Zigbee Button Controller + Dimmer Switch | Project Walt

Oh man that would be amazing. I wonder how possible it is to have a selection of on/off or dimming when you’re setting it up? I don’t know enough about bindings, so maybe someone can jump in, but I’m trying to think through the UX on this.

If you have it as a two button switch and wanted to have two separate bindings, would you make it so that if you tap on one button it would turn the lights on/off and then if you hold the button would it dim? How would it know to dim up/down or turn the light on/off?

I wasn’t even thinking of this application but yeah that would be fantastic as well. Was more thinking to allow for zigbee bindings for each button to separate groups of lights for instant activation of light groups and to work even if the hub is down. Looking forward to hearing about the feasibility and development of this project!

100% agree on multiple bindings. One of my goals is to use this to control 2 shades in multiple rooms (along with the lights), so being able to directly bind to the shades would be awesome.

If the buttons are just plastic covers on top of some kind of LED, it would also be REAL good if you could release a few STL files (or equivalent) for blank buttons. Then people with a 3D printer like me could literally print up a new button, with whatever I wanted on it, in whatever color or material I wanted. You would likely only need 6 STL files (8-spot (full coverage) button, 4-spot (half coverage) square button, 4-spot (half coverage) long button, 2-spot button (horizontal), 2-spot button (vertical) and a 1-spot button). I doubt anyone would really want a 6-spot or 3-spot button.

I know you were talking about custom etching, but I can easily see that 1) taking a long time to turn around, 2) being a lot more work than you expect (ie. more people wanting etching, or custom etching, that will eat into more and more of your time), 3) is more of a pain when you want custom images etched, 4) getting expensive if you want a lot of etched buttons, and 5) some people might not want Inovelli to see what they decide to etch on their switches :see_no_evil:

Also, consider having some cheaper pre-defined etchings (like the arrows, or the numbers 1-10 or something, a light bulb, etc). Things you don’t need to get custom etched, but you can get made up in bulk - even possibly include in the package.


Like it. Can’t wait. I need to replace a bunch of Control 4 stuff.

I actually don’t need these to have relays or dim. Perhaps consider a version that is smart with no switching. Saves space in the box. If you have extra room in the unit after leaving the relay out how about an announcement speaker and sd card for sound files? Could work well for visually challenged to have audio for button pushes. “Turning all lights off and closing the blinds, Sir”… “Someone is activating the airlock”… “There is a water leak in bathroom 17a”…

Backlight and LED should have the option for automatic brightness adjustment to handle night vs day levels.

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Just a note, when we pursued something similar in the past we decided that the switch has no time intelligence so the hub needed to automate this.

Roles and responsibilities in a smarthome environment are important.

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Lets revisit that a little.The switch or device does not have to be void of time knowledge or perhaps luminosity sensors. The software can also support device modes or similar concepts to make automating backlighting levels easier for all users.

I’m not at all trying to debate a past choice, but its good practice to question previous design decisions when considering new products. It can be hard to automate adjusting lights in a room without other sensors. A room with no windows vs a room with windows can have very difference light levels at 2am.

Anyway, it’s just a feature request or suggestion. I don’t think you meant to temper the free flow of ideas for the new product.

Since that all can be easily done on the smart hub, why does it need to be built in to the switch (adding cost and complexity)?

Not sure I understand why we have people arguing against a basic suggestion. I thought this thread was for helpful suggestions for putting anything and everything on the wall to consider. You both should consider the impression you are giving to other members and readers. Should we post suggestions and have members criticize us or just say nothing at all? Perhaps you both would like to take a moment and add your suggestions to the thread? I didn’t see any above. I promise I wont pounce on you.

I’m a software engineer. I of course think anything is possible with scripting. As a person that has worked 30 years in product development I like to consider the ease of use and human factors of products. Backlighting that adjusts to room lighting conditions is a nice to have especially if its automatic. I’d wager the majority of consumers that buy things would agree. It’s ok for those not in the majority.

I could see it adjusting brightness based on lux. That would make sense to me.

Time knowledge was something that was entertained but added significant complexity at setup or programming.

I like the lux idea though.


I’m not familiar enough with the Zigbee side of things, but saw some references to time cluster to obtain utc time. Drift on the devices probably isn’t critical enough to warrant an rtc.

Thinking of this some more and looking at other offerings I think there is room for 3 scene controller type devices that can share the same look and feel for consistency in a house.

  • switched and or dimming device with scene buttons with backlighting
  • line powered non relay device that supports scene buttons and backlighting
  • battery powered end device that is strictly buttons and no backlighting

The reasoning for this range takes into account the basic and typical migration process that people are seeing when moving to smart lighting and home automation

People are adding smart bulbs. One of the reasons is that they want to control areas where they do not have separate circuits. When you go to change a 3 gang panel of switches that control smart lighting you have a few choices. You can leave it alone and allow the smart lights to be switched or you can do what a lot of people do… hard wire the light sockets to hot so people don’t turn off the smart bubs. If you wire the sockets hot you just need smart bulb control. Lets say you use one of the 3 switches to switch all 3 loads that used to be switched and add two non relay scene controllers. You can now control the smart bulbs using smart bulb mode and still have the ability to cycle the power on the circuits. Of course you need to be concerned total load.

I have maybe close to 40 multi gang switch locations. I can mix and match with smart bulbs and dumb bulbs and still add functionality to those locations.

I also have locations that would benefit from a scene controller, but don’t have line power. A scene controller that had the same aesthetics as the others, but could be installed anywhere with an old work or low voltage box could make life easy for a lot of people even if the functionality was reduced to some basic presses.


I like the idea of different versions for different uses, but just wanted to bring up a couple of challenges to keep in mind: there’s a fixed cost which each unique SKU that Inovelli (or anyone else) manufactures. This covers R&D on the hardware and firmware, manufacturing line setup, certifications, etc. Coupled with minimum order quantities for each device, what sound like small variations in the SKU, become much larger costs. For a small company like Inovelli (I think they have like 3 or 4 employees right now) with limited capital, it’s hard to specialize the SKUs rather than sticking with a single, more generic version that covers more use cases.That’s one of the reasons why the current Gen 3 switches are 2-1s thar can dim and operate in on/off mode.


Sure. Totally get chunking things up based on budgets. Still needs to be tossed out there for long term strategy. Really no different than any other business. Need to mind your capacity. Having a long term strategy can change they way you modularize your products, engineering process and business model.

Here are some Legrand examples of Zigbee battery powered button controllers that match two of their lines. These are great because they can surface mount on a wall. Even with double stick tape. Great for apartment dwellers and dorms etc.


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Not sure I understand why you think a basic question is an argument. Do you expect all suggestions to be taken verbatim without any clarification or alternative suggestions ? :man_shrugging:t2:.

I don’t disagree with the concept. But my question, which you never answered, still stands.


You perhaps don’t realize that your question comes across as a challenge and criticism. Are you actually looking for an answer or are you just pestering? I feel I have answered and I’d wager any reasonable person would agree.

I gotta be honest. I don’t see why this ruffles your feathers. Most of our phones automatically adjust backlighting based on lux in the room. These devices can work without smart hubs. If there is a lux sensor in them or they can adjust to time of day without external control it makes them more universal. I would have expected most everyone to understand that.


Given a model of the switch, we can make our own 6-spot or banana-shaped buttons.

This is the first (second) switch that will have a lux sensor in it. None of the current production switches have a lux sensor. It’s a good idea. I hadn’t thought of that.

Time intelligence has been suggested, reviewed with engineering, and rejected based on the “rules” put out by the zwave alliance and zigbee. Time-based control is a hub responsibility in those mesh networks by policy.

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Zigbee is not my specialty. Can you link me to any public discussion on using the time cluster and why that was challenging? What are these rules? If a coordinator supports time cluster doesn’t that make it possible for devices to obtain time from the coordinator? I could be totally wrong on that, but my quick scan of various support threads gave me that impression.

I’m sure someone more knowledgeable than me can respond.

I’m telling you that you are not the first person to have this idea and push it hard, Inovelli has run this through their engineering team, and it didn’t happen.

I don’t see the benefit personally.