Thanks Stephan! I looked at that exact button, in fact. My hesitation is the terrible reviews and complications people have had with them. Maybe most of those reviews are misplaced and were actually meant for the first gen of the button (1st gen wasn’t SmartThings compatible). Maybe I’ll give it a try. If I do, I’ll update the post after.
Not reliable (Iris smart button) - I would not recommend after my experience w/a few of them over several months. I’m not longer using them, use the Aeon Minimote (four buttons), but that has its own issues (stock is old so you have to take it apart and solder in a new battery).
I’m surprised no one on here has recommended the Xiaomi button from gearbest.com yet. It’s priced great and works great. Haven’t tried the new one but the old one worked great as a garage door opener/closer.
I had a similar need…
I just used a standard momentary wall switch connected to a water sensor…
Just cut the plug off and connect the wires across the switch.
Then I wrote a little smartapp to toggle on/off the light
When you press the switch it reports ‘wet’ so you can do anything after that
if you mount it in a surface patress you can stick it anywhere
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.