Home automation suggestion

Hi there, newbie here.

I’m planning about automating things around the house. I want to maintain the budget as low as possible. One crucial thing is everithing working manually if internet or WiFi are not available for some reasons. I don’t need wife yelling at me for something not working at least as usual.

I was thinking about using SONOFF MINI as WiFi relays + Shelly RGBW as Wifi dimmers.
I plan to use IKEA 2 buttons switch as additional commands were needed.

Is this a good setup?

I was also thinking about relays in Zibgee or Z-Wave could you suggest relays with external source command? Also, can all this different devices cooperate freely with ST hub v3? Or if one choosezibgee then better stay stick to that?


If offline availability is a priority I’d stay away from WiFi based devices to start.


If offline availability is a priority, don’t expect to use phone apps or voice assistants when your internet is unavailable.

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SmartThings is primarily a cloud based system, so it’s not going to meet your first requirement of operating when the internet is unavailable. For example, the Sonoff devices require custom code and all custom code in a SmartThings setup runs in the cloud. So if the Internet was down you would not be able to use the Ikea buttons to control the Sonoff lights. :disappointed_relieved:

Also, the SmartThings app requires the internet to control any of your devices even if it is on the same local WiFi. (They didn’t have to design it that way, but they did.)

So I don’t think your wife is going to be happy. :disappointed_relieved:

I suggest you return the SmartThings hub.

Since budget is your primary consideration, both Sonoff and Ikea are good candidates, but the trick is what will work together.

If you’re willing to do some programming, you can probably put together the least expensive most reliable Local system using the free Home Assistant software. You’ll be able to use either the Ikea hub with it or a Deconz stick. You will also need a Raspberry Pi as the main server. They have a very active community on Reddit who can help you.

If you want something less technical, I would look into an all Xioami system using their hub. This uses a proprietary zigbee. It’s mostly intended for the Chinese consumer market. Very inexpensive, lots of devices, doesn’t require you to be technical. The problem is their button and app won’t work with Sonoff and they don’t have a comparable inline relay. So it might not be what you’re looking for.


Sonoff itself will require some internet cloud unless you are willing to get technical again, and then you can flash the firmware and use Home assistant or MQTT.

The Reddit Home Automation subforum covers all brands, and might be a good place for you to ask more questions about potential local systems.


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Thank you for your response.

If I understood how these WiFi based device works you install them on the wall mount and connect them to your usual command.
If you action the usual command they switch the relay and the load is actioned. More then this they connect to the cloud and they signal the change of status.
The contrary is also true: if you switch the button on the mobile app the cloud notify the WiFi device and the relay is actioned, and so the load attached to it.

In case of missing internet (or WiFi) connection I would expect to not being able to command the load remotely (throug the app or other wireless command). The point is the original command physically attached to the WiFi device should continue working even with missing connectivity.

If that would be the case my wife would be happy to manually switch the light as usual. Alexa integration will not work but she can still turn on/off the light.

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Yes and part of the main argument in switching v. Bulbs.

But to add, if you use a standards based Zigbee or ZWave device and use default device handlers and default automation on a SmartThings hub, then the automation will be stored in your hub and will continue to run while disconnected…

Thank you for the detailed answer.

I think the possibility to switch on / off the lights is still guaranteed by the switch physically attached to the the WiFi device.

I understood that I need to do some PoC first and carefully design the whole system.

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Roger that… BTW for more specific recommendations we need to know your country of origin. Power specs and protocol specifications are very country dependent.

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That’s a good point. I live in Italy.

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Some automations will run. Not all. It depends on the details.

For example, automations based on someone arriving home will not run without the Internet.

And I think anything based on “Sunset” still requires Internet, although that may have changed.

You’re correct, I believe because it internally requires a call to twcweather to get the current sunrise and sunset time for your location.

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