For the Xiaomi? Yes. They’re pretty well-made, they’re very cheap, but they are not certified to the same protocol that SmartThings uses. They’re really only intended for use with their own Gateway. There are some community members using them successfully, but at least twice after a SmartThings platform update they’ve stopped working altogether for a little while. There’s no guarantee that won’t happen again since they aren’t certified. But again, very cheap.
You can talk to people who are using them in the following thread:
Agreed, this is common. What I’ve realized from using them for the past 9 months is pair standing on top of the ST hub, and the robustness of your mesh matters. Xiaomi devices can be a headache, but when they work, they work well.
The battery life is excellent. I haven’t had to change a single one.
Also, I just ordered 5 of the new motion sensors in addition to more of the old contacts and buttons. Xiaomi devices now blanket my home, though they started as a handful for testing.
I would not recommend them to others though. This is because I know how frustrating the onboarding can be. Some devices were easily paired and I haven’t thought about them since. Others were paired and fell off once or twice over months. Others still were paired and repeatedly fell off (even after showing battery status).
It will be a long time before that happens in Home Automation for any Device class. As the old saying goes “all home automation is local.” There are just a lot of variables, including the strength of the mesh, building architecture, even the weather can make a difference. So what works well for one person may not work well for another.
As for options for a button, so far everything that has been mentioned in this thread is also listed in the buttons FAQ, plus a number of other options, so there are a lot of choices.
One thing I did want to mention is that due to the nature of Zwave and zigbee, battery powered buttons may always be a little flaky. Not terrible, but maybe 1 to 2% of the time you’d have to press a button twice. That’s because in order to make battery life longer, these devices “sleep” in between uses. And every so often one will be asleep and then you have to wake it up before your message gets sent.
Mains powered devices don’t have this issue, and that includes voice options. Now that Amazon has added room awareness turning lights on and off it’s even easier – – whatever room you are in, you just say “echo, turn the lights on” and the lights for that room will come on as long as you have set up a group to do that.
We have a lot of people coming to our house as we are three housemates with friends and family, plus health aides. The new echo – enabled groups have really simplified instructions for visitors.
But of course sometimes you do want a silent option, and the buttons can be great for that. But even the best of them will have a higher failure rate than a mains powered device because of the sleep issue.
All of that is separate yet again from the Xiaomi issue, which is dropping off the network all together, not just being asleep and needing to be awakened. So there is a difference between brands and models as well.
My husband is dying for me to get us an Echo… my hesitation is the size of our house. It’s a big ol’ Victorian, with old-school segmented rooms spread across 2 stories. We’d need at least 3 Echos to actually use it to issue commands throughout the house. I think I want the buttons in place first, then echo can be a convenience he and I enjoy down the road once I’ve got primary physical controllers in place.
I returned the Iris button after few weeks like the other folks.
The Lutron works nicely and it’s small, providing dimming functions to a bulb, very good value for the price.
The Lutron can also pilot directly a bulb so you could consider having a bulb automated without ST here. But I understand your have 3 lamps so you might consider using it as a switch only and either have 3 smart bulbs or one smart wall outlet. I recommend the Z-wave from GE you can find at Lowe’s:
Would it be possible to send a wake command to these buttons with a motion sensor? For instance, I’m planning on a Xiami button to control blinds. The bathroom also has a motion sensor, so it could theoretically wake up the button whenever anyone’s in there…
The Lutron connected bulb remote doesn’t work well with SmartThings. So I’m not sure it’s going to work the way you imagine it. But you can try it and see.
We use the flic buttons at our house and really like them, but we have a tablet set up on each other side of the house as a permanent home automation controller and have the flics paired to those.
As it happens, flic is just coming out with their own “hub” to address exactly this issue. It will cost about $89 once it’s for sale at Amazon. It’s still in pre-release and is expected to become available in late January. So then it becomes a question of whether you want to wait and see what the reviews are like.
The other alternative is just to buy a cheap wifi phone and use that for the same purpose. You can typically get these for about $25 from Walmart.
No that’s not how those devices work. You can’t send them a wake command. It’s part of the internal firmware. The whole point of being asleep is that during those periods it is not listening to the network at all. So it wouldn’t hear a wake command.
In some cases you can change how frequently they wake up, but then you use batteries faster, and I’m not sure that’s configurable on the Xiaomi anyway.
I can’t recommend the Aeotec Wallmote. It looks neat, but the touch sensitivity is hit or miss. Your devices must support association in order to use the slide, so keep that in mind. And even when you have it set up, the slide function is a finicky gesture to get right. I returned mine in exchange for the Remotec ZRC-90, which is surprisingly well-made:
I have one of these, I think the issues people have is due to the poor battery compartment design. I had to put a paper shim under the battery where it sits in the drawer. This lifts the battery slightly so the top can make contact with the solder bump on the bottom of the circuit board. I had to also slightly bend out the side contact down inside the device so it can reach the battery side a little better.
This all made it more difficult to slide the battery drawer in and out, but it is doable. After that it has worked great, no issues. When it quits on me, usually means battery replacement time.
I have it mounted on the stairwell rail on the stairs side (not really visable from other side) we push it on our way to bed to fire our good night routine and shutdown the house.
I have a couple of Buttons/Remotes around the house and the one thats the most reliable is actually the Aeon Labs Minimote, if you buy the old version [DSA03202 v1] you can have them for around ~ $20 USD
They are Z-Wave and not ZigBee and from my experience z-wave is much more reliable in my setup than ZigBee
they are not very pretty but they are small, have rechargeable battery and 4 buttons you can assign to different things/routines in Smart Things
The other ones I have are the Xiaomi Buttons and although these are a pain to pair, once paired they do work well, they are dirt cheap and esthetically more pleasing than the minimote
I’ve had good luck so far with the Sylvania smart dimming switch. It’s a two button remote but works as four with two long push settings. It has a device handler and so far has been working good. I’ve only had it a few weeks though.