Paddle switch to trigger automation?

Pardon me if this has been discussed before but I suspect I don’t know the terminology well enough to search for what I’m looking for.

I currently have a couple of outside lights that I have turn on and off based on sunrise and sunset. These do not have any sort of a physical switch so what I’d like to do is add some sort of a smart switch near my back door that will create an event I can use to trigger my “on” and “off” automations.

I’d like a paddle switch that looks like a regular light switch that simply creates an event. This switch would not have any physical electrical connection to the lights but would just be a controller. All of the switches I’ve looked at appear to work opposite to what I’m looking for in that they physically control the lights and allow events to trigger the switch.

Is there such a device that I’m looking for? Any information to get me started would be appriciated.

Do you have power available where you want to install the switch? or are you looking for a battery operated switch? If you are looking for battery power, I think the selection is very limited, but I may get corrected on this. If you have power available, I think pretty much any switch that allows for scene control should work. Two that I know of are GoControl WT00Z-1 and Inovelli Red Series switches. I’m sure there are more that others may add. For a battery powered switch, I have several Aspire RF9500AW switches (buttons). They are push buttons, not paddle switches but look fairly similar.

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First rule of Home automation: “ The model number matters.”

There are several possible choices for this, but which ones would work for you depend on the brand and model number of your existing lights, the ones you were having turn on and off at sunset.

And in addition, this forum is for people who are using the Samsung SmartThings ™ home automation platform. So all questions and answers are assumed to be in the context of that system.

Samsung SmartThings ™ can be operated without a hub, in which case you can use wi-Fi devices or “cloud to cloud“ integrations.

Or it can be operated with a Samsung SmartThings ™ hub, in which case you can also use Z wave and Zigbee devices.

This makes a big difference in your case, because Wi-Fi requires a lot more power than the other two and therefore there are very few battery operated Home Automation devices for it because they would need the batteries changed every couple months.

In contrast, both Z wave and zigbee devices are low power devices, and consequently batteries usually last a year or even two.

So…

Which country are you in? (The device selection does vary)

What’s the brand and model number of the lights to turn on and off at Sunset?

Are you operating Samsung SmartThings ™ without a hub? If not, what is the model number of your hub?

Once you answer those questions, we can give you some device suggestions. :sunglasses:

By the way, this is a very busy forum and it tends to come up near the top of general home automation searches on Google, even though it is not a general forum.

If you are not using Samsung SmartThings ™ at all and you are looking for a brand-agnostic forum, reddit has a pretty good one which covers all brands:

https://www.reddit.com/r/homeautomation/

I will have power available. I have a one gang outlet at about 4 feet that I’m going to change out to a two (or three) gang box. I’ll take the power off the outlet in that box. My dad is an electrician so I have no concerns with getting help there if I need it.

In all the descriptions I’ve seen it’s not clear that the switches you physically connect a light to will also control scenes. I have a lot to learn. I’ll take a look at the two you mentioned. Thanks.

Again, the first rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“ Some switches can do this, some cannot. :sunglasses: Some are specifically designed to do this.

image

Separately, there are also switch covers which go over existing dumb switches and only do scenes.

image

So just depends what you’re looking for. Again, though, we need the answers to the questions in my previous post before we can help you further.

I’m finding out how much I don’t know. This is a good start to know what questions to think about.

I’m in the U.S. and am using a Samsung SmartThings hub. I have three Wifi hubs (model ET-WV525) with Z wave and Zigbee so I think I’m pretty well covered everywhere. I do have an actual hub (model IM6001-V3P01) but am not using since it looked like all of it’s functionality is built into the wifi hub. Is there any reason to use that seperatly?

I’m just starting out so the only things I have connected are some smoke/co2 detectors. A door sensor on my garage and the lights I mentioned. Those are a single WiFi light bulb by my driveway and a plugin switch that I have a string of led lights going around my patio. I’d have to look up the exact models of each as the SmartThings app doesn’t seem to show that. Both are supported by SmartThings and I’ve had no issues controlling them from the phone app.

The lights are currently being turned on and off using an automation in the SmartThings app. I can turn each on and off in the app on my phone but wanted the ease of a more traditional light switch by the door for quick on/off outside of the automated times.

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The first picture is what I was thinking of. I figured it was something not all would do but I don’t know what to look for to tell which ones do. You indicate that the model number matters. Is there a code to tell you which ones do what?

I very much appreciate the information as everything is new to me.

It’s an optional feature, so it’s up to each manufacturer which models they decide to offer with that, if any at all. It will usually be called “Scene control“ but not always.

You didn’t say what brand and model your Wi-Fi bulbs are, but as long as they work with smartthings, you should be fine. Then you just need to get a scene control switch that also works for SmartThings and you should be good to go.

The one in the picture is the Inovelli red model that @coronamike50 mentioned. It is a Z wave Mains powered switch. Very popular in the community. :sunglasses:

The company owner, @Eric_Inovelli , is also active in the community, so I’m sure he can answer any other questions you might have about that specific model.

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Thanks for the shoutout @JDRoberts and @coronamike50 :grinning:

@JohnF – happy to answer any questions you have and welcome to SmartThings!

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Everything I’ve purchased do far is off the Smartthings page so no concern about interoperability. This is my first foray in looking for other devices. This gives me a good start. I’ll a couple of the suggested switchs a play around with those.

Thanks for taking the time to explain things. I’m sure I’ll have more questions.

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I’ll get a switch and start playing with it. That’ll probably make things start making sense. If I have any questions I’ll reach out.

Thanks.

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