On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, Brent called in with a question to make life a little easier in his smart home. He has a reading lamp in his bedroom that he can control with either a switch or a digital assistant. But he’s looking for a solution to quietly control it while he’s in bed. That means no voice controls and he’d prefer not to use an app either since his phone isn’t always within arm’s reach.
Brent, this sounds like the perfect solution for a smart button! With a button, he can simply press the button to control the reading lamp without using his phone or by waking up his partner by using a voice command.
Of course, the choice of the smart button will depend on Brent’s setup. Most buttons work over Zigbee, which requires some type of hub, while a few others use Bluetooth. Since we don’t know the details of Brent’s smart home and there are plenty of Zigbee smart button options, we’ll tackle the Bluetooth approach.
Since Brent can’t easily reach the manual switch on his lamp from the bed, a Bluetooth button such as this Flic two-pack for $30 will do the trick. Just be sure to check Flic’s integrations to ensure it will work with your connected lights.
You’ll need the Flic app on your phone to act as the hub or gateway unless you want to splurge for a Flic Bluetooth hub. The company sells a starter kit with the Bluetooth 5.0 Long Range hub and 3 Flic buttons for $160.
Another option is what Stacey uses: A $25 Philips Hue button since she uses Philips Hue bulbs for her lamps. So that’s an easy addition if you’re already in the Philips Hue ecosystem.
Provided you don’t mind swapping switches, you could install a $60 Lutron smart switch and use a $20 Lutron Pico Remote button to control the lamp. In this case, you’d have a non-connected bulb in the lamp and you’d pay a bit more than for a Bluetooth solution.
Smart buttons are often overlooked as viable device control options, but in cases like Brent’s, they will definitely do the trick. Note that most buttons support multiple actions based on single vs double presses and/or short/long presses. So you can gain some additional functionality in most cases as well.
To hear Brent’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below.