Lighting Control Options for LIFX/Hue

(Jocie) #1

Good evening,

I have LIFX and Hue bulbs in my house which are happily working through the SmartThings app, but the kids keep turning them off at a the wall (I taught them too well with Dumb Bulbs!!) which makes them inoperable remotely. I don’t want to just replace the switches with blanking plates (which is easily done) but I want to make the light switches trigger SmartThings to turn the lights on/off so that the kids (and guests) can still use the lights normally.

I thought LighwaveRF might be the way to go (their light switches look lovely!) but it seems you can only use SmartThings to trigger their “controllers” and not use the LightWave switches to activate SmartThings.

Does anyone out there in SmartThingland have a solution?


(Brian Diehl) #2

You could always put guards over the switches to make it harder to turn them off… It should work on reminding them the switch should always stay on.

Something like that (may want to do some comparison shopping to get the right ones and the best price… this was just the first one that showed up to give you an idea of what I meant)

(Jocie) #3

Apologies, I have edited my post to add that I want the light switches to work, but not disable the lights.

Also, this is the UK forum, so I’m looking for a UKable solution :o)

(Adam V) #4

This was my exact issue when starting with Smartthings (also in UK)… this was the solution:

Wall Switches: Wireless Wall Switch (type 1 or 2) - from Vesternet or Amazon or any home automation website
Glass Faceplates and chrome buttons: (lots of other options in plastic / metal / other)

my device handler and smartapp to link to lights or rule machine:

(Jocie) #5

The Philips Hue Tap looks interesting (no batteries), but I can’t find any up-to-date information on if it works with SmartThings or just Hue as of today.

(Jason) #6

If they make any of the in-wall zwave modules in UK frequency you could add them to the setup, but it would add complexity to the ha setup

(Brian Diehl) #7

I have one and, at this time, it only works with Hue as it uses Zigbee PRO with Green power protocol.

That said, I do like mine. It sits in my centralized hallway mounted to the wall as a backup for when ST is having issues. I can at least still turn lights on and off from it quickly.
I also have the Hue Dimmer as a backup for the bathroom because that’s kind of a critical area that needs light.

(Steven Burton) #8

Hey Jocie, I had a similar issue when I first starting buying light bulbs. I decided to go down the route of hue taps and remotes.

So I blanked off the switches and put a tap over the top of them. The tap then just sets scenes. Taps are most useful in rooms with more than one bulb. Can just use remotes for on off and dim (phillips do a hue one too). Thanks taps aren’t controlled from smartthings but it knows when the bulbs are on or off after using one.

(Steven Burton) #9

Hey @AdamV, how have you used these wall switches in your place, have you blanked off light switches and placed the wall switches on the top or actually replaced the switches some how?

Presuming they just stick to the wall/blanked switch or are they screwed in?

Do they come with a faceplate to use or do you have to get that separately?

Sorry for the bunch of questions, these look interesting for some places where I don’t really want a hue tap/switch or have used Osram bulbs so just evaluating all the options first!

(Adam V) #10

Actually replaced. I have no wired switches in my place anymore, and all lights are perm live so that there is no way to physically turn them off, meaning the system always has control over them.

In some places screwed in, in others stuck on - but you wouldn’t be able to tell as they all look like built in switches

Depends where you buy them and which brand you get. Personally I’d always get them separate, but that’s because their aesthetics are really important to me so I want glass faceplates with chrome coloured buttons. The plastic ones that you can get bundled with are ugly in my opinion. That’s just my opinion, if you don’t care about this and just want it all as one package - Popp and Devolo sell them as a whole package. If you do care, and don’t mind navigating this awful website then is the only place I have found that sells every possible combination of face plate and switch rocker

(Steven Burton) #11

Thanks for the info, definitely going to check them out. Did you just pass through the wires behind the new wallplate as if you were blanking them off?

(Adam V) #12

My lighting circuit is now directly connected to the mains and doesn’t pass through any point of wall at all. I realise that this is a very unique situation and was only done like this purely for Home automation. There are pros and cons to this approach, but I believe in the long run a lot of the cons will fade away and the flexibility you get from a system like this is unparalleled.