Remote or Switch or Button ideas

I have been looking at zwave or zigbee buttons or remotes to mount on the wall. I am waiting for the hubitat to arrive on my shores (in Australia) and its getting close so racking my brain about what else I need.

I could really only find the Aeotec Z-Wave WallMote here for zwave buttons that are compatible in Aus.

It got me thinking though. The zwave switches aren't cheap and I could buy a cheap phone for less to show a dashboard created for that specific device.

I was considering mounting a cheap 5 inch phone in the wall perhaps and supplying power to it. A bit of work but I can update the phone at times to show the controls I wanted. It would almost be a touch screen button but the dashboard can be shown with minimal buttons so its not just a blank set of buttons like the Aotech button.

Thoughts? I would need to to find a recess mount to make it look tidy and I would need to supply power. Then the mobile can stay on all the time (dim it with tasker when the bedroom lights go off and at night)... All a bit of work but would be nice if implemented properly I feel.

A Dashboard, including on a phone screen, is certainly a powerful alternative to a button device if you can find a way to mount and power the device! I think that's a good, creative idea.

If you do want actual button/remote devices, I live in the US and can think of several good options, but I'm sure the options are more limited in Australia. For example, can you find the Lutron Smart Bridge Pro (L-BDGPRO2-WH) and Lutron Pico remotes? In the US, the bridge is a bit pricey, but the remotes are cheap and easily mountable standalone or in standard US-sized rocker/decorator-style wall plates (one of two common light switch styles, though these don't look much like any of them besides size). The Eria Dimmer remote costs a bit more than the Pico remotes, but it's standard Zigbee and doesn't need an extra bridge or anything to make it work. The Hue Dimmer remote is similar but costs a bit more and doesn't match a standard US switch size (so can't be mounted exactly like one), but I suspect none of these would match Australian switches anyway.

Aeotec does have a few Z-Wave remote devices that I haven't used, but they do look nice. In the US, they're more expensive than other alternatives, which is mostly what has deterred me from them. The Osram 4-button dimmer is Zigbee, a bit smaller and less cute but often found for super-cheap (I got two for under $10 USD a while back).

For a list of button-type devices that work with Hubitat, this list/thread may be helpful: Hubitat Elevation supported button controller capabilities matrix (but again, I have no idea how easy some of these are to find in Australia).

But back to your phone/tablet idea, there are also some threads about how to make that work if you want, especially if you search the SmartThings forums. Most of these are probably US users, but I know some put a recessed outlet behind with a USB port and power the device, mounted on or nearly flush with the wall, that way. What you can do depends on the depth of your recessed outlet (and size of the power brick if you have one). My eventual plan is to put a recessed outlet box in one of my hallway walls that will be used for just low-voltage, a PoE plus USB-charging insert I found and am hoping to use to connect directly to a wall-mounted tablet with a flat, right-angle USB cable inside a cased tablet and hopefully not be able to see anything besides the case and tablet.

...but that's a lot more work than I've felt like doing at home lately, so it's a "some day..." project for me. :slight_smile:

I have 3 of these Aqara Buttons & have worked flawlessly - Aqara WXKG11LM Smart Wireless Switch Intelligent Home Application Remote Control | eBay

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Everyone's experience will be different of course... but one of my first tries with dashboards was putting up old phones on the wall in each room. Just tacked them up, nothing fancy. Had some nice dashboards designed, screen went off & on with motion, their cameras doubled as security.

In the end, I personally found that for lights you want the simplest method possible. If you walk into a room (and the motion lights don't do what you want), playing around with a touchscreen is just annoying versus hitting a switch. You don't have to look at a traditional switch to use it, or make sure you are hitting the correct part of it. You can just quickly hit it while walking into the room. Plus, you don't have to explain to a guest how a switch works.

I was also jaded because 2 of the phones ended up with bloated batteries I was afraid were going to explode. I think this could have been caused by always having the camera on which drew power and caused heat, and maybe as they were older phones their battery management wasn't great.

There are huge threads with people and their opinions of dashboards - I'm definitely not trying to start one of those! Just giving my opinion as you asked. Everyone's opinion will be different... You should find what works for you.

So my opinion - a dashboard in a house to get status updates of what is going on / etc, control some things / alarms is great. I have spent a lot of time on mine and love it for whole house control / house mgmt. For lights, I'd suggest getting your motion rules working the best you can for your personal situation, and then get a simple wall switch or button in case you need to manually control it.

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I had tried a dashboard (but making scenes in tasker) on a tablet before and yes I did find it wasn't used much. We tended to use voice recognition much more (google voice routed through ifttt to my Android box via http post). So I hear you about using phones on a wall. I have also read that the legalities of a battery in the wall are also questionable and wouldn't want to risk a fire.. I was thinking of a minimal dashboard, almost a two button switch... But now getting cold feet and what has been said has questioned if it really would suit me.

I was a little concerned about the xiaomi switches and reliability. The price is much better than the other zwave ones that for sure... But I took the plunge and placed an order for one switch to start off with.

I have also just placed an order for the temperature/humidity/repeater devices iharyadi makes so hoping that might help the problems with the xiaomi disconnects.

If you have a good zigbee mesh, may I recommend the following as a button controller:

If you have a good zwave mesh, may I recommend the following as a button controller:

(I know that's not exactly apples and oranges, but I have found that both devices have a high Spouse Approval Factor)