"Local Only" Wall Switches

Is there a visual list of wall switches that activate loads as well as a list of “dummy” wall switches that can activate any SmartThings device? (ZigBee or Z-Wave hopefully without having to replace batteries)

I am looking to replace my Wink Relays and want something that resembles the same high quality and preferably local so I can use the switches when the internet goes out.

(I like the Iotty Switches, the glass touch Chinese switches but the red led looks pink, and the Wallswipe is growing on me but I would prefer a 2 gang U.S. option)

“Dummy switches” really aren’t a thing. The only thing you can do is with the new Inovelli of Zooz switches/dimmers, you can disconnect the load from the buttons and turn it into a button controller. However, that’s a VERY expensive button controller you are creating. And you have to have a gangbox with wiring to put it in.

In the past, some brands did make auxiliary switches that did not control the load but simply sent a signal to the master switch. I think the most popular was probably the gocontrol WT 500. However, it’s not used much anymore and has become hard to find.

As was mentioned, the good news is that both Inovelli and Zooz now offer switches with a configurable parameter which allows you to cut out the control of the local circuit branch. These are primarily intended to serve as a switch to control smart bulbs, but it all works the same way: there’s a radio in the switch and it will send a message to the hub. :blush:

You may need a custom device type handler to set up the switch, but after that you can change to a stock device handler which does run locally and the configuration changes will stay as you set them.

See option two in the following FAQ

FAQ: Looking at a good Wall Switch for my Hue Bulbs (2018 Short FAQ) ( also applies to other brands of smart bulbs)

As far as switches that do control the load And can run locally, as long as they can use the stock Z wave device handler they should run locally. And again, you can use a custom DTH to set up any advanced features and then swap over once the parameters are configured the way you want them.

WiFi switches and anything using a custom DTH do not run locally.

The nice thing about the zooz and inovelli models is that this means you can use the same model switches for both use cases and just set the parameters for each individual switch to control the load or not. :sunglasses:

@JDRoberts, does the Hue dimmer switches run locally?

It might can be an alternative for the “dummy” switches, and they are not so expensive. I have seen some nice fixtures to cover physical switches with it. But they are battery powered.

I’d be surprised if they didn’t. So far my Hue app hasn’t even asked me to set up an account, though I don’t have that particular item.

@Inge_Jones, I meant to ask locally, when connected directly to the ST Hub.

With Hue bridge it should be local.

I don’t think SmartThings receives messages from Hue sensors - online or off - which probably includes buttons and switches as they are “pressing sensors” in a way. I think all the control is from SmartThings to Hue not vice versa. Although ST might be able to see the state of the Hue bulbs but I know it could not see the state of the hue bulbs when I tried it disconnected from internet

Your app cannot see, because you don’t have connection to the Hub, but the Hue integration is local. Any Smart Lighting automation with local devices would execute local too.

No what I mean is I set up an automation to test. Obviously my starting point for any test is that I am aware the app doesn’t work without cloud access. But with or without cloud, it seems to be the consensus from all I have read that Hue sensors, such as the motion sensor, do not get reported back from Hue to SmartThings. So if the switch works on the same principle I’d not expect that to interact with ST in that direction.

  1. anything using a custom DTH runs in the cloud. I know there are some people using Hue motion sensors (indoor or outdoor) connected directly to the smartthings hub without a bridge, but I believe they are all using a custom DTH from the following thread:

Hue Outdoor Motion & SmartThings Hub

  1. there is a custom DTH which will allow a dimmer switch connected to the Hue bridge to be used in smartthings, but it requires custom code and so cannot run locally.

[BETA] Hue Accessories and rooms using Hue Bridge (TAP, Motion Sensor, Dimmer Switch)

  1. if you are using a Hue dimmer switch or a Hue motion sensor connected to a Hue bridge, it is not visible to smartthings through the official integration. That integration can run locally, but only using the stock DTH for both the bridge and the bulbs. and then only the bulbs are visible to smartthings. The Hue dimmer switch will still run locally with the bridge, but smartthings won’t see it. And it can’t activate a load—it can only act as a “dummy.” It’s just that its sending its messages to the Hue bridge, not to the smartthings hub.

See the following FAQ:

FAQ: Hue accessory devices with smartthings? (2019)

So there are multiple set up options possible but none that allow a hue dimmer switch to operate locally with SmartThings at this time.


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Wow. The Inovelli and Zooz Switches are simply amazing. They do quite a bit more than I asked for! LOL

I did not even know these features were available. (1 switch can be used for 4-way wiring with your regular on-off switches, double-tab to run a scene)

Features I Like with the Inovelli Red Series Paddle Dimmer Switches:

  1. RGB status notification lights (you can program it to flash red if the security system is not armed after 10 pm, or turn purple when the garage door is open)

  2. Ability to program buttons adding up to 11 scenes (like tap the top button 5-times to turn on BED LEDS, Bedroom Fan, turn both night table lamps to 100% and turn on the Fanlight, and even turn the security system on)

  3. Set minimum Dimming Level (to match your bulbs best performance if flickering shows)

Features I Like with the Zooz ZEN27 Paddle Dimmer Switches:

  1. Automatic Future Firmware Updates

  2. Z-Wave Signal Repeater


The Inovelli Red Series is “the” Smart Switch to beat. The features are rich and the price is right!

BTW, they serve as Z-Wave repeaters as well.

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FWIW the Zooz switches also have scene control with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 taps on either button for a total of 10 scenes, and they have the ability to set min and max dimming levels.

And as Ron already mentioned the Inovelli switches also act as z-wave repeaters.

As far as the firmware updates go, both Zooz and Inovelli offer this, but SmartThings currently doesn’t support OTA firmware updates for z-wave. They’ve been saying for a while that they’re looking into it, so it may happen some time in the future.

In all reality they’re both great switches with a lot of features, but the primary difference is that the Inovelli Red series has the ability to use the RGB indicator for notifications, while the Zooz does not.

Edit: I suppose one additional difference if you’re looking at the dimmer models specifically is that the Inovelli can also be used in situations where there’s no neutral present.