As much fun as it is to use your voice to command your smart home, it's not a bad idea to add some physical controls for your smart gadgets.
Having a home chock-full of smart gadgets is pretty awesome — you get to control your lights with the sound of your voice, change the temperature on your thermostat without ever leaving your bed, close the shades with a single tap on your phone, and check in on your pets when you're away from home. The problem with having a home chock-full of smart gadgets, however, is that it's not always accessible to guests and less-tech-savvy roommates. It's also not always convenient to use your voice or go swiping around in an app to make adjustments. You can solve (or at least alleviate) some of these problems by adding smart buttons to your smart home setup. The buttons are a great way for guests and roomies to control lighting and an easy way to add complex automations to your setup. Check out these three smart buttons to add a bit of physical to your otherwise digital smart home.
Logitech POP Smart Button
The POP Smart Button is a tiny (2.36 in x 2.36 in) programmable button that comes in two colors: white and alloy.
To get things going you'll buy the POP Smart Button Starter Kit — that includes a white POP, a tiny white bridge device (same size as the POP), and mounting tape for stickin' your Smart Button wherever you'd like! After you've got a POP bridge, you can buy as many extra buttons you want in the colors I mentioned before. You won't have to buy a load of POPs to control a room, because each POP supports three separate actions: pressing once, pressing twice, and pressing and holding will all trigger different actions. You also won't have to buy a load of batteries to keep POP running. Logitech says the button's replaceable battery lasts about five years.
The HomeKit-enabled POP will support any HomeKit-enabled accessories. The POP also natively supports the following devices:
- Philips Hue bulbs
- Insteon bulbs
- LIFX bulbs
- Lutron lighting and shades
- Hunter-Douglas shades
- August Smart Lock
- Sonos speakers
- SmartThings hub
- Belkin WeMo
- IFTTT integrations
- Several Harmony remotes and hubs
You can buy the Logitech POP Smart Button Kit for around $60 from Amazon. Additional POP Buttons cost $40.
The Hue Tap switch is a remote control for your Philips Hue system. The device features four button areas and can hold up to four presets. You could have one button trigger a dinnertime scene, one turn on and off the lights in a specific room, one that dims the lights for movie nights, and one that turns on all the Hue lights in your home — the possibilities are endless!
The coolest thing about the Hue Tap switch is its power source. The tap is literally powered by taps — kinetic energy keeps it running so you never have to worry about changing out batteries! The one downside for the Hue Tap is that it's strictly made to work with your Philips Hue system. If you don't have Hue lights, you'd better get some before snagging this button!
You can get a Hue Tap switch for around $50 from Amazon.
Flic is a Bluetooth-connected smart button that features several powerful smart home integrations. Much like the Logitech POP Smart Button, each Flic offers three gestures that can be used for triggers: a single press, a double press, and a press and hold.
Instead of connecting directly to a Philips Hue system or providing HomeKit control, however, the Flic connects to your phone over Bluetooth and uses an app to tie into loads of products and services. You can use Flic buttons with IFTTT to create automations (i.e. double click to play music in Spotify) and connect it with Wink, LIFX, Philips Hue, Sonos, and more to create a single, physical way to control your smart home.
You can get a Flic smart button for $34.00 from Amazon. Flic also sells three packs for around $75.
Do you have any smart buttons in your smart home setup? Thinking about adding any of the buttons from our list? Give us a shout in the comments!