Do reliable buttons/remotes exist?


(Roy) #1

Hey everyone,

I bought several Xiaomi Smart Buttons (https://amzn.to/2LfnO2G - I didn’t buy from Amazon, link is just for example purposes of same product). I hooked them up to Smartthings with a Device Handler from the Smartthings community to turn on/off the lights in a room.

They work maybe 60% of the time. As in, I’ll click the button, it might work. If it doesn’t, I click again, it might work. Eventually it works. Sometimes when I have to click multiple times, it decides to work twice in a row (turn the light on and immediately back off). This happens even when I bring the button very close to the Smartthings hub.

Now my question is… is this the current state of Z-Wave/Zigbee devices or just the state of this inexpensive device / any devices that require custom device handlers / smartthings? Are there buttons that work 99-99.9% of the time on the first try? I’d like to know before I invest further into smart devices.


#2

I’ve used these with good success. They’re a bit unattractive but they do fit over a light switch if you want or use them stand alone. I think the problem that you’re having with your buttons is that they are very sleepy and it sometimes takes several presses to wake them up before they respond.


(MarkTr) #3

Your problems are likely because Xiaomi uses a proprietary protocol, and all ST integrations use workarounds to communicate with them which may not interact well with the “sleepiness” of those buttons. A Z-wave or Zigbee button like the one recommended above is going to have much better reliability, assuming you have good mesh coverage etc.


#4

As @marktheknife and @marktr said, Xiaomi only intends their buttons to work with their own gateway: There are multiple reasons why they might be unreliable in a SmartThings set up, all of which are discussed in detail in the threads on those particular buttons. So please take follow up about that brand to those threads.

As far as the general reliability of buttons in recognizing the first click, the most important factor is whether the button is “awake” when you click it. There are a number of things which can affect this.

  1. Mains-powered devices are always awake, so will always be more reliable as far as recognizing the first click, as long as the power is on.

  2. a battery powered device which is awake more often will also use up more battery life, so different manufacturers design this differently. In addition, some manufacturers have parameter settings which let you change the sleep factor. So you can trade off per click reliability for shorter battery life if you want. This feature is generally available on the more expensive devices.

  3. using the device wakes it up, which tends to mean that devices which are used frequently will be less likely to miss a click. This is one reason that different people report different experiences with the same model of a device. Someone using a battery powered device as a light switch which gets clicked two or three times a day may have fewer complaints about missed clicks than someone using the same device as a panic button which might only get used two or three times a year.

And since any click wakes up the device, multi button devices like the remotec 90 may get used more frequently, this improving the overall perceived reliability. :sunglasses:

So there is definitely variation from model to model, but a lot also depends on exactly how you intend to use the device.

What specifically do you want the buttons for? If it’s an infrequently used light switch, I would strongly consider a mains powered device instead. There are some very reliable battery powered devices, in particular the Lutron Caseta picos, but integration with SmartThings is more complex.