I need a wall switch to control my wifi light bulbs

Apologies in advance for newbieness.

I have six ceiling lights in my tv room that we control with an amazon echo (alexa). I hard-wired the wall switches so the bulbs always have power. Alexa wouldn’t work very well if the bulbs had no power. :slight_smile:

But many people try to use the wall switches to control the lights. I need wall switches that can control the bulbs. I’ve googled till my eyes glaze over. I can only find wall switches that control matching power sockets etc.

I’m assuming openhab acts as a hub to connect input and output devices. Is this correct? Is there a wall switch that can be in input to openhub?

I’m a computer geek and I’d be happy add a receiver to my server. I’m even considering putting an esp8266 in the j-box using the switch as an input.

I understand openhab may be overkill but I might find other features to use in my home.

Any help would be appreciated.

There are lots of options but yes, if all you are looking to control is a couple of bulbs with a light switch OH’s is a bit overkill. But a simple problem like this is a good way to get started.

You mention nothing about what technology the lights controlled by Alexa use. Hue? Tuya? Something else? The answer can make a difference. For example, Hue sells switches that will work with the bulbs without the need for openHAB at all. Do you have a neutral at the switch’s box? In not that limits your options significantly. Zwave and Zigbee are options but require additional hardware for OH to interact with them. Shelly makes a relay that wires in behind the switch. That might be a good affordable choice. Sonoff makes something similar I think.

Duh. I forgot to mention that they are wifi bulbs. They are set up with the Smart-Life app. Alexa connects to smart-life.

Hue only works with hue bulbs, right?

So z-wave/zigbee can connect to openhab with only a hub? The cheapest z hub I’ve found so far is $50. That plus two $14 wall switch relays bring my project up to $78. I have to think for a while if that’s worth it.

How much of a geek are you.

You could mount a small touch screen if you want.

Not necessarily a hub. You can get a USB Controller for Zwave or a USB Coordinator for Zigbee. But as I said, they are only two among many options.

I son’t know though if Smart-Life bulbs are supported by OH. They might be a rebranding of Tuya. If not I don’t know if there is any way to integrate them with OH so your search for switches may be moot anyway.

But assuming they can be made to work and assuming you have a neutral, Shelly-1s are around $10 a piece, wifi, support local control (no clouds) and have a binding that supports them out of the box in openHAB, or can be configured to use MQTT for which openHAB also has a binding. I believe Sonoff makes a similar product with similar capabilities.

I see that I can get a zigbee usb adaptor pretty cheap.

Alexa can control my smart devices. Can openhab control alexa?

I’m quite a geek but I think the touch-screen is a bit more than I need. :slight_smile:

I was thinking of putting an esp8266 behind my wall switch. I have several on-hand. I assume the touch-screen plate also uses an esp8266.

Shelly i3 maybe? There is a binding for Shelly in Openhab, Alexa connect, 3 switches in one device.

Yep I use a esp01 (8266)

Switch you could use


openHAB can control Echo devices. I’m not sure if openHAB can control other devices through Echo devices though.

Yea this can be done via the AmazonEchoControl binding. You can trigger Alexa Rules with thi binding. So also for example light on/off or power switches. However it is a little bit slow. May take up to a couple of seconds to trigger the rule.

Yep, Smart Life products are Tuya devices, so Tuyapi to MQTT or Node-Red would work. @Mark-Hahn, there are quite a few tutorials if you’re interested. It’s tricky, but lots of people have succeeded (not just in the OH community).

That being said, the cheapest and easiest solution in my opinion is to just put in a smart wall switch and allow it to control the smart bulbs. So you would use the switch for on/off control, and then the lights for colour/brightness. Note that I’m assuming that they maintain their settings when they lose power (as most Tuya lightbulbs do). So long as that’s the case, the only major downside is that when you turn on the lights via the switch, there will be a delay before they reconnect to WiFi and accept commands.

You could also just wire the smart switch so that it has power, while keeping the lightbulb separately hardwired. But then it’s not really a physical backup, because it’s going to rely on another system to send commands.

Plus, the reporting back to OH is even slower, as the binding intentionally has a low polling rate to minimize network traffic.

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