Is there a supported universal remote with IR and zigbee or z-wave?

I’m finding it amazing that I can’t do the most simple things with a single remote. I really want to be able to use a single remote to do nothing more than this:

  1. turn the volume up and down on my standard AV Receiver (IR)
  2. press pause to pause the roku, and turn up the lights
  3. press play on the roku (from a pause state) and turn down the lights.

Surprisingly, this doesn’t seem possible with a single remote without building something ridiculous looking with the shield.

BTW, I do have the Harmony Hub. It only turns on/off lights with activities, not with single keystroke commands. So this is not viable for the above (I do use harmony for other automation tasks).

You should be able to do this with the harmony home companion button remote. It has four toggle buttons dedicated to home automation. So you assign one of those to a virtual switch controlled by SmartThings. After that, anything you can request from SmartThings, including launching a harmony activity, can be triggered with that one button push. And you can have multiple things happen all from the same initial switch. But you have to have that specific remote model.

It means your instruction goes harmony to SmartThings to harmony again, but it should work. :sunglasses:

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Harmony works great and good deals can be found on it. However, it’s not without its faults. For me, I really wish I could control individual button pushes from Smart Things without using activities.

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If this remote really has buttons that appear to SmartThings as either switches or buttons, that would be freakin’ awesome. I had no idea this remote existed.

EDIT: actually, I’m realizing its a bit awkward to use a different button for pause when there’s a pause button. I know, I’m picking nits here. The closest to satisfying my use cases above for certain, but I think I’ll stay on the lookout…(for now)

I have that exact Harmony remote. I works pretty well with Smatthings. You can assign any of the 4 orange buttons to any smarttings switch, and you don’t have to be in an activity to use them. That can be good and bad. Good because you don’t have to be in an activity to use them. Bad because you can change them per activity. The up/down rocker is not programmable. It only works it one of the other buttons is tied to a dimmer, then it controls the last dimmer that was activated.

You open up the Harmony control app on your computer and edit the button functions. So you can make pause pause etc. I had to customize a LOT of short/long button presses to get all of the functions on Tivo, FireTV, Kobi working “properly”.[quote=“siuengr, post:5, topic:42467”]
The up/down rocker is not programmable.

I wish I could get it to change color on Hue bulbs instead of just dimming.

I wish the home control buttons would toggle lights instead of short press for on and long press for off.

I wonder if the high end model allows you to change hue color using the lcd screen

This can be done, you just have the Home control button associated with a virtual switch and then run toggle logic off of that.

This only allows the buttons to be customized within the world of Harmony, not Smartthings. So if I want to change the ‘mode’ of the house or run a routine (both in Smartthings), this is impossible with the intuitive ‘pause’ button. Instead, I’d have to use a light or plug button as the pause button. Doable, but awkward. Maybe too awkward.

Would the dimmer still work with the virtual switch? I’m sure it could be done. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to mess with it.

I have this harmony remote too. And the hub. How do you link one of the four smart buttons to a ST vswitch? Right now I have those buttons controlling LIFX bulbs.

I have been unable to figure this out.


Once you have authorized smartthings devices from within the harmony app, then those devices will appear on your list of Home control devices, just like the LIFX.

So you just create a virtual switch in smart things, then it shows up on the list of available devices to authorize to harmony, and then you can assign a home companion home control button to it.

I’ll have to try this when I get home. Just one question, when you set up your virtual switch to just do a plain old simulated switch? Are you doing some kind of button? Also can you use all four of the home control buttons on the remote? Can you assign a virtual switch to all four of them?

I just use a plain virtual switch for what harmony sees and then if I want it to be something else or to cause multiple events to occur, I just do that with logic over on the SmartThings side. So basically my virtual switch just represents the harmony button rather than the actual end devices. Then you subscribe to that switch coming on to do whatever else you want to do. You can do this with rule machine, or with the routine, or with smart lighting. Whichever you prefer .

And yes, you can assign a different virtual switch to each of the four harmony home companion Home control buttons.

I haven’t tried it, but my guess is you would just need a virtual dimmer. :sunglasses:

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Thank you. Once all the turmoil settles with Smartthings, I may set up a virtual switch through rule machine that will start night mode thank you.

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Thank you for this! I can’t believe I didn’t know about this beforehand. I guess it can cancel my Amazon order for a minimote!

I’ve got virtual switches assigned and I’m very pleased.

( and I almost didn’t read this thread. Glad I did!)

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I have the new Harmony Elite remote and absolutely love it. Programmed all of my entertainment devices and a couple of my light switches. Works seamless with SmartThings.