New Home Advice Sought - To many lights - too little wall space

Lutron is probably the most reliable smart lighting system out there, certainly more reliable than SmartThings. Did you look into their DIY line, Lutron Caseta? (They also have an official integration with smartthings.) The only question there is the size of the house as one of the reasons that it is more reliable is that it’s not a mesh system. They don’t work with the particular keypad that you linked to, but they do work with the four button pico, which is a battery operated device so you can put it anywhere and it gives you a lot of options.

Lutron runs everything locally Except third-party integrations like smart things or the various voice assistance. It’s very fast, very reliable, pretty amazing engineering (they hold a bunch of patents).


Because reliability is a very high priority for me, I use the lutron Caseta switches in my own house. So that’s one possibility.

I’m not feeling well tonight, so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, hopefully other people will chime in. But just a quick mention of some other options:

  1. Leviton makes multi button switches that do work with SmartThings with custom code. Very expensive, about $150 each, but they are still popular if you need multiple buttons in a single gang form factor.

However, as you noted, these work by sending a radio signal to The hub which then send a message to you a device which is controlling that specific current branch. That could be a smart bulb or it could be a micro in the lighting fixture. Or a junction box.

  1. Remotec makes a battery operated 8 button zwave device and each button has press, long press, or double tap.

If you label the buttons, it’s very intuitive.


  1. Phillips hue smart bulbs combined with the new friends of hue battery free green power switches. Again you can put these anywhere. These were dim from the switch.

  1. if you get Z wave smart bulbs (not zigbee smart bulbs) There are some old generation zwave “local scene controllers” that can control them without ever talking to the smartthings hub. It means status might get out of sync in the app, and you won’t be able to put any rules on it, but some people are using these

There are some other possibilities as well, but I’m not Going to be able to finish this post right now.

The main thing to know is that the general solutions are:

A) get a multi button mains Power device. It won’t control multiple circuit branches, so the target devices will have to be either smart bulbs or each have their own micro.

B) give each device a zwave micro somewhere on the circuit, doesn’t have to be in the switchbox.

Take a look at the following project. It in England, but it will show how you can wire at the junction box instead of the switch.

C) get a battery powered switch. There are lots of variations on these, including the Lutron Caseta.

D) use Phillips hue bulbs with the Phillips hue bridge and the new green power battery free switches. This will be almost as reliable as the Lutron.

E) use a Wallmount tablet or wifi phone as a control center. @tgauchat can say more about those.


F) Z wave local scene controller with Z wave smart bulbs. I don’t like these with a SmartThings system because they’re really meant for Z wave only systems and they are at this point really old technology. But they’re cheap and will work for some people.

That’s all I can say for now.