SmartThings vs. Hue+ST vs. C4/Crestron/RTI for All-RGBWW Home

This is an area where SmartThings shines. There are two third party browser based paid apps, ActionTiles and SharpTools, which are both very popular. Either is highly customizable and can work on Almost any WiFi tablet. And you can buy an elegant mounting case if you like to get the look you want. Here’s a recent discussion:

Otherwise you just choose any of the many available hue apps you like and use that. And again there are many cases available these days designed specifically for wall mounting so you have a lot of design choices.

Depending on the tablet you choose, you can also add a “kiosk” app to control the display features, such as locking it to a single app, if desired.

1 Like

Feel free to tag me or PM me if you have any questions about SharpTools! :slight_smile:

image

image

image

3 Likes

Thanks. Well I guess the first question is…can SharpTools or similar dashboards actually replace light switches and dimmers?

The pictures you posted, and in the Sharptools , actiontiles or native ST app for your wall panel? (2019) thread, show an awful lot of pics of SharpTools or similar running on tablets adjacent to one or more switches and dimmers, not replacing those switches and dimmers. I am looking for a setup where the original switches and dimmers go away entirely.

In my old home I actually have an iPod Touch mounted to the wall in a VidaMount, completing replacing a wall switch. It works well for controlling LIFX lights, and for doing other home automation things. However, it’s a bit too complicated for guests who do not know what they are doing. I think they can manage a color wheel plus buttons (by ignoring the wheel and going straight for the buttons) but I think a dashboard may be just too much–even a dashboard with only two or three buttons configured.

Ironically we removed the iPod Touch from the wall mount yesterday because we wanted to use the iPod Touch for regular purposes. So now there is an empty mount until we put the iPod Touch back. :grin:

I am not saying a dashboard is bad, but I am suggesting that replacing 10 wall switches in 10 rooms with 10 dashboards may be “too complicated” for everyone who may pass through the house. I can definitely envison a few dashboards around the place, but probably not to replace every last switch and dimmer.

Has anyone tried the Brilliant Smart Home Control in a whole home environment?

Some people in this community use brilliant, You can find some threads on it. But its integration with Hue Has been somewhat disappointing, which is why I didn’t recommend it already. You can read other reviews elsewhere for the details on those issues.

Do you want an adjustable color wheel at the wall? Or preset scenes?

If you don’t want a dashboard and we are still talking about lights that work with a Hue bridge, I would just use the RGB genie. (Remember to get the zigbee version, not the Z wave version: make sure it says it works with Hue.)

It doesn’t work with smartthings, but it works well with the hue bridge and the technology is current ( Zigbee 3.0).

The touch panel does not rely on the cloud, internet connection or another app to function in your home automation system. The recessed controller installs in a standard single plate receptacle box and the 110-volt pass-through power configuration assures ZigBee repeater uptime while eliminating the need for a DC power supply or batteries.

Also available in black:

1 Like

You certainly can replace a switch with a dashboard. Just depends on your needs.

If you still want to be able to control the ‘switch’ that the tablet would be placed over, then the most common option is probably using a small in-wall relay (like the Aeon Labs Nano Switch, Qubino Relay, or Enerwave Relay).

If you don’t care about retaining the ability to switch the load off (which may not be allowed by local electrical code), then it would be even more straightforward.

1 Like