Best Light Switch Replacement for Open Source Home Automation System

Hi fine OpenHAB Community :slight_smile:

Im new to OpenHAB and want to automate my room lighting.
Therefor i ask for your advice on replacement light switches.
Features that would be nice to have:
Wifi - Connect to OpenHAB
Bluetooth - Detect presence of smartwatch or phone bluetooth MAC adress
Motion detection
Switch light on off
Powersupply from 250 AC
Wall mount.

Some compatible wifi rgb led lights.

Your advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks & Best Regards

I have used Martin jerry switches they are Wi-Fi. They can be flashed with tasmota.

For motion I use the xiamoi motion connected to a conbee ii. The pair work great together.

Hello and welcome.
Your first choice really should be which type of communication ecosystem are you looking to get into. No one switch will have everything - you’re primarily limited by size, and then trying to shove a number of antennae into an electrical box and hope to get decent signal out.

1)Wifi (if there are lots of devices, you’ll need a router that can handle all the clients, and there is intrinsic vulnerability to outside hacking). 2.5 GHz may work ok, but anything higher will have substantial signal loss through walls. If you also have a multiple access point cisco/unifi-type system, this may end up being scalable to you, but you’ll need to work to ensure you have some protection from hacking/abuse.
There are scores of cheap devices that have been hacked into reasonable devices - notably from sonoff and shelly (including RGB controllers). Flashing them with tasmota helps get rid of the concern of potentially sneaky spyware from the original manufacturers, and also adds a lot of functionality.

  1. Zigbee - I don’t have it, but it recently was selected by google/apple’s new open smart home system as the standard, so the ecosystem will be even more replete with all the gadgets and doodads. These devices, similar to z-wave below, work better the more devices you have in your home (up until the max number for the network). Each mains-powered device acts as a repeater for the signal, minimizing dead spots. These work on their own radio frequency, with their own specification-defined security, making them fairly secure from intrusion compared against their peers
  • there are USB adapters/controllers available. Not sure if there are raspberry pi hats.
  1. Z-wave - This is the one I chose. There are expensive devices in this ecosystem, but there are also tons of inexpensive items with reasonable quality. The actual radios themselves are locked down by one company (?some level of quality control, plus security), but they’ve been integrated into zooz, inovelli, ge, aeon labs, (monoprice), and many more brands’ product lines. You can get most types of products that you may desire
  • there are USB adapters/controllers available, as well as GPIO raspberry pi hat controllers
  1. Bluetooth - not really a realistic stand-alone option. If you live by yourself in your own home and nobody else would ever need to control the device (including a smart home system), then it may be an option. If you want control form your phone, remember that any smart home interface worth its’ salt has a way of interfacing with it from a mobile device (usually a mobile web page, but sometimes apps)

  2. now getting into the geeky stuff: 433 mhz radio-powered devices. Much more DIY, and prone to countless complications, but it can be as cheap as your time and a few bucks for the part, if you have substantial time and decent knowledge. Lots of DIY manuals out there for making 433mhz-powered devices, bridges, etc.

  • You would need to buy or build a 433 tranceiver / adapter to connect with your OpenHab/smart home system
  1. LORA devices - another RF frequency/standard, meant for long-range transmission of information - ideal for sensors across a large property, possibly gate controllers, etc. These can get quite expensive for the more polished solutions, but with time you can make more reasonably-priced solutions work

With OpenHab (and several other systems), you aren’t committed to just one. You can have some shelly RGB controllers (ideally on an isolated IOT device vlan), as well as zigbee or zwave devices.
I’d advise you to choose either Z-Wave or Zigbee - as you really want to maximize the number of mains-powered devices to improve the robustness of your network with either. You certainly can get a dongle for each of them and run a network of each, though.

To get to the substance of your question, you’ll probably want a separate switch/device for each application. There are some multiple-channel controllers out there, if you have unique needs (ie, multiple LED strips), although there are also reasonably-priced devices making it easier to do one device per individual strip set.

For example, swap-out replacement (likely requires a neutral wire) for your in-wall light switch, can communicate with your smart home. I’m now about 20 switches into shifting my house over to z-wave.


Thank you very much for the replys and the ammount of detail in it is amazing.
I have gone down a rabbithole with the tasmota firmware.
Bought a Luminea 3 set 1400 Lumen bulps. And Gosung 112 four set.
All are flashed with the latest Tasmota firmware and are connected to my raspberry pi 3 B +
I can controll them via the browser just fine. Now i need to look at openhab2
My pi runs openhab rather slow, hence why im considering to drop the Desktop on the pi and move to the ophenhab headless image.
Unless there are other ways to make the desktop work. Would prefer to have it.
And then i need to learn how to set the devices up with mqtt in openhab.
lots to do

The desktop is not required for openHAB. You could try not having it start at boot but keep it installed. If it is not running it would free memory.

If you really like the desktop, I suggest invest in a pi4 to run desktop and keep the pi3 for openHAB. Having a second pi will be allow for you to learn without crashing your primary.

I have updated the java to the recomended zulu version. Performance is good now.
Also accessing the PI3 from my desktop pc and not having the load of the browser on the PI3 increased performance a lot.
Now im trying to get my things connected and switchable.
Network and MQTT bindings added, however my knowledge is still lacking.
So time to read the Tutorial and venture forward.