May 26, 2024

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Best smart home buttons to automate, control, and routines

8 min read

The best smart home buttons

Smart home buttons have become a huge thing. As we move from remote controls to apps, switches, and voice control, you may think there is no need for a physical controller.

The brilliance of smart home buttons lies in their simplicity and the multi-functionality they offer with a single click.

You can certainly turn on the bedroom light with the wall switch, just like your grandfather used to do. But can this switch also turn off the lights you left on downstair, activate all your surveillance cameras and set an alarm, or tune in some sleep sounds on your smart speaker. This switch cannot.

It’s not a smart switch .

The current crop of smart button technology is the answer. You can activate a variety of smart home automations and scenes with a single tap, double-tap or long-press.

You could use Alexa, or the Google Assistant, to start up these routines, and control your smart device, but it is often easier to simply push a button. This is because you can place the buttons strategically around the home, where they are most useful.

Many smart buttons, such as Hue or Flic, can be used to trigger routines and automate your smart-home ecosystem.

Continue reading to learn more…

Smart buttons: What to consider before buying

The idea of smart buttons is still relatively new, and there aren’t many options on the market. Even if there are more competitors, the existing offering will still be able to do more.

You’ve missed the point if you buy a smart button that can perform two or three scenes with the touch of a single button. You should consider what smart devices and platforms you want to buy the button for. into.

Does it support Applets and HomeKit ? It will it integrate with the way you currently run your smart home. It will it give you a way to control your most important smart devices?

Each entry has a list of these factors, but you can get more information from the manufacturer. The above examples have been tested and proven to work.

It’s rare that a double click, triple click, or long-press will go unnoticed. And, if it does, we found all the buttons to be equally reliable.

The best smart buttons 2023

We’ve selected the best smart buttons for your smart home. Whether you want to control one appliance or set up more complex routines, these smart buttons will help you.

 

best smart home buttons - flic smart button

The Flic 2 is the best smart home button.

From $29.99 / PS29.99

Flic is a pioneer in the field of smart buttons. It was first launched on Indiegogo back in 2014. The campaign surpassed its $80,000 goal and raised almost $1 million. Flic 2 is the most button like smart button. It was also a crowd funding campaign.

The Flic 2 system is better than the first generation. It’s compatible across a wide range of technology – including Hue, Lifx and Ecobee. Also included are Ikea Tradfri and Wink. It’s easy to control with a single, two, or long tap, just like the (now discontinued Logitech Pop).

You can program actions and routines as simple or complex as you like with Flic. It’s hard to remember what each button on the device does.

It is packed with “fun” (i.e. The app is also jam-packed with ‘fun’ (i.e. It is also compatible with many fitness platforms. For example, you can use it to start and stop your Strava run. The device comes with a belt clip, so you can take it anywhere.

It is much cheaper than its competitors as it doesn’t require a hub. Instead, you can use your phone to act as the gateway.

This has some flaws – the app must be running at all times, and the buttons will only work when they are within Bluetooth range of your phone. That’s why Flic sells a hub that can pair with the Flic buttons starting at $100/PS100.

Flic’s smart home button has an incredible new feature: it can trigger Alexa Routines. This functionality was added in a update released in February 2021.

Create a morning routine where, upon clicking the Flic button, the Echo Show reads out the news, shows you your schedule, switches off the smart alarm, and turns on the smart plug to start the coffee maker.

Last year, a new Flic twist was released and is expected to hit the market in 2023.

We love

  • Compact design
  • Alexa Routine trigger.
  • Work without a Hub
  • Fun extras aplenty

We don’t like

  • No HomeKit syncing
  • Hub costs extra

best smart button - philips hue

Philips Hue smart button is the best for Philips Hue

$19.99 / PS17.99

Philips Hue’s smart button has been added to Signify’s growing collection of accessories. It can be placed anywhere in the house to control lights.

The Smart Button costs $20 and is the least costly option available from Signify to control your Hue lights without voice commands or an app. The button is pre-programmed to turn on the selected lights at appropriate brightness/lighting scenes based on the time of day. It has 5 time slots.

It is all customizable but it works out of the package, without any programming or scene creation required.

The button can be used to control other HomeKit devices as well. HomeKit’s best use is to activate a HomeKit Scene. However, there are other smart buttons that you can choose from, like the Eve button listed in this guide.

It’s not compatible with other bulbs, requires a Hue bridge, and only has limited control when paired with HomeKit. However, for those who are already invested in the Hue ecosystem, this is a great way to add a simple and inexpensive way to control the lights in a particular room.

As of early 2023 Hue smart buttons can also be configured to trigger an Alexa smart-home system. You can set them up to start an Alexa Routine in the Alexa App.

We love

  • Hue native
  • Slick design
  • Well-priced

We don’t like

 

  • HomeKit Limited
  • Needs Hue Bridge

 

Eve Button is the best smart button for HomeKit

$49 / PS45

The Eve Button is not like Flic or Logitech smart buttons. It doesn’t allow you to specify specific smart tech devices. Or add multiple gadgets. Instead, it uses HomeKit for the heavy lifting. The Eve app is Apple’s Home App dressed up in a different way. You can do all the configuration in the Home App.

While that may sound restrictive, it is actually a good setup if you live in an Apple-controlled smart home. It’s not easy to create a Home Scene to control a single light, but it makes sense for more complex chains.

If you own a Apple HomeKit hub, e.g. The Eve Button works flawlessly in your home if you have an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad. If you only use the iOS Home App on your iPhone to power your smart home, then you will need this phone nearby in order for it to work.

The Eve’s design is the most bulky, but the anodized finish looks more premium than Pop and Flic. The battery life of the Eve is limited by the battery in the coin. You won’t have to worry about charging it.

We love

  • Compatible with HomeKit
  • Flexible Uses
  • Long battery life

We don’t like

  • HomeKit restrictions
  • Setup is slightly involved
  • A little bulky

echo buttons are great for alexa routines

Amazon Echo Button: Best for Alexa

$20 / PS20 for 2

The Echo Buttons started out as a novelty toy, allowing users to compete in head-to-head quizzes, or play games based on the fastest finger first. But they’ve evolved to become one of the most simple, yet comprehensive smart buttons… so long as you are connected to Alexa’s ecosystem.

The Bluetooth-equipped Echo Buttons are powered by two AAA batteries, and are sold in pairs at less than $20. They can do just two things: light up and change colors with the LEDs hidden under that white dome, and talk to an Echo smart speaker.

Amazon has made it possible for Echo Buttons to start routines. And, hallelujah! The gimmicky Echo Button can now control any device that works with Alexa. The only limitation is that you can only link a button to one routine. However, your imagination and the capabilities of Amazon’s smart assistant are the only limitations.

We have an Echo Button by the backdoor, paired with a Dot installed in the kitchen. When pressed, it opens the Somfy blinds in our garden office, activates all the smart sockets within the office, and plays BBC Radio 6 Music through our Sonos speaker. It also turns on the desk light. A second button reverses the process.

Alexa’s ‘wait’ feature allows me to leave the house without having to worry about closing blinds. It also turns on our robot vacuum to clean up the crumbs left behind by all the biscuits that we’ve eaten in the meantime.

Echo Buttons are no longer available, so you will need to search online to find some.

We love

  • Alexa-native
  • Fun game options
  • Well-priced

We don’t like

  • Alexa-exclusive
  • A slightly gimmicky look
  • No longer widely available

senic outdoor hue switch

Senic Friends of Hue Outdoor Switch: Best for your garden

$79 / PS69

Senic’s Outdoor Switch, the first Friends of Hue intelligent switch for exterior use, is not a smart light switch but more of a button.

It’s not necessary to use screws or wires to attach it. There are adhesive pads included in the package. I have mine attached to a rendered wall and it’s stayed there for weeks without any issues.

If you need a little more assurance, you can remove the rear cover and screw it to the wall. The Switch is then popped over the base.

The Senich does not have a battery. It is powered by EnOcean technology, which harvests energy from the ocean. By pressing the button (and bouncing back), the power is constantly replenished.

Setup is easy. Just use the Hue App and the Senic outdoor switch accessory. The four-button setup is a simple, but effective way to control your Hue bulbs. You can choose in the Hue App what happens when you press or hold each button.

There are therefore 8 inputs total, but this can be extended to 12 by using Hue apps from third parties such as iConnectHue which adds a second tap into the equation.

The Outdoor Switch also supports HomeKit, which opens up an array of additional controls including smart speakers, heating systems and more.

You can program Senic to control, automate and create scenes in your HomeKit-enabled home. However, unlike Hue, there is no holding option in HomeKit.

We love

  • Super simple installation
  • Weatherproof
  • Great for Hue
  • No battery required
  • Extra HomeKit smarts

We don’t like

  • Hue Bridge is needed
  • HomeKit has only 4 buttons

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