Smart home buttons are pretty much what they sound like, allowing for a tactile interface with your smart home devices that offers a level of flexibility beyond that of traditional switches or remotes.
It may seem like the age of the fully automated smart home is looking to do away with the need for physical interfaces such as old-school switches or remote controllers in favor of voice activation, motion detection, and at the bare minimum smartphone app control interfaces but the best smart home buttons are actually incredibly useful for those times where you just want to hit a button to activate or deactivate a connected smart device.
In this guide we’re taking a look at the top smart buttons on the market today which will allow for a flexible additional control method for use with connected devices around your home.
What is a Smart Button?
Smart buttons are a physical interface which can be configured with various smart home devices ranging from intelligent light bulbs to smart security cameras allowing for one-touch activation of multi functionality and feature activation.
This could look like setting a smart button up to turn off all of the lights throughout the home with a single press, where ever you (and the smart button) are – particularly useful if you’re in a part of the home where you don’t have access to a phone or are out of reach of any voice control systems that you might usually use to get the job done.
While slightly different (although similar in principle) to smart switches, many of the best smart buttons are designed to work in several ways including the ability to tap, double tap, or hold down for longer periods in order to trigger various automations or actions around the home.
The latest iterations of smart speaker devices from the likes of Amazon and Google have undoubtedly transformed what it means to control the different elements of your home with minimal fuss but there are still those instances where the use of a physical switch is just a more convenient nice-to-have.
It’s the complete flexibility and portability of smart buttons (which can be moved anywhere around the house) which makes them so perfectly suited to this task and whether you buy one or several, placing these tactile control buttons at strategic points around the home is a great way to quickly get the job done.
The Best Smart Buttons for Smart Home Automation and Control
We’ve taken a look at a rundown of the best smart buttons for providing quick and easy control of your connected home tech.
From ecosystem specific solutions to buttons which are equally at home working across platforms and brand-names, these smart buttons are the best in the business if you’re looking for a practical and flexible way to control the smart gear around your home, no matter the room you’re in.
While one of the areas in which the Echo Button was initially marketed was as an interface for playing Alexa-based games (a role in which they’re still awesome), the true utility of these excellent budget-friendly smart buttons goes far beyond entertainment, allowing you to integrate with your Alexa-controlled smart home environment with touch as well as voice.
Utilizing Bluetooth to connect to your nearest Alexa device, the Echo Buttons come in a pair with each of the duo being powered by 2 AAA batteries.
The low price-point of the Echo Buttons hints at the level of functionality you can expect from Amazon’s own smart buttons but while the initial gameshow-esque role of the smart buttons was their opening gambit when they were first released, Amazon have subsequently opened up the platform for development and you can now actually use them to start routines for any devices that work with Alexa.
Unlike some of the other smart buttons on the market, the Echo Buttons are limited in that you can only tie a single button press up to trigger a single routine (say, turning a smart light on or off in a room) but for the budget price tag, if you’re looking for an Alexa-enabled smart button for simple device control, it’s hard to do better for the money.Learn More About the Echo Button Here
Flic is so effective because it’s just so versatile and straight-forward to use. Offering the ability to work without a hub (or with one if you own one), these neat smart buttons allow you to take control over a ton of smart home functions and controls from a compact and unassuming little button.
From the device’s debut way back in the distant mists of 2014, the appeal of the Flic has been apparent in its popularity.
On the one hand, this is down to the elegant and frankly button-like design of the device but on the other, it’s hard to ignore the incredible amount of compatible tech that this smart button works alongside.
Out of the box, these smart buttons play nice with the heavy hitters in the smart device world with full compatibility with brands such as Sonos, Ecobee, WeMo, LIFX, and Philips Hue but beyond this, the ability to tie up with pretty much anything else using services like IFTTT make the Flic unbeatable when it comes to cross-device integration.Learn More About the Flic Wireless Smart Button Here
The power of the Eve Button comes when integrating it with an Apple smart home ecosystem. The reason behind this is basically due to the fact that the Eve app (which is effectively the Apple Home App in a different incarnation) is designed to work with Apple HomeKit scenes with single, double, and long presses of the button specifically set up to work with these Apple-only setups.
What this means of course is while it’s probably not going to be your best bet if you’ve built a smart home ecosystem around one of the other major players, if you’re an Apple advocate, then the Eve Button is one of the best smart buttons for setting up more advanced smart button functionality for the devices around your home.
One of the most important things to keep in mind with all of this is that it’s going to work effortlessly if you’ve got a dedicated Apple HomeKit hub in your setup such as an Apple HomePod, Apple TV, or an iPad.
If, however your smart home is being handled through the iOS Home app on a phone, it’s going to need to be in proximity for the whole thing to work together.Learn More About the Eve Button Here
If you ‘re the owner of a SmartThings Hub (or a compatible equivalent), then Samsung’s smart button of the same range is an excellent choice for one touch communication with your connected devices.
Providing control functionality for compatible lights, cameras, thermostats, sensors, and locks, the SmartThings Button works with devices from over 40 brands.
As with all of the best smart button solutions, the SmartThings Button features customizable tap functions based around triggers which can be activated from single, double, or long press taps of the device.
With a range of between 50-130 feet (dependent on your home), the button also effectively extends the range of any SmartThings and ZigBee devices in your ecosystem.Learn More About the Samsung SmartThings Button Here