Buttons....Is there really a reliable solution


(phil) #1

So based on reading all the posts in the Button Wiki and the ones on all the other topics there is not a real recommendation on a reliable button/remote. I was going to look at the Salvania but Lowes is all out. The Original Xiaomi Smart Wireless Switch are crap. Great concept but if you can get them to pair through another Zigbee plug, bulb, or even S2C/B homemade router then you are a lot luckier than I am. I have two of these buttons that work but they are relatively close to the ST hub. The other will link up for about 15 minutes and then get lost. So if you have another solution that would be great. I am just looking for something to turn on a light switch that I can sit on the table so that my guest can turn on the lights without screwing up my system.

So if you have a reliable solution to turn on/off a light switch please let everyone know. After reading so many posts there are a lot of people out there that are looking for the same thing…anything to turn something on and off. Something that I can put on a table to trigger a light and it has to be reliable out of the box. I know there are some devices after you pull out the soldering iron they are great.


#2

You may have to be a little more specific in your requirements.

The Hue switches are very reliable and work great, but they don’t work directly with SmartThings (or aren’t reliable in that use). But if you just want something to control devices connected to Phillips hue bridge, they’re great.

Lutron Picos are extremely reliable, but again don’t work directly with SmartThings. If you only want them to control the Lutron master switches, they’re perfect. There are other ways to get them to control other kinds of devices, where they are reliable, but I suspect the set up is not as simple as what you would want.

I find the logitech Pop buttons work well for us, but I know some people have said they were not as reliable for them. I suspect it’s a question of where they are placed in relationship to their bridge. They do have an official SmartThings integration so they do meet the “works out of the box” requirement, but they are a lot more expensive than most of the other buttons.

The Sylvania dimmer switch when used with the stock DTH will act as a two button switch and work straight out of the box with SmartThings. Reliability reports on that one are good. It might not be the form factor you want, though.

So there are a number of different options, but it depends on exactly what you wanted to do.

I assume you’ve already looked at the buttons FAQ, but I’m just going to put it here for others finding this thread in the future:


(phil) #3

Thanks for the info. Yes I have read through all of those post and you pretty much summed up what I read. If you are looking for something on its own there is one reliable option "Sylvania dimmer switch " outside of that there really is nothing. I saw a lot of posts on the "nothing fancy but I think she came out with the same conclusion as I did…when it comes to buttons…good luck. I spent a lot buying the Xiaomi devices to find out their devices will not work through any ZeeBee devices.


#4

The poster in the “just a button” thread ended up choosing the Aeotec Wallmote. They seem to be reliable and work well, the only question is the battery life. And that may be related to the reliability. Devices which “sleep” in order to conserve battery life may appear to be less reliable since you may have to tap them an extra time to wake them up if they haven’t been used for a while.


#5

Aeotec Minimote? I have three of these that I have been using pretty much on a daily basis for several years and have never had a problem with them. (although the buttons are becoming somewhat worn)


#6

Xiaomi/Aqara buttons are reliable in most of the cases. The reason yours are dropping off would be you have a weak ZigBee network. I doubt that would be changed by replacing those buttons with another brand. It would be better if you can strengthen the ZigBee network by putting more ZHA devices. Have a look at this: http://blog.smartthings.com/iot101/a-guide-to-wireless-range-repeaters/


(Aesgarth) #7

I’m using Phillips Hue Dimmer Switch:


with the device handler found here:

and have had no problems so far in about a month. Pairing it is a bit of a fiddly process, but once done it’s fine. I’ve been using a combination of webCoRE pistons and the smart lighting smartapp to make it do what i want to do. (i’ve also ordered a couple of wall switch covers, to hopefully stop other people switching the power off)

I’ve also been using a Xiaomi cube but that has been less reliable, and the Ikea Tradfri dimmer (the small round one) which needs to be paired with smartthings and then directly with the tradfri bulbs.


(Enis Hoca) #8

for me X-10 has worked for years without any issues, and migrated between several HA setups, sure you need some sort of a bridge, but usually there is an X-10 setup for any HA system out there.


(phil) #9

That is not the case My Zigbee is so strong that 400 feet from my house i still have devices. I have an extensive S2C network with so many repeater devices it is too numerous to count. The problem is those devices can only talk to the hub. I have proven that time and time again. Those devices are a very good concept but not worth the money unless you are pretty close to your hub and have no other “Zigbee repeaters”


(phil) #10

Hmm great concept. I have probably 30-50 or X10 devices that I was just about to put on ebay since there was no use for them and now I think that I have a solution for them. Have not used them in my new house and with three fuse panels it may or may not work but heck will give it a shot…thx for the info


#11

I’m glad they have been working for you, but this has not been the community experience. Literally dozens of people have reported reliability issues with keeping these devices connected to the network.

And it has been verified by SmartThings engineering staff that the Xiaomi buttons are not operating completely to the zigbee home automation profile, which is the one that SmartThings uses.

One of the main issues is that these devices have different behavior when they’re communicating through a repeater other than their own brand. This is one of the reasons different people report different experiences, particularly with regard to reliability. It’s not a matter of having a strong mesh-- for some people, the stronger the mesh, the worse the Xiaomi behave because they keep using other repeaters.

See any of the existing threads on the Xiaomi devices and you will see discussion of drop off issues.

People continue to use them because they’re very inexpensive, but they were really designed to work with their own Gateway and they are not 100% compliant to the standard. If you going to operate them within 1 hop of the hub, and the hub has enough child slots, you may be OK. Beyond that it can get quite tricky.


Xiaomi devices on sale (buttons/sensors/cubes)
(Enis Hoca) #12

@JDRoberts can you please elaborate on the “enough child spots” - I am intrigued now, wondering how many child slots the ST hub has?


#13
  1. :sunglasses:

That only applies to devices which are not repeaters themselves, so essentially your batterypowered zigbee devices and your Sengled Element zigbee lightbulbs.