Options for scenes and schedules without wifi

Is there a device (prefer wall-mount touch screen) that can program and control zigbee or zwave scenes and schedules without requiring wifi? I am planning some remodeling, and am thinking about removing all hard wired light switches in some rooms and I do not want room lighting to depend on the existence of wifi. I have some use cases where I need to group lights into scenes (including RGBW values). And I also need to schedule certain scenes (switch some strips to grow light colors at night for a living wall for example).

Ideally I want the configuration of all scenes and schedules to be administered via a touch panel, without using a computer or wifi if possible (ie can this all happen on the zwave/zigbee side of the network?)

Thanks in advance!

In many jurisdictions it is not legal to remove all light switches from a residential building, so such a project would not pass a building inspection. So that’s something to look into.

As far as a zwave Wall mounted device running zwave switches without wifi, there are multiple individual pieces of that question:

1) ability to operate multiple switches from a wallmount scene controller when WiFi is not available.

That one’s easy, and was what people used to do before everyone had smartphones and every home had WiFi.


Note that if you want to run without cloud access, this will ONLY work with other zwave devices, you can’t mix in zigbee or LAN (so no Hue bridge, for example)

2) ability to program those scene controllers, including setting timed schedules, without WiFi.

Possible, not so easy. It can’t be done from the scene controller itself and it may be hard to integrate with SmartThings.

There are two options.

A) get a tabletop controller intended for this purpose. These are old technology, may only work with one brand (Cooper or Leviton), and usually cost around $150.


Using one typically feels like programming an early style “smart” thermostat. Tiny pixelated screen with obscure icons, lots of arrow down through long lists of choices.


B) use a laptop with configuration software. It may require a zwave dongle or a physical thumb drive to update the individual devices.

C) An all in one device. See option 3 below.

3) Touchscreen.

Maybe, but not likely.

There is a touchscreen wallmount scene controller from Nexia, but it’s really just a substitute for the Switch, not the scheduler. Typically costs $99, although you may be able to find it for less.



And there is a very nice looking all in one from Zipato called a Zipatile. Looks great, does a lot. You do need internet to set up rules and for initial configuration. But it can do daily operations without it.

Negatives: very expensive ($400) and terrible reviews. :disappointed_relieved: Everyone agrees it looks great, but it appears to be unreliable.


So let’s clarify the use case

The problem is the “program” part of “program and control.” And the touchscreen request.

If you really just meant “run locally without a cloud,” then it all gets pretty easy. In particular, look at Hubitat. You will need a laptop for the management software, but daily operations are local. No touchscreen, though.

But if your true desire is to stay off the grid, go oldschool with option 2) above and get a tabletop controller or a laptop with a zwave dongle to create the schedules and wallmount push button scene controllers to replace some switches.

To recap

Wallmount scene controllers are easy, but don’t allow you to make schedule changes. Probably not touchscreen, though.

Tabletop controllers that let you change schedules are available, but are expensive, feature-limited, and may only work with one brand.

The Zipatile has a touch screen, but gets bad reviews and costs $400. And requires internet to set up rules.

Your local building codes may not allow you to remove all switches if this is a residential building. If it’s just a greenhouse, you’ll have more flexibility.

If you just want to run locally for reliability reasons, look at hubitat or homeseer or a similar system.

If instead you want to stay off the internet altogether, look at the old school systems. But it’s unlikely you’ll get touchscreen.


Wow! What an incredibly helpful reply! It sounds like I’ll have to stay with wifi, but I can probably make do with local traffic with hubitat. That seems pretty cool.

Do you know if there’s a chance the 4 scene controller + zwave lights count for “light switches” in code or do they have to be hard wired?

I can always wire it for a switch but cover it up with the leviton, letting me downgrade if I sell. Or do 2 gang with the scene controller on one side and a conventional zwave enabled switch on the other for the non rgbw lights.

This is mainly all for a master bath where I want the rgbw strip to provide accent light during bathroom use and scheduled to purple/grow for night (I’m building a nook the length of one wall to fill with plants) The rest of the lights would be white.

Thanks again for your awesomely detailed reply!

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Just depends on the details of the local code and how savvy the building inspectors are. In my experience, most of them think a multi button device in a single gang counts as a regular switch as long as the lights turn on and off when they press it , but they will start asking questions about a touch screen. :wink: