home WiFi devices is a significant fraction of your WiFi network capacity. Just that there's a lot of extra messaging going on when you add a bunch of smart home WiFi devices, more than you might have expected given their function. Can a lot of extra messaging from a lot of extra devices impact your WiFi network in some significant way? Maybe, maybe not - there are a lot of factors to consider. I don't notice a significant impact with up to a dozen smart home devices, but I haven't done any careful testing, for example to see if my router is hopping between channels more often.
Wow, seems like I'm not allowed to paraphrase. Fine, here is a direct quote:

"By the time you get a dozen smart home WiFi devices on your network, it's starting to cause some interference."

That is patently false, Show me a source to back up this claim?
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SquadG wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 4:54 pm
This is partially false and true.

If you look at the bottom of the switch, there's a metal part. When you screw the switch in the box, the screw touch the box AND the metal plate, thus grounding the switch.
If the box is grounded. Not every box in existence is installed correctly, hence why there is a ground wire, and why you are REQUIRED by code to connect it.
SquadG wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 4:54 pm

If your box is in metal, this is valid for nearly all electrical switch.

If your box is plastic, you do need to ground it using the bare copper wire.

Obviously, connecting the ground wire is the best to do but not required.
Umm, wow, OK, maybe you're in an area where your code says that, I have my doubts. Where I am, that is a DANGEROUSLY false thing to say. You should NOT be installing this sort of device, and shouldn't be giving anyone advice about installing this sort of device.

The code is there to keep people safe, it has provisions in it that in isolation seem unnecessary and/or obtuse, but as part of the code there are several elements that create redundancy, that is the whole point.

Please, stop giving people dangerous advice based on your opinion of how things ideally work.
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repatch wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 5:59 pm
If the box is grounded. Not every box in existence is installed correctly, hence why there is a ground wire, and why you are REQUIRED by code to connect it.



Umm, wow, OK, maybe you're in an area where your code says that, I have my doubts. Where I am, that is a DANGEROUSLY false thing to say. You should NOT be installing this sort of device, and shouldn't be giving anyone advice about installing this sort of device.

The code is there to keep people safe, it has provisions in it that in isolation seem unnecessary and/or obtuse, but as part of the code there are several elements that create redundancy, that is the whole point.

Please, stop giving people dangerous advice based on your opinion of how things ideally work.
This isn't a dangerous advice. No metal part is exposed to the user and like I said, the screw is grounding the switch regardless so with or without the wire, your switch is grounded.

Like you say, if the box isn't installed correctly, putting a ground wire wouldn't solve this issue.

Let me repeat it again, the screw that you use to attach the switch to the box IS grounded.

Just like a light fixture, the body of the fixture in metal is screwed onto the bracket and the bracket is screwed in the metal box. Therefor, the unit is grounded. The grounded wire is a "redundant" ground path.

Like I said in my post, I recommend to put a ground wire but it is not required because the switch get grounded from its own body and this is true, like I said, with a metal box only.

If you say it is code to ground a devixe, Ill say you are 110% correct. But, a switch with a metal frame is grounded by default with the screw so the ground wire isn't required because the code is met with a different way.
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Mar 28, 2002
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Received today (Sunday) BB's shipment of one TP-Link HS200 and free google mini. Damn now I regret not making multiple purchases of different TP-Link smart home equipment with many free google minis. I find myself wanting to buy more smart switch modules.
RFD Admins All Drive Teslas. You should Too!
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mrpricematch wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 11:43 am
wallet is safe i guess. Why would some homes be wired this way out of curiosity? I guess the alternative is to hire an electrician?
You probably live in an older house. 14/3 Romex is pretty much standard now.
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Gee wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 9:30 pm
You probably live in an older house. 14/3 Romex is pretty much standard now.
Actually in a brand new house you'll pretty much find 14/3 only on split receptacle outlets (code requirement for outlets in the kitchen where each outlet is on one circuit, it allows for 2-15 amp devices to be plugged into the same outlet, although I THINK code is 12/3 since they use 20 amp breakers and have the 'side blade' dual style outlet) and 3 or 4 way switched lighting circuits (between switches).

I think what you are referring to is 14/2 romex is common (note that the /2 designates the number of INSULATED conductors in the romex sheath, the bare ground is not counted, so 14/2 is actually 3 conductors, black (hot), white (neutral) and bare (ground). Also, note I'm specifically sticking with NA, the rest of the world is radically different with how houses are wired.)

Anyways, back on topic, the usage of 14/2 is no guarantee of 'neutral in the box', in fact there were TONS of houses built well before neutrals in the box were at all common.

Unfortunately AGE of house isn't a good indicator. I had a house built in 1988, 30 years old, that had neutrals in every box (which I know since one of the first things I did when I bought the house was replace every outlet and light switch with decora style). OTOH I know of people with newer houses in other areas that did NOT have a neutral in many/most light switch boxes.

ONLY way to know is to open up the box, often just removing the faceplate is enough, that and a flashlight will tell you whether you've got a neutral or not, look for the white wire. But note, that says nothing of the whole house, some light switch boxes might have a neutral while others do not.
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SquadG wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 5:26 pm
Read my post 2 post above yours. This doesn't add any safety per say.
Now that I think about it. You’re absolutely right. The screw is literally grounding the plate to the metal box. An extra ground wire is redundant.
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Sep 13, 2015
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Even all the plastic boxes that I've seen have the ground screw terminal connected by a "buss" to the device mounting screws to bond the ground...
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East Gwillimbury
blue dragon wrote:
Dec 16th, 2018 4:54 pm
Took the course to get the free stuff, Its the RFD way :). I originally ran the Meraki firewall for just the vlan for the smart home stuff, but its limited to 150 mb/s throughput, so when I wanted to put everything at home behind a firewall, I switched the the Palo Alto.
I can't afford the Palo Alto stuff. I just use pfSense

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