3rd reality, Zigbee, US and EU, 2 AA batteries, no custom code required.
I have three of these at my house and really like them. They fit over the existing dumb switch and physically move it. It is noisy when it’s operating, not as loud as a garbage disposal, but definitely loud enough to notice.
If you use it without custom code you won’t get low battery notifications. But I’m OK with that. Good for a situation where you don’t want to do any wiring but you do want to control an existing dumb switch.
You do not need their gateway, you will use the smart things hub instead.
At a regular price of $40, these are expensive, but they solve a problem which isn’t easily solved otherwise, including switches for devices which are not on standard 120 V current. I got my first one so I could take it with me when I went to visit family, since it also works with one of the echo devices that has a Zigbee hub inside. :motorized_wheelchair:
(UK for now, US planned), Aurora AOne Smart Remote, zigbee, official Integration. Battery-operated. Uses one CR2450 battery. Typically retails for just under £30.
Aurora Lighting is a UK company With a simple ZHA lighting kit that consists of a hub, a couple of micros, the battery operated remote, and some wall switches. Some of these devices, but not all, have been officially certified as UK SmartThings compatible. That includes the battery operated remote.
The icons on the remote are a little odd, they are supposed to be on, brighter, dimmer, And a scene at 50% brightness. It’s not clear yet exactly how smartthings will perceive these, we will have to wait for some forum reports.
Here’s a discussion thread on the aurora devices. Please take any follow on questions there.
Switchbot Robot Button Pusher. US and UK. $29 per button pusher. CR2 battery. Does not require custom code, but does require a $39 mini hub for Smartthings cloud to cloud Integration. This is essentially a robot finger to push an existing button.
Because I am quadriparetic, I use these in my own home, including on a one button blender. This is a good option for making an existing device that has a button remote or buttons on the device itself Smart, such as a coffeemaker where you have to push a button to get it started. And you won’t void the existing warranty or need to do any wiring. However, it can get expensive if there are multiple buttons because you will need one switchbot per button.
Some devices have handheld or wallmount remotes which can Control a master device of the same brand when they are paired to it (or to the brand’s Bridge device), but which will not be visible to smartthings even if there is an integration with the master device.
These might still be useful as a parallel means of control. You use the battery operated device to turn on the master device, and in most cases smartthings will see the master device turn on. You just can’t use the battery operated device to do anything else in smartthings.
Here are a few of the brands that offer those. I am including this post in this list mostly because otherwise we get a lot of questions, particularly about the Lutron Pico, Lutron Aurora, and the hue Tap devices.
(US, 10 year battery built in) Lutron Caseta switches and dimmers have battery operated “pico“ remotes which are often wall-mounted to make a virtual three-way with the master device. They will work fine when used in that fashion, it’s just that SmartThings won’t know that the pico exists.
(Different models available for the US and the UK. Some require a battery, some don’t.) Philips Hue Bridge can add a number of different types of “accessories” which will be invisible to smartthings even though smartthings can see bulbs and lightstrips connected to that same bridge. So you can set up the accessories to control the hue lights through the bridge, or you can set them up to control other devices through apple’s Homekit. But smartthings won’t see the accessories.
This includes the Hue button, Hue dimmer switch, Hue Tap, Lutron Aurora Dimmer for Hue, and the “Friends of Hue” Green power switches from brands like Runless Wire in the US and Senic and Vimar in the EU.
This picture is of the Lutron aurora Dimmer, which fits over the existing switch so the current will stay on to the hue bulbs, but guests have a very intuitive wall switch. Smartthings can’t see the switch, but it doesn’t matter, it can still control the bulbs with Automations as desired. The wall switch is just a convenience which solves a very common issue, keeping power on to the smart bulbs no matter who is in the house.
And here are some Friends of Hue Switches. These don’t require batteries because they use the zigbee green power profile. Remember that these will require a hue bridge and switch itself will not be visible to smartthings so these can only be used to control another device connected to the same hue bridge. (Or via Apple HomeKit.)
Set these up to look like a traditional rocker or as two skinny rockers side-by-side. Available in five or six different colors.
Most companies are putting these out as double gangs. Available in different styles and colours from different companies.
IHome remote. The iHome plug-in smart plug has a smartthings integration, but its handheld remote does not.
GE two button remote 34174. This is a Z wave device, but Can only work through zwave direct association with other Z wave devices, so it’s also going to be a parallel means of control. And set up gets a little complicated. But you add the Z wave devices you want to control to smartthings and you add the remote to smartthings just as a Z wave “thing“ (no special DTH), and then you follow the manufacturer’s directions to directly associate to the other Z wave devices. After that, a button press on the remote can turn the other device on/off. But you can’t use the buttons for anything else and smartthings won’t know that they were pressed.
Please take further Discussion of this device in the following thread:
Echo button. These popular buttons can be used to trigger Alexa routines which can then turn on devices controlled by smartthings, but the buttons themselves are invisible to smartthings. These go in and out of stock a lot, and are usually available around the holidays as a set of two for $20. They are an excellent size for small children or big dogs.
Available in oriental e-commerce for 10€ / 12$
I use it with DH for Xiaomi button (bspranger)
(there is a DH for HE but I don’t know if works with ST or can be modified for ST)
No problem with pairing (hub V2 - new app)
Single click / double click works fine
Very little, very nice
At the time the following was written, it was true. Since then, however, there has been an update to the zigbee stack resulting in an incompatibility, with many forum members reporting that the device is now run through batteries Super quick, sometimes in just a day or two. This has also been reported on some other forums for other hubs. They do appear to still work OK with their own gateway.
There are various theories as to why this might be and what might be done about it, but for now it’s been going on for a couple of months with no fix in sight other than smartthings engineering saying they are looking into it, but it is an IKEA issue.
Since not everyone has the problem, if you want to buy these and try them and see if they work for you, you can, but make sure you can return them easily if you have the battery issue.
IKEA has several handheld Zigbee battery devices which can connect directly to smartthings. The product description will say they need their own gateway, but they don’t: you can use the smartthings hub instead.
There is an official integration through the app, but it uses some of the legacy features of the old platform so it will provide different options if you are creating an automation with the + in the upper right of the main screen or if you are creating an automation through Webcore or through the official smart lighting feature (which you get to by selecting the three horizontal line menu in the upper left of the main screen and then choosing “smartapps”).
What’s the difference? Basically you will get more choices with the legacy features. For example, the “dimmer“ which is a handheld rocker switch on the new platform just looks like one switch with an on and off. The exact same DTH using smartlights will let you assign different functions to the top rocker and the bottom rocker.
I realize that’s going to be confusing to people who never used the classic version of the app, so let’s just leave it at saying you don’t need custom code to use these devices, but they may have different features in automations created through the + and automations created in other ways.
Some of the original devices have been discontinued. As of this writing, the most popular ones that are available are:
The five button “remote control.“ $15.99 in the US when bought directly from IKEA. IP44. Uses one CR2032 battery.
The square “dimmer“. If you use the + automations, this will just look like an on/off switch, it won’t have a long press dimming function. $6.99 in the US won bought directly from IKEA. IP44. Uses one CR2032 battery.
Both of these devices are available in many countries.
So long story short, these are reliable and inexpensive Zigbee buttons, available in many countries, that don’t require custom code but they may have fewer features than you expect from the product description.
There are three different ways to use it with smartthings, and you will get different functionality depending on which way you choose.
add it through the + using the stock DTH and then create rules using the + for Automations.
This is easy to set up, doesn’t require any custom code, works quite well, but has less functionality than the other options. It won’t recognize the slide gesture. You’ll basically get a press or hold option for each of the four zones. Note that smart lighting Automations may not work with this option.
use a community created custom DTH and then create Automations with smartlighting, advanced button controller, or webcore. Note that the + Automations may not work well with this option.
use the Z wave tweaker and set up zwave direct associations to other Z wave devices. These commands will not be seen by the SmartThings Hub, so it limits what you can do. this method will only work to control other Z wave devices. And the setup requires the temporary use of custom code. The biggest advantage of this method is it will allow you to individually dim from each of the four zones, and once setup it will work even if the Internet is out or your hub is off-line.
Aeotec has a supportbase article which explains all of these methods:
The biggest complaint about this device has been the battery life: some people report it has to be recharged every couple of months. (Some of that may have to do with the strength of your Z wave mesh, as other people seem to get at least six months.)
A second complaint has been from people who thought it was four separate tactile buttons, not a glass screen with four zones. They typically wanted to use it on a nightstand, but they have to turn the lights on in order to know where to press.
Other people have been frustrated by the fact that the standard integration method doesn’t control dimming, but that’s pretty common with button Devices on smartthings, they often require custom code for that.
The product description will say “16 scenes” but that’s counting tap, long press, swipe up, and swipe down. You won’t get that from the standard smartthings integration, you only get tap and long press for a total of 8 controls.
Nice. this requires a CR 2430 battery which is not included.
The switch is actually made by Tuya for their Zigbee line, and is sold under a number of different brand names.
Here’s one that is available in the US. It should be able to use the same DTH as the UK model.
Here is a discussion thread with a link to a DTH which looks like it will work in the new V3 app, although you don’t get full functionality. You’ll only get one scene option per button instead of three. (The topic title is a clickable link.)
Also note that multiple people have reported that the buttons are not numbered with “1” in the upper left, so you may have to do some trial and error on yours to figure out which button has been assigned to which number.
about 2 years ago i went a little overboard and purchased about 20 of these when they were about $10 each during the holidays. Ive found a use for almost all of them and happy that jumped on the deal back then. they are now selling used on ebay for over $25 each!
Flic Buttons. Available in many countries. Well engineered, but expensive. These are about the size of a US quarter but thicker. They are Bluetooth buttons, so they will require their own bridge for smartthings integration. The company is now providing an ST integration, which works well. I use these buttons in my own home primarily because they are the only button devices other than the echo brand buttons that can trigger an Alexa routine. Not For everyone because of the cost, but useful for some situations.
Aeotec has now listed some additional Z wave devices through the smartthings app when you search by brand. This includes the nanomote one and the panic button. Some of these are pretty hard to find for sale, though.
General question about these battery powered remote switches (e.g. ZEN34).
Can these be used alongside existing in-wall z-wave dimmer switches? I have GE in-wall zwave dimmer switch controlling the lights, and working well with SmartHub. I’d like to use one of these remote switches to control the same lights (so one can do that sitting on the bed, as opposed to walking up to the switch, or opening the slooooow smartthings app
Thanks in advance for all the insights and suggestions!
Sure. That’s called a “virtual three-way“ when two switches control the same fixture.
There are multiple ways to create the rules to control it, but basically you will tell the auxiliary, in this case the battery operated device, to tell the master switch, in this case your GE, to turn on when the battery operated device turns on.
That can be done just with a regular automation created in the smartthings app, or, if both devices are Z wave, can usually be done with “zwave direct Association“ although that is more work to set up.
But in either case the end result is the same. Turning on the auxiliary switch will cause the master switch to turn on which causes the light to come on.
Different things work for different use cases and for different people, and that conversation would take us pretty far off topic for this FAQ, which is just supposed to be a listing of the devices. Why don’t you start a new thread, and then I’m sure you’ll get lots of responses.
The Remotec ZRC90 is a small battery-powered zwave keypad with eight buttons which was very popular for both US and UK smartthings customers for years. You get tap and double tap on each button, so lots of options, and you can label them, which makes it more intuitive for guests.
However, the old DTH didn’t work well with the new app and it fell out of favorite for a while.
The very good news is that a community member has now created an edge driver for it, so not only is it working again with the smartthings app, it should work fine after the transition to the new edge platform is complete.