The list shows the ST devices almost exclusively ZigBee while most of the non-ST devices are ZWave. Should I be building a ZigBee or ZWave grid? I only use the ST devices and have very few, if any, problems. Certainly not the incompatibility issues I read about. I don’t know if that is because of the devices and the associated grid.
While not officially a button, we are using the Smart Things Motion Sensor inside a box on a bookshelf as a touchless switch to control several things at once. The sensor is lying flat facing up. When you wave a hand over it, Things Happen.
Visitors so far consider this way cooler than the Aeon minimote, even though we have them set up to do the same thing for one button.
I’d ideally like a near range proximity sensor for a few more cases, but lacking one, I’m going to add two more motion sensors as touchless switches, one underneath an end table and one very low down to act as a touchless foot switch by the bed.
I’m quadriparetic, in a wheelchair with limited hand function. So even using an app or a remote is a chore.
I have a lot of non networked devices in my house that have touchless switches, including a soap dispenser, faucet, trash can that lifts the lid, and a wall switch. Work very well for me.
So I wanted something similar for SmartThings. I have a Zwave deadbolt lock which is self locking, but the turn bolt on the inside of the door is hard for me to use when I want to let someone in.
So I set up the motion detector in a box on the bookcase as a touchless switch. When I wave a hand over it, the deadbolt unlocks and the entry light comes on.
So I can let someone in or out when I want, but the door doesn’t just unlock itself everytime someone walks down that hallway.
I’m going to add another one under the end table to turn on a series of lights that light the way to my bedroom, and one as a touchless foot switch to turn off the same lights when I get into bed.
The point is these aren’t actions I necessarily want to happen every time I move through that area, but only when I specifically initiate them.
They’ll also work for other people, too, which is nice. I have home health care attendants, so I don’t want to necessarily have the control app installed on everyone’s phone, if they even have a smart phone.
Here are pictures, but there’s not much to it. The box is an insulated Bento box insert no one was using. We literally just put the sensor in the box and the box on the shelf and pushed the box back far enough that it wouldn’t trigger if someone just walked by.
The box idea is original. Does anyone else have such a suggestion for a non-standard button solution?
(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.