On the most recent IoT Podcast our voicemail hotline got a call from Jerry who wants to add a button, or buttons, in his home. These would be primarily be used to toggle pre-configured smart home scenes in Jerry’s house. While you can use a voice assistant in most cases to turn a scene on or off, voice isn’t always the best option: Someone could be sleeping or the smart speaker could fail to call up the requested scene.
A smart button, however, is generally more reliable since there’s little to no chance of bad input. Press the button and the scene works.
Since Jerry has a Samsung SmartThings hub as the brains of his house, I’d recommend Samsung’s own SmartThings Button, shown above.
Many folks don’t realize that Samsung offers this low-cost, compatible button, but it does. For $15, you get a natively compatible Zigbee device with a temperature sensor that can control just about anything in your SmartThings home.
With pre-set scenes then, Jerry could enable or disable them with a single button press, double-button press or press and hold action. And if three scene triggers weren’t enough, the button can be a trigger action for temperature presets as well. That’s a lot of functionality for the price.
Fibaro also makes a Z-Wave button available in numerous colors and although I love the look of it compared to the bland design of Samsungs button, I’m not sure it’s the best choice.
This button requires a custom device handler (read: software installed on the hub) to work with SmartThings, which adds some complexity. Additionally, Fibaro’s button will set you back $50, although you get six trigger combinations.
Stacey thinks the Aeotec NanoMote button is worth a look, and I agree. Priced normally at $45, the NanoMote is also more expensive than the Samsung option. You get four different buttons to press on this small Z-Wave device and there are two trigger actions for each button. So the ability to control up to eight scenes is possible.
And one other benefit is that out of the three options to consider, only the NanoMote has a built-in rechargeable battery: You just plug it in via USB once every three months or so instead of fiddling with battery replacements.
For my money, I’d keep it simple and recommend the Samsung SmartThings button with one caveat. If you want to control up to eight scenes and prefer not to replace batteries, the Aeotec NanoMote is probably worth the extra expense.
To hear Jerry’s question in full, as well as our discussion, tune in below to the IoT Podcast: