What is Shelly Wi-Fi?
Shelly Wi-Fi is a relatively new smart home brand that is now available in Australia and new Zealand. Shelly devices join your Wi-Fi network – there is no need for a dedicated smart home hub. Using the Shelly Cloud app – or free open source software platforms like Home Assistant or OpenHAB – you can create a powerful smart home for a fraction of the price of traditional automation systems.
Shelly make a lot of smart devices – and it is not always obvious exactly what the differences or use cases are… so in this blog, we will take a deep dive into the different Shelly products available so you can make an informed decision and chose the right Shelly device for your application. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions – we are always happy to help.
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Shelly Relay (On / Off) Modules
Shelly have around 13 relay modules in their range. That’s a lot of different relay modules that essentially do the same thing… turn the power to connected electrical devices on and off! So why so many? There are subtle (and not so subtle) differences between them all – here is a quick guide…
|Shelly Relays||Gen.1 / Gen. 2||Power Monitoring||Dry Contact||Control Channels||Motor Support||Comments|
|Shelly 1||Gen. 1||No||Yes||1||No|
|Shelly 1L||Gen. 1||No||No||1||No||Works without neutral wire|
|Shelly 2.5||Gen. 1||Yes||No||2||Yes|
|Shelly 1PM||Gen. 1||Yes||No||1||No|
|Shelly 1 Plus||Gen. 2||No||Yes||1||No|
|Shelly 1PM Plus||Gen. 2||Yes||No||1||No|
|Shelly 2PM Plus||Gen. 2||Yes||No||2||Yes|
|Shelly 1 Pro||Gen. 2||No||Yes||1||No||DIN Rail / Ethernet support|
|Shelly 2 Pro||Gen. 2||No||Yes||2||No||DIN Rail / Ethernet support|
|Shelly 3 Pro||Gen. 2||No||Yes||3||No||DIN Rail / Ethernet support|
|Shelly 1PM Pro||Gen. 2||Yes||No||1||No||DIN Rail / Ethernet support|
|Shelly 2PM Pro||Gen. 2||Yes||No||2||Yes||DIN Rail / Ethernet support|
|Shelly 4PM Pro||Gen. 2||Yes||No||4||No||DIN Rail / Ethernet support|
Shelly Gen. 1 & Gen. 2 Devices
This is the first major difference between the Shelly On/Off modules – and one that is not plainly obvious. Some Shelly modules are built on Gen.1 (generation 1) technology. Others are the newer Shelly Gen. 2 technology. So in short, without the sales jargon… Gen. 2 is the upgraded version of Gen. 1.
Gen. 2 Shelly products can usually be identified with the addition of “Plus” or “Pro” on the end of the product name.
Shelly Power Monitoring Relays
One of the other main differences in the Shelly relay range is the ability to measure the power consumption of the connected load. Typically, if the Shelly device is coloured red or black – then it supports power monitoring. Blue coloured Shelly relays do not support power monitoring.
So what’s the trade-off? Why wouldn’t I just purchase the Shelly energy monitoring versions? Well for one, they are slightly more expensive than their non-power monitoring counterparts – so you may as well save some money if the energy monitoring feature is not useful to you. Secondly, Shelly power monitoring modules do not allow for “dry contact” control. What’s that? Glad you asked…
Shelly "Dry Contact" Relays
What is a “dry contact”? A technical term for a rather easy concept that is actually somewhat difficult to explain! In short, a “dry contact” (also known as a voltage free contact or potential-free contact) is where the power supplied to a switch (or in this case, a Shelly relay module) is isolated from the voltage/load being switched on and off. I told you it was not easy to explain, perhaps a picture truly does speak a thousand words…
As you can see in the diagram, the Shelly 1 Plus is being powered by 240V AC – yet it is switching the Live (Active) wire from a 24V DC circuit. It can do this because the power being supplied to the module is completely isolated from the load being switched.
This ability to isolate input voltages (even AC / DC power) from the output (or “throughput” is perhaps a better word) makes Shelly dry contact modules very versatile – Suitable for a variety of electrical applications that would otherwise be difficult or even impossible.
A real world example… Garage door and gate motors can typically be controlled via wires connected to two terminals on the motor’s electronic-board. One of these terminals outputs a 24V DC L (+) signal – the other terminal waits to receive the 24V current from the terminal above. Once detected, the garage door or gate is triggered to open or close. By connecting the Shelly 1 Plus to these terminals, you can control your garage door or gate motor via your smartphone – from anywhere.
Shelly Relay Control Channels
Shelly (Blind & Awning) Motor Control
The first thing we need to do is clarify “motor control”. In the context of this blog, we are really talking about blind and awning motors. And not just any type of open / close motor… to work with home automation, we need a specific type of motor – known in the industry as 240V “dumb” motors (such as the Somfy LS40 below).
Dumb motors have 3 wires (sometimes 4 with an Earth wire) – 1 x Neutral wire and 2 x Active wires (one each for up and down).
I cannot stress enough how important it is to select the right blind / awning motors if you want to incorporate them into your home automation system (rather than using a stand-alone app). Two wire motors (with simple Active and Neutral wires) are not compatible with Shelly modules. If in doubt, please contact us before selecting your blind motors – we are always happy to help with free advice.
Shelly Dimmer Modules
Unlike the Shelly Relay modules above (that simply turn electricity on/off to the connected device), Shelly Dimmer modules can also dim / brighten the connected load (as well as on / off control of course) – this means they are only suitable for lighting control. There are two Shelly modules that are capable of dimming lighting…
Shelly Dimmer 2
Control a wide range of halogen lights, dimmable LED and ferromagnetic transformers with the smallest WiFi-operated dimmer in the World – Shelly Dimmer 2 can also work without a neutral wire and connects to your wall-switch so you maintain manual control.
Shelly Dimmer 2 - FAQs
If they are dimmable, then yes - Shelly Dimmer 2 should work. From halogen and incandescent bulbs to dimmable LEDs.
No. All attached bulbs / transformers must be the same type and wattage.
Yes, Shelly Dimmer 2 has been designed to work without the need for a neutral wire. In some cases (mainly for lower wattages), the Shelly Bypass may be required.
Yes. You will still maintain manual on/off wall-switch control as well as smart control. If you would also like to dim / brighten from the wall-switch, you can ask your electrician to replace your standard switch mechanism with a "momentary bell press" switch (i.e. Clipsal Impress Momentary Bell Press Mech). This will allow for on / off control (press and release) as well as dimming / brightning (press and hold). This is completely optional - at the very least you will be able to turn on / off the light from your existing switch and dim via smart control.
Yes - and you only require one Shelly Dimmer 2 and your existing wiring should not need to change.
Install Shelly RGBW2 and you will be able to control your LED strip lights with just one tap via your smartphone – or with your voice. It can control 12V DC (144W total) / 24V DC (288W total) RGB+W colour strips – or independent control or 4 single colour LED strips.
Shelly Energy Monitoring
They say knowledge is power! Well when it comes to energy efficiency, knowledge will certainly help you save power – and money! Shelly energy monitoring solutions have been shown to help reduce your carbon footprint and monthly energy bills by up to 40%!
All Shelly devices that include “PM” in their name support “Power Monitoring” (i.e. Shelly 1PM Plus). This means that you can not only control the attached load, you can also measure how much power it is using. This is great for individual lights or appliances – but what if you want to measure ALL the energy your home or business uses? Or how much your solar is producing? Let me introduce you to two Shelly devices that will allow you to do this… and more.
Shelly EM - Energy Meter
Individually monitor the consumption of any of your home appliances, electric circuits and office equipment (lights, sockets, security systems, heating and cooling, etc.). Monitor consumption of your whole home or generated electricity from solar panels with a one of its kind WiFi-operated energy meter with contactor control functionality. Includes 50A clamp that is simply placed around any power cable to measure the current. Add an additional clamp to monitor a second electrical circuit.
Shelly 3EM - 3 Phase Energy Meter
Shelly 3EM is a smart Wi-Fi 3-phase professional energy meter that will help monitor electricity usage in real-time and get notified in case an appliance or system consumes power above a pre-set threshold. Additionally, it allows for contactor on/off control. Professional DIN Rail mountable and includes 3 x 120A energy metering clamps (one for each phase). Monitor a 3-phase circuit or 3 seperate circuits independently.
Shelly sensors allow us to create true home automations – where things happen automatically, without needing to touch your phone or say anything to your voice assistant. This is where the power or a true smarthome shines. From triggering simple automations using some of the Shelly devices above (such as lighting or even irrigation systems) to securing and protecting our homes from intruders or water leak damage… Shelly sensors open a up World of possibilities…
Shelly Motion Sensor 2
Shelly Wi-Fi Motion Sensor 2 is an always connected Wi-Fi Motion Sensor, equipped with the world’s lowest power-consuming Wi-Fi modem and powered by Silicon Labs Wi-Fi IoT Solutions. Featuring a 6500 mAh rechargeable battery with over 1 year battery life. The new Shelly Motion 2 is smaller and sleeker than the original Shelly Motion, and also includes a temperature sensor in addition to lux and vibration sensors.
Shelly Door / Window Sensor 2
Shelly Flood Sensor
Shelly Flood is a smart Wi-Fi water leak detector with temperature measurement that will help you stay aware of any unexpected leaks, as well as temperature fluctuations, no matter how far from home you are. No wiring, easy control, and compatibility with other Shelly devices in your home network make Shelly Flood the best smart addition to your home safety.
Shelly Plus Addon
Shelly Plus Add-on is a galvanically isolated sensor interface for all Shelly Plus relays (i.e Shelly 1 Plus). Use it to measure temperature and humidity using its 1-Wire terminals, or connect various analog and digital sensors (temperature, moisture, reed switches, etc) for smart monitoring and automations. Shelly Plus Add-on is also compatible with most Arduino sensors!
Shelly remotes allow you to trigger your Shelly devices – either individually or as a group (scenes). Best of all – you are in total control… using the Shelly Cloud app, you can create a scene that turns off all of the lights in your home (provided they are connected to Shelly lighting modules)… all with a single press of a button. Of perhaps you would like to turn on the spa pump, open all the lounge room curtains… the possibilities are almost endless.
Shelly offer a few different remote options that offer quick and easily accessible convenience that is always at your fingertips – without needing to use your smartphone or voice assistant…
Shelly Plus i4 allows you to manually activate or deactivate any created scene, run synchronised actions, or execute complex trigger scenarios. You can use Shelly Plus i4 to control other connected Shelly relays, sensors, or HTTP and MQTT-controlled devices. Small enough to fit behind every wall switch, Shelly Plus i4 can show the status and control the action of four inputs. Simply press one of the connected switches and watch your scenes and smart home come to life. Available in AC or DC models.