Is there such thing as a Leviton Decora, rocker style z-wave or zigbee button?
If one doesn’t exist… is there a reason for it? It is hard to understand why they come on all shapes and sizes but not the one most people would expect.
I have a few rooms (like kids bedroom and play room) where I want to have Hue bulbs to leverage their colors but I also would like to keep the wall switch (in this case a smart button) consistent with the rest of house. And this is just one use case.
That’s not what most people think of as a “button.“ As you press at the top for on and at the bottom for off.
Did you mean a battery operated rocker switch? As opposed to a Mains powered one? Or something else?
There are rocker style battery free switches in the “friends of hue“ line which are zigbee 3.0. They definitely work with the hue bridge but are not visible to smartthings hub in that configuration. So they would only work as a parallel means of control.
Theoretically they should work with a smartthings V3 hub, but it will depend what is the channel your hub is on. And I don’t know of anyone who has actually tried it yet.
These come with both a single or double rocker cover plate, it’s your choice how to use them.
First of all thanks for pointing this out. I should have said “Leviton decora style” (i edited the post to reflect that).
I also mentioned “button” to avoid any confusion with the well known z-wave switches like Zooz and GE.
But you got it, that is exactly what I’m looking for.
The general idea is: The functionality of a SmartThings button in a Leviton decora (rocker style) form factor, if that makes sense.
I like consistence so having knobs and different shapes of remote control looking thingies (such as the Hue and Ikea remotes) added to walls bothers me. I see them at the bedside and stuff like that but not at the walls.
I believe the Friends of Hue you suggested is relatively new.
When I saw the press release it didn’t look right because of the double rocker style and the wall plate which appeared to be too thick.
But now in the picture you posted it says it has the option of the single rocker switch so maybe it is worth trying (even though it is quite expensive for a “zigbee button”) but I will check it out, thanks again.
As for the Ecolink one is kind of weird. It seats on top on an actual switch and then it physically moves the switch underneath it. Interesting from a technical perspective but… i’m not sure
I feel like the industry is missing something that represents a solution to turn smart bulbs on and off while keeping it consistent with the other switches around the house. Maybe the lack of options because it is against code? Meaning, you must have a way to cut the power?
Most smart switches don’t require anything to be connected to the relay in order to send button press events to the hub. In fact, some newer smart switches even offer a relay bypass feature where they can be configured to bypass the relay internally, rather than wiring a bypass in the box. When used this way they simply act as a set of buttons, and can be used to control smart bulbs, groups of lights, or anything else connected to your system.
So I don’t think what you’re looking for is missing, it’s just not advertised for the purpose you’re wanting to use it for.
If you’re just looking for a way to control smart bulbs from a mains powered rocker switch, then @minerjason’s comment is most relevant.
If you’re looking for battery operated devices, the ecolink rocker model can be placed anywhere, it doesn’t have to be put over an existing switch. it will still send an on/off signal to the hub, then the hub can send a message to the bulbs.
I’ve been really happy (for a week of ownership) with the Inovelli switch (which doesn’t help you if you already have a lot of Zooz switches, I guess). I have the single/double tap controlling smart lights directly with different scenes - no local relay control, but I can still access the relay directly either with the hub or with the small “airgap” switch under the toggle button.
I can’t stand the idea of hard-wiring my bulbs and having no controllable relay, but I also don’t want smartbulbs normally controlled by relay. With this Inovelli setup, I can have 90% of the control be done by the hub instead of on-switch relay, but still have hard power cutoff (“airgap” switch), a switch-override to turn the relay back on (using the “config”/ button), and I can set up a broader “vacation mode” style scene that turns off all relays.
The only switch I know of that supports disabling the relay internally is the Inovelli Red series linked above. But you can wire your Zooz switches (or pretty much any other smart switch) to bypass the relay as long as you have a neutral in the box. You simply connect the load wire to the hot in the box rather than to the load side of the switch. This keeps the power always on at the fixture. If you’re using switches without a neutral I believe many of them require power running through the relay, but I could be wrong about that.
I’m personally not a fan of smart bulbs, and much prefer smart switches with dumb bulbs. One reason for this is that smart bulbs default to an on state after losing power, typically at full brightness. This means that if you have a short power outage in the middle of the night all of your smart bulbs will turn on at full brightness, and unless your hub is on a UPS you won’t have any way to turn them off until the hub reboots and reconnects to the bulbs. Trust me when I say this does not make for a happy wife at 3am.
The one exception to the power restore to on would be Hue bulbs when connected to a Hue bridge, which can be configured to restore to whatever state you choose after a power outage (last known state, on, or off).
@ydant You just described what I’ve been dreaming about for a long time. I just replaced pretty much all my switches with Zooz so unfortunately Inovelly is not an option at the moment.
I hope Zooz can come up with similar functionality through a firmware update.
Zooz switches are able to disable the relay as well on all of the switches we sell now, that feature has been added a while ago by popular demand You can then program the switch using the Smart Lighting app to program a simple mirroring automation or use the Advanced Button Controller to program it via scenes. @ebrito if you already have Zooz switches, just contact support to get instructions on how to do it in the easiest way and to check if you need to update firmware on your existing switches
Looks like it won’t be necessary but to answer your question, I just keep thinking that if for whatever reason I need to go up there and change a light fixture it will be a lot easier if I can cut the power using the app or the switch itself - it is probably never going to happen but … I’m like that
It just feels “wrong”. It’s a subjective gut reaction.
I don’t like paying more for functionality I’m going to bypass entirely.
I want a hard “off” option available to me if needed. For example, no point having a bunch of bulbs consuming small amounts of electricity if I’m on vacation. I can set a vacation scene that shuts off every hard switch. Then it’s just my switches being unnecessary parasites.
I anticipate bulb failures or hub failures - having my switches work with the 100% of the functionality from 1999 is a lot better than having to rewire a switch or unscrew the bulbs if the light stops turning on or off properly.
I’ll probably be pretty lazy when I decide to sell my house. Reconfiguring the properly wired switches is a lot better than having to re-wire every switch in my house.
It runs contrary to expectation and makes future electrical work just a bit more complicated for the next person to figure out.
I say - why compromise and accept a switch that requires you to hardwire the connection? Support Inovelli or Zooz or similar for future purchases and have the best of both worlds.