(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
Quite a few “open/close” physical devices can be hacked to expose two contacts of the main “open/close” switch which can then be used as a “on/off”. I have a spare garage door tilt sensor whose contacts I might use in this way; but also Monoprice Z-Wave devices have such terminals (under $30?).
And there’s a new Fibraro Binary ($50-ish) with 4 such terminals, I think.
More details pending… in short, these can be wired up to any type of switch, including one that SmartThings already hacked for fun … the Staples Easy Button ™!
In my situation, there are three instances where I like to keep switches physically separate.
anything my service dog will operate. While he can be directed to the middle switch of three, it’s a lot easier for both of us if there’s just a singleton. A big dog’s nose is much wider than a person’s finger, so it’s a physical issue as well as one of understanding.
anything another person will operate for me. Happens with home health aides all the time. “Flip the switch on the right. Your other right.”
foot-level switches. If you can’t see it, it’s a lot easier when the switches are physically separated.
As far as aesthetics, different people will have different opinions. Some people find a coolness factor in a single button that does a bunch of things. Other people like the control panel look.
+1 on the SmartenIT. I have it as well. @JDRoberts has the great FAQ linked above. The device works very well and looks great on the wall. I’ve spoken with their sales team and they are looking to get official ST support and also working on an updated model, although no firm plans or timeframes yet. I put in a few requests for us…like a controller with more buttons!
Yet another hack to consider… @davglass wrote a proof of concept smartapp that allows an iBeacon to control a SmartThings switch. (Can be a virtual switch.) requires an iOS device in the house, though.
Anyway, it’s possible to put the iBeacon inside a decorative metal box and have a two state “button.” Weird, but works for some use cases.
And this remote is officially supported. My housemate bought it to be a universal remote that could also toggle the livingroom lights, and he’s really happy with it. I use it for voice control of the a/v equipment when combined with Amazon Echo.
Official set up instructions here:
Any model Harmony remote which works with “harmony hub” will work with the SmartThings integration. You do not use the “harmony hub extender” if you have SmartThings.
The remote pictured above is now called the “harmony companion” and is the least expensive remote model that works with the Harmony hub. This button remote plus the harmony hub lists for about $149, but is frequently on sale for right around $100 in a bundle with the Harmony Hub at Amazon or Best Buy. So shop around.
Yet another option: Walmart has a prepaid touchscreen android phone with Wi-Fi capability for under $20. This can be set up with smarttiles for a very nice night stand type solution, and you never have to activate the calling plan to make it work. This photo is @Navat604 's version, although he’s using a different phone model. More discussion in the following topic:
(US and EU) And now for something with an even bigger wow! Factor, but maybe not as practical.
It is possible to put a SmartThings multisensor in a box, and because it reports three axis orientation, you can make each side of the box represent a different scene.
There’s already a smart app to do this, called mood cube, so you can build your own box around the sensor and have it work. Some people have done really beautiful implementations of this.
From a practical standpoint the problem is quickly getting to the exact side you want because if you stop to read the indicator on each side, You may pause long enough to trigger that scene.
For this reason, it’s probably most practical just to control Hue bulbs, where you can put a color.on each side and very quickly move past it to the one you do you want.
But, there’s no reason why you couldn’t make five of the six sides mean “lights on” and one mean “lights off.” Or anything else you want to do.
It wouldn’t work for me, because I can’t physically manipulate the box well enough, I would inevitably drop it and it would spin through several scenes before coming to a stop, with my luck, probably on lights out.
But it’s something to think about for some use cases. Really fun, obviously, for mood lighting. This is @pete 's version. Very elegant.
One Community member even found an Etsy store that would make a wooden cube case for the sensor with engravings of drawings sent to them on each side. Cost for the wooden cube case was about $90, but if you want to do as little as possible yourself, or you want something to match a specific decor, this is another good option.
(US Only) The Cooper 9500 is a battery-operated wall switch which looks like a wall switch. It’s intended for use as a dimmer, but that feature is not compatible with smartthings at this time. There are several different device handlers available for in the community.
It is available in two styles and several colors:
The following smartapp is popular with this device:
Flic button. Not directly compatible with SmartThings, but can be used either via a Harmony activity or IFTTT. Available from Amazon or the manufacturer.
First, the bad news.
The cost of about $35 a button is OK relative to comparable devices, but high relative to non networked devices. The manufacturer site now seems to be regularly selling 4 for $99, which is better, but still not cheap.
And it’s using Bluetooth, which means you either need to have a tablet set up as a home automation control in the room where the flic will be used, or you need to have your phone present.
Also, if you’re using it through IFTTT, your phone/tablet will have to be connected to the Internet.
It can trigger a Harmony activity to start directly, but to end one you have to use IFTTT.
Also be careful using this if you have young children: they’re definitely going to want to put this in their mouth so you can’t just use the regular peel off adhesive that comes with it. So this isn’t a perfect solution.
Now, the good news.
The form factor is just about perfect. The size of a US quarter coin but thicker, with a nice solid rubbery feel.
Can stick pretty much anywhere, including on the wall or on the side of a lamp.
Easy to remove and replace the battery.
Has three possible options for each button: Press, long press, and double tap.
Comes in a choice of five modern colors: white, black, yellow, turquoise, and lime green.
The adhesive seems to work really well and it’s easy to stick one underneath a table or counter where it won’t be so visible.
If you use the SmartThings IFTTT channel, SmartThings will be aware of the status change when the light is turned off with the button, and you can also use it to change modes or run routines.
If you just want something to stick on the wall to quickly control smart bulbs without cutting power to them, this is a good choice. Or anywhere you just want to put a button that will trigger something in SmartThings via IFTTT. Just remember there has to be an Internet-connected phone/tablet nearby when you actually push the button, it can’t send the IFTTT request itself.
Manufacturer site ( they run pretty frequent sales if you’re buying three or more which can bring the price down to about $25/button):
A community member has also written a device type handler which allows for cloud to cloud integration to SmartThings without requiring IFTTT. It’s a little complex to set up, and it still cloud to cloud, but for people who don’t want to use IFTTT, this is a good option:
(Philips: US and EU. Lutron: US for now, may eventually be available in EUROPE.) There are two new tiny battery operated wall switches coming to market in the Fall of 2015, but compatibility with SmartThings has not been tested yet and could go either way. I’ll update this topic if compatibility is confirmed.
Lutron connected bulb control (zigbee) (US for now, but may be available through EU Lutron suppliers)
Philips Hue Dimmer Kit (available in both US and EU from Amazon)
Updated 20 November 2015:
so far, no one has the two dimmer switches sending information to the SmartThings hub. However, if you join the Phillips one to your Hue bridge, you can use it as a parallel means of control for bulbs. The hub won’t know that you used the switch but since SmartThings polls The bridge every five minutes, status will sync up over time so at least the hub will eventually know whether the bulbs are on or off.
This can make it a good choice for a guestroom or someplace where you need an intuitive switch for visitors. It won’t damage your SmartThings automations, you just can’t do anything with it except turn off a specific set of bulbs attached to the Hue bridge.
(US only) The Lowes Iris Presence Fob (2nd generation, model 3450L) is a 4 button type key fob device. Although it works as a presence sensor for the Lowe’s Iris system, for SmartThings it is just a 4 button fob.
Costs about $25, sometimes on sale for less.
(The first generation model is a proprietary Zigbee which is not compatible with SmartThings. You have to get a second generation to use it with SmartThings.)
(US only) the new $24 Iris square button will also work with a community-created device type. . It’s a Zigbee device which pairs directly with SmartThings. This is the second generation device in the purple box, not the 1st generation in the clamshell Package.
Possibly the cheapest button is buying Amazon Dash buttons and not do the complete setup, just put them on your wifi, and then capture when they go online. This will however require some kind of a server that listens to network activity. Here is a step by step instruction:
Yea this thing looks amazing! Sorry for missing the above conservations where this might have already been answered but is their any way to use this to trigger a SmartThings routine such as “Bedtime” so that I can just press the physical switch button before going to bed? I know when I briefly looked into a lot of these buttons it wasn’t possible but that was months ago.
The only bad part is that it looks like it must replace a physical wall-switch versus just a battery-operated one which is what I was truly looking for but most if not all the battery-operated ones did not look anywhere nice as this one and were just ugly haha.
That’s a faceplate for an Aeon micro relay, not an independent device. ( it’s the same device as post one of this thread. )
You could certainly use it to control mode, just as you can with any Wall switch that is controlled by SmartThings, but you’d have to wire the micro relay to power so I’m not sure it makes sense for that purpose in most cases. But everybody’s needs are different.
Replaces existing wall switch.Works ONLY with Aeon Labs microswitches.