Light switch for smart bulbs UK


This is my first post so I hope it’s in the right place etc.
I know this question has been asked countless times all over the internet, but I can’t find anything that works for me, mainly because I’m in the UK.

I have some smart bulbs and would like to have a physical switch on the wall to turn them on and off.
My current solution is this:
I have taken the switch off and permanently wired my lights to be on all the time, I then have an ewelink smart switch in the backbox with some flex coming down and I’ve just plugged it into a socket.
I’ve done this because like most houses in the UK (and I think in America) we don’t have neutral wires in most light switches.

Obviously having flex coming down from a light switch isn’t ideal. Right now I don’t mind having to ask Alexa or going on my phone to turn them on/off, but in the future, I’d like to use these things in main living spaces, and I don’t want guests/family/housemates to have to come to me every time they get confused by the plethora of apps you need to get it all working! Hence my experiments at the moment with all this.

I don’t have a smartthings hub but it seems it might be the best way for me to move forward with this, I just can’t work out what is/isn’t compatible with the system, and what I can use to solve this problem.

All I want is a wifi connected (or through a hub) switch that isn’t meant to have a load on it, its only purpose is to turn smart devices on and off. I don’t care about dimming (although it would be nice) and I don’t mind if I need to use IFTTT or similar to get everything communicating.
Something like the Phillips hue switches would be ideal, but I’m not willing to invest in the hue system when you can get much cheaper products with the same functionality!

Apologies for rambling, and if I have forgotten anything important!

Here’s the thing: you can’t. You can get much cheaper devices, but they won’t have the same functionality because the hue system offers a lot of different options that just aren’t available in most of the other brands.

It’s fine if you just want to say my budget won’t stretch that far, but you need to be practical about what features are important to you.

If you just want on the wall switches with smart bulbs, the Hue system has a lot of good alternatives in the UK in the friends of Hue lines.

It’s also important to note that safety codes in the UK are different than safety codes in the US and you may be required to have a wired switch in the room which does control the load. You need to look into that for your own jurisdiction, as individual community members have reported different requirements where they live. But there’s no question that it is required in some places. That may be why there aren’t as many device options available in the U.K. as there are in the US.

The other advantage to the Hue platform is that the switches will work even if the Internet is out. That is not true for most of the setups that are dependent on a smartthings hub.

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I suppose when I say functionality I mean a bulb with warm white, cool white, RGB and smart integration. It seems silly to invest in Hue purely for a switch.

When it comes to electrical safety, I don’t plan on keeping my lights permanently wired, I’m happy to have a dumb switch always on, but with a smart switch next to it for example. I just don’t understand why nothing else exists due to safety or regulations, yet hue has it.

For example, I keep seeing this pop up SmartThings Smart Button and wondering if I could use this to switch other brands of smart bulbs through IFTTT for example, but I don’t want to buy all the smartthings devices if that won’t work! It would also be nice if there was a dedicated light switch which looked like a light switch if that makes sense, but you can’t be too picky it seems

You wouldn’t switch the other brands through Ifttt, you would have to get a smartthings hub for the button anyway, so then you switch it through the smartthings app. It has even more features than Ifttt does.

But, yes, sure. If you’re willing to leave the original switch in place, maybe covering it with a box cover, there are lots of battery operated devices you can put on the wall. The one that looks most like a regular switch in UK would be the aeotec Wallmote or the Popp controller. Both cost more than the smartthings button, though. IKEA also has a couple of battery operated devices in their Tradfri line. The product description they say it needs their own Gateway, but it doesn’t: you would be using the smartthings hub instead.

And once you have the smartthings hub, then any button/switch that can talk to the hub can be used to trigger any bulb that can be controlled by the hub. Because the switch sends a message to the hub in the hub send a message to the bulb. Brand won’t matter.

The ones that look like regular switches do cost more, though. And remember if the Internet goes out, the switch will not work.

The ikea button is only £6 when bought from them:


I would like to ask you, what bulbs do you have already in use? Just to make sure they are compatible with ST.

@JDRoberts is the best and he knows what he is talking about. I would blindly follow his advices.

Hue is expensive, but superb by features and flexibility. They are running there business for ages. I have started with a v1 Hue bridge and replaced it just recently last year. The bulbs are running almost for 5 years so far.

IKEA Tradfri is brilliant with ST and they are quite cheap. They work really well together in the ST environment. It can be a cheap replacement for Hue, but don’t complain about colours.

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I mentioned IFTTT because I’m using these bulbs which I assumed wouldn’t work with the ST hub? Although I am happy to buy other smart bulbs.

Those switches look good! And I’m not too fussed about the internet going down as I don’t plan on having 100% smart lights, there will always be dumb lights around the house.

I was looking at the IKEA TRADFRI range, would the TRADFRI lights also connect to the ST hub rather than the IKEA one?

Thank you for all your help so far!

The Tradfri bulbs can be Used with either the hue bridge or with the smartthings hub without the hue bridge.

However, the switches are whole different issue. They will definitely work with the hue bridge and with Hue bulbs. Some of them may work with smartthings without a hue bridge, but some may not, it just depends on the exact Zigbee channel and protocol they are using. I haven’t seen any reports on specific models.

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So some switches will work with the ST hub and some wont? If for example I bought the TRADFRI switches do you know if they require a Hue bridge?

First rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“ Which specific models are you looking at?

For example these 2:
Dimmer switch (the one you sent me)
Remote control

I’m assuming product descriptions don’t necessarily go into enough detail about protocols for you to actually know if they will work without simply trying them?

Yes, those work with SmartThings.

Ikea dimmer ( new )

DTH for IKEA 5-button remote?

@GSzabados might know more.

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Yes, both of them work with ST without any issues natively.

The 5 button version can be paired directly to the Tradfri bulbs too, so the remote communicates directly with the bulb. It works then when internet goes down. And the dimming is continuous. Meanwhile any button action can be assigned too.


Thank you so much for all the help! Looks like I’m going to IKEA!

Will I be able to get the bulbs I currently have working with smartthings even if I have to use ifttt? I linked them above.

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I believe that your bulbs should work with ST through IFTTT, but I haven’t got any first hand experience with them. I don’t use IFTTT with ST at all.

But as they are Tuya based devices, you just need to wait for the Globe Suite integration to roll out finally and they should have a cloud based direct integration into ST.

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