Just a Button? 1 button, nothing more fancy?

Found this: https://www.engadget.com/2016/01/05/cassia-hub-bluetooth-router/

Very cool tech… but to get a $10 button working… that’s a lot… still searching for a simple button…

A simple button is easy if it’s mains powered – – it’s just a momentary switch. The issue is when you want it to be battery powered and you want the battery to last more than a week or so.

Both Z wave and zigbee use the concept of “sleepy devices” for small battery powered things like buttons. The button sleeps much of the time and then only wakes up when you press it. The problem is that if the sleep time goes on for too long, it may have become disoriented and it may require a second press before it’s actually connected to the network and processes the button press.

This means different customers will have very different experiences. The people who use the button two or three times a day may be much happier with it than the people who only use it a couple of times a month, because those who use it less frequently may find that it keeps going to sleep. Because of this customer dissatisfaction, a lot of companies have been reluctant to go into it.

If you just want a very simple button that won’t have this issue, use a Wi-Fi button, but be prepared to replace the batteries every couple of months. You can get a dash button from Amazon for about five dollars and repurpose it for this if you want. There are project reports in the community on how to do it. But the battery is soldered in place and can’t be easily replaced, so you may have to get a whole new device every few months if you use it a lot.

There are quite a few “simple buttons” on the buttons FAQ list which will have much longer battery life, but which may have the falling asleep issue depending on how often you use them. So it’s a matter of personal preference.

If you build one yourself and you make it battery-powered, you’ll still run into one of these two issues. But it’s up to you. :sunglasses:

1 Like

thanks for all the info… and thanks for keeping this community going as well…

I just ordered an aotec panic button… will see how that goes…

thanks again…

1 Like

The Phillips Hue Tap doesn’t require a battery. Why can’t this be replicated as a Z-Wave device? Anyone knowledgeable about this?

That’s using a zigbee green energy protocol. There just isn’t anything comparable in Z wave. Zigbee has always been better at power management, It’s why zigbee sensors are typically smaller but have better battery life than their zwave counterparts. Zigbee green power is just taking this to the ultimate level and using energy harvesting rather than batteries.

If you are an engineer, this is sexy as hell, but if you’re not it will just make your eyes glaze over. But here’s a discussion of goals and comparisons.

https://www.digikey.com/en/articles/techzone/2013/oct/designing-ultra-low-power-wireless-automation-with-zigbee-green-power

Again, there just isn’t anything comparable in zwave to accomplish this.

Just an update after using the Cooper switch for quite a while… Still on the original batteries. It works about 90% of the time. The fact that it’s surface-mounted with no hole in the wall means that the button doesn’t have any “travel”, so there’s no tactile feedback that you’ve pressed it. Forget wearing gloves when using it, and you’ll be looking at it quite frequently to see if you actually pushed it or not. Still better than nothing, but the longer I have it the further it seems from perfect.

I ordered a couple of these Xiaomi from GearBest but it’s been two months and they have not yet arrived. Any way to get them quicker without spending a fortune?

You can use Amazon dash buttons, you’ll need a computer to route the buttons through, I used a raspberry pi (about £30) but if you buy your buttons on a sale day (like prime day or black Friday) they only cost about £2 plus you get £5 off the product - remove the product once you’ve claimed this though or you’ll order looks roll every time you turn your lights on

For a quick update for future readers, I bought this Sylvania switch to turn on/off all of our outdoor lights, and I love it. I have had it since last fall and it has been reliable with no battery draining issues. When pressed, it turns on 10 outdoor lights that are scattered across our garages and house. Great for when I’m running out to our garage by myself at night.

BUT I also agree that it’s ugly and wouldn’t want to use them throughout the house. I made an exception for this one location where I have a unique setup that allows it to be hidden and still conveniently located.

1 Like

YES! I now have several, here’s what we bought and how it’s gone so far:

Sylvania on/off switch: Installed by our front entry, controls 10 outdoor smart bulbs. Works flawlessly. Only downside is aesthetics, so I’ll only use it places where I can keep it hidden. Never had to change the battery and had it up and running for about 9 months. Easy to setup in SmartThings.

Aeotec WallMote Quad: Installed to control 3 lamps in a guest room with smart bulbs. Once configured with a custom device handler, it works well in ST. The battery life sucks - we’ve had to charge it 3x already, which to us is a lot considering its in our guest room and is infrequently used. It’s “prettier” than the Sylvania by a mile. The ability to take it off the wall (magnet) is a neat trick, BUT once you take it off the wall there’s no easy way on the button face to see which button is which (it needs some sort of designation to show top from bottom). While it was fun to play with, it is not overly practical for our needs and we won’t be buying any more of them.

1 Like

The WallMote Quad is rechargeable via USB. You should not have to change the battery. Just charge it with a USB cable.

CRAP that’s what I meant to say (had to RECHARGE it), thanks for the correction. I am coming out of Chemo (and pregnant) and my brain gets a little harried sometimes. I will correct my post text too.

1 Like

No worries. But I’m surprised you have to recharge so much. I haven’t paid attention to mine (I have two) because the life seems pretty good. I’ve easily gotten a month or two before having to recharge. And as far as I remember, the recharge was pretty quick.

Just a quick update because I know this is a popular topic… This is a pre-announcement from Phillips hue for devices which should be available by the end of 2018, but it looks very exciting:

The iris button has two major flaws, the battery contact is janky and requires to be rebent and always loosing connection. Cheap button but not worth the headache. Fortunatly for everyone else was disconntinued.

My Samsung button just came in. http://a.co/d/gthTxTG got it at this link.

I’ve tried a lot of buttons… this one seems like it is going to be perfect. I obviously can’t speak to longevity yet, but it’s flawless after a day!

1 Like

Go the X10 Route. There are plenty out there and you can get them for cheap. Go this route. Been very happy with the integration with Smarthings.

I’ve been running this button for just over a week and its working great. IDE logs show it staying connected. Not real fond of how the battery goes in but that is a minor gripe.