FAQ: Is there a Z-Wave/ZigBee "iDevices Instant Switch" style battery-operated device available?

project_lighting

#1

Just came across this iDevices Instant Switch and the form factor is fantastic. Basically a dedicated scene controller that fits in a rocker faceplate, but does not require a gang box to install and runs off battery. Does anyone know of a Z-Wave or ZigBee device that has this form factor? Currently using a lot of Aeon Minimotes for some scene control within rooms, but this would look a lot better for some particular applications. Specifically, fitting within an expanded wall faceplate.


Battery powered remote for single gang box?
Lutron LCBR remote replacement
#2

There are some options. Have you had a chance to look at the buttons and remotes FAQ? There are a couple of dozen devices listed there, in many different styles. Some are battery operated, some are mains powered, So read the descriptions carefully.

I don’t know if you’d like the look when it’s mounted vertically, but the remotec 90, for example, is very popular. It has eight buttons, each of which can be tapped, double tapped, or long pressed so a total of 24 options. Costs under $50 and fits in a single gang size.

IMG_2378

But there are a number of different devices, as I mentioned, including some that look more like light switches, so just check out the FAQ. :sunglasses:


#3

Thanks for sharing, but that is not what is attractive about this iDevices product. It (quite literally) is the exact size of a rocker switch single gang that can be mounted directly in a faceplate. So if you already have a single or double rocker faceplace on your wall, you simply swap the single to double OR double to triple and mount the Instant Switch in the added rocker slot without modifying the electrical gang or wiring anything. It’s something simple enough that my wife could do it.

I have NOT found a Z-Wave or ZigBee device that is basically a battery powered remote that fits exaclty in an empty faceplate rocker. Looked extensively before settling on the Aeon Minimotes as a temporary solution.


#4

Eco-link makes a zwave one in both a rocker style and a toggle style. Cooper makes a zwave one in two different rocker styles. Lutron makes several flat Button styles, but they require some additional devices to make the integration work ( they aren’t Z wave, they use their own proprietary frequency).

These are all listed in the buttons FAQ. Any of these would look a lot better than a minimote on the wall, I think, but people have different aesthetic preferences. :sunglasses:


#5

There are many smart switches that are rocker size (like some of the ones you are mentioning) that would fit within a standard rocker faceplate, but they all require electrical wiring of some kind and a gang box installation. None that I can find that are battery operated that can simply be installed by switching out a wall plate, which is the attractive part of the iDevices Instant Switch.

And no, the Aeon Minimotes are not mounted on walls. No way my wife would go for that look.


(Ernie) #6

The Cooper Aspire RF9500 is battery operated and fits in a decora style switch plate. I believe it was mentioned in the faq the @JDRoberts indicated above.


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#7

Thanks. Did see this, but believe it does not work straight out of the box with SmartThings. My understanding is device handlers and/or code need to be setup, which my wife will never do (no matter how easy it might be).


#8

It’s a one time setup, once that’s done, it’s no different than the minimote. So couldn’t someone else do the setup step, or does she do all the household tech support?


#9

Have to get her over this fear that if something breaks and I’m not around, she won’t be able to turn lights on/off or turn the alarm on/off. Sounds like that’s the biggest hurdle to improving the setup…


#10

It’s a reasonable fear, definitely something to consider. It’s also true that If that’s the fear, most of the battery-operated stuff that works with smartthings won’t help. Even your minimotes aren’t going to work if smartthings has flaked out. There have been at least three minimote failures in the last year for people using the stock device handlers:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Bug:_First_Reports

For that matter, the iDevices instant switch could also fail since it doesn’t provide a mechanical relay method of controlling the lights either.

The best way to address your wife’s concern is not to use any battery operated devices at all, but stick with switches that will operate as conventional relay switches if the home automation system has failed.

Or at least make sure there is a conventional relay available for every light, even if it’s not in the most convenient place, and use the battery operated devices as a secondary means of control. Then if you do that, there’s no problem with using custom device type handlers, so you get more choices again. :sunglasses:


(John P. Hoke) #11

IF this is the underlying fear and you want somethign that fits in a rocker … you really should check out Lutron Caseta. YES it has its own hub, but the integration with ST is rock solid. If ST is down, they still work by touch and are quite easy to isntall - NO they are not battery powered, but are mains powered and do not need a neutral (unlike most others)

I switched from other rockers to these and the WAF has skyrocketted.

These now can be controlled via

  • Alexa -> ST
  • ST / WebCore automations
  • Lutron Caseta App itself
  • The buttons themselves

#12

I used Caseta for this very purpose. And if you’re looking for one that you can just add to the wall, you could use the Lamp Module and pico remote combo. The pico can mount directly to the wall.


And the dimmers respond to commands faster than some of my Z-wave dimmers.


(Douglas Krug) #13

I agree with @JDRoberts on the physical switch idea to satisfy the WAF. I would also agree with Lutron Caseta. Rock solid.

Another choice that is still available via ebay for around $35 on occasion, is the Lutron Connected Bulb Remote. It’s the size of a pico, controls smart bulbs directly and mounts the same way. It is not fully integrated with SmartThings, but there is a simple device handler that can allow the remote to be used with SmartThings and Pollster can update status in SmartThings, yet still give your wife absolute physical control over smart bulbs, no matter what. I have 6 of them in my own home (although I use them with a Hue Bridge and control the bridge via SmartThings).

The Connected Bulb Remote and Hue Bridge are my favorite configuration for keeping the familly satisfied with my automation obsession, no matter what happens to the internet or cloud. Lutron Caseta would be my choice for wired smart switches. They also have options for homes without neutral wires and the Pico remotes are inexpensive and readily available on Amazon, or at any home center. If you’re an iOS family, both Hue and Lutron have built-in support for HomeKit too.


#14

Can’t get the connected bulb remote anymore. Discontinued in December.


(Douglas Krug) #15

Ebay


#16

That is not the connected bulb remote. That’s a pico remote. The connected bulb remotes are going for over $90 on ebay right now.

The listing you posted says it controls:

Provides control for the following:
–Energi Savr Node systems programmed with handheld App, through the use of a QS sensor module (QSM)
–Energi TriPak® systems, including: Maestro Wireless® controls·PowPak® relay/CCO module/0–10 V
–GRAFIK Eye® QS wireless systems
–HomeWorks® QS wireless systems
–RadioRA® 2 systems
–Serena® RF remote control shades
–Sivoia ® QS wireless systems
–Caséta® Wireless controls
–Quantum® systems 1, through the use of a QS sensor module (QSM)
–myRoom® prime and plus systems


(Douglas Krug) #17

Opps! Sorry about that. Looks the same. Maybe try one of the guys asking $90-110 or Best Offer and make them an offer. Or just wait. Something will come up. You might find someone in the community who wants to sell for a reasonable price too.

The whole thing is just a shame. Such a nice remote. Lutron Caseta bridge and Picos are a good second choice.


#18

I have one and I absolutely love it. I was looking to buy 3 more the other day cause i was getting around to automating some more lights and that’s when I found they were discontinued. I guess they didn’t sell enough to make it worth manufacturing anymore. I agree…total shame. :cry:


(Douglas Krug) #19

I would guess it was more of a business decision based around profit. It’s such a great device, but if you can just buy a $30 remote, you’re not going to spend a $100 or more on a Caseta or RA2 Select right? Once you get those, you would likely also buy other switches and picos. Whereas, with a few $30 Connected bulb remotes, you’re done buying Lutron product. Anyway just a theory.


#20

Possibly. But I suspect they would have thought of that before making it in the first place.