SmartThings Community

They're here! : new Green Energy Battery-free Wall switches for Hue Bridge (Illumra, Busch-Jaeger, etc)

Update for 2019: They’re here! Now available in both the US and Europe. Phillips hue bridge required.

These are “self powered” zigbee green energy switches which don’t need batteries: they are powered by the kinetic energy that occurs when you press the switch. If you’re familiar with the Phillips hue “Tap,” this is the same technology.

In this case, though, Phillips is not going to make the switches themselves. Instead they have chosen partner companies in the different regions that already make devices using this technology. Among others, Illumra in the US and Busch-Jaeger in the EU.

These are the wall switches that people have been asking for to go with smart bulbs: they’ll fit in the space of a regular wall switch, or could just be Velcro to the wall anywhere. They will look like a conventional switch. ( for those interested, they will be HomeKit compatible as long as you are using the Hue bridge)

We’ll have to wait to see the exact details and how integration might work with smartthings, but this is a very exciting announcement:

The partner companies already made the switches. The only thing that’s new will be the hue bridge working with them, and it already works with this technology for their own tap switch, which is probably why they did meet their timeline. :sunglasses::level_slider::bulb:

US example. The initial release in January 2019 is just under $50 per switch, and they can be configured as either a two button switch which looks just like a conventional rocker, or a 4 button switch which looks like 2 skinny rockers side-by-side. The manufacturer site is offering them in several different colors including almond and black. Amazon now has all seven colors. If you use the single rocker cover, it’s definitely an expensive switch, but some people will still want it. If you use the double rocker, it counts as two very intuitive switches, so I think the price is not that bad if you have a good place to put it.

IMG_5534

image

https://runlesswire.com/click_philips_hue/

EU example:

IMG_5535

7 Likes

I have a Tap and it works well as long as you press hard enough.

Most of my lights are on automations, but when ST fails, it’s always good to have a backup that doesn’t require pulling out the phone/tablet and opening the Hue app.
I have buttons assigned for the main areas where I need my hue lights (bedroom, hallway, and bathroom), as well as the big button being All Off.

If this works as well as the Tap, it will be a success. I do wish there was an option other than the decora paddle though.

Between the Jasco z-wave battery powered model and these Hue devices, its good to see options coming out that fit in normal switch plates

3 Likes

There may be multiple options, we don’t know exactly what models will be available yet. That was just one example that I pulled. The article I linked to shows a different version with two skinny rockers side by side.

Jasco currently has no plans to release their remotes in the consumer channel. While they did say the remotes linked to above would be released with a different model number to consumers some time in the future, they have no clear timeframe as of yet. :frowning:

These appear to be available for sale now.

1 Like

A review of the new switch.

1 Like

…moved from another post…

I don’t have Hue bulbs or a hub, I do not like battery operated switches and I’ve not yet found a battery free alternative but I like these.

Do other people also want to use these with SmartThings without having to buy the Hue system? perhaps to control other types of smart bulbs or as a smart button?

2 Likes

I think this would be very popular, it’s just a question of whether the smartthings hub is going to support them as part of its zigbee 3.0 update. And if that update is going to come to the V2 and ADT models as well as the V3 hub.

1 Like

I love the idea, but ugh, that design is hideous.

From the article, “And, if you really want as traditional a design as possible, you can replace that dual-rocker with a single, paddle-style switch.” I believe the replacement single rocker is included.

1 Like

There is also a single rocker cover which looks pretty much like every other rocker switch out there:

IMG_5534

1 Like

Good to know. I can get behind that. I might have to pick a few of those up.

More information from the manufacturer of the US model, Illumra.

They believe the switch might work with smartthings once smartthings has zigbee 3.0 support, But they haven’t received any reports yet one way or the other. The new V3 hub does now have Zigbee 3.0 support. The other hubs do not as yet.

However: the Illumra switches can only be set to one of four different Zigbee channels, and you have to manually switch between them if you aren’t using a hue bridge.

If ZigBee 3.0 support is available, the Click for Hue can be configured to transmit on 1 of 4 ZigBee channels by holding one of the buttons for >10 seconds. Button to channel mapping is:
.
Button 1 : lower left (BO) - ZigBee Channel 11
Button 2: lower right (AO) - ZigBee Channel 15
Button 3: upper right (AI) - ZigBee Channel 20
Button 4: upper left (BI) - ZigBee Channel 25

So if your smartthings hub is on a different zigbee channel, you’re going to be out of luck.

I would go into the IDE and see what zigbee channel your hub is using before ordering these.

@tpmanley

1 Like

I had asked the question on the Amazon listing that got an answer with that exact same text above. I had already ordered the switch anyway, so I opened it up to see what it can do.

Here’s what came in the package. I tried to post some additional pics, but as a new user on the forum it will only let me post one.

I was disappointed that it really doesn’t fit “flush” with the wall unless it’s in a box. Since it’s all plastic and the mounting area is sort of thick, I’d be surprised if standard wall plates will fit flush even if it’s in a box, but they might.

I’m honestly pretty disappointed with the hardware. The buttons are misaligned. The “Clicks” seem OK I guess.

I tried to connect it to my Nvidia Shield Smartthings hub but it didn’t see anything. I think it’s running the older hardware anyway that doesn’t have Zigbee 3.0.

The manual is a single sheet of paper printed on a laser printer on both sides. Seems very cheap, honestly.

Anyway, I guess I’m going to return this. Still looking for that great switch that sits truly flush on the wall and can be installed next to an existing box to add on more switches that look like “normal” traditional switches.

3 Likes

I guess I’ll see if I can post the other pics in individual posts.

2 Likes

Side View

2 Likes

This exists, but I don’t want to drag this thread off topic. See the following FAQ (the title is a clickable link) and look for the Cooper switch. Then ask any follow-up questions about that switch ( or any of the other devices in the FAQ) in one of the threads about that model in the forum. :sunglasses:

1 Like

Thanks! Found that thread already. Still haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for, but as you said…let’s not drag this thread off topic.

Now that you replied, it will let me make another post here. :slight_smile: Here’s the manual and box it came in.

1 Like

Thanks for the information!. I suspect that most people are going to be comparing this to the Hue dimmer switch and the Hue tap switch, so it’s going to look pretty good. But we’ll see. If it does well, we should see more competitors over time. Since the switches will also work with HomeKit as long as someone is using them through the hue bridge, we should start to see an interest in the aesthetics as well for that audience. :sunglasses: