How to – installing an aqara wired smart switch

We showed you how to add a wireless child device previously. Today, we show you how to install an Aqara wall switch.

This is probably one of the most difficult devices to install in most homes, yet in my opinion is the most important one. It is difficult because it requires a neutral wire to be pulled through, which in most cases there would not be any. Let’s not waste any time and get onto installing the Aqara Wall Switch! We also show you how to remove an existing switch!

Note: this tutorial was done in a Singapore HDB or BTO context. This will be applicable to UK, Hong Kong and Malaysia as well.

This tutorial does not cover the installation of neutral wires in your home.

WARNING!
We will be dealing with LIVE wires, so exercise caution and only attempt this if you know what you are doing!
Please read our disclaimer.

This is the single rocker with neutral wire, as it says here in Chinese “墙壁开关(零火线单建版)“。 零线, or “zero line” means neutral wire, and 火线, or “fire line” means live wire.

Open up the box and you will see the manual that is in Chinese. Next you will see the switch itself that is a translucent bag. It also comes with some screws if you need them.

The face plate takes up the front. On the back you will see the connections for the wires – namely neutral and the live wires. The L is the Live that comes from the DB box, and the L1 (or 2) goes to light.

Before we continue further, note that you will need the following for this installation:

  1. A test pen
  2. Your wall switch to have a neutral wire (if using a neutral-wall switch)
  3. A Xiaomi or Aqara hub already connected and added to your home (click here to learn how to connect one)
  4. Knowledge and experience! Electrical, especially from the mains, can kill! Please read our disclaimer if you haven’t already done so!

We need to remove the faceplate. To do this, we need a flat tip screw driver. Insert the screw driver into the slot at the bottom face, push it firmly and give it a twist. Do the same for the other side. Once that is done, you should be able to pull the 2 sides apart with a slight click. And now we’re ready to install the switch!

Once you’ve turned off the circuit breaker, the light will go out. If the light doesn’t go out, you’ve got the wrong one. Check by turning the light switch on – the light should remain off.

To remove a switch like this, first remove the face plate. Then loosen the screws and slowly remove the switch from the box. You can check if the electricity has been properly cut off with a test pen: Place a finger on the end of the test pen, and then touch the screws with the tip to ensure the test pen does not light up. If the test pen lights up it means the wire is still live! Only proceed if the test pen does not light up.

Before you remove any wires, take note of the existing wires configuration – the brown wires are the live wires. If you’re lucky, one or two of these wires may be marked. This usually means the wire goes to the light, and you should connect this wire to L1 or L2 on your Aqara switch. The other brown wires are the live wires that come from the distribution box. And these should go to the L terminal of the switch. Your switch will not work if you mix them up. The yellow green wire is the ground wire, and is not the neutral wire. Do not connect this to the N terminal of the switch.

The blue wire is the neutral wire, and will not be there by default. I had mine installed by an electrician.

To remove the switch, unscrew these screws in the back. If the wire hasn’t already been marked, it will be a good idea to mark them now.

Now that you’ve removed old switch, the new one is ready to go in. I would usually start with the longest wire first. Push the wire in and fasten the screw.. The screw should only clamp down on the wire, not the insulation. Connect the next wire… and then the last one.

Push the switch back into the wall gently, ensuring that the wires do not fall out and that it fits properly. If there are too many wires, some wire dressing may be needed first. Before you close it up, I would usually test it first. Flip the circuit breaker back on and check that the light or fan is working. You should also see red lights on the switch when the switch is in the “on” position. The switch will become blue after it has been paired with a hub. Now that we now it is working well, break the circuit again at the circuit breaker and complete the installation. Fasten the screws and close up the face plates. Take note to push firmly and hard and ensure the face plate is fully clipped on. The switch may not work if the faceplate is not sitting properly – as shown in the video.

The physically installation is now complete! Now we need to add it to the hub! If you haven’t already added it to your hub, watch our tutorial video first. If it’s already been added, we can add the switch to your home: click on plus, search for the Aqara Rocker (with neutral) and tap on it. Press and hold the switch for 5 seconds, and you would see blue lights flashing. Wait for the app to respond, and then follow the onscreen instructions.

The switch is now paired and ready to be automated! We’ve added the motion sensor last week, which can be used to control this switch automatically! What are your plans?

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