Aeotec micro switch question

I’m thinking, maybe incorrectly, that I should be able to wire a micro switch to an in-line power cord to create a device where the original on/off switch would work, and I would be able to control it thru SmartThings/Alexa. If there is enough room I may be able to put it in the device itself.

I have a couple of tools in my shop, (fan, vacuum), that I would like to continue to use with the normal switch, but be able to turn it off/on via Alexa or phone when I’m on the other side of the room.

May be an easier way, but this was my thought.


If it has a power cord, it will be safer, easier, and less expensive to just plug it into a smart pocket socket. Or do these use a higher draw than a regular socket?

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No, most of them are 110v, 10-15 amps. I do have several pocket sockets, but in my shop a lot of the plugs are behind cabinets, etc., and hard to get at. My guess is that 90% of the time I would continue to use the manual device switch, and Alexa or phone when I am away or had my hands full.

This is more one of those “what can I automate next, things to do” scenarios. I had seen a couple of the older Aeotec micro (not nano) switches and was just thinking/wondering if that would work.

Your answer as always is appreciated, as is the others in this community…you never know what solutions will pop up.

I do understand the safety issue and I’m hoping I have room to put a small “work box” in for the switch and associated wiring…I know I have the room for that in my table saw, not sure about the vacuum and light yet.


From a safety standpoint, the problem with splicing in a control to an existing cord is it is all too easy to bypass the grounding mechanism of the appliance. But since they are plug in devices, you could always Replace the outlet with a smart outlet and preserve the safety features as long is you match the specs. (Unless it’s a GFCI outlet, but in that case you can move a micro upstream and preserve that feature as well.) so I would look at putting in micro on the circuit rather than into the cord. :sunglasses:

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Don’t want to beat this to death here, but using a smart outlet would be no different than a pocket socket. If I had turned the outlet off with Alexa, then I don’t think the device would work with just the original switch unless I knew to turn on the outlet first.

Anyway, I think I’m seeing an error in my thought process, since the saw has a on/off switch and not a “button switch”, I would potentially be leaving the manual switch in the “on” position, which I don’t want to do.

Maybe I’m approaching this the wrong way?, back to the drawing board. Thanks for the banter to make me think thru this.



A saw? Did you say a saw? I thought we were talking about a fan and a vacuum.

Do not put a saw under SmartThings control, however it gets hooked up. Or a grinder or anything else that could cause physical harm.

Check the forums: people regularly report random lights turning on and off or garage doors opening. You don’t want that to happen with power tools.

And I’m not the only one who says that: it’s in the official usage guidelines from the company itself:

In no case should SmartThings be used to control any devices that are explicitly marked with safety warnings or hazard warnings. For example, don’t install SmartThings to control your circular saw.


The saw was an afterthought, and it is never plugged in unless it’s in use.

Again, after rethinking this, I don’t want to leave any device in my shop, fan, vacuum, whatever left in the on position meaning that they could come on the next time I plugged them in.

It’s a rainy miserable day in western NC today, and this truly was me sitting around thinking/looking for my next automation process.

I do have one caveat that may cause some discussion, there have been times when being able to turn off a tool without having to take my hands off of it would be nice to have.

Thanks for the advice, and for caring about my well being :slightly_smiling_face:


I get that— but you could turn it off by voice and then a random SmartThings glitch could turn it right back on again. Not so bad if it’s a vacuum. Not good if it’s the saw. :scream: so just something to be aware of.

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Some of the plugin outlets have a feature where starting with the plugin outlet being off, turning the device on and off somehow signals the plugin outlet to turn on and power the device

Don’t think I’ve seen one of those…where did you see it?

This is an older feature, common for example in Insteon outlets and zwave gen 3 devices, but since dropped by most manufacturers since it’s very confusing for consumers. You basically have to turn the switch on twice to make it work.

It’s called “load sensing” and is still a parameter option on some devices.

That said, it doesn’t apply to the use case being described in this thread. It’s really intended for table lamps so that you can turn them on with the switch on the lamp even if it was turned off by the smart outlet. So as to allow you to have a manual switch even though the device is plugged into a smart socket.

But in this case being described in this case, the OP is trying to avoid the use of a physical switch all together. Very different set up.

(BTW, I forgot to mention earlier that the reason I thought controlling the socket rather than altering the cord might be an option is because I assumed you had to be able to get to the socket in some way to plug-in the devices to begin with, and I had imagined that the reason you didn’t want a plug-in pocket socket was because there wasn’t physically enough space for one. I didn’t realize you were also trying to address the issue of not just cutting the power.)

I have a relatively new linear brand zwave plugin dimmer outlet that supports load sensing. Switch the lamp, off and then on, the plugin outlet then turns on, dimming the light to full brightness.

However it sounds like you want a switch and NOT a dimmer!

JD, you were right to begin with. For the fan, vacuum, and actually a very bright halogen work light, I can’t easily get to the receptacle, it’s behind a large tool cabinet. I have a separate power strip with a 12’ cord plugged into the receptacle and attached to a work bench.

Again, the saw was an afterthought, and probably a bad one at that.

Yes, the issue of also being able to use each devices existing switch complicates the issue.

Thanks again

I don’t think I can use that, but it’s a good device to know about.