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Frequently asked questions

From the Resene SmartTouch info hub

What is Resene SmartTouch?

The Resene SmartTouch system is Resene SmartTouch paint connected to a SmartTouch controller. It works using technology similar to that used in capacitive touch screens e.g. mobile phones only on a much bigger scale.

The active area coated with Resene SmartTouch conductive coating is overcoated with a Resene topcoat or wallpaper to provide personal aesthetics. Touching the active area with unique Touch Commands allows you to turn lights on and off. The simplest Touch Command is Double-Tap, similar to a double click on a computer mouse. 

How smart is SmartTouch?

A lot of effort has gone into the system to make it as simple as possible to setup and use as well as providing a range of advanced configuration options and functions. The system also has to ignore accidental knocks and touches and sudden changes in the environment while quickly responding to Touch Commands. This requires some fairly sophisticated solutions behind the scenes. A mobile app is available to access the smarter features. 

Do I need special equipment or tools to install the Resene SmartTouch system?

The coating can be installed as a DIY project or by a professional painter. Follow the coating instructions on the label and data sheet. The electrical installation must only be performed by a suitably qualified installer, in-accordance with the appropriate local wiring and safety regulations. 

I don't want any visible light switches, can I use Resene SmartTouch?

Absolutely, this is one of the key system benefits. Consult your installer to determine the best location for connecting the Resene SmartTouch Active Area to the lighting. A variety of connection methods are possible. 

What if I want to be able to see where the Active Area is?

It’s great to have an invisible surface but if you need an indication of where to tap for yourself or for unfamiliar users there are a range of possibilities:

My Resene SmartTouch system isn’t working, what do I do?

If the system has just been installed, follow the setup instructions to tune the system for your particular installation. This is typically done by the installer. If the system was installed correctly and stops working the first step is to perform a soft reset by turning the Resene SmartTouch controller off and on again. This is achieved by removing the fuse or toggling the circuit breaker powering the Resene SmartTouch controller at the switchboard. If this fails to fix your issue contact your installer or Resene. 

What happens if there is a power cut?

The Resene SmartTouch system stores all settings in internal memory and normal operation will resume once power is reinstated. 

Can I link a new Resene SmartTouch Active Area to an existing setup?

Yes you can. Once the new Active Area is installed and connected to a controller, use the installation app to set up a wireless connection to the existing system. The controllers typically need to be within 10 metres of each other for this to be reliable.  

How do I add other lights to my Resene SmartTouch system?

In most circumstances this is easily achieved. If new lights are being installed, the electrician installing the lights can add them to the existing lighting circuit controlled by the Resene SmartTouch system. For existing lights not connected to the circuits(s) controlled by your SmartTouch system, an electrician can connect these to a spare SmartTouch controller connection (if available) or add an additional SmartTouch controller. You can decide whether any additional SmartTouch controllers add to or replicate existing Touch Commands.  

What if my lighting load exceeds the Resene SmartTouch system load rating?

The SmartTouch controllers can power a lot of lighting but if you need a really bright environment which exceeds the controller’s specifications then splitting the load across the two independent switching mechanisms is the best approach. For exceptional circumstances with even more lighting demand an additional controller may be required. An electrician can also install a separate contactor to control larger loads. 

Can my Resene SmartTouch system work in multiple rooms?

Absolutely. This can be achieved with a single controller or multiple controllers. For a single controller, the rooms should ideally be adjacent to allow easy connection of Smartlink cables although the Smartlink cables attached to your active area can be extended by an installer. The best solution for non-adjacent rooms is to use additional controllers connected wirelessly. The installation app is required to configure the wireless connection. 

Can I paint around corners?

Yes, you can. The same Active Area design requirements exist but corners, internal or external, are no obstacle. On very sharp corners an extra coat of paint is recommended to compensate for the reduced thickness that will occur.  

What is the bluetooth range of Resene SmartTouch controllers?

Typically the range is around 10 metres. In roof cavities where line of sight is possible this may be considerably further. 

Why is the touch signal strength not always the same when I touch my active area?

Due to the method of operation, the charge stored in your body (the same thing that causes static shocks when you touch certain objects under certain conditions) must interact with the SmartTouch system to be detected. Various factors affect this interaction. For example, the type of shoes can influence the way your body’s charge interacts with the surface by reducing the connectivity your body has with the ground (earthing). Even more subtle effects like your hydration level can influence the signal because it changes your body capacitance. The distance between a touch location and the Smartlink connector also plays a role in signal strength which is why we place limitations on the size and shape of active areas. The touch area also greatly affects signal strength so a single finger produces less signal than two or three fingers. Typically these types of variation are not a problem and the system is designed to accommodate them.  

How can the sensitivity be changed?

Normally sensitivity is adjusted during installation and once set the system needs no further adjustment. If further adjustment is required e.g. to restrict operation by small children, download the installation app for Android 5.1+ or iOS devices to interface with SmartTouch controllers. Settings are available to adjust a threshold level and the overall system sensitivity.  

Can I control other devices or electrical loads with my SmartTouch system?

Unfortunately not yet. Currently only lighting circuits are certified for use with the SmartTouch system. We are working on other applications – keep an eye out for future updates.  

I want to put a switch or power point into my SmartTouch surface but didn’t leave any gaps in the coating?

Contact Resene.  

Can I hang pictures on my Resene SmartTouch surface?

Of course. Before hanging anything that requires a penetration e.g. nail or screw into the SmartTouch surface and through into a cavity where mains wiring is present, ensure there are no electrical wires that may come into contact with the penetrating material (at least 8mm clearance is required taking any movement of wiring that can occur) or use plastic or non-conductive materials. Alternatively surface mounting with adhesive mechanisms may be used.  

Can I use Resene SmartTouch while wearing gloves?

This is possible with thin gloves on small areas. For best performance try to touch the Active Area with the largest surface area possible. On larger areas, or with thicker gloves, some settings changes will be required. These changes slow down the SmartTouch system and require a touch on the Active Area to be a longer duration. See the Advanced Setup instructions using the installation app. The primary change is Minimum Touch Duration.  

Can I use elbows and knees to operate the Resene SmartTouch system?

Similar to using gloves, this is possible on small areas. For best performance try to touch the Active Area with the largest surface area possible. Note that the bony parts of your body are less active than the fleshy parts. On larger areas some settings changes will be required. These changes slow down the SmartTouch system and require a touch on the Active Area to be a longer duration. See the Advanced Setup instructions using the installation app. The primary change is Minimum Touch Duration.  

Are other Touch Commands possible with the Resene SmartTouch system?

Yes. Download the installation app from Google Play or the Apple App Store and customise Touch Commands from the menu provided.  

Is Resene SmartTouch safe?

Yes. The Resene SmartTouch system has been tested and certified to be compliant with New Zealand and Australian electrical and electromagnetic standards. When installed correctly the SmartTouch Active Surface produces a weak electric field used to detect touch events. This technology is similar to operation of touch screens found in mobile phones and does not present any health risks ( Clearances between mains wiring and the SmartTouch Active Surface are also designed for safe operation.  

Does Resene SmartTouch have any limitations?

While we have tried to make the system as flexible as possible, like all technology there are certain limitations that apply. The maximum supported area per input channel is 2 square metres and when coating stripes, a minimum coating width of 400mm applies.

Maximum sensitivity is achieved on smaller areas which should be a design consideration. When small children are intended to operate the system we recommend using smaller areas, less than 1 m2, since physically smaller individuals typically generate weaker touch signals due to a combination of lower body capacitance and smaller cross section when touching the active area.

Installation on walls/columns with earthed metal framing or with steel reinforcing behind the lining material can be problematic and we typically do not recommend installing the system in these cases. Very small areas are possible and sometimes careful placement of Active Surfaces avoiding the areas directly in front of metals is successful.  

What if I really need to extend the active area to more than two square metres?

One approach is connecting two independent active areas to different inputs on a single SmartTouch controller. These areas can be adjacent to each other with a small gap separating them. The installation app can be used to configure these surfaces to act as if they are one surface. Multiple surfaces can also be connected to multiple controllers configured to act as a single surface via a wireless connection.  

Can I use or send Resene SmartTouch overseas?

Not yet. We are currently focused on the NZ market and the existing system is set up for NZ and Australian regulations. We do aim to make Resene SmartTouch available internationally in future.  

Can I use Resene SmartTouch outside?

We only recommend Resene SmartTouch active surfaces are applied indoors or in sheltered areas.  

What is the button on the Resene SmartTouch controller for?

The button is used to reset to default settings. Typically there is no need to use the button and resetting should only be undertaken by installers.  

Where was the Resene SmartTouch system developed?

The Resene SmartTouch system was developed in New Zealand by Resene in partnership with Betasolutions Ltd, located in Palmerston North. The technology is owned by Resene with a granted NZ patent and other patents pending.


Turn your wall into a light switch with Resene SmartTouch. Resene SmartTouch conductive coating is designed to turn an area up to two square metres into an invisible switch using technology adapted from touch screens...

— Something not working as expected? Check out our Troubleshooting guide for help —


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