My first remote control recommendations?


About to order my first ST hub and finally upgrade the X10/CM11/Heyu system I’ve been using for (yikes) almost 20 years. My primary use will be lighting control (GE Link bulbs for starters), and I’d like to order a few tabletop remote controls.

Do you have any recommendations on compatible controllers?

My preferences:

  • The Aeon Labs minimote looks fantastic, but I don’t want to buy a product that relies on a battery that is soldered in.
  • (Sorry if I get the terminology wrong on this) I’d prefer a remote that sends keypress events to the ST hub (as opposed to the device directly), so that I can associate any actions I want with the button press. I imagine I can then use the remote to turn on lights, open my curtains, explode my dog, whatever. Is this a “secondary controller”?

Oh, and I’d like to mention that I love the community surrounding SmartThings. One of the reasons I selected this product. Thanks for your thoughts and advice!

(Geko) #2

One disadvantage of this is that your remove will stop working if either ST servers or your Internet is down, which does happen now and then, unfortunately. With remotes like Intermatic HA07, you’ll always have control of your lights and switches, even if ST is down.


Ugh, really? I didn’t realize this.

My hub cannot receive/issue events while the Internet is down? :frowning:

Maybe that old X10/Heyu system has a few more years left in it…

(Geko) #4

Yes, this is something to be aware of. ST is a cloud-based system, i.e. everything runs in the cloud. The hub is a simple gateway connecting your sensors to the cloud. The next generation hub (2.0) is rumored to have some local functionality, but no firm timeframe is available yet.

(Morgan) #5

@dpotter Yea, you have to have internet connectivity at all times for your ST to work. It is an important thing to understand, so you aren’t surprised if your internet is down and your devices aren’t able to be controlled.

I wish more people would research this before getting ST and then getting upset about this, it is a known limitation for the current ST hub.


I’ve seen this same limitation on many competitive offerings as well, and it seems so counterintuitive to me. Why would I want to integrate to the cloud service rather than a local device?

Are many devices using a common reference architecture from a chipset manufacturer? Or perhaps they are all looking for the long-term revenue stream of a service provider rather than a device manufacturer?

(Geko) #7

There’s no common reference platform, unfortunately. The main rationale is that the market demands ubiquitous remote access via smartphones and the easiest way to accomplish it is by moving all processing into the cloud. It also simplifies tech support, software updates, etc. “Big data” monetizing opportunities may also play certain role, although it’ll probably come into play later.

The whole software industry is moving to the SaS model and Smart Home is no exception. Sooner or later the market will converge on one or two “standards” and the hardware will be commoditized, meaning that it will be a high-volume low-margin business and most small players will be squeezed out.

(Cooper Lee) #8

The MiniMote is great!! for the lifetime of the remote, the size, and the functionality it is still a great buy - how many years will it be before the usb rechargeable battery dies? Worth the $40-$50 bucks as a throw away remote - have a pair of them and love them…