Need help with ideas on how to control separate lights in different rooms all on the same switch

Hello All,

Our guest room is being taken over by soon to be baby #2. All our family lives out of state so we have a lot of guests which means a guest room is very important. We decided to take my daughters HUGE playroom and section off 40% of it as a guest room. This playroom had 3 different overhead fluorescent lights (yuck). The idea was to replace all the fluorescent lights with new fixtures that took A19 Hues Bulbs, keep the power to them always on, and use a Lutron Connected Bulb remote to control them like I do a bunch of rooms upstairs. Unfortunately, I have found that all flush mount lights are fairly small and even with 2 Hue bulbs, put out too little light. While it is okay for the guest room, for the playroom it would not suffice.

So, I need your help and suggestions. How can I keep the fluorescent lights in the playroom and have a light in the guest room and have the ability to control lights independently in the rooms. I.E. have just the light in the guest room on but not the lights in the playroom. One thing to note is the fluorescent lights in the playroom actually plug into sockets on the ceiling (see pictures). Is there an in-wall ZWave switch that can turn on/off plugs while leaving the light always on to be controlled by the Lutron Remote?

Would this idea work: swap out the outlets in the ceiling with a zwave outlet (or just get a smart plug for the outlets and connect the fluorescent lights to that) such as this: Then get one of the z-wave toggle switches such as Configure CoRE that if GE ZWave switch is toggled off, turn off the GE wall plug but keep the power on to light? And then use the Lutron to control the light switch?

Do you have a better idea on how to make this all work? Different, brighter, zwave light/fixtures, different zwave accessories?

Here is the in progress guest room build with double sliding barn doors:

Here is the new light fixture. The fluorescent one will be taken down.

And a shot of how the fluorescent lights are plugged into the ceiling:

I don’t have time to go into full details right now, but my first thought is just that Rather than the Lutron connected bulb remote, I would select any “button controller” device that integrates well with smartthings. That way the button controller sends a message to the SmartThings hub to turn an individual pocket socket on or off and you end up with a lot more options as you can control each individual device separately, or combine them into zones.

There are a number of different options for these. One of the most popular is the Aeon minimote. It’s slightly larger than the Lutron device, but not by much. It has four buttons, and works very well as a handheld.

If you prefer a wall mount button controller, there are a lot of options. The popular remotetec has eight buttons, and each button can have tap, double tap, or long hold so you actually get 24 different options with that.

Here they are side-by-side. The remotetec is just about the same size as a single gang light switch. Both are battery-operated.

There are a number of other options as well. See the following list. Some are handheld, some are wall mount.

How exactly you would combine that with something that controls the non-plug-in light depends on the exact wiring. But it should certainly be doable.

If you also put a micro in for the non-plug-in light, you could even use a wall switch replacement like the Leviton VRCS4 and just have different buttons for different zones. (It’s mains-powered, but not a load controlling switch, so the current remains on to all the different light fixtures, you’re turning them on and off at the micro.)

But how you isolate the guestroom light depends on the exact wiring. Still, it should usually be possible to put the micro in at the ceiling fixture for just that individual light.

So for each fixture, whether it’s a plug-in or the non-plug-in, the button you press sends a message to the smartthings hub and the smartthings hub sends a message to the micro controlling that specific fixture. Or to a couple of fixtures together if that’s how you set up that particular button. :sunglasses::level_slider::bulb::level_slider::bulb:

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I had an epiphany today at breakfast. I have three Philips Hue Light Strips laying around that I was unsure of what to do with. Why not just place the light strips into the fluorescent light, plug them in, and then I will have all Hue lights in the playroom and guest room. I can then make sure the power is set to always on and use the Hue Dimmer or Connected Bulb Remote to control them.

So, I removed the plug from the fluorescent light and added in the Hue light strip plus with blue tape to test fit. I wish I could have two lines running parrellel without the bad bend at the middle. Other than that, this seems like it might work well!