Christmas tree won't turn back on

I’ve had this problem for a couple years now: I have an LED Christmas tree (Costco) with a built-in foot switch plugged into a Aeon Labs smart switch. Smartthings controls it fine when it comes to turning it off but it will not turn it back on. It turns the switch on just fine but the tree itself will not go back on unless I hit the foot switch. So I end up with a tree off but the star and things around it turned on.

The only exception is if I turn the aeon switch on within 15 seconds or so of when I turned it off–then the tree will light up. Otherwise, the tree requires me to manually hit the foot switch.

To clarify, the built in foot switch is not a paddle, just a large button. I don’t think there is a traditional “on/off”.

I’m assuming that the tree switch requires a constant draw of power and the Aeon switch is cutting it off which is resetting the foot switch but I’m just guessing.

Has anyone seen this before and can you think of any work arounds?

It definitely sounds like your Aeon device is fine. I suppose you could trace back into the tree where each strand of lights plugs into the main power feed coming from that switch, and then plug them into a traditional multi-plug extension cord and then into the Aeon device instead.

Does the existing tree switch also change the color of the bulbs, or make them blink or dim?

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Good thoughts. The existing switch changes from white to color to off.

In theory shouldn’t you be able to cut the button off completely and wire the wires directly into a WiFi led controller like the H801 ?
I’m guessing it has the standard RGBW wiring.

Plug the cord into a regular dumb outlet. Turn the lights on with the foot button. Unplug the cord. Plug the cord back in.

Whatever behavior you then observe is what will happen when your smart switch turns on.

If the lights are off until you press the foot pedal again, that is what will happen when the smart switch turns on.

There’s nothing special happening Because you added a smart switch. It’s just the way that device (the tree cord) is designed.

You can try using a different smart pocket socket that supports “load sensing.” There’s no guarantee that it would work with your tree cord, but it might.

Unfortunately, the aeotec doesn’t have the option. Most Leviton and some GE models do. You would probably need to use the zwave tweaker to enable it.

No guarantee it will work with an LED tree, though —the draw may not be high enough to trigger the load sensing. But it might be worth a try.


Another alternative if you don’t need to use the foot button yourself is to add an automatic button pusher like to Switchbot. That gets pretty expensive, though because in order to get smartthings integration you need the switchbot cloud device so you can go through IFTTT, and you’ll probably need some Sugru to position it properly. So probably $100 for the setup. :disappointed_relieved:

Also if you have small kids or pets they might try to eat the button pusher, so there is a safety factor as well.

It might be worth it if you really love that particular tree and you really need it to be automated, but otherwise it’s probably not worth it.

This set up does have the advantage that if different button presses do different things, like pressing it twice changes the color, The Switchbot does allow you to do that. Basically the Switchbot just acts as a robot finger to push the button when you tell it to. :sunglasses:

It’s cool, but expensive.

First, definitely eliminate the Aeon as an issue.
Plug a regular lamp into it, and perform the exact same steps at the exact same timings. If the lamp goes on as you desire, then you are sure the Aeon is fine.

That narrows it down to the footswitch that came with the light string. Which of course we already know at this point, but it can’t hurt to be certain.

A footswitch that performs multiple functions on a single action is usually not mechanical nowadays; it is performing logic-based switching. For which indeed, it would require power before being able to do that. If its default logical condition is OFF, which of course it would be, then merely powering on the Aeon would have no way to power up the light string.

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